What is Intense Pulsed Light Technology?

Apparently Alexander the Great had an obsession with shaving, Cleopatra enjoyed regular sugaring sessions and Julius Caesar plucked unwanted hairs with a tweezer. Depending on what was in vogue at the time, human beings have always liked to remove unwated body hair in various places.

But do you find the prospect of waxing, shaving, or using depilatory creams for the rest of your life utterly unappealing? It can be costly to buy razors and all of the accessories that help you keep your skin silky smooth. Perhaps you prefer the allure of a more long-lasting hair removal solution. Well, IPL may be just what you’re looking for.  


What is IPL?

Intense Pulsed Light Technology (IPL) has been around since the early 2000s. It is a non-invasive and non-ablative hair reduction technique that uses high intensity pulses of light to target unwanted hair and damage it from the root. It may be a more long-lasting solution to hair reduction and can be especially effective in removing darker, thicker hairs.


How Does IPL Work?

The glass surface of the IPLhead is applied to individual hairs. It delivers short pulses of heated light to dissolve hair directly from the root.For IPL to be most effective, it needs to be carried out when the hair is freshly cut. IPL doesn’t work as well if hair is targeted when shedding or if it hasn’t been cut for a long time. There’s a higher concentration of pigment when hair is freshly cut. IPL works best when pigment levels are higher as it makes hair more vulnerable to damage from the light.


What Happens During Treatment?

Professional IPL sessions generally take place inside reputed beauty salons or dermatology clinics. The treatment is carried out by professionally-trained aestheticians[3] according to each country’s regulations. A topical anaesthetic may be applied to the area but it’s not always necessary. Each treatment tends to last about 20 minutes and it takes around 4-6 sessions every 3 or so weeks to achieve significant results. Patients need to wear protective eyewear and oftentimes, a cold gel is applied to the skin to keep it cool. IPL devices tend to have in-built cooling systems to prevent burning of the skin. It’s extremely important to avoid excess sun exposure in the run up to an IPL treatment[4].


IPL VS Laser Hair Removal

There is virtually no post-treatment resting period required, so you can return to work straight away if you wish. It’s also much speedier to reduce hair using IPL than through the use of laser hair removal.[5]

One of the biggest benefits of IPL is that it can treat larger areas of the skin simultaneously.

If, like Cleopatra, you dream of satin smooth skin but without the use of depilatory creams, waxor razors, then using IPL at home could be the best route for you. It’s also perfect for getting to grips with more obvious darker, fuller hairs. If you’re pressed for time, IPL can be carried out during your lunch break with virtually no post-treatment resting period required. Should salon trips seem inconvenient, it’s best to carry out IPL in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Whichever method you opt for, once you let IPL grow on you - hair doesn’t have to.