How It Works
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) reduces hair growth, most effectively in darker, coarser hair. There are many names and devices for pulsed light treatments such as E-Light, ELOS, and M-Light. Laser hair reduction is different and uses coherent, monochromatic laser light.
Broad-spectrum light is applied to the surface of the skin, targeting melanin. This light travels through the skin until it strikes the hair shafts or the bulb (root). The bulb is usually where the highest concentration of melanin is located. As the light is absorbed, the bulb and most of the hair shaft are heated, destroying the hair-producing papilla. It is also claimed that heat conversion occurs directly in the darker capillaries that bring blood to the follicle.
At any one time, not all hair follicles are ‘active’, and only active hair follicles can be affected by the treatment. ‘Inactive’ hair follicles can be treated as they become ‘active’ over time. For IPL treatments, an average of 8–10 treatments are required to remove most visible hair.
The area to be treated should be clean shaven and free of sunburn.
Certain skin conditions, health irregularities, and medications can impact whether it is safe for a person to receive a light based hair removal treatment. Photo-sensitizing medications, or damage to the skin are contraindications to treatment. IPL devices should only be used on light to medium skin tones, and work best on darker hair.