What is IPL?
IPL stands for Intense pulsed light. IPL can achieve a permanent reduction in hair growth.
Who can have IPL and what hair is the most suitable to be treated?
Both men and women can be treated with IPL. The hairs that are most suitable to be treated with IPL include hairs that are dark and coarse. Hairs in the underarms and bikini are usually more coarse and therefore achieve great results. The darker that the hair is, the better results with IPL.
(Red hair, white or grey hair or very light coloured thin hairs may have very limited if any results).
How does IPL work?
IPL involves the use of a broad-spectrum of light being applied to the surface of the skin. The light is attracted to and targets the melanin (dark pigment) in the hair.
IPL is energy in the form of light, and when this light hits pigment the pigment absorbs the light energy and becomes heated. The bulb of the hair which is deep in the skin is usually where the highest concentration of melanin is located and therefore it becomes the most heated area. The addition of heat to this area of the hair follicle has the ability to damage or destroy the cells in the area that are responsible for producing hair.
As these cells receive damage they can either stop producing a hair altogether, or the hairs that they do produce become thinner, less pigmented and become slower to regrow.
Why does IPL require multiple treatments?
Hairs that are present in any area at one time are all in different stages of hair growth. Some hairs are in an ‘active stage’ and are growing and are firmly attached to cells that reproduce more hair. These are the cells and the area that we are targeting with IPL.
We want to destroy these active cells, and in ‘active’ growing hairs we have the ability to effectively treat them with IPL in this stage.
Unfortunately not all hairs in the area are active. The other hairs in the area that are ‘inactive’ and are not firmly attached to the reproducing cells will not be effectively treated. By performing multiple treatments we have a greater chance of effectively destroying more hairs.
What happens in a treatment?
We need to perform a thorough consultation to ensure you are a suitable client for this treatment. We ask question to establish your Skin Fitzpatrick level so we can choose safe and suitable treatment parameters. The area needs to be clean, shaved and free of any sunburn or broken skin.
Does it hurt?
An IPL treatment could be best described as a very short elastic band sting or a heating sensation. Most clients find it very tolerable with different areas having different sensations. If there is more hair in a concentrated area this tends to create a stronger sensation.
What should I expect after a treatment?
Immediately following your treatment, the area may appear a little red or slightly swollen. It’s important to avoid hot showers for a couple of days. Make sure you keep the area from getting any unprotected sun exposure by apply sunscreen. A week after your treatment you may experience what seems to be regrowth of hair however most of these hairs are being shed as a result of your treatment so they will just fall out. It is important not to wax or pluck your hair in between treatments, it is okay to shave them if you need to.