Laser vs. IPL – What is the difference? Which is Better?

Laser hair removal and IPL both work by producing light energy that targets the hair’s pigment to damage the hair follicle. This then reduces hair regrowth without causing harm to the surrounding tissues. Both laser and IPL hair removal have been shown to permanently reduce unwanted hair, but there are key differences in the two technologies.

How They Work

IPL machines create a wide spectrum of pulsed light wave lengths like a light bulb. This wider range means that only some of the wave lengths will target the hair.

Laser Hair Removal machines generate a single wave length of light. This means it’s an extremely concentrated beam that has specifically target the pigment in the hair follicle. Lasers can be adjusted to different settings to work with particular hair colors and skin tones. Lasers can be safely used on dark skin because thanks to the ability to fine-tune the lasers, the heat will be absorbed by the hair follicle, not the skin.

Treatments & Results

Both methods of hair removal require that the hair is in the active stage of growth for the follicle to be sufficiently damaged to stop new hair growth. Meaning both methods will require repeat treatments.

IPL Hair RemovalLaser Hair Removal
Effective for dark hair and light to medium skinEffective for all skin types
Cannot be safely used on dark skinRequires fewer sessions than IPL
More sessions requiredIncreased targeting capabilities for deep + thicker hairs
Can remove hair almost anywhere on the body or faceCan remove hair almost anywhere on the body or face
Higher risk of burningLower risk of burning
10 – 15 treatments required6 – 10 treatments required
66% reduction in hair growth 6 months after treatments72% reduction in hair growth 6 months after treatments