How Does IPL or Laser Remove Hair?

Laser and IPL hair removal are the most common laser and photomedicine procedures done in the United States. None of us like to be too hairy, I guess it reminds us too graphically of our friends in the animal world! Especially women do not like dark excess hair on the face, legs, bikini line and under arm, especially women in the US and Asia. I assume, dark facial hair makes a young woman feel less feminine. This is a cultural phenomenon, as many cultures do not have this obsession.

Laser and light based hair removal has today’s ipl match live improved dramatically in the past 5 years. Early lasers were not fully effective and were so powerful that burns and scars were a possibility. In addition, early lasers could not be used on dark skin and were effective at removing only very dark black hair. Newer IPL and some lasers are a vast improvement and can be used on darker skin and can also remove lighter colored hair. The newer IPL machines are less painful and there is less chance of burning and skin scarring.

The best earliest laser for hair removal was the Lightshear Diode invented by Palomar Medical. Palomar subsequently developed the IPL hair removal method to be able to treat darker skin types and remove lighter colored hair. The advantages of the new IPL method became clear when they sold their rights to the Lightshear Diode to Lumenis to pursue what they felt was a superior IPL removal method.

These machines are sophisticated medical grade instruments that should only be used under the supervision of a physician. While the popularity of this procedure has resulted in light based laser and IPL treatments being offered in Salons and Spas without a doctor present, new legislative action will soon limit most of these devices to a physician supervised office. I recommend that you stay ahead of the curve and receive the safest most effective treatments in a board certified plastic surgeons or dermatologists office. Your safety should be your first concern.

All light based therapies which include laser and IPL, also called Photomedicine techniques, work on the same principle. This principle is that a specific color of light can be directed to be absorbed or taken up by one specific color of tissue on the skin. Light is energy, and energy can produce heat. When light energy, the IPL or Laser beam, is absorbed by a specific colored tissue on the skin, the tissue is heated, injured, and is removed. The follicles are black or brown, thus a black or brown laser or IPL light is flashed on the skin that contains the follicle, the follicle absorbs the light energy, is heated, damaged, and the follicle shrinks and loses color. The new smaller follicle is then able to grow only fine light colored peach fuss after treatment.