IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Hair Reduction


Hair removal is the most popular treatment for the IPL in the country. It is helpful for removing large areas of hair or small areas such as in the facial and bikini area. It permanently reduces the number of hair follicles producing hair. Light is emitted from the IPL in a wavelength that matches the pigment of hair and then thermally irreversibly damages the hair producing cells. Only about 1/3 of the hairs in each application are in the active growing phase that is susceptible to IPL. Therefore, between 4 and 6 treatments or more are needed to remove the hair to acceptable levels. Complete hair removal is rare, and the goal is 80-95% hair loss. This is similar to the laser. After treatment, the hairs that have been destroyed will gradually purge themselves over the next 2 weeks. The treated area will need sun precautions for about 1-2 weeks.

The subsequent treatments are done anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks later, depending on the area treated (this has to do with the different growth cycles of hair in different areas of the body). The skin is chilled with a medical air conditioner, iced rollers, and with the head of the IPL to make discomfort minimal. In extremely sensitive areas like the bikini area, topical anesthetic is used. Duration of a single treatment ranges from less than 5 minutes for areas of the face, to about 30-45 minutes for a gentleman's back. Most IPLs can  treat all colors of skin, even tanned skin. (Having said that, the ideal hair removal client is a fair skin person with dark coarse hair.)

One can expect no downtime and minimal or no post treatment discomfort. IPL Hair removal is a great substitute for waxing or shaving, and helps eradicate the bumbs that are associated with small infections around hair follicles (folliculitis). Unfortunately, no laser or IPL treatment can remove blonde or gray hair because there is no pigment to target in these hair colors.

Article by
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon