There are two popular hair removal methods: intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser treatments. These procedures require applying heat on hair follicles, so many individuals confuse one with the other.
Although they resemble each other, IPL and laser hair removal are very different processes. And if you’re curious how one is distinct from the other, read on to find out just what makes these two different.
What IPL Hair Removal Is All About
In general, intense pulsed light (IPL) is used by various cosmetic practitioners to perform aesthetic and therapeutic procedures. And contrary to what others believe, it’s not a kind of laser treatment.
It makes use of a broad spectrum of light with multiple wavelengths. Unlike lasers that use a single spectrum light, this multi-spectrum technology is designed to target specific areas and structures with a weaker and more scattered light. But since it accommodates a variety of wavelengths, it is best used for hair removal, as it can easily penetrate the skin.
What Laser Hair Removal Is All About
Laser treatments involve the use of precisely controlled pulses of light and energy. At the most basic level, it can only produce beams in a single spectrum. The power and heat coming from laser hair removal treatments are a lot stronger. Hence, it’s often used for eliminating hair that’s in its active growth phase.
Despite having a harsher light, lasers are useful in destroying hair, as they can reach the bottom of the root. They are also pretty safe since they can safely remove hair without damaging the surrounding tissues.
The Key Difference Between IPL and Laser
As mentioned earlier, the critical difference between IPL and laser is the light technology involved in each form of treatment. So to further emphasize the difference, IPL is a multi-spectrum technology that blasts energy and light on specific areas in multiple wavelengths. Meanwhile, lasers only involve a single spectrum technology.
In addition to this, the energy and light coming from IPL are a lot weaker than that of a laser. But since it has multiple wavelengths, it can still penetrate through the skin easily due to the attraction between wavelengths and melanin. In contrast, a laser simply blasts the area with harsh energy, damaging hair follicles without affecting the surrounding skin.
The Importance of Knowing the Difference
It’s essential to understand the difference between the two to know which type of treatment is most suitable for you. According to experts, some people are not good candidates for laser treatment. Those who take medications such as isotretinoin are often photosensitive, so opting for laser hair removal will only aggravate their skin. IPL can be a better alternative in these cases, as it does not emit as much energy and light as lasers.
As hair removal methods, IPL and laser have distinct advantages. Thus, it’s only fitting that you get to know the difference between the two before deciding on which kind of treatment to go for. It would also be helpful to ask your esthetician which would be a better option for you.
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