Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal is an increasingly popular method for getting rid of unwanted body hair.
It works by emitting pulses of intense light that pass through the skin and are absorbed by melanin, which causes localized heating. This results in damage to the root(s) of the offending hair follicle, which leads to permanent public hair removal after several sessions. IPL can be used on all types of dark-haired individuals, although it will not work well on people with fair or red hair since these lack sufficient amounts of melanin. In most cases, treatment does not cause pain, but a sensation similar to a mild sunburn may occasionally occur.
The number of treatments required varies from person to person, depending on how many hairs are being treated, their coarseness, and local skin tone.
IPL hair removal works best on people who have dark hair and light skin since this combination contains significant amounts of melanin which aids in the absorption of light energy. It’s still possible to use IPL even if you don’t fall into this category; however, results may not be as good or permanent. Before beginning treatment, it is important to stop taking any medications that could increase the risk of photosensitivity (hypersensitivity to ultraviolet rays), e.g., some antibiotics (such as tetracycline) and anti-seizure drugs, because these can reduce the effectiveness of an IPL treatment by up to 50%.
Treatment is generally painless, but it can cause a sensation similar to a mild sunburn for up to an hour. It does not require downtime, although there may be some redness and swelling around the treated area just after treatment which will fade within 24 hours. There are currently no contraindications with other treatments or surgery. Recovery times vary depending on how many sessions are taken, but in general, people resume their normal activities immediately after treatment without any extra care or precautions required. The vast majority of people experience permanent hair loss after three to five treatments spaced four weeks apart.
IPL hair removal is similar to laser hair removal – both use light energy to inhibit hair growth – however, each technology has certain advantages over the other. Laser hair removal is more effective at permanently removing all types of dark-haired individuals with pale skin, whereas IPL can be used on a wider range of skin tones since it works by using melanin to absorb light energy. Laser treatments are generally faster and require fewer sessions for permanent results; however, they can also cause greater discomfort and side effects, including blistering.
In both cases, the long-term effectiveness is partly dependent on how well individual hairs respond to treatment, which can vary from person to person. In good general, candidates for permanent hair loss include people who have dark hair and very fair skin that contains a large amount of melanin. People who have blonde/red or grey/white hair may still benefit from having IPL but will never obtain permanent results.
In addition to professional treatments, home LED hair removal devices are becoming increasingly popular. These handheld units use a similar technology to IPL and also emit pulses of light that pass through the skin and are absorbed by the melanin in the offending hair follicle. They tend to be less effective than professional services, though, and require several minutes of direct contact with the affected area for each session.
IPL is an excellent long-term solution for those wanting to remove unwanted body hair since it’s completely painless and highly convenient. Permanent results can be obtained after just three to five sessions spaced four weeks apart, so there’s no need to schedule regular ongoing appointments as you would with laser therapy.