Here's the lowdown on intense pulsed light - how does it work, is it painful, and is it the treatment for me.
How does IPL work?
Intense Pulsed Light targets the colour pigment (melanin) in the hairs. Therefore white hairs can not be treated. Dark hairs on fair skin have the best and quickest results. Fair hairs will require extra treatments with lesser results. Caution is required when treating hairs on darker skins; this is explained below and would be discussed more fully during your consultation.
Hairs grow in constant cycles: Firstly hairs are actively growing, then they become dormant (resting), and finally they loosen and shed, only to be replaced by more new, actively growing hairs.
Only hair follicles in the active growth stage are disabled by IPL treatments.
Hairs in the dormant stage of the growth cycle normally remain anchored in the follicles for weeks or months, depending on their location, but their follicles and associated hair germination cells are not disabled by IPL treatments. These follicles will be treated in subsequent sessions. This is why you need repeated sessions. Hair growth becomes sparser with each session. All treated hairs should shed within about two weeks.
How often will I need treatments?
A course of 6 to 12 treatments is usually required to treat hairs at all stages of the hair growth cycle, at 4 to 6 week intervals; which varies depending on hair type and colour, and the location being treated. Fair hairs will require extra treatments. White hairs can not be treated.
A maintenance session may be necessary from time to time, due to the development of new hair growth appearing, as our hormonal balance continues to change with age, or due to the influence of stress, illness, disease and drugs i.e; steroids or contraceptive pills.
Is it painful?
Some treatments have little or no sensation at all, but for other treatments, clients may feel a slight sting, similar to the flick of a rubber band against your skin. It is certainly not unbearable, and we can always reduce the intensity if you feel the need. Immediately after some treatments you may feel a mild heat for a few minutes, or a couple of hours, but after most treatments you will feel next to nothing at all.
Is IPL hair reduction right for me for me?