What is the difference between IPL and laser therapy?
What is the difference between IPL and laser therapy?
The difference between a laser and an IPL device is very significant. The main difference for us is the very fact of the effectiveness of epilation. Laser light waves (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) are very characteristic, they are coherent beams of electromagnetic radiation, so they act mainly on the hair, namely on their dye, which means that it removes hair by 100%.
In contrast, IPL, from the English Intense Pulsed Light, as the name implies, this is with the intensity of the pulsed light. IPL is not a laser at all, but it is often called this way. Also, the difference probably comes to mind on its own. IPL does not have a selective effect on the hair, which also warms the entire skin. Photoepilation requires much more than laser treatment. They also do not guarantee efficiency. Many clients came to us after many photoepilation procedures, convinced that they had been treated with a laser. As a result, they often did not believe in the laser's capabilities. The use of the term "laser hair removal" in unscrupulous salons in relation to photoepilation leads to misleading customers.
Usually, both laser and intense pulsed light (this is IPL for you and me!) purposeful to use when heating the hair follicle, thereby blocking its intensive and repeated growth. According to the statistics of this technology, the function of a completely different light delivery is used here, which highlights its main difference.
In simple terms, a laser usually emits a very specific type of light, which consists of a single wavelength or color of light coming in one direction, which actually creates a single beam, very similar to a laser pointer. In addition, IPL devices emit light that has a wide range of wavelengths to eventually create a single white flash. This type of light is very close to natural light, besides it has an orange-red glow, when the device comes into contact with the skin, a kind of camera flash is created.
Here everything seems clear, but what is the principle of its operation?
When you want to remove unwanted hair from specific areas of the body, how the laser beam and IPL light, and operate on the same principle:
- Light (laser or IPL) after penetration into the skin immediately susceptible to absorption by the melanin (pigment) of the hair shaft.
- The mentioned absorption creates a kind of heating of the hair shaft simultaneously with the follicle.
- In the event that the necessary amount of light energy is used, the critical temperature level heats the hair follicle cells, which stops the hair growth cycle.
- Based on some factors, the final effect may be permanent or temporary.
The main goal of light hair removal using a laser or IPL is to directly achieve the critical temperature in the hair follicle, while at the same time avoiding heating the skin adjacent to it, since in such cases blisters can form. It follows that the procedure must be carried out, adhering to careful control of the amount of light flux.
What does the above information indicate in relation to treatment?
Due to the way the technology itself functions, the laser treatment session and the IPL will differ based on the following indicators:
- Time for treatment: based on the fact that the beam of light that is usually used in laser treatment has a high concentration, laser devices do not have a large treatment window. Due to the use of a wider light flash, which is used in IPL, IPL devices are endowed with large treatment Windows and, therefore, have the ability to simultaneously cover a much larger area, which emphasizes their effectiveness and speed in treatment, compared to a laser device.
- Degree of pain: the laser treatment used, just a single beam of light, is often more painful when compared to the treatment when using IPL.
- Price policy: as you know, the service of laser radiation is not a cheap pleasure, so, especially when it comes to salons, laser treatment there is much more expensive, while IPL will be much more budget-friendly.
- Duration of results achieved: as a trade-off for increased cost and pain levels, laser treatment results may mean that fewer refueling sessions are required between sessions. However, as in the case of any other types of light-based hair reduction, it is certainly necessary not to stop the treatment, otherwise the hair will start to grow back.
- Safety level: it should be noted that the laser light is very powerful, and also quite dangerous. Thus, for laser hair removal devices at home, it is necessary to use significantly less power, especially when compared with their expensive salon counterparts. The advantage of IPL treatment is primarily due to the fact that it is much safer to use, since its light has a lower concentration, and, thanks to this characteristic, it can be used at home, and without any concerns, and for long-term results.
To sum up: so which of the methods will be the best?
If we review all the above information, we can conclude that IPL can give the same standard of results as laser treatment, but only if you strictly follow each of the prescribed treatment regimens — and also do not forget about additional procedures! As a reward for your dedication to your regime, you can significantly save your own time, family budget and endless trips to the salon, performing any of the desired procedures from the comfort of your own home.