Laser vs IPL
There are so many hair removal systems out there nowadays, often with no indication of which one is best suited to you, so it can be very confusing.
It is essential to know the skin type before commencing with IPL, or Laser hair removal, and this should always be assessed during a consultation and Patch test. This is called the ‘Fitzpatrick’ skin type; on a scale of skin type 1 – 6: 1 being the lightest, and 6 darkest.
Knowing the skin type for laser hair removal will mean safety and efficacy of hair removal.
Clients most often will not know the difference between IPL and Laser which is what has prompted this article
IPL can only work on light skin, and dark hair because of the Wavelength, whereas the latest Lasers (such as our Initia from Lynton) can work on skin types 1-6 (as mentioned earlier), and on all hair colour – apart from white, grey and red due to there being no pigment.
IPL and Laser are completely different.
Laser stands for: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
IPL stand for: Intensive Pulse Light
How does it work?
Lasers produce a single wavelength of light with a very concentrated beam, and specific target, which is the hair follicle’s melanin. The heat is absorbed by the follicle, leaving the surrounding skin unharmed. Lasers do get better, faster results than IPL. Many hairs can be treated at one time with Laser as each laser pulse takes just milliseconds.
IPL is not a type of Laser at all. It produces a broad spectrum of wavelengths which are dispersed at a variety of depths which mean that only some of those wavelengths go dep enough for permanent hair reduction. Surrounding skin tissue absorbs some of the Pulse Light, and the skin’s pigment also heats up, therefore the risks of burning are greater.
This is why IPL is NOT as good for hair removal.
IPL works well for the following:
- Fine blood vessels (spider veins)
- Superficial pigmentation
- Sun damage
Why is IPL hair removal cheaper than Laser?
IPL machines are cheaper than Laser machines, therefore treatment cost is determined by this, (and other factors mentioned previously); also the quality of the machine, so please bear this in mind when choosing your hair removal clinic.
Cheap hair removal machines equals cheap prices, which could likely result in insufficient results for you. Also please be wary of clinics offering Groupon Laser hair removal deals! If they can afford to slash their prices so much, there must be a compromising quality somewhere! Do your research, and always ask questions if not sure.
Laser vs Waxing
Whilst waxing may appear cheaper than Laser hair removal, in the long term it is not due to the fact that waxing requires life – long dedication, whereas once Laser results have been achieved (usually after 6-8 sessions), then all that is required are yearly maintenance top up treatments.
Of course, this all depends on the individual, and hormonal factors, but if you add up the costs of life time waxing, you will be surprised at how much you actually save on a course of laser instead! Plus, no more in grown hairs and fuzzy time in between sessions! The other thing to consider is that Laser is more permanent than waxing, and less painful if you choose our Lynton Initia.
Our in house Hair Removal Expert offers both Botanical Waxing and Laser, so she can chat to you about your options from a place of real experience!
Laser vs Shaving:
Shaving only removes the tips of the hair, and not the root, it is very temporary. The hair will appear blunt, and coarse in texture. The hair will also grow back faster, meaning that you will have to shave every other day, and in some cases, every day, which is very inconvenient for many people, as well as irritating.
Apart from the time consuming aspect of shaving, it can be very painful if the skin is cut or grazed. Ingrown hairs are a common problem which can be both painful and unsightly. An ingrown hair is when the hair grows back on itself, and re- enters the skin. The follicle can then become blocked with dead skin cells, and sebum, resulting in the appearance of black heads, or pimples. When bacteria gets trapped, pus forms, which can then lead to inflammation. This results in a painful bump in the skin. Not ideal.
If the hair is dark, red, or coarse, it can be more prone to ingrown hairs and irritated skin.
Laser hair removal will help eliminate the ingrown hair problem!
OK, so shaving IS required before laser hair removal, purely on the basis that the root must be there for laser to have effect, but evidence suggests that it actually REDUCES the likelihood of ingrown hairs!
So, for a short period of the ‘inconvenience’ of shaving, and an investment outlay, you, can permanently enhance your life by not having to continually upset your skin in the name of smooth comfort.