Updated on September 25, 2017 by Gabby
Is Laser, IPL? And is IPL, Laser? Confused? ….. Well, don’t worry, most people are….Yes they both remove hair but what’s the difference? Read on to learn more about them and find out which one will work better for you.
Most people think that an IPL machine is a Laser hair removal machine. Um…No. I’ve even read through many websites that try and explain the difference but still end up saying its the same thing in the end. But it isn’t. I am going to try and explain in the most simplest terms because I think it’s the easiest way to understand rather than trying to explain the complicated technology behind it.
The only thing that an IPL and Laser machine have in common is that they are both used for permanent hair removal. Actually, take that back. They have two things in common. The second is that they both emit light. So….where is the difference then, Gabby? The difference lies in the type of light they emit….
Ok, to summarize, they both offer a solution for permanent hair removal but they differ as they produce different results for different people based on their skin colour and hair colour. They have different applications as the Laser and IPL hair removal machines differ in the spectrum of light they emit.
So as I briefly stated before, both a Laser and IPL hair removal machine both involve producing energy in the form of light which is absorbed by the dark pigments of the hair. This light energy causes damage to the hair follicle and stunts it growth, ultimately leading to permanent hair reduction. This is a very important point, because the light energy targets dark pigments, it is always important for darker skin colours to use the right machine (read below) and to be extremely careful when doing Laser or IPL as this may damage the surrounding skin tissue causing pigmentation (which rarely even happens if you look after your skin properly!) (to avoid pigmentation and to look after your skin properly for IPL & Laser, Read Here)
Gabby’s Helpful Tips:
For Dark Skin* → You Need IPL → This Machine Here
For Light Skin → You Need Laser → This Machine Here
For Red, Blonde or Grey Hair → You Need IPL → This Machine Here
More Information on All of the Above Machines, Read: 5 Home Hair Removal Machines for Everyone!
*Skin darker than olive or tanned
Laser machines are quite simple as they generate a single wavelength of light (referred to as monochromatic light by wikipedia). It is a very concentrated light in one single colour and form to target the melanin in the hair follicle.
Firstly, IPL machines are not Lasers and Lasers are not IPL. They are two different machines.
IPL can be distinguished from Laser as it produces a broad spectrum of wavelengths vs the single wavelength produced by a Laser hair removal machine. Because there is different wavelengths, it is largely argued for this reason that IPL machines
are not as effective as Laser machines for permanent hair reduction as they can only target a few hairs at a time in comparison to the Laser hair removal machines.
In saying that, the effectiveness of Laser over IPL only really applies to those that have both very dark skin and dark hair follicles. If you have olive skin or lighter coloured skin, both Laser and IPL machines will work exactly the same and provide the exact same results.