IPL basically stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is a form of light therapy that is used for various dermatological procedures including even hair removal.
IPL Hair Removal Technology
IPL is different from laser treatments where only one specific wavelength is emitted from a diode depending on the target area. In IPL hair removal, multiple wavelengths all between 500-1,200 nanometres are scattered within the skin. And as with all light-based treatments, IPL works by emitting a wavelength into the skin. In case of hair removal, the laser targets the pigment in the hair which then absorbs the light to deliver the desired effect. Prolonged light exposure turns to heat which then kills the growing cells that support growth of hair. Of course the hair has to be living or attached to growing cells for this treatment to work.
IPL is however far less effective compared to laser hair removal. This is because the energy the lamp generates is like a light bulb which produces a variety of light waves. This means that light used in IPL is more diffused and less powerful. That is why with IPL hair removal you might need up to even 12 laser treatments to get rid of all hairs in their living cycle. This treatment is also limited to only those with fairer skin types.
How IPL Hair Removal Works
IPL usually works like a flash lamp. It sends out scattered wavelengths of light directed to a given area of the skin. This makes IPL a very targeted laser-based treatment method. It affects the pigment in your skin and that is the main reason it only works for those with fair skin and dark hair. Just like any other light-based treatment, you can specifically set lasers up. The nanometre can be adjusted so that the wavelengths can only target an exact pigment. You might get temporary redness and scaling but it will fade.
Unlike laser hair removal, IPL can sometimes also be uncomfortable. This is because it uses hundreds of wavelengths in each pulse which only serve to heat up the skin and may not have any effect on reducing the growth of the hair. With modern technology, some IPL machines however come with cooling fans to reduce the pain. Some are almost pain-free.
In a reputable clinic for IPL hair removal in London, treatment may cost you less compared to laser treatment. However, both laser and IPL treatments aren't regulated anymore unlike before. Therefore, you should expect to spend a considerable amount on this type of treatment. As a cheaper alternative to laser, you will find it effective in hair removal particularly on larger areas and darker skin.