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Laser hair removal has long been a popular choice for women wanting to remove unwanted body hair. Be it from the legs, face, armpits or the bikini line, permanent hair removal methods like IPL and laser and becoming more popular than ever before.

Both IPL and laser used pulsed light technology to target the hair follicle and prevent it from regrowing. But, there a few differences between to two types of treatment though, which can make it difficult to decide which one you should opt for. With pros and cons to both, we’ll explain more below:

IPL vs laser

The main difference between the two treatments is the type of light that is used to target the hair follicle. IPL uses a light source that emits light at multiple wavelengths, whereas laser uses a laser to target specific areas. Both work by heating up the follicle to prevent hair from growing back. Both treatments also require a few treatments until you’ll get the desired results.

Both of the treatment methods work in similar ways to target the melanin in the hair follicle.

Laser hair removal

Traditional laser hair removal works by using laser technology to target small areas of the skin. By heating the follicles, it causes growth to slow down and after a few sessions, growth can be prevented entirely.

Laser treatments are much more concentrated than IPL meaning they can often lead to seeing results faster. But they also need to be administered by a trained professional so having laser treatment will involve several trips to the salon until you get the look you hoped for.

A key advantage of a laser is that it works on dark and olive skin tones too. But the best combination of hair and skin to get results is dark hair and light skin.

Reasons to choose laser hair removal:

  • Results after just a few treatments

  • Can work on darker skin tones too

  • Targets precise areas of skin


IPL generally works better on lighter skin types as it uses a broader spectrum of light to target the skin. As darker skin doesn’t absorb the light as well, it can often take longer to get results if you have olive or dark skin.

IPL targets more than just the hair follicle and can remove sunspots, acne scars and rosacea of the skin too, giving you an overall smooth finish.

The light energy used in IPL spreads further than that of lasers and targets larger areas. As a result, it can often be quicker to get results on bigger areas of skin with IPL treatment, when compared to laser.

One of the best things about IPL is that you don’t need to go to the salon for a treatment. With gadgets like the Philips Lumea IPL hair removal device available to buy, you can remove hair safely and effectively using the treatment in the comfort of your own home.

It’s not always as effective on lighter hair, especially blonde or white hairs which may require a few more sessions to achieve the desired results. The best combination for IPL, like with laser, is generally dark hair on light skin.

Reasons to choose IPL

  • It tends to be cheaper than laser hair removal

  • It’s pain-free

  • You can do it at home or in the salon

  • Less chance of hair growing back

In conclusion, both are popular and effective hair removal techniques if you want to achieve permanent hair removal. It all depends on what your personal circumstances are as to which treatment is the best type for you.

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