Permanent Hair Removal With IPL - What To Look For!

What is IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) technology?

IPL stands for Intense pulsed light and represents a light-based method for permanent hair removal.
Short light impulses are directed along the hair to the hair root. There, the light generates heat, so that the hair roots are deserted. In this way, further hair growth is initially slowed down and, with proper IPL treatment, stopped permanently.
But can the IPL method be used with everyone? When is this successful? What do you have to pay attention to? ..
You can find answers to your questions here.

What results can be expected?

A permanent hair reduction up to complete hair freedom is to be expected.
However, this can only be achieved if the treatment is always carried out strictly at intervals of two to six weeks. So several sessions are necessary.
In addition, smooth skin is to be expected, as the hair roots are desolate and destroyed during the IPL treatment.

In long-term results, the IPL technology does worse than the more expensive Laser treatment for permanent hair removal. Hair regrowth can occur after years - mainly due to hormonal changes.

When does an IPL treatment not work?

A major disadvantage of the IPL method is that it is not suitable for every hair type. This also applies to all other light-based alternatives to an IPL.

People with light, blonde, gray, red hair, or very dark skin may not benefit from the treatment. In general: the lighter the skin and the darker the hair, the greater the success.

This can be justified on the basis of the functionality. The light impulses of the IPL are based on the hair pigments - i.e. melanin, which is responsible for a dark hair color. If the hair is not pigmented enough, hardly any light energy is converted.
If the skin is too dark, the light cannot orient itself on the hair and is transferred to the skin. In the worst case, this can even cause a pigmentation disorder.

Before performing an IPL treatment, you should therefore urgently find out whether you are suitable for this technology. Many practices or cosmetic studies offer free consultations.

An alternative method for permanent hair removal on lighter hair is SHR (Super Hair Removal) technology.

Risks of IPL treatment

IPL treatment is a low-risk method. There are no serious side effects to be feared. During the treatment, reddening of the treated area may occur, but this should go away on its own. In extremely rare cases, skin burns can occur.

Renewed hair growth after completed IPL treatment

A feared risk of the IPL treatment is a renewed growth of the hair after a few years, although a lot of time and money had actually been invested in permanent hair-freedom through IPL.

The renewed hair growth usually occurs on the basis of a hormonal change, e.g. during pregnancy or when taking the pill for the first time.
Before starting the treatment, you should be aware that hair may return years later. Nevertheless, a significant hair reduction should be visible.
The long-term prospects are somewhat better with the alternative “laser treatment for permanent hair removal”, as this method allows for more targeted and individual work.

Pigmentation spots

If you are pre-tanned, you should not start or continue IPL treatment. Because the light waves from the IPL device are more strongly absorbed by your skin in this state. This can lead to temporary to permanent pigmentation disorders on the skin.

Can this lead to skin cancer?

The IPL treatment itself does not lead to skin cancer.
However, it can increase the risk of skin cancer. This applies if already damaged skin areas are additionally irritated by the light waves of the IPL device and malignant cells can thus be increasingly activated.
Another danger is the increased exposure to sunlight, which anyway - whether with or without IPL treatment - damages the skin from the UV rays. Sufficient sun protection is therefore urgently recommended.

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Information about the IPL session


The only thing you have to do before an IPL treatment is to shave the area to be treated. In this way, the hair on the surface cannot burn from the strong light pulses of the IPL.

This is how the treatment is done

The course of treatment is straightforward. It is done without local anesthesia.
The IPL device is slowly moved over the shaved area of ​​skin. The light from the device reaches the hair root along the hair. The hair root is desolated by the resulting heat, so that further hair growth is released.

After the treatment, there is no need to plan any downtime at work.

Is the pain severe during treatment?

As part of the IPL treatment, short and strong light waves are used to generate heat at the hair roots and thus destroy them. This can trigger a sharp pain on the skin surface. However, this pain can usually be endured without local anesthesia.

Can an IPL also be used in the genital area?

In general, the IPL technology can be used on any part of the body.
The intimate area is one of the most popular places for permanent hair removal, as is the bikini line.

Infertility from the light of the IPL device is not to be feared, as the light only reaches to the hair root and is therefore only superficial to the skin. Since the genital area is more sensitive, stabbing pain may occur during the treatment, but this can be endured without painkillers and local anesthesia.

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Can men also use the IPL method?

Gender is not important. Men can also benefit from IPL treatment. Many men use this method for annoying, heavy hair growth on the back and in the chest and stomach area.

Also read: Epilation in men

Time to complete the IPL treatment

The permanent hair reduction up to complete hair free with an IPL treatment can only be expected after several sessions and can take months to a year.

There are several reasons for this: One reason is that the light from the IPL device only destroys the hair roots in the growth phase. Since not all hair grows at the same time, several sessions with a fixed interval of two to six weeks are required so that all hair roots can be influenced by the IPL technique during their growth.

Another reason is the individual hair structure. How much hair do you have How thick are they? How dark are these?
With a lot of and thin hair, more sessions are usually necessary than with a few and thick hair. The darker the hair and the lighter the skin, the better the response to the IPL method.

Overall, however, it can be said that you have less body hair with each session.

How many times can you repeat that?

You should carry out the IPL treatment at regular intervals until the end of the treatment. If you break off the sessions in the middle, you will not be able to achieve hair freedom. You should expect eight to twenty sessions.

If you have new hair growth years after completing therapy due to a hormonal change, you can start a new therapy.

Cost of an IPL treatment

Basically, permanent hair removal is not cheap, but it is especially worthwhile for many women. The IPL treatment is a cheaper option compared to the alternative laser treatment.

The costs depend on several factors. Treatment with doctors is usually more expensive than with beauticians.
Another point is the size of the area to be treated. The following applies: the larger the area, the more expensive the price. However, there are often packages that you should find out about in advance.

Another crucial point is the number of sessions. Of course, if you need more sessions, you pay more.
You should expect 30 to 400 euros per session. By the time the treatment is completed, this can add up to 300 to 2500 euros.

The health insurance does not cover any costs for permanent hair removal.

Can you buy an IPL device yourself?

The IPL device can also be purchased for home use.
The device differs from that of doctors and beauticians, however, in that it has a lower light output. This is also important to prevent burns when using it yourself. A major disadvantage, however, is that due to the lower intensity of the light waves, the treatment is less effective and takes a lot more time.

IPL treatment at home is not cheap at 300 - 1000 euros, but it is cheaper than treatment at a doctor or beautician.

Can you do an IPL during pregnancy?

So far, there are no studies that deal with this question.
There is also no evidence as to why IPL treatment could harm the unborn child, as the light waves are superficial and only reach the hair roots. However, experts do not recommend starting or continuing treatment during pregnancy. Because the child can already perceive light in the womb. Under certain circumstances it could disturb the eyesight of the unborn child.

Alternatives to IPL treatment

Laser for permanent hair removal

Laser treatment is a promising alternative to IPL treatment.

The main difference between the two variants is that laser treatment only works with one wavelength. With IPL, the wavelength varies over a wide range.
The laser treatment enables targeted obliteration of the hair roots. The rays penetrate deeper into the skin and are only absorbed by the hair. With IPL, however, the light is also distributed to the surrounding skin.
With a laser treatment, you can achieve complete hair freedom in fewer sessions, but the sessions are also much more expensive. A full body treatment costs between 2500 and 3500 euros.
In addition, the laser treatment can only be carried out by doctors or excellent beauticians. The long-term prospects are better than with an IPL. The risk of hair growth returning after the treatment is completed is less.

SHR for permanent hair removal

SHR stands for Super hair removal and represents a light-based alternative to IPL treatment.

In contrast to IPL and laser treatment, this method is not only based on the pigmentation of the hair - i.e. not only on melanin. The aim of the SHR technology is also the stem cells that feed the hair follicles. These are destroyed as part of the treatment, so that the hair no longer has a nutritional basis and can therefore no longer grow back. The SHR method can therefore also be used on lighter hair.

Further areas of application of the IPL technology

The IPL technology is not only suitable for permanent hair removal, but also has other therapeutic areas of application. These include:

  • Pigment spots
  • Skin changes
  • Acne scars
  • Dilated blood vessels

IPL technology for pigment disorders

The IPL technology is a method to remove annoying pigment spots.
The pigment spots react particularly well to the light waves from the IPL device. They take in the light more. As a result, the spots initially darken with scab formation in the first few days. After a week or so, your skin will shed the cells of the pigmented skin. The success can usually not be seen after one time. The treatment should be carried out about three weeks apart.

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