Laser vs IPL Technology
Understanding Hair Removal Systems
The two main systems available for permanent hair reduction are laser and IPL (intense pulsed light).
Both have been available since the mid 90’s and involve producing light energy, which is absorbed into the darker pigment of the hair follicle, damaging it and preventing regrowth. Laser machines produce a single, concentrated wavelength of light which is configured to the patient’s precise hair and skin colouring. By comparison, IPL produces a broad spectrum of wavelengths (more like a lightbulb) only some of which will be effective and which penetrate less deeply than laser.
IPL systems tend to be a lot cheaper and are a popular choice for beauty and hair salons seeking an additional income stream.
By comparison, proper laser hair removal is a much more significant investment yet it is laser rather than IPL that tends to be favoured by the more reputable skin clinics for a number of very positive reasons.
Laser Advantages vs IPL
- Medical Backing – Clinical research suggests that laser is more effective than intense pulsed light (IPL) for permanent hair reduction.
- Effective Results – Laser generally requires fewer treatments to achieve a better result than IPL – over 90% of patients have permanent hair reduction after 3-5 sessions.
- Precision – Lasers can selectively target the unwanted hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
- Speed – With laser, each pulse takes a fraction of a second and can treat several hairs at a time, making it more suitable for larger body areas and popular with male patients.
- Adjustability – Laser settings can be configured to suit each patient’s combination skin and hair colour.
- Safety – Laser is generally considered to be a safer procedure – IPL can cause burns, especially on darker skin tones.
- Range – Lasers are suitable for all skin colours – even dark skin or light hair – whereas IPL is generally only effective on patients with dark hair and light skin (colour contrast).
- Comfort – While IPL can be quite a painful experience, laser is far more comfortable and faster too.
- Face or Body – The efficiency, accuracy and speed of laser makes it a better choice for facial hair removal with less risk of pigmentation or sensitivity compared to IPL.
- Regulation – Laser equipment is regulated as a medical device, which is not so for IPL which is only covered by Health and Safety at Work rules.
Quinn Clinics use the Lumenis Lightsheer and NEW Syneron Candela elōs Plus with Motif systems, offering the latest advanced laser technology for ‘gold-standard’ results.