The Differences Between Laser Hair Removal & IPL Hair Removal

The beauty industry is known for its continuous innovation, introducing new technologies and techniques for aesthetic enhancement and body grooming. Two techniques that are popular in the industry are laser hair removal and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal. If you’re curious about these options for hair removal, this article will go over the key differences between laser hair removal and IPL hair removal so you can make a more informed choice for your hair removal needs.

The Core Technology

Laser hair removal uses focused light energy to penetrate the hair follicle. This light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair, causing it to heat up and inhibit hair growth. IPL, on the other hand, uses multiple light wavelengths scattered within the skin. Although it also targets hair pigment, it’s less precise than the laser technique, leading to subtle variations in the procedure and results. This means if you’re looking for a more precise and focused hair removal treatment, conventional laser hair removal will likely be the best choice for you.

Efficiency & Effectiveness

Laser hair removal is renowned for its efficiency. Given its precise targeting ability, it can effectively disable hair follicles and offer long-term results. IPL, although less efficient, is often favoured for its versatility. It can be used for various skin treatments like reducing pigmentation and treating spider veins, beyond its hair removal applications.

Treatment Duration

Generally, laser hair removal demands fewer sessions than IPL to achieve the desired outcome, although IPL treatment sessions can be shorter. The choice between the two depends on whether you prioritise the speed of individual sessions or the overall number of sessions required.

Pain & Discomfort

Both procedures might cause a degree of discomfort, often described as a hot sensation or a rubber band snap against the skin. This discomfort can vary depending on individual pain thresholds, the area being treated and the specific machine used. Laser hair removal often has a higher associated discomfort level due to the concentrated light energy, while IPL is typically described as less intense.


The cost of both procedures varies widely depending on the clinic and the specific treatment area. Laser hair removal generally tends to be more expensive due to its advanced technology and fewer required sessions. Conversely, IPL treatments may be cheaper per session but may demand more sessions in the long run, which can elevate the overall cost. This gives clients the option to balance the number of treatments with the intensity of treatments and have a more flexible approach to their hair removal needs.

Final Thoughts

Both laser hair removal and IPL hair removal have their unique pros and cons. Laser hair removal stands out for its precision and effectiveness, while IPL offers versatility and lower session costs. Understanding these differences will assist in selecting the most suitable option for your individual needs and preferences. A consultation with a professional clinic can provide personalised advice based on your hair type, skin tone and desired results.

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