IPL Hair Removal
Managing unwanted body hair can be a nuisance. There are many hair removal options available today and they range from shaving to laser hair removal. Laser hair removal may seem like one of the most expensive hair removal procedures but can actually save you money in the long run.
What is Laser hair removal?
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is a fast, gentle, safe and non- invasive solution to remove unwanted hair on all areas of the face and body. Very frequently it is used on the upper lip, chin, under arms, legs and bikini line in women.
IPL uses the concept of selective photo thermolysis to eliminate unwanted hair and its potential for regrowth without damaging the surrounding skin.
While the word “laser” is often used. The technology called Intense Pulsed Light or IPL for short.
How does it work?
During laser hair removal the IPL beam reaches through the skin to the hair root, called the follicle and uses a special contact-cooling hand piece that protects and cools the upper layer of skin before, during and after each laser pulse. The intense light that is absorbed by the melanin (pigment) of the hair raises the temperature of the hair follicle and thermally disrupts the cells in the follicle responsible for regrowth. In essence, the heat causes the protein in the follicle to coagulate. If proteins are disabled, hair stops growing and falls out.
Is Laser Hair removal permanent?
IPL hair removal cannot guarantee complete and permanent inhibition of hair growth. Some hair may be resistant to the IPL treatment and can return following treatment. The new hair’s growth is usually lighter in colour and can typically be controlled with maintenance treatments once or twice per years for a few years. While the body responds excellently to IPL treatments, more maintenance is usually
required for the face.
The darker the hair the better the response. The thicker the hair the quicker the results. Lighter hair is possible, but difficult to treat. This mainly due to the fact light hair usually contacts pheo-melanin, which absorbs light energy less avidly than the eu-melann pigment which is present in black or brown hair. Light skin makes IPL hair removal easier to perform. Fewer treatments are required, and beter, faster results are obtained. Darker skin can be treated, but results are slower and more sessions may be required.
Keep in mind that new hair can develop in the skin in response to multiple factors, like pregnancy or hormonal imbalances. Also, high natural level of testosterone in men stimulates development of new hair follicles by itself.
IPL hair removal delivers stable and long-lasting hair reduction with no downtime and minimal discomfort.
How many treatments are required?
The main reason multiple sessions are necessary is that the hair growth cycles vary and not all hair grows at the same time. So the hair follicles can only be destroyed when the hair is in the active growth stage (then the hair is present all the way down the follicle and attached to the root). Therefore you will need to complete a series of treatments to ensure all the hairs have been treated in their active growing cycle.
Only hairs in the active growing (anagen) stage are treated effectively.
The IPL beam targets only the hair cells that are in the phase of active growth and development during treatment. Not all hairs are active at any given time, as some of them are dormant. IPL does not affect hairs in the dormant stage, so multiple sessions spaced over time are required to ensure that all hairs in the active phase are treated.
This may vary according to individual response, but on average a series of 6-8 treatments will be required.
The treated hair will continue to appear for 7 to 30days post treatment. This is not new hair growth, but the treated hair being expelled from the skin.
It is very important to note that as hormone levels change over time, new hair follicle could be stimulated to carry hair. These new hairs are never the one’s that have been treated, but are completely new hairs. These can easily be treated by coming for maintenance sessions.
The ideal candidate is someone with light skin and dark hair as the IPL beam targets dark pigment (melanin) in hair follicles. Candidates with darker skin can still undergo the laser hair removal treatment with very successful results but typically require a few extra treatments as the light is attracted to melanin.
4 to 8 treatments are typically required to achieve satisfactory hair removal. Treatments must be spaced approximately two to eight weeks apart depending on the hair properties and area being treated but more treatments would be required due to hormones (e.g. polycystic ovaries),age, health conditions or area of treatment.
After the main course is completed, maintenance treatments are required approximately once of twice per year to remove smaller and thinner hairs that may grow back.
100% hair reduction is not guaranteed but a definite extreme lightening in hair texture with hair loss is achieved.
Intervals between treatments on the BODY
- One treatment per month.
- One course in all, 4-8 treatments in all. Usually very significant effect will show you after 2-3 treatments. For thick hairs, it needs 3 treatments. For soft and thin hair, it needs 5 treatments.
Intervals between treatments on the FACE
- 1st & 2nd treatment – Every 2 weeks
- 3rd & 4th treatment – Every 4 weeks
- 5th & 6th treatment – Every 6 weeks and so on until you have reached your required appearance, normally 8 treatments should be enough. . For thick hairs, it needs 3 treatments. For soft and thin hair, it needs 5 treatments.
Is laser hair removal painful?
There is some level of discomfort during treatment as heat produced by the beam of light penetrates the hair follicles and destroys them. Pain level is often related to the hair’s thickness and colour. As the light energy is attracted to the pigment of the hair, the coarser and darker the hair, the more pain should be expected. Keep in mind that the body part being treated is also playing a role in the pain level. Clients describe ‘pins and needles’ sensation, others a sensation of a ‘thin rubber band flick’. Usually treatments are comfortable and only mildly unpleasant.
Treatments are very fast and can often be done during your lunch break. Times required for each session would vary depending on the area being treated.
What are the benefits of IPL Hair removal compared to LASER?
- Larger areas may be treated at one time.
- It works equally well with light or dark hair and skin.
- There is less chance for scarring and pigmentation change.
- Less pain and discomfort compared to other hair removal treatments.
- Combines the speed of shaving with the lasting results promised by electrolysis.
- IPL is effective on almost any area of the body where smoother, younger-looking hair-free skin is desired.
In short they are both very effective. IPL treatments are less painful but they deliver results comparable to laser treatments.
Hair Removal Pre and Post instructions IPL
Pre care instructions
- The area to be treated has to be shaved 48 hours before the treatment – hair that is too long will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment and will almost certainly require you to need more treatments.
- Certain medication can make you more photosensitive to treatments i.e. St Johns Wort, antibiotics or anti-depressants etc, you must inform your therapist if you are taking any medication or if there are any changes to your medical history throughout your treatment plan.
- It is best that no tan is visible when IPL treatments are being administered (spray tans included)
After treatment instructions
- Pay attention: for one month after treatment, the patient should use sunscreen SPF15, when going out, you’d better take an umbrella and wearing a hat in case of sunburn. If your skin expose in the sun, it will increase the regeneration rate of melanoma, directly result in excessive pigmentation.
- Do not apply makeup immediately after treatment. Use the pure biological skin care products, not chemical products. If there’s flare on treatment area, a doctor should be notified immediately and stop make-up. Take some VitC or VitE.
- As physical differences in personal, individual customers may be temporary discomfort, small blisters, pigmentations, flare, in this case, we suggest you use ice pack for 30 minutes, you can apply makeup days after treatment.
- You may shave the area in between treatments but no waxing , plucking or threading of the hair is permitted.
- The use of aloe vera gel is recommended during the first 24/48 hours after treatment
- Avoid swimming, sauna, steam rooms or the gym for 48 hours post treatment.
- Do not use perfume or highly perfumed products on the treatment area for 24 hours pre-treatment and 24 hours post-treatment.
- Gently tweeze (or use your fingers) the hair root, naturally shed and no pain, which means the best effect. In this case after about 14 days, the hair will fall out automatically
Side effects should be minimal but you may experience:
- Swelling around the follicles which should return to normal within a few hours.
- Minor blistering. If this occurs, keep the skin clear and do not pop or pick the blister. Try to keep it uncovered until it clears.
- Changes to the skin colouring, hyper pigmentation (darkening of the skin) or hypo pigmentation(lightening of the skin). These rare side effects are seen mainly with patients who are taking photosensitive medication or who are tanned at time of treatment.
- Redness and swelling around the hair follicles is common and should subside 24/48 hours after treatment.
- Tingling or mild irritation may be present for up to 24/48 hours after treatment. Hairs may appear to continue to grow after treatment but will drop out in about 2 weeks after treatment.