Laser Hair Removal And IPL -- What's The Difference?

Health & Medical Blog

It's a concept that even spas seem to get confused. What's the difference between intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser hair removal? Both technologies are light-based methods of hair removal, but there are key differences.

How do they work?

Both IPL and laser hair removal use light to target the pigment in the hair's follicle. The objective is to heat the follicle enough to damage or destroy it and thus inhibit future hair growth.

Laser hair removal seeks and destroys hairs using a laser, which is composed of a single wavelength of light. IPL targets hairs using a broad spectrum of wavelengths, similar to a light bulb. The light that IPL generates is intense, but it's more scattered than a laser's light. Because of that, IPL should be used with caution on darker skin because it's more likely to cause unwanted side effects, like hyper-pigmentation. When there's a lower contrast between the skin and hair color, IPL has a difficult time differentiating between the two.

How effective are they?

Both types of hair removal only work on hairs that are in the active stage of growth. Since the growth phase of the hairs on any given area of the body varies, repeat treatments are needed to obtain the desired results.

IPL and laser hair removal have both been shown to be effective for permanent hair reduction. However, the catch is that IPL works best on people with light skin and dark hair. Lasers, on the other hand, can be calibrated to work on varying shades of skin and hair. Neither laser nor IPL can treat light blonde or white hair because the hair needs to have pigmentation for IPL or lasers to work.

Do they both hurt?

Laser hair removal and IPL can both feel uncomfortable. The sensation is often described as similar to rubber bands snapping against the skin. If you have a darker skin tone, it may hurt you more, and some women claim that it hurts more when treating thick hairs. Taking ibuprofen before a hair removal session and using a topical numbing cream are some ways to help minimize the pain during hair removal.

Which should I choose?

It's very much an individual choice, but as a general rule, women with dark skin should avoid IPL for hair removal. If you're unsure if your skin is a tone that could safely undergo IPL, it's best to consult with a dermatologist. Otherwise, both types of hair removal are effective. 

Visit a company like The Sheen Vein Institute for more information on both forms of hair removal.


18 January 2016

introducing your daughter to the gynecologist

Having a daughter comes with a number of challenges. One challenge that you will one day need to tackle is determining when to introduce your daughter to the gynecologist. Do you take your daughter to the same gynecologist that you see or take her somewhere else? Do you wait until she gets her first period or do you take her in to learn about the menstrual cycle from the doctor? There is a long list of questions you likely have about introducing your daughter to the world of gynecology. Having gone through this twice myself, I have learned quite a bit and have included a lot of helpful information in my site to help other parents get through this complicated time a little easier.