Where Beauty Meets Medicine
IPL Hair Removal
IPLs manipulate the use of light, which is absorbed by melanin in the hair and this damages the follicle. Over time the hair becomes weaker and eventually stops growing. IPL, or intense pulsed light, is not a laser, but emits a spectrum of colours and wavelengths that reduces hair growth unlike a laser, which delivers one single wave of red light and permanently removes the hair follicle.
Anyone having a hair reduction treatment programme using an IPL machine will find that there will be some regrowth, so areas would need to be redone, possibly every six to 12 months.
Some IPL devices won’t work if skin is too dark or hair is too light, as they are designed to lock if it is not safe to use. Most machines have at least three intensity levels and the one chosen is mainly based on your pain threshold, although some devices come with advice as to which power setting to use, which is based on your skin tone. Experts advise starting low and working your way up.
What is the treatment protocol?
Skin must be freshly shaved before use. Although some advice is to wax, waxing removes the hair and follicle and this is what is targeted through IPL, therefore it needs to be there under the skin in order to treat it with the IPL. Do not sunbathe, burn, have recently tanned skin or use fake tan before treatments because this can not only affect the efficacy of the treatment but it can also be dangerous in terms of skin health.