Laser v IPL: The Difference

We wanted to take a moment to briefly explain the differences between the two to help our clients make an informed decision. Both laser and IPL produce energy to damage the growth cycle of the hair. They both work by producing light which is directed to the hair follicle – the light is absorbed, it converts to heat and destroys the hair follicle. This is where the similarites end.

Laser has a beam of light which can be filtered to hit specific targets at different depths in the skin.

IPL has a broad beam which targets a larger but much less accurate area including surrounding skin and blood vessels – the beam is shorter and so cannot target and destroy roots of deeper hairs. Laser can be safely used on all skin types – IPL is not recommended on darker skin types. Laser targets and penetrates just the hair. IPL ‘flashes’ a wider area meaning hair removal is slower and more painful.

Fewer treatments are required with laser than IPL – Laser is simply a more targeted treatment and so produces better results.

In summary:

  • Laser technology is much more effective. 90% of patients will see permanent hair loss in 3 – 5 treatments.
  • IPL is cheaper but much less effective.
  • Lasers are precise and can target dark and coarse hairs while leaving surrounding skin undamaged.
  • Lasers are safe for all skin colours – IPL can cause burns on darker skin.
  • Laser settings can be adjusted to suit specific skin types and hair colours.