IPL hair removal system: How it works and how much does it cost
IPL hair removal system is a new technology that promises a decidedly longer-lasting alternative solution for removing unwanted hair.
IPL: How it works
This technology uses the energy produced by light. Light is transformed into heat when it finds a specific color, in this case, the melanin in the hair. However, the goal is not to burn the hair but to transmit the heat to the matrix located at the base of the hair follicle that causes a continuous regrowth. If it heats up beyond a specific thermal threshold, it shuts down for a long time, and sometimes forever.
It is good to consider that with this system you can only destroy hairs in the growth phase (the so-called anagen phase). Since the hairs do not grow at the same time, you will have to keep in mind that it takes several sessions to destroy them all as they grow.
The duration of a hair cycle, as well as the percentage of hair in the anagen phase at any given time, as well as the density of the hair, the diameter, angle and depth of hair implantation, and its growth rate, are all different factors according to the anatomical area being considered.
For example, areas like the groin and armpits, which typically have thick, dark hair, will respond quicker than others.
Therefore, in the case of pulsed light treatment, it is more appropriate to consider it as a permanent hair removal method since the result of the treated active follicles remain over time.
Who is it recommended for?
Pulsed light hair removal is especially recommended for those who are tired or frequently resort to waxing, razors, and other hair removal methods.
All areas of the body can be treated, both the extended areas – such as the legs – and the limited areas, such as the upper lip or chin area. In fact, this technology can be applied to the face, armpits, arms, chest, legs, back, and various parts of the body.
The results will be much faster when there is greater contrast between light skin and dark body hair. In fact, thanks to this contrast, the light beam is able to identify more precisely hair that may fall in the same session or in the following 10-15 days.
How does an IPL session work?
The principle on which IPL is based is that of selective Photothermolysis. In practice, the intensified pulsed light, emitted during the treatment, hits the hair bulbs. This procedure causes the follicle and the blood vessels that nourish it to overheat. In this way, the vitality of the cells of the matrix responsible for hair regrowth is compromised. For the process to be selective towards unwanted hair and not affect other tissue, it is necessary to use pulsed light with wavelengths in the range of 590-1200 nanometers. When the melanin contained in the bulbs absorbs radiation, the energy contained in them is transferred to the bulb in the form of heat. This causes high temperatures to be reached, which progressively causes the follicle to degrade (thermolysis).
As the treatments are carried out, the hairs grow back less quickly (from 4 weeks in the earlier stage to several months later) and are increasingly thinner. In our beauty center in Barcelona, hair removal with pulsed light is performed by highly qualified personnel. We recommend informing you consulting with your doctor, who, being aware of your medical history, can rule out the presence of contraindications. The power setting of the instrument and the frequency of treatment depends on hair characteristics (color, diameter, and hair density), phototype, skin lesions, and concomitant pathologies or the use of photosensitizing drugs.
Phases of an IPL session
Preliminary phase – The skin is thoroughly cleansed to remove residues of dirt, makeup, perfumes, deodorants, or any product that can interact with the laser (and that can be mistaken for melanin). At the end of this operation, the area to be treated is shaved to ensure the success of the session. If the hairs were longer than 2 mm, in fact, the power of the light beam would not only act on the bulb, which is the real target, but it would be scattered along the axis, reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.
Epidermal test – The thermal reaction of the skin is evaluated: the operator adjusts the fluence (energy emitted per square centimeter) and makes the handpiece, equipped with a glass surface, adhere to a small area of the skin. After about two minutes, the result is observed and the device settings adjusted accordingly. This step should be done at the beginning of each session, as skin conditions can vary.
Hair removal phase: The operator carefully passes the device throughout the region desired. When finished, the skin is cleansed again and soothing cream is applied to prevent redness. Also in the following days, it will be useful to apply a cream to protect and hydrate the skin even more. Sometimes, before proceeding with hair removal, the operator may apply a topical anesthetic cream to some particularly sensitive areas of the body.
Contraindications and side effects
IPL Treatment does not damage the surrounding tissues and is not very painful. Only slight tingling is felt. In case of being particularly sensitive, the skin may show a temporary redness, which disappears within a few hours of treatment. However, there are cases in which this method is contraindicated: in pregnancy, for example, or if you use drugs that prohibit sun exposure with a range of 515 to 1200 nm., If you have undergone recent tanning treatments if you suffer from diabetes and have any previous keloid scars. The side effects are almost nil. Costs
Obviously, the costs vary according to the area of the body to be treated. As an example, consider an average of 30-60 euros per hair removal session. We also offer you packages at more advantaged prices that include a certain number of sessions.
Pulsed light hair removal is an aesthetic technique that allows the permanent removal of unwanted hair.
Differences between IPL hair removal system with pulsed light and laser hair removal
Pulsed light hair removal
During treatment, a high-intensity polychromatic light (IPL) is converted into heat when it hits melanin (the pigment that gives hair its dark color). This generates a strong increase in temperature, which is transferred to the hair bulb and undergoes degeneration. The principle of action is comparable to that of laser hair removal, with the major difference being, that this latest technology acts at unidirectional and monochromatic wavelengths (IPL).
Our qualified professionals in our aesthetic center in Barcelona can detect any side effects and choose the most appropriate treatment, depending on the characteristics of the hair and skin. Pulsed light hair removal is a newer treatment even though both technologies are based on the same method, selective Photothermolysis. In the IPL hair removal system the energy absorbed by a chromophore (in this case the melanin contained in the hair) is transformed into heat. Overheating the hair and denaturing the structures that regenerate it (bulb, dermal papilla and cells of the matrix). If the operation is successful, the skin around the follicle is not affected. Pulsed light uses a broad-spectrum light source, that is, with different wavelengths useful for hair removal, including in the range of 590-1,200 nanometers.