What is the difference between IPL Hair Removal and Laser Hair Removal?
Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are the most popular technology for permanent hair removal. We are aware that there is some confusion for patients in understanding the difference. To make the difference clear, let’s first have a look what IPL and Laser hair removal technology is.
Laser hair removal machines produce a single wavelength of light (pure light consisting of one single colour and form), which has a very concentrated beam and specific target (the melanin in the hair follicle).
The type/colour of your hair and skin will determine the tuning settings of the machine and will be discussed with you during your consultation. Laser machines are tuned to emit the exact wavelength required to treat your hair. Now the most popular laser hair removal machine is 808nm diode laser machine.
IPL stands for intense pulsed light, and it is a form of light therapy, used for various dermatological procedures including hair removal. That means except hair removal function, IPL can also be used for other skin treatment like wrinkle removal, skin whitening and other skin treatment.
IPL uses polychromatic light (full spectrum) and low-range infrared radiation to target the dark pigment (melanin) found in skin and hair, and which is found in higher concentration around the base of the hair follicle.
What is the difference between IPL and Laser hair removal?
Strictly speaking, although both use light rays to target melanin for hair removal and are often lumped together, in fact it is quite different.
Without being too technical, lasers are a concentrated beam of light at a specific wavelength. The diode laser, for instance, is set to a wavelength of between 800 and 810nm; IPL, on the other hand, doesn’t have a specific wavelength and instead emits non coherent light in the range of 550nm and 1200nm. You can consider this the “shotgun” approach to hair removal – the IPL device will emit a broad spectrum of light over a large variety of wavelengths in a pulse like fashion.
What are the advantages of Laser Hair Removal and IPL Hair Removal?
The main advantages of using Laser Hair Removal over IPL Hair Removal based technology for hair reduction are:
Laser technology is simply much more effective, and achieves substantially better results than IPL Hair Removal.
- IPL Hair Removal is a cheaper, less effective technology for reducing body hair.
- Lasers are far more precise, and can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
- Each laser pulse takes a fraction of a second and can treat several hairs at a time.
- Laser hair removal can be used to treat larger body areas.
- Laser settings can be adjusted to suit your specific skin tone and hair colour.
- Lasers are safe for all skin colours, whereas IPL can cause burns on darker skin tones.
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