Although lasers are the primary treatment for hair removal, IPL (intense pulsed light), a non-laser system, can also heat and destroy hair semi-permanently.
The light energy, which is attracted to melanin (dark colored cells), travels down the hair shaft to the bulb of the follicle - the part of the hair that contain the most melanin.
The heat also destroys surrounding blood vessels, cutting off the life support to the hair bulb and thwarting regrowth.
What It's Good For
IPL is a useful tool for managing unwanted hair growth.
Who it works for: Dark, thick hair, which contains higher levels of melanin, is more strongly affected by IPL than hair that is light or fine.
IPL treatments are best for lighter skin tones, which are less likely to become discolored from the treatment.
Recommended age range: IPL can be performed for hair removal at any age. Typically, unwanted hair growth starts at puberty.
When will I see results?: It can take up to two weeks for the body to shed treated hair.
How long it lasts: The results of IPL treatments, when used for hair removal, are semi-permanent. Hair will eventually return, though regrowth will be slower and sparser.
Key benefits of IPL laser hair removal: IPL devices are equipped with cooling features, which make treatment more comfortable.
Licensed uses: IPL treatments were approved by the FDA in 1995.