Hair removal is a common concern for many people, but traditional methods like shaving and waxing can be time-consuming and potentially painful. That’s where intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal comes in.
In this article, we will delve into how it works, the effectiveness of IPL based on scientific research, and popular devices on the market. We will also discuss the potential side effects of IPL and how to avoid them.
Whether you’re looking to get rid of unwanted hair on your face, body, or both, IPL may be the solution you’ve been seeking.
What is IPL hair removal?
IPL (Intense pulsed light) hair removal is a type of cosmetic treatment used to remove unwanted hair from the body. It works by using a device that emits high-intensity pulses of light, which are absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The heat from the light damages the hair follicles, which inhibits the growth of new hair.
IPL hair removal is typically done on the face, legs, arms, underarms, and bikini area, as well as is suitable for people with almost all skin tones. It is generally considered a safe and effective method of hair removal, although some people may experience temporary side effects.
IPL hair removal is typically performed by a trained professional in a salon or spa setting, although some at-home devices are also available. The main advantage of them is that they offer a more convenient and cost-effective option for hair removal compared to professional treatments. Home IPL devices are typically smaller and less powerful than those used in salons, but they can still be effective in reducing hair growth. They are easy to use and can be done in the privacy of your own home, without the need for regular appointments.
The number of treatments required can vary, depending on the thickness and density of the hair, as well as the person’s skin and hair color.
Does IPL hair removal really work?
Long-term hair removal is the goal of intense pulsed light devices. There is much scientific evidence to suggest that IPL hair removal can be effective in reducing hair growth. Let’s take closer some of them.
This study  investigates the use of EpiLight — IPL device to evaluate long-term epilation and its safety. Thirty-seven patients received a single treatment. The results showed that hair loss occurred during the 12-week study period. Approximately 60% of the hair was removed after 3 months.
In the following study , ten women with dark hair and skin types II-IV underwent IPL treatment in the bikini area four times at an interval of 1 month. As a result, a hair reduction of 74.7% was observed 4 months after treatment and 80.2% 8 months after the last treatment. Only minimal side effects were noted, and no pain or other discomfort was reported during treatment.
Another study  confirms the effectiveness of IPL in controlling unwanted hair. Twenty women (skin phototypes I-IV) with dark hair in different areas (armpits, forearms, groin, legs) did three treatments 2 weeks apart using a portable device with intense pulsed light.
As a result, all patients showed a positive response to treatment with a decrease in the amount of unwanted hair. The amount of hair decreased to 53.6% after 6 months after three treatments. Mildwas observed in 25% of patients; no other side effects or complications were observed.
Best at-home devices
JOVS Venus Pro II hair removal device
JOVS Venus Pro II Hair Remover is a high-tech device that uses the unique “Multi-Frequency Plus” technology, which is an advanced form of IPL to safely and effectively remove unwanted hair. It has 6 modes for different areas of the body, with additional intensity levels depending on the area being treated.
Also, one of the outstanding features of this device is its ability to turn the head 330°, which makes it much more convenient to use on different parts of the body. This means you can easily use it on your face, arms, legs, underarms, and bikini area without any difficulty.
In addition, the JOVS Venus Pro II hair remover has a cooling fan. This helps make the procedure less painful and reduces the risk of irritation. However, due to this feature, it can be quite loud.
Its large and wide head allows it to cover a large surface area in a short time, making it ideal for busy people. However, if you are looking for something more compact, check out the JOVS Mini hair removal device, which is half the size and also has wireless charging, so you can use it at any time and situation.
Braun Silk-expert Pro hair removal device
Braun Silk-expert Pro is a clinically tested and dermatologist-approved IPL hair removal device for safe and effective home use.
The device has 10 modes, which is almost twice as many as present in others. This means a more accurate match to your skin tone and the best results in the shortest time. And the 2 m cord gives you more flexibility and ease of use.
The lamp produces 400,000 flashes, which may seem like a small amount compared to the infinite number of flashes from the JOVS Venus Pro II. However, this is enough for more than 200 full body treatments: legs, bikini line, underarms, and face; or it gives more than 15 years of monthly sessions. However, users report that the flashes are very fast, and sometimes you do not have time to move the device. Therefore, you may need some practice to find your technique and rhythm.
It also has a built-in safety sensor that automatically turns off the device if it comes into contact with too dark or too light skin.
Braun Silk-expert Pro is easy to use, has a compact, ergonomic design, and has a user-friendly interface. It also has an app to help you remember and stick to your treatment plan to get the best results.
Kenzzi hair removal device
Kenzzi IPL hair removal is a device that has many useful features designed to make it easier to use. It includes a sensor to help ensure the device is safe to use for your skin type, and a safety feature that will not flash the machine unless it is pressed against your skin. Therefore, you can not worry about the fact that the light accidentally gets into your eyes.
Also included are goggles, unlike the Braun Silk-expert Pro, so you can enjoy the session without worrying about any potential eye irritation.
The Kenzzi IPL Handset also has a large light window, which means faster treatment with fewer flashes. The average processing time is only 9 minutes — it’s more than 1.5 times faster than the result with the Braun Silk-expert Pro (15 minutes), so by choosing this device you can enjoy the fastest sessions. Only JOVS Venus Pro II can compete with this device in speed, which has an average time of 10 minutes.
However, some users note that those with sensitive skin should increase the intensity and do treatment with caution, as burns are possible. Therefore, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and do not neglect safety measures.
JOVS Mini hair removal device
JOVS Mini is a small portable device that uses intense pulsed light technology to remove unwanted hair.
The main feature is its wireless mode, so you can use it anywhere from home to a car or even on a plane. And a charging base that includes disinfection can ensure that your device is free of bacteria and viruses that can cause skin irritation.
JOVS Mini is designed to be easy to use and comes with a variety of settings to allow users to customize their hair removal experience. It also has safety features to prevent accidental skin damage, such as a skin tone sensor that ensures the device is only used for the appropriate skin tone.
However, its working area is not as large as, for example, in the JOVS Venus Pro II hair removal device, so you may need more time to complete the session.
IPL vs laser hair removal: what’s the difference
IPL and laser hair removal are both methods of hair removal that use light energy to destroy the hair follicle and inhibit future hair growth.
However, there are some differences between the two technologies.
Laser hair removal uses a single wavelength of light, while IPL uses a broad spectrum of wavelengths. This means that laser hair removal is more targeted and can be more effective at destroying the hair follicle, but it may also be more painful and have a higher risk of side effects.
👩🦰 Skin type
Laser hair removal is generally more effective on people with dark hair and light skin, while IPL can be used on a wider range of skin tones.
IPL treatments may be less painful than laser hair removal, as the second option targets a smaller area and deliver a higher intensity of energy.
Laser hair removal tends to be more expensive than IPL, due to the more specialized equipment and training required. Also, laser procedures should take place in a clinic, while another option can be done at home on your own.
Side effects and risks IPL for hair removal
Like any medical procedure, IPL hair removal carries some risks and side effects. The most common side effects are mild and typically resolve on their own within a few days, including:
- Redness and swelling: The treated area may be red and swollen immediately after the treatment, but this should resolve within a few hours.
- Pain or discomfort: Some people may experience mild discomfort during the treatment, but this can usually be managed with a topical numbing cream.
- Pigmentation changes: IPL can cause temporary changes in skin pigmentation, such as darkening or lightening of the skin. These changes are usually temporary and will resolve on their own, but in rare cases, they may be permanent.
❗ It’s important to follow the instructions provided by your supplier. If you have any side effects that do not go away for a long time — stop using the device and tell your doctor. They can help you manage your problem and determine if treatment is right for you.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal is a non-invasive treatment that uses pulses of light to target and destroys hair follicles, preventing them from growing back. It is a popular and effective method that can be used on various parts of the body, including the face, legs, bikini line, and underarms.
While IPL is generally safe and has few side effects, some people may experience redness, swelling, or pigmentation changes. These side effects can usually be avoided by using a high-quality device, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and protecting the skin from the sun before and after treatment.
Overall, IPL is a convenient and effective hair removal option for those looking to achieve smooth, hair-free skin without the hassle of traditional methods like shaving and waxing.
🤔 How does IPL hair removal work?
IPL uses a device that emits a broad spectrum of light wavelengths to destroy the hair follicle and inhibit future hair growth. The light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair, which heats up and destroys the hair follicle.
👀 Is IPL permanent hair removal?
IPL is not a permanent hair removal method, but it can significantly reduce hair growth and may provide long-term hair reduction. The number of treatments required and results will vary from person to person.
🔍 How many IPL hair removal treatments are required?
The number of treatments required will vary depending on the individual and the area being treated. It’s usually recommended to have at least 6-8 treatments, spaced 4-6 weeks apart.
🤓 Is IPL hair removal painful?
Some people may experience mild discomfort during the treatment, but this can usually be managed with a topical numbing cream. IPL is generally considered less painful than laser hair removal.
❗ What are the side effects of IPL hair removal?
The most common side effects of IPL are mild and typically resolve on their own within a few days, including redness and swelling, pain or discomfort, and pigmentation changes.
- M. H. Gold, M. W. Bell, T. D. Foster, S. Street. Long-term epilation using the EpiLight broad band, intense pulsed light hair removal system. — Dermatol Surg. 1997 Oct;23(10):909-13. DOI: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.1997.tb00746.x.
- A. Troilius, C. Troilius. Hair removal with a second-generation broad-spectrum intense pulsed light source–a long-term follow-up. — J Cutan Laser Ther. 1999 Sep;1(3):173-8. DOI: 10.1080/14628839950516832.
- Tina S. Alster, Elizabeth L. Tanzi. Effect of a novel low-energy pulsed-light device for home-use hair removal. — Dermatol Surg. 2009 Mar;35(3):483-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2009.01089.x.