How IPL Actually Works & Removes Hair
Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment, also known as intense pulsed light therapy, is a popular method for removing unwanted hair from various areas of the body. IPL uses light energy to target and disrupt the hair follicles, leading to long-term hair reduction. But how does IPL actually work to remove hair?
In this article, we'll explain the science behind IPL and discuss how it works to provide long-term hair reduction.
What is IPL?
IPL is a revolutionary non-invasive cosmetic procedure that harnesses high-intensity pulses of light to precisely target and heat up the hair follicles, damaging them in the process. As such, your body's capacity for producing new hairs substantially reduces - ideal for removing unwanted facial/body hair from your legs, underarms, bikini line and arms!
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How Does IPL Work?
IPL treatments utilize a handheld device to emit light beams onto the skin, which is then absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicles. This absorption converts it into heat energy capable of destroying cells responsible for hair growth, ultimately leading to long-term reduction in regrowth frequency.
IPL targets the melanin, or pigment, in the hair follicles, which is why it is most effective on those with darker hair and lighter skin tones. The contrast between the dark hair and lighter skin allows the IPL to more selectively target the hair follicles without damaging the surrounding skin.
The Hair Growth Cycle
To better understand how IPL works, it's important to understand the full hair follicle growth cycle. Hair grows in cycles, with three main phases: anagen (growth), catagen (transition), and telogen (resting). IPL is most effective during the anagen phase when the hair follicles are actively producing new hairs and contain the most melanin. This is why multiple IPL treatments are typically needed to target all the hair follicles in a given area, as not all follicles are in the anagen phase at the same time.
IPL vs. Laser Hair Removal
IPL and laser hair removal are often compared, as they both use light energy to target and disrupt the hair follicles. However, there are some key differences between the two treatments.
A defining distinction between IPL and laser and hair removal method lies in the type of light employed. As opposed to a single, focused wavelength utilized with laser hair removal, IPL utilizes a broad spectrum - this may make it less accurate, thus necessitating more treatments for optimal outcomes. On the contrary, due to its precision targeting abilities via one determined wavelength ,laser hair removal allows you to get results faster than IPL would yield.
Another difference is the versatility of IPL. IPL devices are designed with different settings that can be adjusted to accommodate different skin tones and hair colours. This makes IPL suitable for a wider range of skin tones and hair colour, including light brown skin, whereas laser hair removal may be less effective on darker skin tones.
Is IPL Hair Removal Right for You?
If you are considering IPL hair removal, there are several things to consider such as your skin tone, the colour of your hair and what kind of results you expect. Typically, it works better on those with lighter skin tones and darker coloured strands since a noticeable contrast between these two elements will help pinpoint the individual follicles more precisely.
Thankfully though, due to advancements in technology over time; even people who have light skin or brown complexion can benefit from this procedure now!
It's also important to consider skin concerns and other factors such as sun exposure, as IPL treatments may be less effective on tanned or sun-damaged skin. It's recommended to avoid sun exposure before and after IPL treatments to ensure optimal results.
IPL is a non-invasive and relatively painless procedure, with minimal downtime. However, some individuals may experience mild redness, swelling, or temporary pigment changes after treatment. It's important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your practitioner to minimize any potential side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Hair removal technology has come along way over recent years and now (depending on your practitioner’s machine) most parts of your body can be treated with IPL including dark hairs in your pubic area.
No. Shaving is recommended before treatment as it allows light energy emitted during the procedure to reach the targeted area more effectively; however it is not absolutely necessary if you prefer not to shave prior to your session or don't have enough time between appointments.
It can take several sessions before you start to see results from an IPL treatment. The number of sessions needed varies from person to person depending on factors such as skin tone, gender, hormones and other individual characteristics. Generally, a full course of skin treatments, is completed within 6-10 weeks before any permanent visible results are seen.
Yes, when done correctly and with multiple treatments. IPL works by targeting the melanin in the hair follicles and converting it into heat energy capable of destroying cells responsible for hair growth, leading to long-term reduction in regrowth frequency.