Permanent Hair Reduction

How does it work?

Intense Pulsed Light IPL has been used successful for around 20 years. The technology uses a high-powered, hand-held, computer-controlled flashgun to deliver an intense, visible, broad-spectrum pulse of light, generally in the visible spectral. Various cut-off filters are commonly used to selectively filter out shorter wavelengths, especially potentially damaging ultra violet light. The resulting light has a spectral range that targets specific structures and chromophores (melanin in hair) that are heated to destruction and reabsorbed by the body. IPL shares some similarities with laser treatments, in that they both use light to heat and destroy their targets. But unlike lasers that use a single wavelength (colour) of light which typically matches only one chromophore and hence only treats one condition, IPL uses a broad spectrum that when used with interchangeable filters, allowing it to be used against several conditions.

Is it Permanent?

Contrary to what is often claimed, photoepilation is not a permanent hair removal method but a permanent hair reduction method. Although IPL treatments will permanently reduce the total number of body hairs, they will not result in a permanent removal of all hair.

Young man having chest laser hair removal treatment in salon
Young man having chest laser hair removal treatment in salon

Reasons you can not have IPL Hair Removal

In the case of any medication other than paracetamol, aspirin or contraception it is necessary to obtain a medical certificate from your doctor prior to treatment, indicating there is no related reason a treatment should not be carried out (contra-indication).
Certain forms of epilepsy associated with flash lamps
No pacemakers
No use of phtosensitising products for 7 days before treatment (self-tanning lotions, activators, self-tanning shower gel etc)
No exposure to the sun or UV rays at least 4 weeks before the treatment and 2 weeks after (or none is optimal).
No zones with tattoes, susect spots or skin diseases will be treated (including but not limited to inflammation, beauty spots, tumours or melanoma, psoriasis, dermatitis, herpes etc)
During Pregnancy and lactation

In case of doubt seek medical advice prior to treatment

Do I need to Shave?

For IPL to be effective, the hair needs to be present in the hair follicle. Shaving is the best method between sessions and is recommended immediately prior to treatment.

Which is better IPL or Laser Hair Removal?

Whether at a salon or especially when buying a home treatment unit, IPL is usually much cheaper than laser. Generally speaking, IPL is more effective at treating large areas, while lasers are better for localized hair removal. Conversely, IPL will yield better results if you have pale skin and light hair.

Is it Painful?

The impact of the flash light may cause some momentary discomfort. Many equate it to a flicking rubber band, personally I think it feels like very quick heat – there, then gone. This differs between clients due to colour or skin and thickness of hair.

Woman Having Underarm Laser Hair Removal Treatment
Young woman having underarm laser hair removal treatment in salon

What should I expect After Treatment?

In most cases, there are no visible effects. Therefore the treatment does not interfere with normal activities. Redness may occur on the skin indicating a successful treatment. Hair is detached from its nourishment but it still remains in its sheath during the renewal of the epidermis (peeling). A light exfoliation 10 to 15 days after the session can speed up the rate at which the hair falls out.

How many Sessions Are Required?

IPL can only treat hairs in the growth phase. Approximately 20% of all hairs are in their growth phase at any one time. Certain “resting” hairs can also become active due to age and hormonal modifications. Other factors include hair colour and thickness. Everyone is different and several (an average of 4-6) sessions may be needed. After that, one or two annual maintenance sessions are recommended (this is dependent on hair size & colour of the skin).

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Certified by Queensland Health & Radiation

Paula Cliffin

Dermal Facialist/Practising Corneotherapist
Certified in Oncology Aesthetics (COA)
Phone: 0438 735 990 (Appointment Only)