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How Does IPL Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal is a groundbreaking way to remove unwanted hair semi-permanently. Different people have different experiences with laser hair removal, but with an extensive track record for successful results with lots of different people, it has certainly made a mark for itself in the beauty industry. Here’s what you need to know about how IPL laser hair removal works.

How Laser Hair Removal Works

IPL (or intense pulsed light) laser hair removal sends an intense beam of light into your skin and hair. This beam is made up of various wavelengths that penetrate the skin to differing levels. It is absorbed by the pigment, or melanin in the hair. 

Once in the hair, the light converts to heat and causes damage to the tubular sacs in the hair known as hair follicles. Since hair follicles are responsible for producing hair, damaging them causes you to produce less and less hair with every treatment.

Laser hair removal can effectively stop hair growth for significant periods. Some people find that they can go several weeks between treatments while other find that they can go months or even years. Some people don’t experience additional hair growth until a hormonal change like pregnancy or menopause causes changes in hair growth patterns.

How Many Treatments are Needed for IPL Laser Therapy to Work?

The number of treatments to be effective varies by how your hair responds to the laser, how quickly your hair grows, and other factors. Most people see significant results within 4 to 8 treatments. Other people need as many as 12 treatments to get results. 

How quickly laser therapy works for you can also be affected by whether you are going into a dermatologist or salon for professional laser hair removal or you are using a home system. Both are highly effective, but because home systems are slightly gentler and less powerful, they may take several more treatments to be effective.

Does IPL Laser Hair Removal Work for Everybody?

IPL laser hair therapy depends on the melanin in the hair to be effective, so it is not equally appropriate for every type of skin and hair. When laser therapy first came out, it was not very effective for people with darker skin. 

As technology has progressed, solutions have been found for darker-skinned people, although people with hair the same color as their skin will not have as much success using laser hair removal. This is because it is more difficult for the laser to target the correct melonin when it is the same throughout the hair and skin.

People with very light hair that is blond, gray, white, or red will not have success with laser hair removal of any kind. After many years of research, laser hair removal has not been able to find a way to be effective for this kind of hair. This is because there is no or very little melanin in light-colored hair, so the laser has no way to affect the hair follicle.

Where Can You Use Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal can be employed all over your body, provided it is not too close to your eyes. It is an effective solution for removing hair in the bikini area, underarms, face, and larger parts of your body like the legs and back.

Laser hair removal should never be done over very dark freckles or moles, and it should not be used over tattoos.

Risks of Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal has been found to be very safe in clinical studies, and most people have no trouble safely employing it at home. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to have a successful experience:

  • Avoid sun exposure. Sun exposure for two weeks to about a month around laser hair removal, both before and after, can result in unwanted pigment changes. Do not deliberately tan and be careful to use sunscreen if you’ll be out in the sun while you are undergoing laser hair removal treatment.
  • Use only once a month. Laser hair removal should be used once a month so that you don’t risk damage to the skin or unwanted damage to the hair. Even if you feel that your skin is ok, don’t use the device or go in for treatment more frequently than is recommended. Using it more frequently may not be effective anyways, since it takes time for the hair to grow to the correct stage to be affected by the laser.

Get Started with Laser Hair Removal

If you’re looking for an effective at home solution to hair removal, IPL laser removal may be perfect for you. This semi-permanent hair removal system can give you months or years of carefree smooth skin. Maintaining your hair-free skin isn’t hard with an effective at-home system. 

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