Yes! There is a difference! There is nothing more frustrating than hearing someone say ‘I tried laser and it didn’t work.’ When I hear this, I cringe a little (ok…A LOT) on the inside because they haven’t met my machine yet! I’ve never been more obsessed with a piece of technology, like I am with my laser machine. I could easily get off track talking about my Lucy (laser machine), so let’s stay focused on why people have come to believe that laser does not work; why hair grew back; why they went for 20 treatments, etc.First, I cannot stress enough that you make sure you do your research! Talk to multiple clinics/spas that offer laser hair removal. Ask what type of machine they use; is it suitable for all skin types or certain skin types; is there a cooling device; what will your skin look like after; how many treatments will be needed; how often do you come for a treatment? These are all important questions that you have the right to know the answer too. You shouldn’t even have to ask all of these questions because this is information the laser technician should be explaining to you during your consultation. There will always be questions, but these are a few key things to be on alert for when you go for a consultation.
Now, what is the difference between Laser and IPL?
When you have treatments done with a Medical Grade Laser, minimum 6 – 8 treatments are needed, some areas may require up to 12 treatments; they are suitable for most skin types; can be virtually pain-free; and provides superior results. True Lasers are more concentrated with a single focused wavelength allowing the light from the laser to penetrate deeper into the hair resulting in more effective hair removal. When the laser is able to penetrate the skin deeper, it is able to draw heat energy into the hair from the sides and the surface. When you have treatments done with a true medical grade laser, you can expect the results to be precise and specific.
When you have treatments done with an IPL, anywhere from 10 – 20 treatments are needed; can be painful & ineffective; and are suitable for fair skin only! IPL uses full spectrum light (such as light from a lightbulb) and contains only some of the wavelengths of light required to remove hair. Remember, lasers have single focused wavelengths; IPL’s have many unnecessary light wavelengths resulting in a scattered light approach and dilution of wavelengths. IPL will remove some of the hair, but with diluted wavelengths, it is not able to penetrate enough to fully remove the hair.
Whatever you choose is your prerogative and for some people the IPL has provided great results. You have to remember as well that we are never going to be completely hair free. I’m not saying it’s all going to grow back, but you may have some fine hair that may grow back at some point (so fine that you’ll barely notice it). Lastly, you will always get what you pay for. With a treatment like this, quality over quantity should definitely take precedence when choosing where and who you go to.
I hope this has helped you understand the difference between Laser and IPL. Please always feel free to contact me directly to have any questions you may have answered to the best of my knowledge. Or maybe you would like to meet Lucy; she’s a gem and will probably become your new best friend!