What is the difference between IPL and Laser ?
A traditional answer to this question has been in the past that Laser is less painful than IPL and it targets light hairs as well as dark hairs.
Technology, however, has now come quite a long way since and the 2 technologies are blurring slightly. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the consumer to work out which machine is best suited to their hair type.
IPL is a broad spectrum light which focuses on the pigment of the hair. So if you have dark hair and your skin is lighter ( in contrast ) then your results are going to be far more efficient then say a person with light to medium hair and olive skin. As a larger area is covered then you are going to see less patchy areas.
LASER is a targeted treatment that focuses on just one area. The laser zeroes in on the hair follicle so any type of hair can be treated.
As far as pain is concerned, this depends on the technology and age of the machine.
The IPL system that we use is an advanced system. We love it as results have been proven over time. We choose to source our machines from a local Kiwi guy ( as opposed to importing machines from overseas ) as we value the confidence in knowing that our componentry delivers consistent energy ( inconsistency is when burning occurs ) and safe to our client. This also means that we are a little more expensive as we like to support local business. As we lease our machines, our technology is always up to date.
The one aspect of our treatments that I love is that our technology has a “ pain free “ mode. Once upon a time IPL was quite painful and resulted in high levels of inflammation in the skin. As skin specialists, we do not condone inflammation in the skin for many reasons, so when this machine came along – well we jumped at the chance to offer this great service.
I’ve had a look around to see what types of equipment are used and what prices are being offered and frankly even I got confused. Our philosophy is this – when it comes to price and treatment times there are a few things you need to be aware of –
- HAIR – pigment, density and thickness of the hair all vary from person to person. Cost of treatment and length of treatment will very much depend on your hair type and its not an exact science.
- SKIN – skin tone, colour and sensitivity impact which service will suit you best and what intensity your operator will choose. If you have particularly sensitive skin then the operator will tread slowly with caution. If you have dark pigmented skin. then likewise, there will be some caution with heat and intensity which will slow down the rate of reduction.
- HORMONES – have a huge impact on results, especially around the brazilian, snail trail and face.
Remember that both methods are not permanent removal. The correct term is hair reduction and the level of reduction very much depends of your genetics. Nothing is guaranteed but your operator will do their very best to get the best rate of reduction for you.
So which is the best for you laser or IPL ?
My recommendations would be to consider the technology of the individual machine – there is an element of trust that will be required here as even I got confused with what’s being offered and the wide range of varied treatment costs. Some lasers have pain control, some IPL treatments actually do reduce grey hairs, the operator’s experience is paramount and the type of hair you have plays a big part.
I would also suggest you consider your own budgets and make sure you can commit to long-term treatments, especially if you have a history of hormonal imbalance or your hair has been particularly stubborn in past treatments. If your wanting a large area done, then maybe first you’d like to think about investing in a small area such as your bikini or underarm. This way you can see how the treatment works for you. From there you will have a more wisened approach based on experience.
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