Treatment Spotlights

IPL VS LASER

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When you are a woman (or man) of the world, busy making magic happen, then shaving, waxing and dealing with ingrown hairs isn't the very best use of your precious time.

Could light based hair removal may be the perfect grooming treatment for you?

Light based hair removal treatments, such as IPL and laser work by carefully heating up individual hair shafts to impair the hair follicle, considerably reducing the regrowth of hair — or completely stopping it. That means no morning shave, no monthly appointments for waxing and no bumps.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHETHER TO CHOOSE IPL OR LASER? 

There are more differences than you might expect.

IPL stands for ‘intense pulsed light’ and comes in branded variations such as: SIPL, VPL, SPL all of which are essentially the same technology. IPL machines are not actual lasers and are generally cheaper than laser devices, which is why many clinics choose to use them and treatments can appear to be a lot cheaper. 

IPL machines produce a broad spectrum of light than can heat up the hair, but also a lot of the surrounding skin. It lacks the precise targeting of laser — making it less effective in treating the actual hair; and putting the skin at a higher risk for side effects.

IPL generally requires more treatments, sometimes double or triple the amount, and may only reduce the thickness and darkness of the hair, rather than eliminate it completely. IPL is better used for skin rejuvenation in treatments for some forms of pigmentation and age spots.


Lasers, on the other hand, use a single wavelength of light and can more effectively hone in on the hair itself. This means the hair absorbs more light and heat than with IPL and the hair is more effectively destroyed, faster and more carefully.

Laser types for hair removal include: Diode, Alexandrite and ND:Yag. These tend to achieve superior results for unwanted hair and are safest for surrounding skin.

Laser technology works by targeting dark pigment. Therefore it’s most effective on pale skin and dark coarse hair. The lighter the skin and the darker coarser the hair; the better the results. 

To determine your suitability for laser, find a reputable clinic with Laser Safety certified staff, and one that insists on a test patch to determine your suitability for treatment as well as the safest setting for you.

To read on about our gold-standard laser treatments click here.


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