Why Laser Is Different To IPL

Many salons will offer IPL treatments, but people seeking hair removal should be aware that IPL (or ‘intense pulsed light’) is not the same as laser.


Both treatments produce energy in order to disrupt the growth cycle of each hair follicle to reduce hair growth without damaging the surrounding tissue; however, IPL is not as effective as laser in getting rid of unwanted hair, which is why Thérapie Clinic use the latest in medical grade lasers for hair removal.


The main differences between Laser and IPL hair removal lie in the technology that each use to generate the light.


Laser machines produce a single wavelength of light (pure light consisting of one single colour and form), which has a very concentrated beam and specific target (the melanin in hair follicle).


At Thérapie Clinic, the type/colour of your hair and skin will determine the tuning settings of the machine and will be discussed with you during your test patch consultation. Laser machines are tuned to emit the exact wavelength required to treat your hair.


Laser machines create more heat directed at the hair follicle than IPL systems, hence achieving better results.


The heat is absorbed by the follicle and not the skin, therefore there is a decreased risk of burning when using Laser machines – this also makes laser a safer option for darker skinned individuals.


IPL plays an important role in the treatment of the skin, such as treating superficial pigmentation and fine blood vessels. However, for hair removal this treatment isn’t as effective as laser removal methods, and here’s why…


IPL’s are not lasers. The machines produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths (like a light bulb) and cannot be focused to a concentrated beam. Because a range of different wavelengths are dispersed at a variety of depths only some of these will be effective for hair reduction.


A more shallow penetration in comparison to laser means that deeper, thicker hairs are not treated effectively. In addition, some of the light cannot be absorbed into the surrounding tissue as well, leading to heating of the pigment in the skin. This is why there is more of a risk of burns for a darker skin type.


When treating unwanted hair, lasers are more selective and more effective at targeting melanin; the dark pigment continued in the hair shaft that attracts the energy from the laser device.


An IPL system will only have about 30% of its energy is absorbed by melanin, whereas a medical grade laser system will have about 98% of its energy is absorbed by melanin.


This means that you need fewer laser sessions in order to target all of the hairs, and better long-term results.


Lasers penetrate deeper into tissue, IPL’s penetrate approximately 2mm beneath the skin, and laser will penetrate 4-5mm which is a more ideal depth to target the structures that will disable a hair follicle.


Lasers have more advanced cooling systems, making treatment more comfortable.


Treatments with laser are quicker and more efficient, although usually more expensive than IPL treatments.


To discover how laser hair removal can work for you; call Thérapie Clinic on 1890 650 750 and book a free consultation.