IPL Hair Removal: The Best Yet?

Published: 01st May 2009
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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first IPL hair removal system in July 1997. In the years since then it has become mainstream with a variety of pulsed light devices now used in clinics around the world to stop unwanted body hair.

Here are two acronyms to remember -

IPL: Intense Pulsed Light

VPL: Variable Pulsed Light

VPL is an advanced version of IPL, and uses a range of specially chosen wavelengths which get maximum absorption by melanin, the pigment in hair, to facilitate the disabling of the hair follicle. The advantage of this system is that these micro pulses of light energy effectively stop the growth of all hair textures, from coarse to fine, with minimal effect on the skin.

This all sounds wonderful if you are battling unwanted body hair. Are there any disadvantages? Well, for one thing, there is the cost. IPL hair removal certainly isn't the cheapest form of hair removal, but it certainly is not as expensive as electrolysis. IPL hair removal covers a wide area at a time, treating many hair follicles, whereas electrolysis painstakingly treats one at a time.

For accurate costings you need to have a consultation at the clinic you choose. They will no doubt do a test first to see how your skin receives the treatment. They will be able to give you an estimate on how many sessions you are likely to need and the approximate cost.

What's The Risk?

Many of course are concerned with the risk potential in a procedure like this. Is IPL hair removal risky? You sometimes hear scary stories of persons who have ended up with scarring or permanent skin damage from undergoing some forms of hair removal. As with any cosmetic procedure, you need to do your research and go with a professional therapist.

Find out how many such procedures the clinic has performed and which therapist has the greatest experience. You can probably get a free consultation at many clinics. Some even offer a satisfaction guarantee and will do their best to give you the result you want.

What About Pain?

From reports, it appears IPL hair removal treatment is generally not unpleasant. Some hardly feel any discomfort at all. You will no doubt be provided with eye protection in view of the high intensity of the light used. A gel spread on the skin may be used to make sure the light is transmitted with maximum effect and absorbed into the hair follicle.

The applicator head will be pressed against the skin and a short pulse of intense light will be triggered. The applicator will be moved to another area of skin and the process repeated until the whole area is covered. As to what you are likely to feel, the sensation has been compared to the prick of a pin, or the sting from a rubber band stretched and flicked at the skin.

A number of sessions will be required in view of the way hair grows in cycles. IPL hair removal can only disable hair in the growth stage so you have to return to the clinic for more sessions as the hair moves through the various resting and growth cycles. In many cases there is a period of up to 6 weeks between treatments.

Is IPL Hair Removal For You?

Is IPL hair removal for you? Perhaps. However, if your hair is red, white or grey, sorry, it won't work. If you have fine blond hair the results may not be so impressive. Generally speaking though, there appears to be a reasonable customer satisfaction rating.

In some cases the hair is permanently stopped from growing, in other cases, treatment may be needed every six months or so. It can depend on a number of variables, such as the characteristics of your hair and skin, the way the therapist uses the equipment and at what intensity, as well as your own preference on how often you want the treatment done. So obviously a thorough consultation is needed before embarking on a course of treatment. The therapist needs to know your requirements and expectations and you need to know realistically what the therapist can do for you.

So if you have been tempted to get IPL hair removal for a part of the body you want hairless, why not check out your local clinics and get some ideas on prices and the level of professionalism. Many prefer IPL hair removal over laser hair removal as it seems there is less danger of skin reaction, and due to the variable wavelengths used, it can be quicker and take fewer sessions. It most certainly comes as a relief after years of inconvenient, frequent hair removal using other methods.


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If you want to get facts and prices on laser hair removal as well visit this page:
Laser Hair Removal Advice
To compare side effects of laser hair removal this article is essential reading:
Laser Hair Removal Side Effects - How Serious?

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