What is the difference between laser and IPL
Now everyone is back from their summer holidays we are inundated with clients wanting to start laser hair removal treatment.
We have been working with the Elysion Pro laser system by Cosmeditech for some time now and have been getting incredible results. With its patented crystal freeze cooling system the Elysion pro is not only incredibly effective but also virtually pain-free.
Lasers have developed a lot over the years and we can now treat blonde hair and dark skin which in the past was impossible.
One question we get asked regularly during a consultation is: What is the difference between laser and IPL?
Laser Hair Removal
A diode laser uses a single wavelength (810nm) of light that has a high eruption rate in the melanin. As the melanin heats up it destroys the root and blood supply in the hair follicle disabling the growth permanently. High-quality laser systems like the Elysion Pro incorporate the cooling system to protect the skin and make a pain free experience for the client. Diode lasers deliver high frequency, low fluence pulses that can safely be used on all skin types.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Hair Removal
IPL (intense pulsed light) is technically not a laser treatment. It uses a broad spectrum of light with many wavelengths meaning it leads to unfocused energy around the hair and skin. As a result, there is a lot of wasted energy meaning the hair follicle is not targeted as well as with a diode laser making it less effective as destroying the hair follicle. Using a broad spectrum of light in this way also increases the risk of pigmentation and burns particularly if there isn’t an effective cooling system in place. IPL systems are also typically only safely used on lighter skins (Fitzpatrick 1-3).
So comparing the two methods and my experience of working with both means that typically IPL will require more regular and long term treatments for hair reduction. A diode laser will work more effectively and with less discomfort whilst safely treating a larger skin and hair type.