hair reduction with IPL
While other methods only temporarily remove body hair, IPL devices tackle the issue at the root: after an initial shave, they put the hair follicles to sleep and break the cycle of hair regrowth.
Here you will find out how IPL devices can be used to achieve permanent visible hair reduction for fantastic looking skin.
Who can and can’t use it?
Skin tones and hair colour
IPL devices are not suitable for everyone. It is most effective on light-to-medium skin tones with hair ranging from natural blonde to dark brown or black. The devices are not as effective on very blonde, red, grey or white hair, which has less melanin to absorb the light energy. Automatic adaptation ensures optimal effectiveness and safety without the hassle of having to always manually retest the skin tone.
= suitable = not suitable / effective for use
Pregnant women and women below the age of 18 should generally not use IPL devices as no studies have been done with these target groups.
Men should not use IPL for facial hair removal.
Men can use IPL devices from the shoulders down (chest, back, arms, stomach, legs). It should not be used on the face, neck or genital area. Use on male beards or facial hair may lead to uneven results.
How does IPL work?
Breaking the hair growth cycle
All across the body, our hairs grow in cycles with three phases. The length of a typical cycle varies across the body. IPL effectively breaks the hair regrowth cycle and essentially fast-forwards hairs into the resting or telogen phase, keeping it in this phase with continued treatments to ensure no new hair can reach the skin surface.
1. Active growth phase
The hair stems from the root to the surface and gets longer and longer.
2. Transition phase
The hair has stopped growing.
3. Resting phase
Ends with the hair falling out.
How long will it take to see results?
Hairs are only susceptible to treatment with light during their growing phase, and so this makes it important to treat the skin continuously to achieve consistently smooth skin. For this reason, we recommend a start-up phase of 4-12 weekly treatments to achieve optimum results. If you can no longer observe any hair growth, you do not need to complete the full 12 weekly treatments. You can switch to maintenance treatments.
Important IPL product features
There are a few things you should pay attention to when selecting an IPL device.
Skin tone sensor / automatic energy level adjustment
Some high-end devices feature a skin tone sensor to ensure optimal dosage. It analyses the skin up to 80 times per second and automatically selects the optimal light intensity (energy level) for the treatment. This is important because skin tone can vary greatly, even across a single body part.
Low and mid-range devices often work with skin tone reference charts or read the skin tone only once before each treatment. This can result in sub-optimal energy levels.
Many IPL devices use the number of flashes as an indicator of the product lifetime. What you really need to look for is how that translates into years of usage, depending on the area of the body you want to treat.
For example, 120,000 flashes translates to 14 years of treatments on the lower legs, underarms, bikini, and face for devices with a 3cm² treatment area.
Ergonomics are important. An IPL device should ideally be as light as possible and comfortable to hold. Some IPL devices come with a gentle mode for sensitive areas and first-time users.
Corded versus battery-operated
IPL devices require quite a lot of power to operate. With a corded device, you get uninterrupted treatment on maximum power. This removes the need to recharge the device in the middle of a treatment. A battery-operated device can be used anywhere, yet can be heavier to handle and it’s possible that you have to interrupt the treatment due to the need to recharge.