While there are many types of laser technology used for laser hair removal today, many of us don't know the differences between them. What's more, it's hard to distinguish between lasers that are used for skin rejuvenation treatments, and those meant for removing unwanted hair. IPL laser technology is one type that's widely used for both skin rejuvenation and laser hair removal. But how does it work in both treatment situations? Are IPL lasers better for one type of treatment over another?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. IPL treatments are often referred to as photo rejuvenation, Photofacial or IPL Photofacial due to its use of "selective photothermolysis" during treatment. Photothermolysis is the process by which IPL lasers convert light energy to heat energy and treat unwanted hair and skin pigments. IPL lasers can use photothermolysis to remove unwanted hair, or to correct skin hyperpigmentation, rosacea, age spots and the appearance of sun damage.
Unlike other types of hair removal lasers that use a single light wavelength concentration, such as the Alexandrite Laser or the Diode Laser, IPL lasers use a full spectrum of light wavelengths. IPL lasers can alter the intensity of its pulsed light beams with various filters, but it can't be refined to a single wavelength. Some patients and professionals claim that the IPL's greater wavelength spectrum equals less precision and less control, which could mean an increased risk of burns and hair removal side effects with misuse.
IPL lasers are sometimes available with combined radio frequency, or RF, benefits, like with the popular Aurora laser series. The addition of radio frequencies is alleged to help improve skin texture and clear up troubled complexions. Radio frequencies attempt to heat up and energize skin tissue, which can increase collagen production and create firmer skin tissue. IPL lasers with RF energy will be more beneficial when used for anti-aging skin care treatments, rather than for laser hair removal.
One of the biggest reasons why IPL lasers are so popular in the hair removal industry is the lower cost. On average, IPL treatments are cheaper than the standard cost of laser hair removal. Additionally, they can treat larger skin portions at a time, so areas like the legs and back can be treated in a fraction of the time required with standard lasers.
IPL lasers are more often recommended for skin treatments than for hair removal procedures. This is because greater precision is required to focus light energy on individual hair follicles as opposed to problem skin areas. This isn't to say that IPL lasers can't successfully remove hair on the face and body. It just means that before undergoing IPL hair removal treatments, you should take extra care to confirm:
If you want to find out if IPL hair removal will be an appropriate solution to your unwanted hair problems, you should meet first with a professional provider in your area. They will better inform you of the costs, risks and benefits of IPL hair removal, and help you choose the best treatment option for you!