Permanent hair removal at home – Everything you need to know about IPL hair removal system
How wonderful life would be if we didn’t have those annoying body hairs to have to remove regularly. Thanks to science and technology, we now have the option of permanent hair removal but it doesn’t happen so easily and it’s not as cheap as shaving your legs. Still, it’s not all laser, there’s also another widely available way to reduce hair growth and, perhaps, gradually, to get rid of the hairs you don’t want. This is intense pulsed light (or IPL) hair removal system and here’s what you need to know about it:
1. IPL hair removal system uses focused light
What is ipl hair removal? IPL works by focusing light waves on the hair to be removed. The waves are released at regular intervals. They penetrate the skin and reach the hair follicle, where the light transforms into heat that literally vaporises the bulb, the place where hairs grow from. The interval between pulses is a few milliseconds.
2. It emits multiple wavelengths
This is perhaps the major difference from laser hair removal devices. IPL hair removal devices utilise a number of different light wavelengths. The principle of action is similar to the way black clothes absorb light: the light waves aim for the pigment in the hair that gives it colour, they are attracted to it and then they destroy the bulb, as we said.
3. IPL hair removal device is actually a lamp
The device emitting these light waves is actually a sort of lamp, pretty similar to an ordinary light bulb. Think of a flashlight that blinks at very short intervals. For this reason, IPL hair removal treatments are considered to be less effective than lasers, because the mechanism of its action does not allow for the degree of light concentration that lasers exhibit. Also because of this, IPL is not actually treated as a means of permanent hair removal – clinics call it permanent hair reduction.
4. It works on blood vessels too
Aside from hair removal, intense pulsed light is used to treat spider veins and, some say, it’s most effective for this sort of skin problems. The reason for this opinion is that spider veins are much closer to the surface of the skin than some hair follicles, and IPL devices don’t have the depth of penetration that lasers have.
5. IPL hair removal is cheaper than laser
Laser hair removal is a quite expensive undertaking, and considering that it needs several sessions, if want to get rid of hairs from a larger area of your body, the costs pile up. Intense pulsed light hair removal is cheaper than this but, as we saw, it has its own disadvantages that even out the playing field between it and laser.
6. IPL hair removal works best on fair skin
The reason is called melanin – the pigment that the intense pulsed light targets for destruction. A darker skin tone means more melanin in the skin, not just in the hairs, so the light would, roughly said, not know which part of the skin to target and may cause burns on the skin. At the same time, the hairs need to be coloured too – it won’t work on white or gray hairs for lack of enough melanin.
7. Does IPL hair removal work?
Most ladies report that IPL hair removal does work, but it takes several sessions to see results. Like laser hair removal, IPL requires that you go through several sessions. This is because of the so-called growth cycle of the hairs. They are most effectively destroyed when they are in a growing phase, before they enter their rest phase, but the problem is that not all hairs conform to the same pattern. In other words, during the first session only some of them will be destroyed – those that were in a growth phase.
8. Bad news for natural blondes
IPL hair removal system cannot remove fair hairs, and that includes red hairs too. Laser cannot do it either – remember, they both target melanin and there’s no melanin in these colour hairs. Dermatologists, however, are hopeful that some therapy based on radio waves or ultrasound could emerge in the future, so don’t give up. Still, they caution that you shouldn’t believe ads of clinics that boast their laser can remove fair hair.
9. Is there pain and discomfort, while using IPL hair removal system?
Like laser treatment, IPL is not really painful – unless, of course, you have a really, really low pain threshold. The most typical sensation is one of slight discomfort and very light burning sensation, according to people who’ve tried it. Some describe sensations similar to a snap with a small rubber band or a drop of frying grease landing on your skin. And, of course, some areas of the body are more sensitive than others.
10. Ipl hair removal side effects
These are not a lot – some reddening of the treated area, rarely some swelling are among the commonest, and they go away within a couple of days. That’s true for fair-skinned people, though. It bears repeating, so we’ll repeat it – the darker your skin tone, the more likely it is to get burned while getting IPL. It’s really not fair that IPL can only be used effectively on such a small proportion of the population but then, let’s admit that dark hairs on fair skin are much more visible than fair ones on fair skin and dark ones on dark skin, so what you lose from permanent treatments, you gain in lower visibility. That’s, at least, some comfort until scientists get the hang of those radio waves and ultrasound.
Does IPL hair removal system work for you?