Is IPL effective??

Again, apologies if this is the wrong board. I do realize that IPL is different from laster hair removal but can’t see a board for just IPL queries.

I had my first IPL treatment session yesterday. I’m getting my upper lip and chin done. I’ve been reading up a lot on this and I’m still not sure if IPL is the most effective method of hair removal.

My clinic offers both IPL and laser (not sure which one). The cost is the same so when the clinician advised that I’m better suited to IPL rather than laser I believed her. She said that laser is only good in certain cases when you need a specific wavelength, e.g. if your skin colour is very dark(if I remember right).

I’m Indian, but my skin is quite fair (for an Indian). I guess I’m a type IV. My skin seems to hve responded well to the treatment yesterday. It was very painful while doing it so I hope it got some hairs too.

Anyway, my question. When is laser more suitable, is it safer, and what are the disadvantages of IPL?

Thanks :slight_smile:

IPLs are worse than all lasers for hair removal. They’re also not good for someone with your skin type. I wouldn’t get IPL treaments in general.

Is any of your hair coarse and dense? If not, you probably won’t see any results at all, and may actually experience MORE growth.

If you have any patches of coarse dense growth, a Yag laser is the only one that should be used on your skin type.

Please read our FAQs at the link below.

Thanks so much for your reply LA girl. My hair is black, extremely coarse and quite dense on the areas I am getting treated. In what way is IPL worse than lasers? Are they less effective in terms of hair reduction achieved or in terms of permanency? Are they more unsafe?

My skin seems fine after yesterday’s session. Also, the session yesterday seems to have got rid of a lot of hair. (I’ve been shaving now since planning this treatment and normally I need to shave my chin every day/12 hours). Today it seems like none of the hairs have actually grown back. I’m a bit confused about this since I thought that the hair sheds after 2-3 weeks. or does the hair get removed during treatment, then starts growing again and then gets shed permanently?

You can’t tell anything after a day or even a week. You can only tell something after 3 weeks when you should expect all treated hair to shed. But even then, shedding doesn’t guarantee that the hair was disabled permanently. That requires a high enough setting to heat up the hair enough, which isn’t possible to do with an IPL on your skin type.

The FAQs explain the difference between lasers and IPLs. The problem is both: it’s unsafe on your skin type and won’t produce good results because they would need to use low settings in order not to burn you with it.

Fluffy2010 - I think you should listen to LAgirl. From what ive read in the past there is no way that an IPL could work on your skin type (fair or not). You really need to be using a Yag. Although i suspect it would be alot easier getting electrolysis.

Thanks so much for your replies. I’ve read the FAQ, but I’m still pretty confused. I will try to set up a consultation with a clinic that has YAG lasers before I continue my treatment with IPL.

Maybe it’s too early to make a judgement but my skin seems to have responded extremely well to the treatment. Though maybe that means that it wasn’t that effective. I guess I’ll know more in about 3 weeks. Anyway, I’m hoping that my skin is fine for IPL.

Why do you consider IPL’s to be less permanent in the long term than laser? Does that mean that even if the treatment seems successful for the next few months, my hair might grow back in a year or so? According to what I know, IPL destroys the hair follice or the blood supply to the follice. So new hair can only grow if new follices are created. So once a follice is destroyed does it matter if it was by IPL or laser?

I have read however that YAG lasers have got higher risks of skin scarring, irritation, etc., are more painful and have not proven to be permanent. I’m not sure if these disadvantages are in comparison to IPL or other lasers or just general.

What setting on IPL would I require for it to be effective?

Sorry for being so hesitant to give up on IPL yet. I’m happy that my skin has taken the treatment well and am worried that it might not respond so well to other lasers. I definitely do appreciate the input. There is so much conlicting information on the internet and every consultation I’ve had till now says different things too. :frowning:

IPL can be effective is done properly and on a good machine, as mentioned though the problem is many people purchase an IPL for skin treatments, then realize oh we can do hair removal too might as well do it. It’s impossible to say what settings are required because each machine is different.

IPL blasts every colour of the spectrum vs just one like a laser. Filters are applied to the IPL to filter out various wavelengths and to focus just on the best one for hair removal. The wavelengths are optimal for hair removal as it’s not designed for this purpose specifically.

It will seem like it’s worked but then in a few months the hair just comes back because it’s not as powerful as a true laser, so it only stuns the hair and doesn’t kill it.

Yag doesn’t have the highest risk of scarring, it’s one of the safest lasers as it can even treat black skin. I don’t know where you heard that they’re more painful, I use both a yag and alexandrite they feel identical. I’ve had the best results on my face by using a yag. IPL is not good!

Whatever you read about Yags must have been from someone biased who’s using another type of laser. Everyone says THEIR machine is best. This applies to clinics that use IPLs too. We’re trying to give you unbiased information since we don’t have any stake in your treatments.

My entire point above is that your skin type is too dark for effective settings on the IPL that would prevent the hair from producing the hair for good. You may experience shedding, but that doesn’t mean the hair was destroyed. The hair can be heated up enough to shed, but not enough to disable the follicle from producing more hair for good. A Yag laser would be able to treat at better settings that would destroy the hair for good without skin damage since they were created specifically for darker skin types and this purpose.

IPLs are also notorious for treatments that produce shedding, but then see all hair return after you’re “finished” and give it a few months.

It’s your skin and hair, so you can do whatever you want. We’re just giving you information on what’s been proven to work BEST in the industry. You may get some results from your IPL treatments. The point is that they won’t be the best you can get for your money.

Aww ok, I understand now. :slight_smile: Thanks again for all your replies. I’m so glad I found this site. I will definitely go for a consultation with someone who provides a YAG laser and rethink continuing my IPL treatment.

You should really have 3-4 consultations and write down settings they use for the test spot. Then post them here. In addition to using a good machine, they need to know how to set the settings correctly. You want to be treated at the highest settings your skin can handle for best permanent results. Ask for joules, spot size, and pulse width.

Ive been reading this website for many years now and ive read alot of posts from Indian women (im assuming this is the case, sorry if wrong) that opt for laser on the face. Problem is ive also read lots of posts where it has actually made light hairs darker and therefore the problem worse.

You may feel your hair is coarse but in comparison to my beard it is probably not. Sorry to repeat myself but electrolysis is probably the best option. Just a heads up thats all.