Is IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Hair Removal Effective and Safe?
Many of us are absolutely certain that IPL was the future of hair removal. Now that future is here – and with it, the answer to all your most urgent questions. How does IPL work? Who does IPL work well on, and what does it feel like? What are the benefits of IPL hair removal? Let’s take a look.
What is IPL hair removal?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light technology. Since the 1990s, Gold MH, Bell MW, Foster TD, Street S have been researching on the long term epilation effect of intense pulsed light[1, 2, 3, 4]. Oren AHARON and Haifa (IL) published their patent of a device and method of hair removal treatment in 2014, based on the theory of intense pulsed light. So the theories and technologies of IPL have been researched on and tested for more than twenty years.
Home IPL hair removal devices apply very gentle pulses of light to the hair root. This makes the hair go into its resting phase: the hair you have falls out, and gradually your body grows less hair in that area.
That smoothness lasts a long time, too. Smart curved attachments allow you to reach and safely treat your underarms, bikini area and face. So IPL really can take the place of shavers, wax treatments or epilators.
When following a treatment schedule, the individuals' results may vary, according to the colors of the skin and hair.
How does IPL work?
IPL works thanks to a pigment in hair called melanin: much like a dark sheet on a hot day, the melanin helps the hair absorb the light from the flashes, stimulating it to go into its resting phase. This process leaves you with smooth, hair-free skin.
So, how do you do IPL hair removal at home? Using the IPL hair removal device is easy:
- Shave, epilate or wax the area to remove the hair. If you choose to epilate or wax, make sure you do it the day before you do your treatment.
- Select the right light intensity for your skin tone.
- Turn the IPL device on.
- Press the button to flash.
- Move on to the next spot!
It usually takes several minutes to do your lower legs with the IPL device. Once the hair stops growing back, you can leave out the shaving step and just use the IPL device to keep your skin beautifully smooth.
To see positive results from the get-go, use the IPL device once every two weeks for the first four treatments. After that, you should only need to do minor touch ups every 4-8 weeks.
Is IPL hair removal effective?
What results can I expect? If you’re using the IPL hair removal device, you’ll start seeing results pretty quickly – and after the first four treatments, long-lasting smoothness should be yours.
- After the first four treatments, you have up to 8 weeks to be freed from hair removal.
- Hair that does regrow is thinner and softer.
Does IPL hurt?
No – it doesn’t hurt. The IPL technology went through clinical testings to make sure that it felt gentle and easy to use. Most users reported a slight warm sensation with each flash, but that’s all. That’s one of the reasons over 1.5 million women all over the world are now using IPL: who could say no to pain-free, lasting hair removal?
The key is to use the right light intensity setting on your hair removal machine. There are five to choose from, and a handy guide is included in the pack to help you find the right setting for your skin tone and hair color.
To avoid any twinges, it’s best to follow the usage guidelines carefully. Shave the area before using the IPL device and avoid flashing the same area repeatedly. And, as you can imagine, it’s best not to use IPL (or any other hair removal treatment) on broken or irritated skin, tattoos, infections, or burns.
To buy an IPL Hair Removal Device
You can go to an online shop or a local store to buy it.
 Gold MH, Bell MW, Foster TD, Street S. 1997. Long-term epilation using the EpiLight broad band, intense pulsed light hair removal system. Dermatol Surg. 23(10):909-913. doi:10.1111/j.1524-4725.1997.tb00746.x