Nowadays, two most popular methods for permanent removal of unwanted body hair are IPL based hair removal and Laser based hair removal. IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. The IPL method of hair removal uses amplified light done by stimulated radiation of emission. On the other hand, laser is short for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, which basically uses the same technology as IPL but produces light of a single wavelength. IPL devices though produce light in a broad spectrum consisting lights of various wavelengths.
During the initial days, devices using laser hair removal method were more popular and IPL is comparatively a new technology in the market for hair removal devices. Moreover, removal of hair using these optical technologies required you to visit a professional clinic. However, nowadays with the advancement of technologies, various portable devices are available in the market. Using these portable devices, you will be able to perform long term hair removal yourself staying in the comfort of your home. Though both of these methods work in more or less similar way, but subtle differences between these technologies make the effectiveness of these two technologies different depending on the various combinations of your skin tone and hair color. So, before buying hair removal device for yourself, you should be aware of the differences between these two technologies. Although both the laser and IPL hair removal devices are safe to use but not knowing how these technologies differ in operation can make them unsafe. So, below we will be discussing about the difference between these two long term hair removal technologies.
The principle of removing unwanted hair from your skin and damaging the hair follicle permanently is same for both IPL and laser based hair removal devices. The amplified light energy emitted by the hair removal devices gets absorbed by areas rich in pigment causing them to heat up and burn. This absorbed heat also gets transferred to the hair follicle through the hair and thus damage them. This slows the hair growth or even stops the growth of hair from follicle completely if the hair follicle is completely damaged.
The fundamental technological difference between Intense pulsed light or IPL and light amplification by stimulated emission radiation or laser lies in the type of light used. IPL uses visible light consisting of lights with various wavelengths whose wavelengths lie between 400 to 700nm, whereas laser devices use light consisting of lights of a narrow band of wavelength or even light of a single wavelength. Laser devices focus light into a very confined area whereas IPL devices focus light on a wide area. So, using laser technology based hair removal devices are more suitable for long term hair removal as compared to IPL technology based hair removal devices. As laser lights are more focused, it can go deeper into your skin causing your follicle more damage than lights emitted by IPL technology based hair removal devices. IPL based hair removal devices cover a wider area than laser based hair removal devices. So, for just removal of hair, IPL based hair removal devices work faster than laser based hair removal devices. However, to achieve long term hair removal you will have to sit for more than one session with IPL based hair removal devices, whereas with laser based hair removal devices you will be able to achieve long term hair removal within just one or two sessions.
The choice between laser and IPL based hair removal devices can be personal. However, you need to keep certain things in your mind while choosing one hair removal device for yourself. Because of its wide array of wavelengths of lights emitted from IPL based hair removal devices, it can be used for a wide array of applications. IPL based devices can be used to treat various skin conditions. Another variant of IPL, known as VPL or Variable Pulsed, can be used to treat various combinations of skin tone and hair color by modifying the specifications of the light pulse coming out of the hair removal device. And using this technology you will also be able to remove bikini line hair, armpit hair and hair on your skin using different settings from a single device efficiently. Now, light is absorbed by darker areas of your skin in a much more quantity. That’s why hair, which is normally darker in shade absorbs more light and gets heated up. So, people with darker skin are advised to use laser based hair removal devices as its more direct and chance of your skin getting heated is less.
Both IPL and Laser based hair removal devices can be used for the removal of your facial hair. But it should not be used at all near your eyebrows or scalp or anywhere near your eyes. And while using both of these devices it is necessary to wear protective gears on your eyes. As lights emitted from both of these kinds devices can cause severe damage to your eye.
The side effects of using both of these technology based hair removal devices are found to be quite same. The side effects are actually very minor and temporary. Sometimes a bit of swelling and itchiness is also reported with tender skin. However, all these effects are found to be gone within a day or two. And you need to take care of the fact that right after hair removal with any of these two technology based devices, your skin will be a lot more sensitive. So, it is advised that you use adequate skin protection after removal of hair using these two technology based devices.
IPL based hair removal treatments are cheaper than Laser based treatments. Similarly, laser based hair removal devices are more expensive in general. Moreover, IPL based hair removal is known to be less painful than laser based hair removal. Also, reactions to your skin after laser based hair removal is more prominent than IPL based hair removal in general causing more pain. Laser hair removal devices are more expensive in general. And finally before choosing one device for yourself take the color of your hair and skin tone into consideration too.