October 19, 2018

IPL vs Laser Hair Removal: Which One Should You Choose?

I’m not gonna lie:

I’ve basically lived my whole life with a little more hair than I would have asked for. Thanks, genetics!

So you can trust that ya girl has tried basically every hair removal method out there and that I’m always trying and comparing new methods - IPL vs. laser vs. waxing, not to mention volunteering myself as guinea pig for the latest in at-home hair removal tech.

Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of permanent hair removal. Luckily, there are a LOT of options out there for gals like you and me. Laser and IPL are both methods that help to weaken and kill hairs at the root, stopping the hair from growing in the first place. How good is that?!

via Giphy

However, solutions like laser and IPL can be a bit of a costly investment - I *need* to know if they’re gonna work out in the long run. And since you’re here, you’re probably looking for that info too. There are a few key differences in laser vs. IPL, and we can go through them together to figure out which one is the best.

What’s the Difference Between IPL and Laser?

Laser hair removal vs. IPL - they’re the same thing, right? No, they’re not and it’s important to understand these differences to choose the one that’s right for you. They both work to achieve basically the same desired effect - using light to zap the root of the hair follicle to stop it from growing, only laser uses an actual, well, laser.

There’s actually a common misconception that they’re just two different types of laser hair removal, but they’re distinct in their own right with their own pros and cons!

How Does IPL Work?

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, which is not as concentrated as laser but still incredibly effective at zapping hair follicles. IPL helps to get rid of unwanted hair by making use of broader wavelengths of light that are absorbed by the hair down to the root, killing the root in the process.

It also tends to be friendlier on the wallet per session (phew!), but requires a couple more sessions compared to laser to get the same results. It’s the best option for covering larger areas like legs and arms - it’s fantastic for getting a bigger area covered per session.

How Does Laser Work?

Laser hair removal uses a really specific wavelength of light concentrated on individual hairs to kill the root and prevent it from growing ever again. It sounds super intense, but in the hands of a skilled technician, it’s the speediest option for getting rid of those hairs for good!

It’s perfect for smaller bits that need that concentrated power, such as your underarms, face and bikini area. Also, because it targets each hair individually, it’s the best option for girls with darker skin tones - some light therapies can have unintended side effects by also targeting the melanin in skin, instead of just the hair.

What about BBL?

There’s actually a third treatment that gets lumped in with types of laser hair removal - Broad Band Light, aka BBL. BBL works most like IPL, but if you really throw down and compare BBL vs. IPL, they’re still pretty different beasts.

Along with hair removal, BBL is also incredibly effective at brightening sunspots, acne scars, and overall evening out skin tone. Treating these concerns is generally what BBL is used for, rather than hair removal.

IPL vs. Laser: So... Which One Is Better?

Looking at Laser vs. IPL, they’re both amazing options for permanently getting rid of any unwanted fuzz on ya body. I know I’m ready for smooth skin without ingrowns, stubble, or still having to go in for a wax every few weeks! Come through, smooth skin!

The most important things that you need to weigh up when choosing IPL vs. Laser hair removal are things like your:

  • skin tone
  • hair color
  • budget

It’s also so important to note that both of these methods work best on dark, pigmented hair that the light or laser can easily target - unfortunately, they just won’t work on blonde, grey or light red hair!

IPL is going to be best for lighter skin tones, and is generally costs less per session, but takes more sessions and time to work. You can even do it yourself at home - the ultimate budget friendly option.

Laser is more dark-skin friendly and produces faster results, but is a more expensive upfront investment. It is a service performed only by trained professionals, so your results are basically guaranteed.

No matter which hair removal method you choose, you can be totally assured that your skin will remain smooth and hair-free - and you’ll never have to drop another dollar on a shaving razor or wax ever again!

   About the author Alyssa Kaye

Alyssa is a young, professional blogger living in Hoboken, NJ. Thanks to her Middle Eastern heritage, Alyssa is no stranger to unwanted hair. She has tried every laser hair removal product on the market in a quest to find the best!

Sarah Cummings - November 16, 2018

Great post! This made me think which one is more convenient. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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