IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) plays an important role in the treatment of some skin conditions. However, for hair removal this treatment isn’t nearly as effective as laser removal methods – this is because:
- IPLs are NOT lasers. The machines produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths (like a light bulb) and cannot be focused to a concentrated beam. Because a range of different wavelengths are emitted at a variety of depths, only some of these will be effective for hair reduction.
- A more shallow penetration, compared to laser, means that deeper, thicker hairs are not treated effectively. Additionally with IPL, some of the light can be absorbed into the surrounding tissue as well, leading to heating of the pigment in the skin. This is why there is a greater risk of skin burns. IPL hair removal works by heating the skin, whereas a laser specifically targets the hair follicles and the surrounding skin is protected.