WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LASER AND IPL? WHAT EVEN IS IPL?
Intense Pulse Light therapy or IPL, is a more advanced form of laser hair removal. It is ideal for long term hair removal that doesn’t involve regular trips for your waxing appointment or the tedious and constant shave of the razor.
IPL is globally regarded as the best form of hair management. It works by using varied wavelengths compared to a regular laser, which just uses one individual wavelength. The advantage? It means that each wavelength of an IPL reaches a different depth in the skin which is needed because each hair follicle grows at a different depth in the skin. Using a band of wavelengths at different lengths is more likely to reach all of the different depths of hair compared to using just one which will only reach a single depth. This is why IPL is a more long term solution.
To truly understand the effects of IPL, we need to explain not just how the machine works, but also the flip side – how hair grows. You can think of hair growth in three cycles – Anagen, Catagen and finally, Telogen. At each stage, the root of the hair is at a different depth in the skin and because we have hundreds of thousands of individual hairs, at any one time, they will all be in a different stage to the one next to it. IPL works to zap the hair at different depths in the skin, excellent for the three stages of growth. Visible light from our Ellipse I2PL machines is absorbed by the pigment in the hair and converted to heat, permanently destroying the hair follicle. It’s important to reach each one, otherwise, if you leave just one cell, it’s enough to produce new hair.
IPL is effective, but it does require more skilled therapists which you’ll find at About Face. Because the treatment works from the top layer of the skin down, there is more technical skill required to ensure the wavelengths hit the right spot, in the highest amount possible, without damaging the skin's surface. We only allow our most senior team members with years of skin expertise under their belt to treat IPL hair removal. Laser requires less operator skill due to the wavelengths being at one length and not being able to be altered. Less skill required means less experienced service providers. Laser is very fast to perform and with less highly skilled operators, can often be offered at a cheaper price. But it is not the most effective at hair removal.
Not all machines are created equal. Our machines at About Face are the very best that the IPL world has to offer, delivering a fast, yet effective treatment. We have been pioneers of IPL in New Zealand, delivering results for over 20 years. Our Danish Elipse Sirius machines are the very best that the IPL world has to offer.
So what do you need to know?
IPL is ideal if you have fair or medium toned skin. It’s not suitable for darker skin or very fair hair – for this we recommend Electrolysis.
Beware of the jargon out there – if you don’t understand something, our experts are on hand to answer all your questions.
You can treat all parts of the body with IPL including bikini line, Brazilian, underarms, upper lip, legs, stomach, face, arms and chest. It’s even great for men on the neck, back and shoulders.
The sensation of IPL is like a faint sting followed by warmth; similar to that of a rubber band flicking the skin.
The number of treatments required varies for each person but typically around eight treatments, four to six weeks apart. Our IPL specialists will work out a plan with you during your consultation.
For your FREE consultation, get in touch with your local clinic. We’d love to see you.