IPL permanent hair removal: All your questions answered
Most people have some fuzz and fluff they wish wasn’t there. For some it’s a mild inconvenience or simple matter of preference, for others it can affect self-confidence deeply. Either way, removing it is a regular commitment.
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and it’s a versatile form of light therapy used in dermatology to treat unwanted face and body hair on women and men.
The biggest advantage of IPL is that it permanently reduces hair growth and we offer the service at our friendly beauty salon in Basingstoke.
Here are some of the most common questions we get asked…
An applicator is placed on the skin and a short pulse of light is released, which targets multiple follicles at once. Light is selectively absorbed by melanin, the pigment in the hair follicle. The light energy heats the pigment and destroys the hair follicle without damaging the surrounding cells.
The applicator is then moved to the neighbouring area of skin and the process is repeated to treat the desired area.
Best results are achieved with clients who have fair skin and dark hair. Dark hair is more easily removed because it has a high concentration of melanin. Fair hair contains less melanin and that makes it harder to treat. Grey/white hair has no melanin so it’s not suitable for IPL.
One of our fully trained and licensed beauty therapists can assess how successful the treatment will be for your face/body.
Prior to treatment, we’ll carry out a full consultation and take your medical history to confirm if IPL is right for you. If you decide to go ahead, you must provide written consent. A small test patch will be carried out to check for the possibility of an adverse reaction, although this is uncommon.
One of the reasons that IPL is so popular is that you don’t need to let the hair grow between treatments like other forms of hair removal such as waxing or epilating. You can even shave and IPL will still work.
Hair grows in cycles and IPL only treats hair that is actively growing, so multiple treatments will be needed.
Treatment is conducted every 4-8 weeks, depending on the area treated, until a satisfactory result is seen. The required number of treatments varies from person to person, but most people need 6 sessions or more for optimum results.
Everyone experiences the sensation of IPL differently, but is commonly described as a flick of an elastic band. Most clients say that the discomfort as moderate and tolerable. However, if at any time you feel uncomfortable, your therapist will stop immediately.
Although the hair follicles are damaged by heat, the actual hairs remain in the follicles. The dead hairs will then shed after 1-3 weeks as the epidermis (outermost layer of your skin) renews.
During this period, the hairs might appear to be ‘growing’ as they are pushed out by the new epidermis but don’t worry, their days are definitely numbered!
In the beginning stages of your treatment, regrowth will be finer and less obvious. With each session you will see a permanent reduction in hair growth. Eventually, you’ll never have to wax, thread, pluck, or shave unwanted hair again. Think of all the time and money you’ll save!
Your skin might be red immediately after treatment and the hair follicles may be raised and swollen but you can usually expect this to subside within a few hours, just as you would with waxing or threading.
A very small number of IPL clients get small blisters or temporary lightening or darkening of the skin, but it’s rare.