Everything you need to know about
IPL Hair Removal
- What is IPL
IPL is the acronym for intense pulsed light. It has a plethora of benefits and can be used in many different ways. It is used most commonly as a hair removal tool but also to remove spider veins., improve skin texture and pigmentation, help reduce acne and even remove some of the signs of sun damage.
- How does it work?
A handheld flashgun is passed across the skin delivering a spectrum of light which targets the melanin. The light travels through the skin until it strikes the hair root/bulb. This is where the highest concentration of melanin is located. As the light is absorbed the bulb and the hair is heated destroying the papilla which produces the hair.
- Why is it better than other forms of hair removal?
Shaving is time consuming and the grow back is almost immediate. For those who shave but still want constant hairless bodies, shaving becomes part of the daily routine. Shaving also does not come without the nicks and rashes associated with a dirty or blunt blade.
Gillette claims that girls should change a blade after 5-10 shaves. £12 for four blades. For those of us who shave three times a week that is averagely a new blade every 9 days. Which is 40 blades a year costing us £120 each year to keep our body smooth!
Waxing seems like a perfectly good replacement for shaving however it also comes with some draw backs. The pain is the main thing that puts people off from changing to wax, even with the emergence of hot wax. But the worst part is the grow back period. To wax effectively the hair needs to be a certain length to ensure it all sticks to the strips meaning in summer waxes have to be timed effectively.
A full leg wax normally costs around £40. However, like IPL Hair removal initially waxing needs to be fairly frequent with most salons telling you to come back monthly for smooth hair. Although with every treatment hair does thin out and take longer to grow back it does not go completely. Therefore, for a year of smooth legs it will averagely cost a waxer around £250-£300
IPL takes about 6 sessions to get rid of 70% of hair permanently. Also the way IPL works by killing the follicle mans that in grown hairs will no longer be a problem. There is no need to grow out your hair before treatment as it is necessary to shave (NOT WAX OR PLUCK) on the day or the day before treatment.
- How long does it take?
Treatments take between 15 to 60 minutes depending on the treatment area with bikini lines taking around 15 minutes and legs taking around 45 minutes.
- Does it hurt?
The pain is commonly described as a small pinging on the skin with an elastic band. People have also described it as giving them a warm feeling or a pinging sensation. The pain is normally strongest in the first treatment, the less hair there is as the treatments go on the less painful it becomes. IPL is seen as a less painful hair removal treatment than laser hair removal
- How long does it take to see results?
It is dependent on the area of hair removal and also the thickness and colour of hair. During the treatment hairs will shrivel. Then over the next week or two the hairs will begin to shed. Many see results quicker in areas such as under the arms than they do in the bikini line and on their legs. Results will also be seen immediately when the hair tries to regrow, however it will be patchy and only after several sessions will many areas be nearly hair free!
- Is it safe?
IPL has been around for over twenty years and there have been no studies to indicate that IPL is unsafe. IPL does not contain UVA or UVB light rays which are associated with increase skin cancer. There is also no ultraviolet light in IPL therefore it does not damage DNA cells.
- What areas can be treated?
At the Body Laser Clinic, we remove hair from the lower face & upper lip, neck & jaw, lower left arm, lower right arm, upper left arm, upper right arm, under arms, bikini line, extended bikini line, buttocks, upper right leg, upper left leg, lower right leg, lower left leg, toes & feet, shoulder, upper back, lower back and hands & fingers.
- How do hormonal conditions impact their effectiveness?
Hormonal conditions such an over or under active thyroid, fibroids, post menopausal bleeding and endometriosis may require more sessions than the average person. Your clinician may also recommend avoiding hormonal areas such as the face or back of thighs of the hairs are fine and light.
- Do they get rid of hair permanently?
This is highly dependent on the person and the area. The minimum amount of treatments most people have to remove the majority of the hair in the designated area is 4. However, in particular troublesome areas some people can have up to 10 sessions. Due to IPL targeting hair follicles it can only attack active follicles. Therefore, more hair follicles will probably appear at a later date meaning that 100% hair free is not likely. However, 90% less hair is common with any other hair growing back at a slower speed.
- Is it safe for all skin types?
Not all hair colours and skin types provide effective results. The ideal skin and hair type is fair skin with dark hairs as the light is attracted to melanin. However, this means that those with darker skin unfortunately cannot use IPL as it may discolour their skin. IPL is seen as safer than laser hair removal for a larger spectrum of hair and skin colours.
- What should I do before my treatment?
We ask that you shave the designated area on the day or the day before your treatment so we can target the hair follicle not the hair already there. Stay away from tanning beds, spray tans and tanning lotion.
- What should I do after my treatment?
Avoid sun exposure and using sun cream is highly recommended. Any hair growth between sessions should be shaved off not waxed or threaded. Also avoid perfumes, deodorant and hot showers directly afterwards.
- How does IPL work to reduce pigmentation and Acne?
IPL delivers scattered light at a specific wavelength that targets melanin (pigmented areas) and haemoglobin(blood vessels) This can reduce pigmentation and destroy the P.acnes bacteria which causes acne.
- How does IPL rejuvenate my skin?
IPL causes a minor thermal injury to the collagen in your skin. The body responds immediately to repair the damage by increasing the level of collagen it naturally produces. The new collagen then helps to fill out any fine lines. The infra red speeds up the healing process.