14 Jan IPL HAIR REMOVAL
IPL Hair Removal
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, and it is a form of light therapy, used for various dermatological procedures including hair removal.
So what’s the difference between IPL and laser hair removal technology?
Unlike laser treatments, which have just one specific wavelength emitted from the diode depending on what you’re targeting, IPL has multiple wavelengths (all between 500 and 1,200 nanometers) that scatter within the skin. As with all light based treatments, IPL works by emitting a wavelength into the skin, which in the case of hair removal targets pigment.
The light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair. It quickly turns to heat which then kills the growing cells that make the Hair has to be living for it to work however, in that, we mean it has to be attached to the bulb of growing cells ¬ when you pull out a hair and it has that little jelly bulb around it, it’s one of the 20 to 40 per cent of living hair on your body. If you pull it out and it doesn’t, it’s a dead hair which can stay on your skin for up to three weeks. That’s why you need to have up to 12 treatments of hair removal laser to catch all hairs in their living cycle.
What is IPL?
Intense Pulsed Light is a technology where light is converted into heat energy. Treatments are like a very powerful camera flash lamp being held against your skin.
The selected light waves target chromophores (colour pigments) such as melanin in brown spots and freckles; and such as haemoglobin in broken or diffused blood vessels. The light waves can also target specific protein molecules in acne bacteria and in collagen. IPL treats all conditions without disruption to the skin’s surface.
What is the difference between IPL and Laser?
Lasers have been used in surgery for years. The IPL is an adaptation of the laser, more suited to the beauty industry. The biggest difference between laser and IPL, as far as treatment is concerned, is the coverage. The laser beam is very narrow, only covering a small spot at a time, while IPL coverage is several times the area, and therefore treatments are much quicker. Lasers produce light from one specific wavelength, or colour, for a very specific target. The light emitted from the IPL is composed of a spectrum of colours from different wavelengths, enabling selective photo¬absorption (light absorption) to different targets. In other words, using the IPL is like using a group of lasers in a single treatment.
Permanent Hair Reduction: How does it 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.
The hair growth cycle:
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.
What happens at my appointment?
Consultation and Test Patch:
Your first appointment will be a comprehensive consultation to answer all your questions and to check that there are no contra¬indications to IPL treatments, such as medications which cause photo¬sensitivity, and to ascertain the degree of recent sun or UV exposure on the area to be treated.
The colour of your skin and the condition to be treated must be assessed, then a calculation is made to determine the appropriate setting. A patch test will be applied and we must wait to see the outcome. Some conditions only require a few minutes wait, while others will require a separate appointment of up to 48 hours after the test patch. It is very important to be honest about medications and your recent sun or UV exposure.
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. Important Before Care:
Sun exposure and tanning
You can NOT be treated if you have had ultra violet (UV) exposure from the sun or sun beds within the past 4 to 6 weeks. Therefore prior to your treatments you must cover well with clothing and hats and sun block to prevent extra activity of the melanin cells in your skin. Melanin cells are responsible for tanning. Your tan slowly ‘wears off’ as those cells reach the surface of your skin in the normal skin¬ shedding activity, known as skin renewal.
Fake tans stain the outer skin cells, and this colour will intensify the IPL heat at the surface of the skin, therefore we cannot treat with IPL for at least two weeks after a fake tan application.