Hair removal is a pain. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and often leaves you with redness or irritation. That’s why a lot of people have turned to IPL (intense pulsed light) for their hair removal needs. IPL works by emitting intense, short bursts of light that are absorbed by the melanin in your hair follicles. The energy from the light stimulates the cells in your hair follicles and destroys them, which prevents them from producing new hair growth.
Laser hair removal uses a laser beam to target dark pigment in the skin and destroy it permanently without damaging surrounding tissue. Laser treatments are more expensive than IPL treatments but are also more effective and can treat larger areas of skin at once (up to 9 square inches). However, laser treatments can be painful and require multiple sessions over several weeks or months before results are visible.
You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on Is ipl better than laser for hair removal , electrolysis vs laser hair removal pcos. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about electrolysis hair removal. Read on to learn more.
Is ipl better than laser for hair removal
Laser has three unique properties
- Laser is monochromatic meaning that the light emitted from a laser is of one wavelength (colour). In contrast, ordinary white light is a combination of many different wavelengths (colours).
- Laser is coherent, meaning the light is totally reinforcing and does not cancel itself out. The coherent light produced by a laser differs from ordinary light in that it is made up of waves all of the same wavelength and all in phase (i.e., in step with each other) – ordinary light contains many different wavelengths and phase relations.
- Laser is “collimated” meaning the light waves are parallel. This makes laser light very powerful, as nearly 100% of the light can be effective in the treatment of hair reduction.
Lasers utilise one wavelength to selectively target one specific chromophore, which is melanin. This allows for deeper penetration and the energy is directed straight to the target and not absorbed by the other chromophores in the path of the beam. Lasers will selectively destroy specific targets and not cause harm to the surrounding tissue when used properly. Laser machines are set to emit the exact wavelength required to treat your hair.
Intense pulse light (IPL)
IPL devices on the other hand are not lasers. These devices produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths (like a light bulb) and cannot be focused to a concentrated beam. Because a range of different wavelengths is dispersed at a variety of depths only some of these are effectively absorbed by the hair follicle, causing substandard results and increasing the risk of burns.
- Intense pulsed light (IPL) is not monochromatic, meaning that IPL has many different colours and only a small percentage of these are effective in the treatment of hair reduction.
- IPL is not coherent and is not reinforcing making it less effective in the treatment of hair reduction.
- IPL is not collimated and is therefore quick to spread out making it less effective in the treatment of hair reduction.
Intense pulsed light – not so intense…
IPL machines typically use a range of wavelengths from 500 – 1000 nm. As these wavelengths are exposed to the skin, there is no ability for the light to discriminate between chromophores within the skin. Due to the broad spectrum of light, obtaining sufficient energy to destroy certain deep targets such as hair is often challenging.Smaller moresuperficial targets such as pigment and vascular legions absorb the majority of the energy. In order to heat deeper targets, higher energy levels need to be employed, but this increases the risk of burns and various complications. These adverse effects include hyper-pigmentation, hypo-pigmentation, blistering, and potentially scarring.
The advantages of using laser over IPL:
- IPL is a cheaper, less effective technology for reducing body hair.
- Lasers are far more precise and can selectively target dark, coarse hair while leaving the surrounding areas undamaged.
- Each laser pulse takes a fraction of a second and can treat several hairs at a time.
- Laser settings can be adjusted to suit your specific skin tone and hair colour.
- Lasers have the capability to safely treat all skin colours, whereas IPLs can cause burn on darker skin types.
The main difference between laser and IPL for hair removal lies in the technology that each use to generate light as well as the different properties of light being used. You can read more about this on our laser hair removal page
Laser technology is simply much more effective, and achieves substantially better results than IPL with most clients achieving optimal results of permanent hair removal of 80% or greater after four to eight treatments.
However, IPL machines do have an important place in the treatment of skin. IPL provides adequate treatment for skin problems such as superficial pigmentation, redness, and capillaries, but it is not suited for hair removal. In addition, these devices are not suitable for darker skin. To find out more about laser and treating darker skin types, click here.
How can we help you?
We offer only the safest, most effective treatment options for laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation. Why choose us?
- We only use medical-grade lasers.
- All of our therapists are qualified and laser safety certified.
- We are “Candela Certified”, ensuring maximum safety and results with our laser devices.
- We are Victoria’s most experienced clinic, having founded in 2005.
- We treat at the correct intervals (i.e every 4 weeks on the face and every 8 weeks for the body) Click here to read more about this very important factor
Unparalleled service and innovative treatment options mean that effective laser hair removal treatments are now available to everyone.
Electrolysis vs laser hair removal pcos
Women with PCOS have to deal with a range of distressing symptoms including excessive facial and body hair (hirsutism) throughout their lives. Hirsutism is usually treated with anti-androgen medications and oral contraceptives. Long-lasting hair removal methods, such as electrolysis and laser therapy, have shown promising results when combined with hormonal treatments. But, do they work for everyone?
Permanent Hair Removal for Hirsutism
Hirsutism is a common clinical condition affecting women of all ages.1 It is characterized by excessive hair growth appearing in a male-type pattern.2 Affected women, especially young women, may experience a large psychological burden and an impact on their social life.3 Most women seek treatment mainly for cosmetic reasons, because excess facial hair outside of cultural norms can be very embarrassing.
Why does PCOS cause Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is not a disorder, but a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The majority of women with hirsutism may have PCOS.4 If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, your ovaries are producing excessive amounts of androgens, such as testosterone (which is also called hyperandrogenism). However, testosterone per se is not directly responsible for the formation of unwanted hair growth but rather its more powerful byproduct called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).5
Can Hirsutism Be Cured Permanently?
Hirsutism can be treated by addressing the root cause of the condition. However, not all causes of hirsutism are reversible. Some women with unwanted facial or body hair have no identifiable cause (idiopathic): their androgen levels are normal; their menstrual cycles are normal; their ovaries appear normal on ultrasound.6 Fortunately, most women with unexplained hirsutism have mild symptoms, which can be treated with a variety of hair removal techniques.
With regards to PCOS, one type of treatment may not be enough. Medications, on their own, may not make the hair go away completely, but will stop it from getting worse. Mechanical hair removal methods like waxing, laser epilation, and electrolysis will further enhance the effects of hormone therapy.
How does Electrolysis work?
Electrolysis is a common hair removal technique that uses electrical pulses to target the root of the hair in order to permanently destroy each hair follicle and prevent regrowth. This method works best when treating small areas, although larger areas such as the legs or back may be treated with multiple sessions over time.7
There are two types of electrolysis based on the electrical current used: high-frequency (thermolysis), direct (galvanic), or a combination of the two (blend). Galvanic is the oldest and most widely used method of the two because of its high success rate and safety profile.
Electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal method approved by the FDA8, but its success depends on the skill of the operator. Regulation of the process varies from state to state.9 In contrast with laser techniques, electrolysis is expensive and more time consuming because it treats each individual hair.
Electrolysis can be performed in all types of hair, but studies show that it is most effective on hair in the active or growing phase (anagen)10,11, as this stage is where the newly formed hair starts to grow. Hairs treated in the resting phase (telogen) tend to regrow. You may be advised to shave 1-3 days prior to treatment.
Post-treatment side effects, which include redness around the treated area, pain, and swelling, are generally temporary. Scarring, depigmentation of skin, burns, and keloid formation in susceptible patients are possible. Make sure to check in with a healthcare professional about side effects you’re concerned about.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser-assisted hair removal is a generally safe and effective technique for women who desire a long-term reduction of hair growth. It works by focusing a beam of light to induce selective damage to hair follicles. This technique produces a gradual but permanent reduction of hair regrowth and can be used in larger areas of the body.
It works best on light skin and black coarse hair.12 This is because light hair with very little to no dark pigments do not absorb sufficient light photons emitted by the laser, so it’s impossible to completely destroy them.
While electrolysis has been approved as a “permanent hair removal” method, laser epilation is classified as a “permanent hair reduction” technique. Providers should inform their patients that it will require 8-12 sessions plus maintenance treatment every 6-12 months to provide satisfactory hair removal.
With laser treatment, finer and lighter hair often remain after treatment. In many patients, the treatment may be ongoing. Still, laser treatment has surpassed electrolysis because it’s effective, fast, and relatively less painful.
The most common side effects of laser epilation are swelling and redness, which typically resolve within 24 hours. The procedure itself can be slightly painful but an anesthetic cream can be applied in advance. Hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation may also occur depending on your skin color. If you’re concerned about any side effects of the laser treatment, make sure to check in with a healthcare professional.
Specialized hair removal techniques have high success rates but they must be combined with treatment of excess androgens. Both electrolysis and laser hair removal work for women with PCOS, but it’s important to manage your expectations. While some patients reported a growth delay of 2-6 months after just one treatment, most will need multiple sessions to achieve permanent hair reduction.
Note that hair can still grow even when many old hair follicles have been destroyed. Because hair grows in three different stages and your hair is not all in the same stage at the same time, destroying all follicles in a few sessions is unlikely. But when used in combination with other treatment options and tailored to the person, many will achieve satisfactory results.
Electrolysis hair removal
Electrolysis is a method of removing individual hairs from the face or body. Today’s medical electrolysis devices destroy the growth center of the hair with chemical or heat energy. After a very fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle, the hair is removed with tweezers.
Most areas of the body can be treated with electrolysis, including the eyebrows, face, abdomen, thighs, breasts, and legs. There are generally no permanent side effects, but sometimes a temporary, slight reddening of the skin may occur.
What Causes Unwanted Hair Growth?
Hair growth is the result of heredity and hormone levels. Also, some drugs, temporary methods of hair removal, and illnesses can stimulate hair growth. Electrolysis may be an option when hair growth is in an area of the body where it may not be desired such as on a woman’s upper lip, chin, or bikini line.
How Many Electrolysis Treatments Will I Need?
Many factors influence hair growth, so you will need to return for several electrolysis visits. The total number of sessions needed to remove hair permanently from a particular area will vary from person to person. Most clients return once a week or every other week as needed. But the unwanted hair will be gone forever once the series of treatments is complete. Each treatment lasts between 15 minutes and one hour.
Myths About Electrolysis
Myth: Electrolysis is very painful. For most people, today’s methods don’t cause a lot of pain, but it can hurt. If you find it too uncomfortable, your doctor may be able to give you an anesthetic cream.
Myth: The electric tweezer method is permanent. The FDA and the American Medical Association recognize only electrolysis as a permanent method of removing hair. Some states prohibit those using or selling the electric tweezer from claiming it provides permanent hair removal.
Myth: Temporary methods of hair removal can be better. Chemical depilatories (liquids or creams) are often used to remove body hair. These products contain irritating chemicals and can be time-consuming and messy. Likewise, bleaches contain harsh chemicals and do little to disguise dark hair. They may also discolor skin. Waxing is another temporary method of hair removal and is usually done in salons. A hot wax is applied to the skin and removed once it has dried over the hair. The hair is stripped off when the wax is removed. Waxing can be painful and costly. Home waxing kits are available, but they can be messy and difficult to use. There are electrolysis devices available for home use, but they are often unsafe for use by anyone who is not trained in electrolysis.
How Do I Choose an Electrologist?
Electrologists are people who have special training to perform electrolysis. If you are considering electrolysis, it is important that you do your research before committing to sessions. The wrong decision can mean extra sessions and cost along with unnecessary discomfort and scarring.
- Know the professional’s qualifications. Many states require electrologists to be licensed or certified within the state to practice. If you live in one of those states, be sure the practitioner’s certificate is current and on display. For states that do not regulate electrolysis, look for electrologists who have certification from an accredited electrology school.
- Ask around. One of the best ways to find good services is to ask friends and family as well as your doctor for recommendations. If you know anybody who has undergone electrolysis, ask for their input.
- Get a consultation. Many places will give you a free consultation. During the consultation, be sure all of your questions are answered. Some things you may want to ask about include: how the procedure will feel; how many visits you will likely need; how much each visit costs; how long each session lasts; how long the practitioner has been in business; and the number of clients they have treated.
- Make sure the electrologist uses the right technique. The practitioner should use needle electrolysis, which is the only permanent form of hair removal. Some places may advertise electrolysis but use electronic tweezers or photoepilators instead. These are not permanent hair removal procedures.
- Use common sense. When you go to your consultation, look around. Does the place look clean? Do the workers look clean? Do they use disposable gloves or needles? Ask to meet the person who will be performing the electrolysis. Do they strike you as professional? If you are not comfortable with somebody, look for someone else to do the procedure. Personal comfort is essential to knowing you have made the right choice.