Table of Contents
- 1 How Does Intense Pulsed Light Hair Removal (IPL) Work?
- 2 What are the risks involved?
- 3 IPL procedure contraindications
- 4 What to do before an IPL session
- 5 How to Care for the Skin After IPL Hair Removal?
- 6 What Are The Benefits Of IPL Hair Removal?
- 7 Is your skin tone type suitable for IPL hair removal?
- 8 Is IPL hair removal painful?
- 9 What about pulsed light hair removal at home?
- 10 What to expect?
How Does Intense Pulsed Light Hair Removal (IPL) Work?
The intense pulsed light technique, as its name suggests, is a technique that uses intense pulsed light or IPL technology to permanently remove all kinds of body hair.
This technique works by targeting and sufficiently damaging the dark pigment around hair follicles (melanin). Doing so causes the hair to fall, and also discourages it from re-growing.
Basically, the base of root hairs is dense with melanin, which makes it possible to target it using the light emitted by the IPL device. A beam of intense light is projected onto the surface of the skin to be depilated so that it can be absorbed by the melanin contained in the hair. The wave of light is then carried by the hair follicles to the roots and the accompanying thermal effect destroys the root and bulb of the hair permanently. The growing hair is expected to start falling within one to two weeks of treatment.
This pulsed light method is one of the most effective methods available, due to the fact that it is quite natural and is a good alternative to other hair removal methods.
What are the risks involved?
For the skin:
For the eyes:
IPL procedure contraindications
1. Pregnancy and breastfeeding
There may not be any evidence suggesting that IPL hair removal is not safe for an unborn child, but it’s highly advisable to avoid the procedure while one is expectant. This can be quite frustrating for most women, considering that a majority of women get hairier during pregnancy.
The great news is that the hair mostly disappears after giving birth or once the breastfeeding period is over. If it doesn’t disappear, then one can consider having a hair removal procedure.
2. Some medical conditions
- Severe reaction to histamines
Some medication comes with major side effects that can make your skin become more photosensitive, which means your skin can react negatively to some changes caused by such hair removal procedures. In such a case, you should consider thinking of ways to get around the issue, with the help of a medical expert.
If there is a mole in the areas being treated, some individuals opt to have it removed before the procedure. Dark pigmentation of a mole can make it attract more heat which may cause burning. The same case applies to some kinds of birthmarks and beauty marks as well.
5. Sunburn or suntan
What to do before an IPL session
- Avoid tanning body areas where you want to have the hair removal done.
- Shave the area to be treated with a razor to keep the hair root, preferably 2 to 3 days before the session, but do it lightly, keep some hair as it is necessary to attract light for an effective treatment.
- Wash the area being treated before the procedure to get rid of any sort of oil found on the skin.
- Do not undergo plucking, waxing, or bleaching treatment 3 weeks prior to the treatment.
- Moisturize the area before and after the procedure for better results.
- To limit the risk of eye damage, it is highly recommended to wear safety glasses.
- If you are using an IPL hair removal device at home, make sure to read the user manual carefully to avoid making any mistakes during use.
How to Care for the Skin After IPL Hair Removal?
Here are some tips to take care of your skin in the treated areas:
- Apply a soothing cream, aloe vera gel or ice to the treated area for a few days.
- Do not expose yourself to the sun for at least a week, and do not use a self-tanner.
- Apply a cream with a high degree of protection (minimum 30) to the exposed areas during the following days if you plan to go out.
- Shave the area being treated, between 2 sessions of pulsed light.
- Do not practice any intense activity to avoid sweating.
- Avoid swimming pools, spas or other activities that may expose you to irritating substances such as chlorine.
- Avoid any other abrasive or aggressive treatments for at least 2 weeks.
- Do not use deodorant if the armpits have been treated.
- Do not use perfumes, soaps or other perfumed lotions on treated areas.
What Are The Benefits Of IPL Hair Removal?
- IPL hair removal is a very effective technique as it allows a significant hair reduction of about 80%. As the sessions progress, the hair will become lighter and thinner, and over time, it will grow back slower until it disappears.
- The results can be seen as early as the second session is done, but note that you will need eight sessions to achieve a satisfactory result.
- At home or in an institute, sessions are super quick since the treated areas vary from 2 to 7 cm2, depending on the type of the device used.
- Pulsed light hair removal is almost painless, treatment causes only a slight tingling sensation in some areas during the session.
- Unlike some other hair removal techniques, it is not necessary to wait until hair regrowth is visibly seen before starting the treatment. The pulsed light technology removes hair as small as a grain of sand.
- Unlike other hair removal methods such as waxing or shaving, which are only dedicated to certain body areas, pulsed light hair removal is able to treat all hair areas.
- For people who choose to do pulsed light treatment at home, the operation of the devices is very simple as long as they follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Is your skin tone type suitable for IPL hair removal?
Skin types or phototypes are the first things to consider before using IPL hair removal, indeed, most IPL devices will only be compatible with certain skin types (phototype) or hair types. For this purpose, the skin must be in contrast with the color of the hair, in other words, the darker the hair (brown, chestnut, dark blond) and the lighter the skin, the more effective pulsed light hair removal will be.
Is IPL hair removal painful?
What about pulsed light hair removal at home?
What to expect?
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