Laser Hair Removal vs IPL – What’s It All About, And Is It Worth It?
In 2018, laser hair removal and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments have skyrocketed in popularity. Both represent ultra-modern techniques in permanent and semi-permanent body hair removal. A new era is beginning, and the days of buying a 10-pack of disposable razors, only to risk cutting ourselves as rush through our morning shower, are coming to an end. And most of us are happy about it!
What is laser hair removal?
Diode lasers aren’t as scary as they sound. They’re designed to treat localized parts of body hair from the face to the bikini line. The laser emits a specific wavelength (around 808nm, to be exact!) that will target the hair follicle and stop it from growing. While it won’t prevent hair growth indefinitely, the treatment can stop unwanted hairs for weeks and even months. An affordable laser hair removal machine is so precise that it will never hurt or damage the surrounding skin. That’s why laser treatments are perfect for all skin types. If it’s your first time, you should be prepared to undergo a few treatments. After around 6-months your skin will have adapted, leaving your body soft to touch.
Although laser technology is advancing in leaps and strides to treat all skin types evenly, there are a few points to note. Current diode lasers are most effective on dark hair rather than light. Equally, it might not be as effective on hair with grey or red tones. This is, however, individual and you should always check with your consultant to make sure you’re getting the best treatment!
Why do some people choose IPL instead?
IPL (intense pulsed light technology) is designed to give the same results as a diode laser, but it works a little differently. IPL emits wide-spectrum light, so it’s not technically a laser. Its wavelength only shallowly penetrates the skin and does not specifically target a single hair follicle. Rather it will disperse on the skin, some hair follicles will absorb it while others won’t. This has led some people to believe IPL is less effective in hair removal. However, this can be misleading. A quality IPL hair removal machine offers a whole host of other benefits such as removing acne, treating broken capillaries and rejuvenating the skin. To be the most effective, IPL does require regular treatments so make sure to book in every couple of months!
Is going under a laser (IPL) machine worth it?
The biggest stumbling block for those who haven’t tried laser or IPL hair removal before is that it will hurt. This is a common myth. As long as you’re going to an experienced and licensed beauty therapist, who is using top of the range equipment, your whole experience will feel like going in for a spa treatment. For examples of state of the art machines, visit our good friends British Institute of Lasers at www.britishlasers.com
Since we are talking about hair removal, you might feel the slightest twinge here and there in sensitive areas (I’d still choose it over waxing, any day!). Your therapist is likely to apply a cool gel before they start, so your skin will be protected.
Finally, you’ve got the cost factor. You might initially be paying a little more to go in for your regular treatments. But once your skin adapts, you will only need them every few months (if not less!). That means you’ll be saving on razor, wax and shaving cream costs in your weekly shop. Eventually, that will add up to a nice pot of money in your bank account that you can use to take yourself on a relaxing holiday instead! So if you’re still on the fence, I say, give it a try. You never know, you might just fall in love.
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