What is the difference between Laser and IPL for removing hair?
While both IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and Laser are light based technologies, they are completely different in the way of application and especially in the hair and skin impact they generate. It is therefore important to understand the key difference between these technologies:
Laser delivers a light beam only in one wavelength, which is coherent and collimated (all photons and light waves travelling exactly in the same direction and in parallel). It is specifically optimised to precisely target one component of the skin (hair follicle). Its intensity is not very high due to a concentrated nature of spot application.
IPL delivers a light beam composed of many different wavelengths of light, affecting multiple and non-specific components of the skin. IPL’s beam effectively consists of scattered photons, diverging in many directions. Due to the broad spectrum of emitted light, its scattering and divergence, much higher levels of energy must be employed to obtain sufficient penetration to reach deep targets, such as hair follicle.
The application of IPL for direct hair removal is very challenging due to a low effectiveness and adverse skin impact it may have. Using IPL for this purpose increases risk of skin burns, discoloration, blistering and scarring. It is also accompanied by higher levels of pain that may be experienced during the treatment. Therefore the use of IPL directly for hair removal should be avoided.
However, IPL’s main disadvantage in the hair removal application is also its biggest strength. Its ability to provide a broad collation of light wavelengths makes it a perfect technology for treating variety of small and superficial skin pigments and vascular lesions. When applied correctly and with the right intensity, IPL is an extremely effective technology due to its strong skin rejuvenation and anti-ageing capabilities.
At PureMed Laser Clinic we utilize both Laser and IPL technologies to deliver correct and most effective skin care regime for each of our customers. However at our clinic we strictly utilise Laser technology for the purpose of hair removal.