IPL vs Laser: Difference Between IPL and Laser Hair Removal

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Laser Hair Removal or IPL: Which is Better?

Search “Laser Hair Removal Groupon” or “Laser Hair Removal near me” and you’re sure to get a plethora of results at deeply discounted prices. Take note; if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There’s a strong likelihood that you won’t be getting the best laser hair removal machine that achieves permanent laser hair removal. Our post Ipl vs Laser : What’s the Difference Between IPL and Laser explains why the right laser technology is necessary to get the laser hair removal results you’re looking for:

IPL vs Laser: Laser Hair Removal Pros and Cons

With all the Hair Removal options currently on the market, it can be complex, confusing and time-consuming to figure out what’s right for you. We’re here to cut through the, often, misleading claims that lead to disappointment about hair removal results.

When asking “IPL or Laser”, it’s best to start with what the two treatments have in common. Both IPL and Lasers for hair removal take advantage of light energy to reach the hair follicle. Light is attracted to the pigment (melanin) in the hair. When the light hits the hair, its heat damages the hair follicle.

This is effectively where the similarities end. Specifically, IPL and Laser differ in their energy source and energy concentration. These two things have implications for how effective each treatment is at producing permanent hair removal. Here’s more:

IPL: Does it Work? What is IPL Used For? What is a Photofacial Treatment?

First things first: we LOVE IPL treatment when used as a Photofacial. This treatment is great at removing damaged and photoaged skin, hyperpigmentation and/or diffused redness. An IPL photofacial achieves these results by using broad-spectrum light to gently heat subcutaneous tissue, causing blood vessels and collagen fibers to constrict.

However, if you’re considering IPL for permanent hair removal, it’s a different story. IPL for hair removal can provide hair reduction. What it can’t do is provide hair removal that’s long-lasting. Here’s more:

IPL vs Laser: IPL Light Source

To start, Intense Pulsed Light Therapy is not a laser. IPL devices produce light across different wavelengths and colors (like a light bulb), not in a concentrated beam like a laser device. Because IPL therapy is more diffuse, it tends to disperse at deeper layers of the skin. As a result, it is less effective at specifically targeting the hair follicle to disable hair regrowth.

IPL vs Laser: IPL Energy Level / Concentration

IPL machines operate in a range of wavelengths from 500-1000 nm. This represents a lower level of light than a laser. Not only does IPL reach a smaller percentage of hair follicles, much of the light absorption happens at layers of the skin that aren’t as deep as the root of the hair follicle. This explains why IPL treatment is so effective for treating skin conditions like hyperpigmentation or vascular lesions. It also means that IPL is less effective at providing long-lasting hair removal and requires more treatments to attain hair reduction. Further, IPL may require more treatment in the future, making it a more expensive option to maintain results.

The only way for IPL to effectively reach the hair follicle (like a laser) would be if higher levels of IPL energy were used. Unfortunately, a higher concentration of energy would run the risk of damaging healthy surrounding tissue and could cause burns, blistering and scarring.

To summarize, IPL for hair removal:

  • Will result in hair reduction not hair removal
  • Is more effective when used as a Photofacial for skin imperfections
  • Diffuses at deeper levels of the skin
  • Struggles to reach the hair follicle for hair removal
  • Requires more treatment than laser for hair removal
  • Is only effective on dark hair
  • Runs the risk of damaging healthy surrounding tissue

IPL vs Laser: Laser Light Source

Laser for hair removal uses a monochromatic, coherent light source. The concentrated beam of light of a laser has the ability to target energy to the base of the hair follicle. As a result, laser hair removal is more effective than IPL at destroying the hair follicle and disabling hair regrowth altogether. Further, because a laser is more targeted, the energy can seek out the melanin without heating (and possibly damaging) healthy surrounding tissue. Therefore, lasers are safer for all skin tones and hair colors.

IPL vs Laser: Laser Energy Level / Concentration

Lasers operate at a wavelength of between 755 nm to 1064 nm, depending on the type of laser. What this means is not only are you getting a more targeted source of light, but a more powerful one that’s designed to penetrate precisely to the hair follicle. Further, the stronger energy source of a laser has the ability to find the hair follicles of people with blonde or red hair. Put simply, you will achieve faster, better and long-lasting hair removal results with a laser.

To summarize, Lasers for Laser Hair Removal:

  • Precisely target the hair follicle with a laser beam
  • Avoid damaging healthy surrounding tissue
  • Have a stronger energy source
  • Provide quicker and long-lasting results
  • Can safely be used on all skin tones and blond or red hair

Why Choose Smooth Synergy Medical Spa NYC for Laser Hair Removal?

Reputable med spas always use laser equipment, which produce the best and most effective laser hair removal. And Smooth Synergy, NYC is no exception. Specifically, we use the medical-grade, dual action Candela GentleMax Pro Machine, which offer the clinical advantage of being able to treat all skin tones. The machine is two lasers in one, which work on different wavelengths. The Candela GentleYag Pro (an ND: Yag laser) treats darker skin types, while the Candela GentleLase (the Alexandrite laser) treats lighter skin types. Call us at 212-397-0111 to schedule an appointment with an Expert in Beauty to find out why Laser Hair Removal, NYC might just be the permanent solution to unwanted hair that you’ve been looking for.

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