LASER vs IPL: What are the Key Differences In Hair Removal

Laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) are both methods of reducing and preventing hair growth through techniques that cause the destruction of hair follicles.

When considering Hair Removal treatment, it is important to understand the key differences between IPL and Laser.

Firstly, IPL machines are NOT lasers. The main differences between Laser and IPL lie mainly in the technology used to deliver the light energy to the target hair follicle.

Laser Machines, like the LightSheer Desire, produce a single wavelength of light (pure light consisting of one single colour and form), which has a concentrated beam and specific target – the melanin in the hair follicle. Laser machines generate more heat directly at the hair follicle than IPL systems, hence achieving significantly better results. Because the heat is absorbed by the follicle, and not the skin, there is a decreased risk of burning when using Laser machines. This also makes Laser a safer option for darker skinned individuals.


difference between laser and IPL hair removal

Laser VS IPL

IPL machines produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths (like a light bulb) and unlike laser cannot be focused to a concentrated beam. Because a range of different wavelengths are dispersed at a variety of depths only some of these will be effective for hair reduction. Additionally, some wavelengths of the light are absorbed by the hair, resulting in heating and disruption of the follicle, whilst some of the light can be absorbed into the surrounding tissue leading to heating of the pigment in the skin. This is why there is a much higher risk of burning, and hyper-pigmentation in darker skin types when using IPL.

Scientific studies

There have been a number of scientific studies into the efficiency of both Laser Hair Removal and IPL treatments, highlighting significant and key findings. A study published in the International Journal of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering and Radiation Oncology found that after 3 treatments, hair density decreased by 58% following use of diode lasers, and by 49% after using IPL, illustrating a more effective and quicker result using lasers. These results have been confirmed in a more recent study published in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy by Sochor et al, who found a mean hair count reduction of 49.9% with Laser therapy vs 39.16% using IPL. These results also confirmed the safety and shorter treatment time of laser hair removal.


Next Steps?

Book a FREE 30-minute consultation with our fully-qualified Laser Technicians who will discuss how effective laser treatment could be for you, whilst answering any questions you have about the process. This consultation will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of your requirements including medical history, skin type and any concerns you may have, giving you a more tailor-made treatment plan.

Your appointment can take place at one Clinics in ChichesterWorthing and Burnham.

Still not sure? Read the amazing stories from a few of our happy patients here.

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