IPL Hair Removal – The Ultimate Guide

IPL hair removal is increasingly popular method of getting rid of unwanted hair, it is preferred by many as an alternative to the more traditional methods of hair removal such as shaving or waxing treatments as it can keep you hair free for much longer and for many people it results in a permanent reduction in hair growth.

Are you searching for more information about how IPL removes unwanted hairs, whether it is effective at doing so, and if at-home IPL systems really work? If so, you have come to the right place. Here is the ultimate guide to IPL  hair removal.

What is Intense Pulsed Light Hair Removal?

While IPL has many uses, such as treating skin conditions, this guide focuses solely on its use as a hair removal method. IPL is a targeted light-based treatment that sends out a range of wavelengths of light into the skin for short periods of time. It targets pigment in the hair, and therefore works best on dark hair.  The Pigment in the hair absorbs the light which heats the hair folicle, inhibiting future regrowth.

IPL Hair Removal

IPL Hair Removal

IPL Hair Removal treatments are used by both men and women for hair removal. Common areas of the body for the treatments are the underarms, back, face, neck, and bikini line. Avoid extra-sensitive areas, such as the eyes, nose, and ears.

IPL versus Laser Hair Removal

Many people mistakenly assume that IPL hair removal and Laser hair removal are the same thing. While they both send out powerful light energy, they are actually quite different. For example, IPL uses a complete spectrum of wavelengths, while laser treatments use one specific wavelength.

See Laser Hair Removal Vs IPL for more information.

Is IPL Effective?

IPL is works best on those with dark hair and fair skin.  This ensures that the light is fully absorbed by the hair folicle and not the surrounding tissue, causing damage to the skin.

It should not be used on White, Grey or Red Hair.

If you are blonde or have fair hair IPL hair removal is unlikely to be effective as there is a lack of pigment in the hair to absorb the light.

Those with darker skin tones should also be careful as the higher concentration of melanin in the skin attracts and aborbs the light intended to target the hairs which can lead to skin damage.

However, there are at-home IPL systems that users with darker skin types do find to be effective, such as the Me My Elos Touch 200,000 Pulses System; see the system review later in the guide about this device for further information.

Benefits of Intense Pulsed Light Hair Removal

Smooth Skin – Enjoy smooth skin with an even tone after your IPL treatments are complete.

Hair Growth Reduction – Hair generally grows back lighter after IPL treatments than if the cosmetic treatments had not been done. This is good news if you like the clean look on your bikini line, underarms, and other areas of the body.

Slower Regrowth of Hair – Following IPL sessions, many people find it takes longer for hair to grow back than before they started the process. That means less time spent removing coarse body hairs.

Fast Appointments – IPL hair removal treatments typically only take half an hour to an hour. When you have a busy schedule, this is absolutely a plus.

Few Visual Side Effects – While the skin is generally tender and red right after the treatment, and it fades away within four days. Add a cold compress or moisturiser to the area to help soothe it.

Underarm after IPL Hair RemovalAbout IPL Treatments: Number and Frequency

For hair removal, six to eight intense pulsed light treatments usually produce the best results. Of course, everyone’s skin is unique so this is only an approximation. Factors include the size of the area and thickness of the hair. Some people require up to ten sessions to achieve the results they want, while others need only a couple of sessions.

As for how often to space out IPL hair removal treatments, generally they are about four weeks apart.

Who Should Avoid IPL?

We strongly recommend you avoid IPL if you have a burn or have tanned within the last 4 weeks; the procedure could alter skin pigment and leave scars too. In addition, avoid IPL if you are pregnant, breast feeding or are taking certain antidepressant and antibiotic medications.

How Much Does IPL for Hair Removal Cost?

The pricing varies, according to the size of the body area being targeted and which salon you choose to attend for the sessions. Prices are based on the number of treatments you require; some bodily areas may entail more sessions than others if the hairs, such as if hairs are stubborn to remove. Independent salons registered with the Healthcare Commission can charge £50-£200 per session.

Many men and women in the UK are opting to use IPL at-home systems for removing unwanted hairs to cut down on costs over time. As well, it provides you the luxury of removing hairs in the privacy of your own home without having to book an appointment in advance or drive to the salon.

At-Home IPL Hair Removal Systems

Two at-home IPL systems that are gaining popularity are the Philips Lumea SC2006/11 IPL Hair Removal and Me My Elos Touch 200,000 Pulses. Here are reviews of both kits:

Philips Lumea SC2006/11 IPL Precision Plus Hair Removal System – This system provides five-speed salon IPL technology that is cordless and does not require accessories, making it a simple at-home hair-removal experience. It is versatile enough for the bikini zone, upper lip, legs, and back. Online reviewers explain it reduces hair regrowth but does not totally stop regrowth, is convenient with its cordless design, and has a good battery life. Prices range from £299 (click here) to £450.

Me My Elos Touch 200,000 Pulses System – For speedy at-home IPL hair removal, this device gets excellent reviews online; a head-to-toe treatment takes only about 30 minutes. Some reviewers do explain it is a bit bulky. It is suitable for all skin types, with endorsements from people with darker skin tones. Prices range from £329.00 (click here) to £500

Have you tried IPL technology for hair removal? If so, was it at the salon or at home, and what was your experience? We love hearing from you, so feel free to comment below!