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What is the Difference between IPL and Laser Hair Removal* Therapy?


Two commonly adopted hair removal techniques are IPL or Intense Pulse Light Therapy and LHR or Laser Hair Removal Therapy.

Both these methods are often confused with each other as they both belong to the same category of hair removal procedures. However, both of them have fundamental differences in terms of the way they are administered, as well as the way they affect the skin and hair. The only similarity between the two is that both treatments produce energy in order to disrupt the growth of hair in each follicle to reduce overall hair growth.


Laser Hair Removal:

Laser Hair Removal consists of an intensely concentrated beam of light. The energy is extremely focused rather than diffused so it is very precise, offering more powerful and accurate results. The laser is carefully tuned to an individual skin and hair type, ensuring the best possible results on all skin shades and types.


IPL Hair Removal :

IPL is far less effective than Laser Hair Removal as the energy is produced by a lamp and produces a variety of light waves, thus being more diffused and less powerful. It is usually limited to being used on fairer skin types.


Advantages of Laser over IPL Hair Removal:

Both methods ensure a reduced growth of hair for a long duration. By this it is implied that any claims of “permanent” removal of hair are not entirely true. Each method requires many years of application to achieve a state of permanent removal. However, each method does guarantee permanent hair reduction rather than permanent hair removal.These methods do ensure that the hair reduction lasts for several months to a year or two with the condition that at some point, the hair can grow back and the patient would need to go in for additional sessions. Laser machines work best with dark coarse hair. The ideal combination for any permanent hair reduction, whether it is IPL or Laser is the light skin and dark hair combination. Based on the fact that laser machines provide a single spectrum of concentrated light directly to the hair follicle, it goes without saying that more light energy penetrates the hair instead of the surrounding skin tissue. Therefore, the thicker your hair, the less effective an IPL machine becomes in removing unwanted hair. Another argument against using IPL machines for darker skinned people is that there is a higher risk than Lasers for burns and pigmentation to the skin. Although both Laser and IPL machines can produce pigmentation, one needs to ensure that the correct machine is used depending on the hair colour as well as the skin colour. Overall, the laser based method is more effective for permanent hair reduction as it creates more heat and light energy which is directly concentrated on the hair follicle, thus giving better and longer lasting results for permanent hair reduction. With Laser, there is also the greater chance of having lower side effects. Considering there is less heat being absorbed by the dark skin surrounding the follicle as compared to the procedure in IPL machines, the risk of burning and/or pigmentation occurring is lesser. Lastly, it all depends on the type of skin and the type of hair that one may have. This is why the results would differ for each person and the number of sessions required would also be different. Read our blogs to learn more on about laser hair reduction.
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