Hair removal has been an age-old problem for humanity. There are multiple solutions available to remove unwanted hair: Shaving, waxing, threading etc. have all carved their niche in the hair removal market. Most of these methods only offer temporary relief. For long term or permanent relief one usually relies on the laser. The laser is a newer form of hair removal and hence people have misconceptions about it. Let us examine how it works.
What is a laser?
Laser hair removal uses light to damage hair follicles. The damaged hair follicles fall off naturally and do not grow back. Some that do grow back will be thinner and will be close to being invisible. The laser is proving to be a game-changer as it offers a permanent solution to an issue that needs to be addressed every few weeks. The laser does require a few sessions so that hair at different stages of its growth cycle can be targeted. As it keeps gaining wider acceptance there are other similar methods that confuse people. IPL or Intense Pulsed Light is one such method.
IPL versus Laser
People often think of IPL as a type of laser hair removal. It is not. IPL does not use lasers, instead, it uses light in the visible spectrum to achieve the goal of hair damage. The methods used in both are similar but the tools are different. IPL is generally cheaper than laser. So does that mean it will replace laser treatment? No, it won’t because laser is the superior method. While IPL is cheaper than laser, when one looks at cost per session, IPL takes more sessions to attain the results one can attain with a laser. The laser is more accurate and provides a better quality of results. The laser has a better record and organisations of reputation like Therapie Clinic stands behind laser hair removal as the premier hair removal method.
IPL is cheaper because it uses visible light like in a camera flash. This light gets scattered easily. This lack of focus is what makes IPL a weaker option when compared to laser. Laser devices of today are advanced devices. They are very precise and can be calibrated to treat any hair colour on any skin colour. IPL is cheaper, less painful and does not require as much expertise. A laser is also better placed at damaging hair follicles by heating them up faster and in a more precise way.
IPL does not work well on darker skin tones. This used to be a problem with earlier laser devices, but not anymore. It is also to be noted that in our comparisons we are talking about the treatment you get at clinics and not the devices that are supposed to be used at home. Laser devices meant for home usage are a lot less powerful than the ones you may find in a clinic. The laser is also more suited when targeting stubborn hair follicles. IPL may not effectively raise the temperature enough to completely damage the hair follicle. This will result in the hair breaking off and growing back.