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IPL Hair Removal 101: Ultimate Guide 2024

By ULIKEBEAUTY
August 13, 2023
9 minutes

If you are someone using different methods to remove unwanted hair, it is impossible to be unaware of IPL hair removal. The hype of it has been everywhere for some years. This hype is totally worth it for the countless advantages IPL offers over other methods of hair removal.

The feasibility and affordability to achieve long-lasting results of hair removal by your own self with safety and precision intrigue women. And IPL is the only method of hair removal that offers it all. So, let us get to know all about IPL hair removal with this ultimate guide.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: What is IPL Hair Removal?

IPL is abbreviated as Intense Pulse Light. It is an at-home alternative to laser for permanent hair removal. IPL devices are designed using light with wavelengths of 500 nm to 1100 nm. Their intensity is maintained at different levels ranging from 3 to 10 Joule.

Moreover, hair follicles are annihilated in IPL hair removal causing the hair regrowth to stop. Within a few sessions, IPL confers the users’ hairless skin. It works on all parts where hair grows like the face, legs, abdomen, back, chest, bikini lines, and armpits

Part 2: How Does IPL Hair Removal Work?

IPL hair removal works on the principle of photothermolysis. Let me explain it in simple terms. Photothermolysis is a process in which light of various wavelengths is converted into heat energy when it reaches its target. In IPL hair removal, light waves are transmitted through the hair shaft into follicles.

The melanin that imparts dark color to hair absorbs IPL radiations. These IPL radiations then travel to the hair roots where the hair follicles are. As a result, hair-producing cells are either killed or put into a resting phase. So, you enjoy a long period of hairless skin until the hair follicles regenerate. 

Part 3: What are the Differences Between IPL Hair Removal and Laser?

Type of radiations Used:

IPL hair removal devices use a broad-spectrum light which is a combination of different light colors making it appear white. The light disperses when flashed. On the other hand, laser hair removal devices use the light of a specific color. This monochromatic light is non-divergent and coherent as well. 

Moreover, Laser machines are based on diode lasers, Yag lasers, or similar systems while IPL is all about intense pulse light. 

Power Output:

The power output of a laser ranges from 40 J to 100 J depending on the type of system that is used for hair removal. On the other hand, IPL gives a minimum of 3 J to a maximum of 21 J of energy output making it gentle on the skin.

Sessions:

It requires 10 to 20 sessions within 2 to 4 months to kill all hair follicles while Laser takes about 6 to 8 sessions spaced at intervals of 1 month each to achieve the results. After completion of these sessions, touch-ups are done as per the need. 

Effectiveness:

The results of IPL and laser hair removal are comparable. However, the duration of the results varies. It lasts for 6 months to a year while results with laser can even go beyond a year or two. 

More read: IPL vs Laser Hair Removal: Which is Better for You?

Part 4: Benefits and Side Effects of IPL Hair Removal

Benefits

IPL hair removal is one of the top and the only most feasible at-home method of hair removal that offers salon-like hairlessness for multiple reasons. These benefits are given below.

  • The best thing about removing hair with IPL is the convenience it comes at. You can do your laser hair removal treatment at home, carry these lightweight machines anywhere with you, do touch-ups whenever you see unwanted hair, and use a single device on your body as well as your face.
  • IPL hair removal devices are also cost-effective for you only need to invest once. Most IPL devices offer flashes lasting for 2 or more decades or even a lifetime. 
  • IPL is the fastest method of hair removal. Devices offer a stamping and gliding mode that enables them to remove undesired hair quickly, painlesslessly, and precisely. 
  • IPL devices help you eliminate unwanted hair for a long-time. Even after the hair begins to regrow, a few touch-ups will put them in the resting phase again. 

Side Effects

Although IPL hair removal side effects are not so common, there is a side effect that might occur given below.

  • IPL devices that have no features to reduce the temperature of heated rays cause a tingling sensation in the skin during a hair removal session. Some people also experience redness and irritation for a day or two.

Part 5: IPL Hair Removal Pricing

The price of IPL hair removal devices varies between $300 to $600 depending upon the features and brands you go for. The pricing of the most trusted IPL hair removal devices is given below along with their advantages. Remember to check the guide to choose the best IPL devices before you buy them.

Ulike

Ulike Sapphire Air3 has a lightweight, slim, and gorgeous IPL device. Not just looks, the features of this IPL are also exceptional.

These include hairlessness within 3 weeks, 2 comfort modes, 3 intensity levels, the highest power output of 21 J, speedy treatments taking only 7 minutes, and painless ice-cooling technology which is the best of all. It only costs $329.

Moreover, you can find Ulike Sapphire Air+ with similar features at a more affordable price of $289.

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Braun

Braun silk-expert Pro 5 is an ergonomically designed IPL hair removal device in the shape of a graspable wand. It offers hair removal within one month and has 4 lac flashes imparting it a lifespan of 22 years, 3 treatment modes, 10 intensity levels, and multiple treatment heads. The price of the Braun Pro 5 is $429.99.

In addition, Braun has a Pro 3 model that costs $349.99 and has features a little less advanced as compared to Braun Pro 5.

Philips

Philips has a number of IPL hair removal devices that have been pretty popular among the masses. Philips Lumea is one of the latest models. Its features include sensel-Q technology to guide skin tone compatibility, detachable heads to use on different parts of the body, cordless design, and significant results within 2 months. 

However, it is expensive at the price of $660.

Part 6: Preparing for IPL Hair Removal

What To Do Before the Treatment?

Below are the tips you can follow to take the best out of IPL hair removal treatments while keeping your skin safe.

  • Keep your skin clean and free of excess oils, dead skin cells, and impurities by exfoliating regularly. 
  • Stop using any artificial tanners or getting a natural tan from sun rays.
  • Find a device that is compatible with your skin tone and hair color. Also, go through the instructions for your IPL handset.
  • Avoid sun exposure by staying indoors and wearing sunscreen constantly. 
  • Shave or trim the hair you want to treat. Never go for hair removal methods that pluck the hair out of the roots like waxing and threading.
  • Do a patch test 24 hours before officially starting your IPL hair removal treatment. 
  • Do not forget to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses. 

How to Avoid Skin Irritation?

Your skin might become irritated after IPL hair removal. There are several steps you can take to avoid skin irritation. Such steps are given below.

How to Achieve Optimal Results?

You can achieve optimal results with IPL by paying attention to the following tips.

  • Get the device that suits your skin type and tone. Then adjust the right intensity settings and comfort mode according to the part of the body you are using it on. 
  • Remove the hair by shaving immediately before starting your hair removal treatment. Also, cleanse your skin and ensure that it is dry.
  • Move the device in a way that no section of skin remains unflashed. You can use the gliding mode on the legs and thighs while the stamping mode on the armpits and bikini line. 
  • Keep the timeline of your IPL hair removal treatments and act upon the schedule. 

Part 7: The IPL Hair Removal Process

What to Expect During the Treatment?

Ulike Sapphire Air3 Hair Removal Handset

You need to prepare your mind to take the discomfort which is associated with IPL hair removal. Although it is very mild and people with high tolerance do not even bother feeling it, people with low tolerance can feel a rubber band snapping sensation on their skin as they flash the device.

However, the recently introduced IPL hair removal machines like Ulike have taken measures to reduce this discomfort from mild levels to none. Also, the bright flashes of light can be too much for the eyes. So, wear goggles to avoid shock or trauma to the eyes. 

How Long Does it Take?

An IPL hair removal treatment might take up to an hour for a full body with some devices like Philips while only 10 minutes with the others like Ulike. 

So, the average duration of it on the body is 30 minutes. 

What is the Pain and Discomfort Level?

The pain and discomfort level is not the same for everyone. While some people feel no sensations, others might find it painful. On average, the ratings of pain level are 3 to 5 on a scale of ten.

In most cases, this feels like pinching or mild stinging. 

How Many Sessions Are Needed?

The number of sessions of an IPL device differs with respect to the device you are using and its power output. On average, 6 to 12 sessions of IPL hair removal are enough to get the desired results. 

This is because not all hair is not at the same stage of its growth cycle at the time of your session. You need a minimum of 6 sessions to work on all hair follicles. 

Part 8: Who Can Get IPL Hair Removal

Skin and Hair Types Suitable for IPL Hair Removal 

IPL hair removal works for all skin types including dry, oily, combination, normal, and sensitive. However, its usage is limited to some skin tones and hair colors. 

As it works by targeting the pigment in the unwanted, it is suitable for people having dark hair like black, brown, and even dark blonde. Additionally, the application of IPL is limited to light skin tones including ivory, fair, pale, and light brown. 

People Who Should Avoid IPL Hair Removal 

Following are the people who should avoid getting removing your hair with IPL devices. 

  • People with brown or black skin tones.
  • People have blonde, ginger, white, or grey hair. 
  • Pregnant women. 
  • Over the scar marks, tattoos, and open skin lesions. 

Part 9: IPL Hair Removal FAQs

Is IPL Hair Removal Safe?

Yes, it is a safe method for getting rid of unwanted hair from your body and face at home. It is approved by FDA and dermatologists call it a safe, and adequate substitute for laser hair removal at a salon.

But look for a device with safety features like skin-tone sensors, UV filters, and contact sensors so that you suffer from no side effects. 

Is IPL Hair Removal Permanent?

Although it is considered a permanent method, it is actually semi-permanent. The result of IPL hair removal lasts for months or even a year but new hair follicles grow unwanted hair again. This hair regrowth is patchy and can be dealt with with IPL hair removal touch-ups. The only permanent method of hair removal is electrolysis. 

Does IPL Hair Removal Hurt?

No, it does not hurt. It is actually the crux of at-home IPL devices that they do not hurt as laser hair removal does. There is no need for anesthesia or painkillers to avoid the pain with IPL hair removal as it is painless. 

However, a slight stinging, mild burning, or a little uncomfortable sensation may be associated with IPL.

Does IPL Hair Removal Cause Cancer?

No! It in no way causes cancer. Direct exposure to wavelengths below 500 nm might cause cancer. However, the wavelength of light used in IPL devices is much more than that.

Also, the radiation is filtered before reaching your skin and hair. There has not been a single case of cancer caused by IPL reported yet since the beginning of IPL hair removal decades ago. So, you can trust the IPL hair removal device with your skin. 

How Many Times Should You Use IPL Hair Removal?

IPL hair removal devices should be used according to the instruction manual of the brand you have. Some of them are used once every week while others are used on alternate days. Using an IPL hair removal device 2 to 3 times per week is safe. 

Conclusion

IPL hair removal can be the best method of bidding farewell to unwanted hair in women while maintaining privacy and keeping it easy on your pocket. Additionally, IPL is beneficial for quick hair removal, safe usage, skin-friendly flashes, minimal side effects, and a painless hair removal experience.

However, care must be taken to choose a suitable IPL device for your skin tone and hair also. Also, the features of a device must be minded. Lastly, I would like to recommend the Ulike IPL handset. It is one of the devices that has the best features of all the IPL devices available in the market.

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