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IPL Hair Removal Effectiveness

I´m studying skin therapist in Stockholm and I´m working on a study about laser and IPL. And the question is : which technology is the best for hair removal? I´ll also buy a machine for my clinic in october 2008 and I´m searching for a machine that is effective, safe and works on a wide range of haircolors as possible. I´ve also read about diodlaser, a combination od radiofrequency and IPL, and that it´s the newest technology.

Doctor Answers (9)

Lasers are more effective than IPL for hair removal

+4

The most effective hair removal occurs with lasers not IPL. In addition, IPL is least effective and has the most side effects for darker skin types because it does not have the correct wavelength range (1064 nm) to effectively treat this skin. The most effective types of lasers for permanent hair removal are:

  • Diode and Alexandrite (light skinned patients)
  • Long Pulsed Nd:Yg (dark skinned patients)

If you are in Stockholm your best bet is going to be the Lumenis Lightsheer for safety, efficacy and durability. It is the gold standard for light skinned hair removal.


Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Lasers are better for hair removal

+2

Nancy,

Most laser hair removal studies show that for permanent "Hair Reduction" 755nm or 810nm Lasers work the best. Dark hair responds the best and blond hair has the poorest response. Many treatments will cause the hairs to enter telogen, but don't offer good hair reduction when patients are followed long term.

Daniel Reichner, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Lasers are betters than IPL for hair removal

+2

IPL and lasers can both be used for laser hair removal. IPL is safer for darker skin types but it takes longer to achieve permanent results. Diode lasers are usually very effective and work best on light skin and dark hair. They also require less treatments.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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Lasers or IPL for hair removal

+2

I use both. The lasers work better and are safer for darker skinned patients. But, I feel that alternating the two during alternate treatment sessions is more effective than one alone.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Lasers vs. IPL

+2

Both lasers and ipl can be effective. For an understanding of which modality is right for you, visit an experienced practitioner.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

IPL for hair removal - choose lasers instead

+1

With the advancement in technology in laser hair removal over the last several years, it is not a surprise that there is confusion about what works best to get the optimum results you are looking for as a patient.  After all, you do deserve the best, right?  First, lets look at what makes laser and IPL different.

A LASER is a specific type of light that is the brightest and most powerful light available.  It is extremely specific and calibrated and the light does not spread out.  It is concentrated and focused into one precise spot at a time making it very powerful and accurate.

An IPL or INENSE PULSED LIGHT is a light based device that is distributed through a filter that is scattered over a surface almost as if a light bulb’s light spreads. A more shallow penetration in comparison to laser means that deeper, thicker hairs are not treated effectively.

Both treatments produce energy in order to interrupt the growth cycle of the hair follicles to reduce hair growth without damaging the surrounding tissue.  The similarities end here.

There are many published studies that prove lasers to be more effective than IPL.   

There are lasers safe and effective for all skin colors. The Alexandrite laser is safest and most effective for light to medium toned skin and the Long pulsed nd yag is most effective and safest for darker skin types. IPL has never been shown to be as effective as these lasers for hair removal and can potentially cause significant damage to the skin.


Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Laser recommendations

+1

There are many good systems out there today. The 1064 laser is a good system for darker skin and dark hair. But to get lighter hair you will need the 755 or 810 diode. The diode with RF can be used on skin types from I-VI, but the hand piece is heavier and more cumbersome. There is no 1 perfect laser hair removal system. There are also combination systems with both 1064 and 755, which are individualized to the patient.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Laser hair removal

+1

There are many devices out there for laser hair removal.  We have always considered lasers to be the gold standard for hair removal but I am not so sure that is always the case with some of the newer IPL systems.  In my office, we have excellent success with the BBL for our hair removal patients, we also have a long pulsed NdYag but this is used less often now that we have such success with the BBL.  The limitations of IPL/BBL is that they cannot be used at high enough energies to treat Fitzpatrick skin type 6 without the risk of burning. Lasers such as the long pulsed Nd:Yag are safer and very effective for these patients. If you are starting out and want a versatile machine to do different types of treatments an IPL/BBL machine may still be the best for you.  You WILL have succees with laser hair removal and can do some treatments of sun spots and redness (rosacea) which is prevalent in your part of the world.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Laser Hair Removal: best treatment for hair removal

+1

Without a doubt, laser is more effective for the treatment of excessive hair, or hypertrichosis. The laser can be modulated with pulse width, power, and treatment size to improve absorption by hair follicles.

I have personally performed thousands of hair removal treatments with the laser systems in all skin types, including African American and Hispanic skin, with great efficacy.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.