Laser Vs IPL Hair Removal

Which is Better Laser or IPL Hair Removal?

The results of the diode laser hair reduction treatments after the IPL hair reduction treatments

Lasers and IPL hair removal comparison

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Lasers and IPL action are similarly based on the selective photo thermolysis principle, where the melanin acts as chromatophore. There are, however, fundamental differences in the way they are built and in the light they emit.

Results: A percentage average of hair loss among patients treated with a diode laser as a control group is higher which indicates the laser’s higher effectiveness.

Conclusion: The IPL has been shown to negatively impact the effectiveness of a diode laser. This is linked with the way non-coherent light weakens and thins the hair that impedes the absorption of laser light by the melanin and adversely affects the treatment results.

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SOURCE: Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy

ipl vs laser hair removal

The main difference between laser and ipl hair removal

The main difference between laser and ipl hair removal is the type of light used. IPL laser is not actually a laser. It is a broadband pulsed light source, whereas laser is a monochromatic coherent light source. Both methods target the melanin in the hair follicle and deliver permanent results.

Both IPL and laser impulses reach the root of the hair via the melanin. This stimulation has a ‘damaging’ effect on the root and after a few treatment sessions, will inhibit the root to produce new hair. Dark hair and fair skin are the perfect combination to get the most effective results.

In-clinic laser treatment is a more selective process and therefore the very high energy will focus on the hair follicle rather than surrounding skin. Because of this, in-clinic laser treatments will lead to faster results as well as being suitable to darker skin tones. Frequency, energy, and hair color are all determining factors in the efficacy of the treatment.
Many people mistakenly believe that all hair removal procedures are the same. They are similar in appearance, but they do not use the same technology or provide the same outcomes. There are many hair removal clinics claim to provide “laser” hair removal, when in fact they only use IPL.
So, if you’re considering IPL or laser hair removal, you need first to determine which is best for you.

What is ipl hair removal?

IPL laser, or intense pulsed light treatment, is a technique for removing undesired body hair as well as pigment and vascular lesions.

IPL can target dark hair by employing a broad spectrum of light. The dark hairs absorb the light, heat up, and are damaged down to the root, like how wearing black on a bright day might cause you to overheat.

IPL laser hair removal treatments have one key advantage over waxing or plucking: they’re permanent. Any living hair follicle that has been treated is destroyed and will not regrow.

Permanent hair reduction with IPL treatment works better on darker hair and may not be as successful on lighter hair.

IPL devices on are not lasers. These devices produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths (like a light bulb) and cannot be focused to a concentrated beam. Because a range of different wavelengths is dispersed at a variety of depths only some of these are effectively absorbed by the hair follicle, causing substandard results, and increasing the risk of burns.

  • IPL is not monochromatic, meaning that IPL has many different colours and only a small percentage of these are effective in the treatment of hair reduction.
  • IPL is not collimated and is therefore quick to spread out making it less effective in the treatment of hair reduction.
  • IPL is not coherent and is not reinforcing making it less effective in the treatment of hair reduction.

What is laser hair removal?

IPL vs laser hair removal are comparable, but they’re not the same thing. Lasers for medical purposes emit a single wavelength of light that is focused on a specific location. This light is exclusively absorbed by the pigment in the hair and does not reach the surrounding skin or other tissues in the treatment region.

  • Laser is monochromatic meaning that the light emitted from a laser is of one wavelength (colour). In contrast, ordinary white light is a combination of many different wavelengths (colours).
  • Laser is “collimated” meaning the light waves are parallel. This makes laser light very powerful, as nearly 100% of the light can be effective in the treatment of hair reduction.
  • Laser is coherent, meaning the light is totally reinforcing and does not cancel itself out. The coherent light produced by a laser differs from ordinary light in that it is made up of waves all the same wavelength and all in phase (i.e., in step with each other) – ordinary light contains many different wavelengths and phase relations.

To figure out the difference between laser or IPL is better for hair removal we’re going to take a look at 5 different factors and compare them.

  • Light source: IPL utilizes a wide range of light. This heats the hair and damages the follicles by targeting the melanin pigment. Laser hair removal uses light energy to heat the hair and damage the hair follicles. The laser concentrates on a smaller area and frequently penetrates further into the pore. Lasers concentrate light more finely on the area where the hair is being removed, enhancing its efficiency and lowering the risk of negative effects.
  • Follow-up treatment: Laser hair removal is a far more harsh procedure. It penetrates deeper into the pores, resulting in more effective results. This implies you may only need a few treatments to achieve your desired result.
    IPL, on the other hand, does not focus entirely on hair, thus you may need additional treatments to prevent your hair from returning.
  • Treatment time: IPL can be a very slow and tedious treatment procedure because it’s performed in pulses, while the laser is very quick because it’s performed in motion. Average treatment times of IPL vs Laser:
Treatment areaIPL treatment timeLaser Treatment time
Under arms15 minutes5 minutes
Legs60 minutes20 minutes
Brazilian30 minutes10 Minutes
Back45 minutes15 minutes
  • Time Savings: The average lady spends 72 days (1,728 hours) of her life shaving her legs alone! The benefits of permanent hair removal with IPL or Laser treatments include significant time savings and increased quality of life.
  • Pain rating: IPL causes more discomfort, whereas laser hair removal is almost painless. With lighter skin and dark hair, we’ve sorted out the most common treatment regions and the average treatment pain rating on a scale of 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain you’ve ever had) below.
Treatment areaIPL treatment pain ratingLaser treatment pain rating
Under arms51
Legs62
Back72
Brazilian72

So, which is better laser or ipl hair removal?

Laser technology is simply much more effective and achieves substantially better results than IPL with most clients achieving optimal results of permanent hair removal of 80% or greater after four to eight treatments. Laser hair removal is safer, more effective, and the only way hair removal should ever be performed.

IPL devices on the other hand are not lasers. These devices produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths and cannot be focused to a concentrated beam. Because a range of different wavelengths is dispersed at a variety of depths only some of these are effectively absorbed by the hair follicle, causing substandard results, and increasing the risk of burns.

IPL machines typically use a range of wavelengths from 500 – 1000 nm. As these wavelengths are exposed to the skin, there is no ability for the light to discriminate between chromophores within the skin. Due to the broad spectrum of light, obtaining sufficient energy to destroy certain deep targets such as hair is often challenging.

Main advantages of using laser over ipl hair removal machines:

  • IPL is a cheaper, less effective technology for reducing body hair.
  • Each laser pulse takes a fraction of a second and can treat several hairs at a time.
  • Lasers are very precise and can selectively target dark, coarse hair while leaving the surrounding areas undamaged.
  • Lasers have the capability to safely treat all skin colours, whereas IPLs can cause burn on darker skin types.
  • Laser settings can be adjusted to suit your specific skin tone and hair colour.
  • Laser technology is much more effective and achieves substantially better results than IPL with most clients achieving optimal results of permanent hair removal of 80% or greater after four to eight treatments.

GentleMax Pro Plus™ Laser Hair Removal Toronto

INTRODUCING THE NEW CANDELA GENTLEMAX PRO PLUS™ FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL TORONTO

The Gold Standard GentleMax Hair Removal™

The Gentle Hair Removal laser targets the hair follicle with intense laser light energy for thermal destruction to provide permanent hair reduction over the course of a few treatments. With fast treatment times, Gentle Hair Removal delivers a more comfortable patient experience through its distinctive Dynamic Cooling Device™. This cooling system sprays the skin before each laser pulse with a cooling burst of cryogen over the treatment area, providing a Cooling Protection Factor over 50% greater than contact or air cooling4,5 for optimal comfort!

During this unique laser treatment, two highly effective and proven wavelengths work together to eradicate unwanted hair. The laser beam may penetrate the pigment of the targeted hair follicles and disintegrate the hair shaft without harming the surrounding healthy skin tissue, regardless of the patient’s skin color, whether lighter or darker.

  • Permanent results
  • Safe to treat all skin types
  • Quick treatment
  • No downtime
  • Pain free

GentleMax Pro™ is a dual platform laser made by one of the industry’s leaders, Syneron Candela. The GentleMax Pro™ is a dual platform laser using a 755nm Alexandrite laser and a 1064nm Nd:YAG laser, allowing a wide range of treatment options.

Candela’s GentleMaxProPLUS™ platform is the newest advancement in the number one dermatologist-recommended laser hair removal brand. 1 It is meant to exceed patients’ expectations as well as other needs, as it is built on a foundation of over 20 years of clinically Proven effectiveness across all skin types. 

Increased power, speed, and larger spot sizes, as well as short pulse durations, allowing for a better laser hair removal experience.

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