IPL Hair Removal Techniques – Painless and Long-lasting
IPL for hair removal is a treatment whereby an extremely bright ray of light from the machine is shone in a flash at a patch of skin bearing unwanted hair. The light is attracted (or absorbed) by melanin (melanin gives your hair and skin its colour) in the hair shaft. The hair is heated by the light, with the hair getting hot enough to heat and treat its own follicle, to delay or eliminate further hair growth.
Importantly, IPL is not permanent hair removal. It is permanent hair reduction or effective hair removal. A high percentage of hair will be removed, but not all of it.
Hair follicles cycle through three stages of hair growth, and it is only during the anagen, or active growth phase, that the hairs will be permanently damaged (they will NOT grow back) while hair that is in the other phases (catagen and telogen) are unlikely to be permanently affected. This is why a series of treatments is required to successfully and permanently reduce or eliminate a significant proportion of the hair follicles.
Even after the first treatment, you will notice a dramatically significant difference, but it will take between 6-10 hair removal treatments to achieve the result that you are after. The hair will be gone for a long period of time. After that time, some hair, which will be much, much finer and lighter, will slowly start to appear and a maintenance session will be required.
It depends on the area which has been treated, other medical conditions, and on the person themselves how often maintenance will be needed. You could expect to have one a year.
However, sometimes hormonal influences, like pregnancy or menopause may cause new hair to grow, therefore requiring further maintenance treatments. In the time between maintenance treatments, you can shave the hair with a razor or cut close to the skin with small scissors (if on your face for example). Contrary to popular belief, using a razor does not increase hair growth. Cutting hair at the surface of the skin with a razor cannot affect the follicles beneath or stimulate growth. The hair grows back blunt and that is why and looks thicker and coarser, which is why many people believe that the hair is thicker.
The first part of the process in having your hair removed with IPL at our clinic is the consultation. This is an important part of the process as it allows us to determine what skin type you are, if you are taking any photosensitising medication and whether your skin type will allow the IPL without any side effects from the treatment. We will need to do a test patch on the area that you want treated. This is where we perform 3 shots in the area that you want to be hairfree to see what reaction, if any, there is to the IPL treatment. The last thing that you want from the hair removal treatment is a burn with a scar. We can then perform the IPL treatment for you 3 days after you have had the test patch performed, if there is no unwanted effects from the test. The consultation and test patch is subject to a fee on the day, however, this fee is completely redeemable with the first treatment. During the consultation, you will see the IPL technician and Dr Phillips. The cost of the treatment itself will be quoted to you when you have the consultation with the IPL technician, as it is very difficult to determine a cost for the individual over the phone as we cannot see the area that needs to be treated.