Laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) for hair removal? Which is better?
Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. Read More
As we all prepare ourselves for the warmer days ahead (they’re not quite here yet in Melbourne!), many of us are looking at hair removal, and in particular more long-term methods of hair removal. Generally, there are two main categories of light-based treatments that are used, laser and intense pulsed light (IPL). However, both are often bundled under the same name of ‘laser hair removal’, even when IPL is used. So what is the difference? Well, laser is a more specific device for a particular skin and hair combination. For example, an Nd:YAG laser is an ideal laser wavelength for those with dark skin and dark hair. There are also other lasers for hair removal on fairer skin.
IPL is a less specific device for hair removal, and tends to try to treat all skin and hair types with a single machine. Although, it can be effective, there are potentially more complications that may arise as a result of their use, especially, on olive to darker skin types.
For more information on laser hair removal and the differences between laser hair removal and IPL, click here.