When it comes to a more effective way of removing unwanted hair, laser hair removal is not your only option. There is also the IPL treatment, which stands for intense pulsed light.
Both can help you achieve permanent hair reduction, but many are confused on deciding which one to choose. Is one necessarily better than the other?
While both IPL and laser utilize light energy to disrupt the hair growth cycle, they use different technologies. Learning how each method works, including their pros and cons can help you understand which one is suitable for you.
Laser Hair Removal
This involves the removal of hair by delivering pulses of laser light that is absorbed by the melanin or pigment of the hair. The light is then converted into heat, destroying the hair follicles and disabling hair growth. Laser has a single wavelength of light containing a concentrated beam designed to target melanin in follicles.
At Cutis Laser Clinics, we use the Cutera CoolGlide laser, a US FDA-cleared laser technology that brings lasting hair reduction results. It features a longer wavelength and innovative cooling design, enabling a safe and effective treatment. It can work well on all skin types, including those with tanned and darker complexions.
One thing that separates laser hair removal is that its technology can safely damage the hair follicles. The heat, furthermore, is only absorbed by the follicle and not the skin, which helps prevent burns. This then makes this hair removal method a safe and an effective option for those with darker skin tones.
Compared to IPL, laser hair removal can cost a bit more – especially in Singapore. It is also important to note that in Singapore, only a certified medical or aesthetic doctor who has the skill, knowledge, and experience in laser technology can only perform the session. Your provider also needs to have a license and approval to buy safe, FDA-cleared laser machines.
“Lasers” used in salons and beauty spas can only use low setting devices which are less powerful and not medical-grade. For an effective and lasting hair removal results, consult a qualified medical aesthetic clinic.
If you have other concerns regarding this method, you can check out our previous blog to find out the answers to common laser hair removal questions.
Prowave IPL Hair Removal
The Cutera Prowave IPL hair removal is an FDA-approved device that delivers a special light into the skin that is also absorbed by the hair pigment. Instead of a laser, it uses a broad spectrum light (like a light bulb) with wavelengths that cannot be focused into a concentrated beam like a laser.
IPL has multiple wavelengths that are widespread within the skin which effectively removes unwanted hair. IPL hair removal targets the pigment (which is the color of the hair). Once the heat energy is delivered, the pigment of the hair absorbs the heat which in turn destroys the hair follicle.
Since IPL targets pigment, the suitable candidates for this procedure is fair to medium skin tone with dark colored hair. Dark skinned individuals should avoid undergoing IPL procedures as the device will aim for the skin itself, which may lead to potential burns and pigmentation.
IPL hair removal is also affordable, which makes it a good option if you are on a budget given that the procedure is suitable for your skin type. An IPL device such as Cutera can also offer alternative treatment for different skin care conditions such as superficial pigmentation, skin redness and capillaries.
Which One’s Suitable for You?
The right treatment for you can depend on a number of factors which include your skin tone, your hair color and your hair growth cycle.
If you have fair to medium skin type with dark hair, for instance, and wants to get rid of unwanted hair in a large area of the body (like the back, legs, or chest), IPL can be a good choice.
However, it’s still recommended for you to come for a consultation with an aesthetic doctor to help you make an informed decision.
Also, do take note that regardless of the method chosen, you will need at least 8 to 12 sessions of an effective and lasting hair reduction results. This is because only about 10 to 20% of hair is permanently treated in one session. Several treatments help make sure that every hair is treated.
If you want to know more about permanent hair reduction methods and a few guidelines before booking your appointment, you can check out our previous post. You can be assured that both laser and IPL hair removal provides better and longer-lasting results than waxing, shaving, and other traditional methods.
If you want to know more about IPL and laser or find out which one is right for you, contact Cutis Laser Clinics in Singapore and schedule a consultation with our Harvard-trained aesthetic doctor, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez.