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Difference Between IPL and Laser

IPL vs Laser

Starting from puberty, humans grow hair all over their bodies. While hair on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes are already apparent during childhood, hair in the pubic region, legs, face, chest, and back usually appear after puberty and become numerous as one becomes an adult.

Although men grow more hair than women, there are places wherein this is unwanted especially in women. The armpits and the pubic regions are places where hair is not wanted, and women find ways to remove it and keep it from growing back. The need to remove hair from the body may be due to medical, cultural, religious, or esthetic reasons. While men in Eastern cultures consider beards as a sign of wisdom, in Western cultures a clean-shaven face is the standard.

Buddhist and Christian monks shave their heads as part of their ordination while Muslim law recommends pubic and armpit hair removal and the trimming of beards and hair on the head.

There are many methods of hair removal; the oldest and most common of which are through plucking and shaving. Today, hair can be removed by threading, sugaring, waxing, shaving creams or powders, lasers, and Intense Pulse Light (IPL).

Laser hair removal was introduced to the public in the 1990s. It uses selective photothermolysis (SPTL) which matches a light wavelength with pulse duration to target a tissue and get a desired effect. It utilizes melanin to help target specific hair tissues and because of this it works best for dark and coarse hair although a combination of dark hair on light skin is the most ideal setup.

Even though a laser is effective in permanently reducing the overall number of body hairs, it does not permanently remove all body hair. To achieve this permanent reduction requires multiple treatments oftentimes taking several weeks.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL), on the other hand, is the process of hair removal with the use of xenon flash lamps and focusing optics discharging high-intensity light in a very short period of time producing high energy to target hair tissues. Light is applied to the skin surface and travels through the skin and strikes the hair roots where melanin is concentrated destroying the entire hair including the follicles. Like a laser, it is only a method of permanent hair reduction and not of permanent hair removal. It is faster and cheaper than a laser, though, and it is also less painful.


1.A laser is a hair removal technique which uses selective photothermolysis (SPTL) to target a hair tissue while Intense 2.Pulse Light (IPL) is a hair removal technology which uses xenon flash lamps and focusing optics to target hair tissues.
3.IPL is cheaper while laser is more expensive.
4.IPL works faster while it takes several sessions before a laser can be effective.
5.There is a certain amount of pain and burning during laser treatment, and skin can be discolored while IPL may produce slight pain and mild soreness.
6.Both are not permanent hair removal solutions but are permanent hair reduction solutions.

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