IPL Hair Removal
At The Bellevue Laser & Cosmetic Center, we utilize the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) system for permanent hair removal. Currently, there are a number of hair removal devices on the market. Studies have shown that IPL hair removal is as effective as laser hair removal, but is much less uncomfortable. Also, unlike many hair removal lasers, we are even able to treat patients with dark skin safely and effectively.
What IPL Hair Removal Is Good For
Permanent reduction of unwanted darkly colored hairs. Because the IPL targets pigment in the hair follicle, light or white colored hairs do not respond well to treatment. IPL hair removal is an excellent treatment for ingrown hairs in the beard and bikini areas.
How It Works
The Intense Pulsed Light system utilizes a large spectrum of wavelengths to treat the skin. Different handpieces are used which filter light from different parts of the spectrum. Each band of the spectrum has a wavelength that is ideal for different treatments, such as hair reduction. The hair removal handpieces emit pulses of light into the hair follicles. The light is absorbed by the pigment in the follicles and converted to heat. The heat then loosens the hair and disables the cells responsible for growing new hair.
What Can I Expect?
It’s extremely important to not be tan (including artificial tans), as this may interfere with the hair removal procedure. Compared to other hair removal devices, the IPL hair removal system is much more comfortable and only a mild “zapping” sensation should be felt. No anesthesia is required.
Immediately after treatment, you can expect a mild sunburn-like sensation and probably some minor redness and swelling around the hair follicle swelling. This usually lasts 2-24 hours, and can be soothed with cool compresses or ice packs. The treated hair will continue to appear for 7-30 days post-treatment. This is not new hair growth, but the treated hairs being expelled from the skin. At any given time, some of your hair is not in an active growth phase. Therefore, you will need more than one treatment to affect the growth of all your unwanted hair. Typically, several (approximately six) treatments will be necessary to achieve permanent hair reduction. Depending on the treatment area and skin color, we usually recommend repeat treatments 3-6 weeks apart. With each session, there will be decreased hair growth and density. In certain cases, especially on facial skin, there may be a need for touch-up treatments periodically.