IPL vs Laser Hair Removal: Which Is Best?

Continually shaving to reduce or remove unwanted body hair can be time-consuming and an unnecessary chore, which is why many women (and men) are now searching for a permanent hair removal solution. Everlasting silky soft skin sounds like a dream come true, right?

Luckily, two technologies offer permanent hair removal: IPL and laser removal. Both of these are available in the salon, but you can now purchase devices that give you permanent and professional results from the comfort of your own home. However, before splashing out on a product that isn’t right for you, take a look at how these two technologies compare so that you can achieve supple smooth skin from home.

How do both technologies work?

Both technologies work by using pulses of certain wavelengths of light to zap hairs and stop their growth. However, whereas laser hair removal uses a concentrated beam of single spectrum light to target the melanin in the hair follicle, IPL emits a less concentrated beam across a broad spectrum.

Which produces better results?

Laser hair removal produces better results more quickly than IPL, and it is the gold standard of long-lasting hair removal technology in terms of efficacy. As the laser is a concentrated beam, it is more effective in disabling the hair at the root. Therefore, fewer salon appointments, or fewer home treatments if carrying out the hair removal by yourself, are needed. Plus, results generally last longer.

Which technology is safer?

Because of the single wavelength in the beam, laser hair removal is also better in terms of safety. The long wavelength cannot be absorbed by the skin as easily, and therefore minimises the damage to the surrounding area. This is particularly important for people with darker skin tones that contain high levels of melanin in their skin. As laser hair removal causes minimal skin damage, this can safely be used on a larger range of skin tones, whereas IPL can burn darker skin types.

Which is more painful?

When it comes to pain, neither treatment will be pain-free. However, IPL produces less pain than laser hair removal. This is because the single laser beam penetrates deeper and causes more discomfort. If you have a low pain threshold, IPL devices may be better.

Which is best for me?

Both IPL and laser technologies are effective, so which one is best for you is largely down to budget, your pain threshold, and how quickly you hope to see results.

If opting for an at-home IPL device, the Braun Silk Expert PL5124 or the Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 are fantastic models that produce clinically-proven salon results. On the other hand, for an unbeatable laser home hair removal product, check out the Tria Hair Removal 4x.