Is IPL or Laser Best for Facial Hair Removal?

I've been researching for three days now on how to remove little light hair on my face. The center for IPL claims the method to be more effective, using a machine called "Cutera", but the center for laser told me that only laser treatments can remover hair from the face, except that little light hair, which won't go away! I also found out that IPL treatments are half the price of laser.

Any honest and professional answers regarding the matter? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

No laser or IPL hair removal for peach fuzz hair

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Save your money. Laser and IPL will not help light peach fuzz type hair.  Try waxing and then use the prescription Vaniqua cream afterwards to slow hair growth down. This combination will be more effective than any type of laser treatment for your type of hair growth. 

Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon

Both Lasers and IPLs Work for Removing Unwanted Hair

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Lasers work for unwanted hair and IPLs work for unwanted hair – it is most important to go somewhere that knows what they are doing – a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who can evaluate your skin, evaluate your hair, and come up with a treatment strategy the makes sense and one that will work the best. If you are a center that believes in IPLs they will always work the best; if you are a laser center, the lasers will always work better.

It’s the provider, it's how your hair looks, and what your expectations are.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Best Laser for Facial Hair Removal

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A wide variety of medical lasers and light systems are used to remove unwanted hair, however most lasers are not effective for all skin types and hair colors. The laser I recommend and use is the Elos laser hair removal system, which is designed for permanent hair reduction by combining both optical and radiofrequency energy to deliver satisfying, longer lasting results with less discomfort than previous laser systems. All skin and all hair colors including gray and blonde hair are effectively treated. Faces, backs, arms, legs, faces, and bikini lines can be treated including those individuals with darkly pigmented skin. Treatments are administered every 4 weeks and generally 3 to 5 treatments are sufficient.

Light Hair on face

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Lena, the honest answer is that the fine light hair on your face will probably not go away with either method as "peach fuzz" as it is commonly referred to is not a good candidate for laser hair removal because of the lack of color. If the hair has some color and coarseness, we would suggest laser treatments as IPL machines are less precise and less powerful than lasers for hair removal.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Lasers do not treat light colored hair

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Unfortunately all light based devices only treat pigmented hairs. The mechanism behind laser hair removal targets the pigment in the hair, so if there is no pigment then there is no target for treatment. In addition, if the hair color is close to the skin color, the treatment will not be very effective and there is a risk that there could be a loss of color in the skin.

Both laser and intense pulsed light work to reduce hair, but I have seen better results with laser.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon

Lasers or IPL for hair removal

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I usually combine IPL with different lasers under different treatment times to try to treat most hair growth. Obviously, the fine villous light-colored hair is difficult to impossible to treat with the systems available today.

I just find that if I use solely one type, I don't get the same results as using both.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.