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IPL vs. Laser hair removal

Today on the blog we will be breaking down the differences between using IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and Laser for body hair removal. While both treatment types can be used effectively for the removal of unwanted hair, we are going to go into a little more detail about why we here at Raw use our Cutera 1064 yag or 755 Alexandrite laser devices exclusively for this type of treatment, over our IPL hand piece. 

In case you missed our last blog post breaking down Intense Pulse Light and how it works, we will begin by giving a little information on what exactly IPL is. IPL is actually not a laser at all, and uses broad spectrum light at multiple wavelengths to target the melanin in the hair follicle. Because the wavelengths emitted from IPL are more scattered, the heat & energy needed to target the follicle is less focused. A laser is more selective with a singular light source directly targeting the follicle and not the skin around it.

Both methods emit a light source which target the melanin in the follicle, damaging it to prevent future hair growth. Because the laser finds the follicle by targeting pigment, hair removal treatments using either method are most effective on combinations of darker hair and lighter skin, although quality lasers can be quite effective on most skin types. While the laser does effectively damage the follicle preventing future hair growth, laser hair removal is not always permanent and may require annual touch ups. Hormonal changes such as age and pregnancy can affect the regrowth of hair.

 

While both IPL and laser are successful in removing unwanted body hair, the less focused IPL technology will require more treatments and may be altogether less effective for some skin types. This is a great example of why it is so important to shop around and know what to ask for when seeking any laser or cosmetic treatment. All technologies are not the same, and price will often be reflective of the efficacy of the treatment.

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