The down low on IPL Hair Removal and how it differs from laser

5 minutes with Haley Tietjens, Business Performance and Training Manager

We sat down with Haley Tietjens and asked her expert opinion on all things IPL Hair Removal including the difference between Laser and IPL Hair Removal. 

Haley, how does IPL Hair Removal work?

As with all light based treatments, IPL works by emitting a wavelength into the skin, which in the case of hair removal targets pigment.  It works in the same way black clothing absorbs heat on a hot day, versus white clothing which reflects it.  The light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair. It quickly turns to heat which then kills the growing cells that make the hair.

However, the hair has to be living for IPL to work. When you pull out a hair and it has that little jelly bulb around the root, it's one of the 20 to 40 per cent of living hair on your body. If you pull it out and it doesn't have that, it's a dead hair which can stay on your skin for up to three weeks. That's why you need to have an average of 8-10 IPL sessions to catch all hairs in their living cycle.

What’s the difference between Laser and IPL Hair Removal?

IPL uses a full spectrum of light with different scattered wave lengths, while a laser uses one specific wavelength of light.  The benefit of using scattered wavelengths is that you can pick up hair of all depths.  Some hairs are finer than others which mean their depth is shallow and others are a lot thicker and the hair root is deeper in the skin.  When you are using one set wavelength you are only targeting one level at a time so it can take longer to get a good result.

Why should I choose About Face for my IPL Hair Removal over lower cost clinics?

About Face have some of the best IPL machines and the best trained therapists that practice this technology.  There are many cheap machines out there in the market that are ineffective so you need to make sure the clinic you choose has the right technology that can deliver the results you are after. 

We spend a lot of time training our therapists in IPL and our advanced technology trainer has over 30 years’ experience in the industry.  We only let the most experienced skin therapists learn this technology as this is a high risk treatment so you only want a skin expert treating you.  We have seen many cases of burns and undesirable outcomes due to clients going to a cheaper clinic with inexperienced staff or a low quality machine.  Make sure you do your research first before having this treatment.

Finally, do you have any tips on prepping for IPL Hair Removal treatment?

Prior to IPL ensure you have had a thorough consultation and a test patch done of the area.  The consultation will ensure you are a good candidate for the treatment and we can check that you are not on any light sensitising medications which can contraindicate the treatment.

You need to avoid a suntan of any kind for six weeks prior to your treatment including false tan as the light will be attracted to the pigment and it could result in a burn.

Do not remove hair in the area from the root of the hair (no waxing or tweezing) prior to IPL or between treatments as it will inhibit the treatment from working. However you can shave the hair in between treatments.


To find out more about what IPL Hair Reduction could do for you; book in for a consultation at your local clinic. Consultations are $55, are redeemable on treatments booked on the day and include a test patch.

Click here to find out more about our Buy 1 Get 1 Free on IPL Hair Reduction on until 31st August.