What is the process and what should I expect from my IPL hair reduction treatments?
First things first. Understanding hair growth. It’s a systemic thing that is influenced by a lot of factors. Simply put, your body wants you to have hair. So it will always be trying to grow it. We can’t turn that function off. As much as you’d like us to be able to… technology in the beauty therapy arena just isn’t there yet. But we can do our very best to destroy the growing hair follicles.
Permanent hair reduction uses heat energy to break down the hair and prevent its future growth. It does this by targeting the hair bulb, matrix and stem cells. Regardless of whether you choose laser or IPL the thermal energy is going to penetrate to the same depth. It has to, that’s where the hairs are growing and that’s how the change happens. The different technologies are simply a different delivery method. Laser is more like a fully cranked oven and IPL is more like a moderately set oven. Both are going to cook the chicken. One will probably burn the outside before it cooks right through and the other, though it might take a bit longer… is going to produce even heating.
Pretty good analogy hey! (Thanks Nancy)
IPL is a bit slower than laser, it’s a more gentle treatment and give us the option to perform painless treatments. Laser is all go straight to the target, don’t pass go, don’t collect $200. But both reach the same level in the skin. Darker pigment (ideally the hair) absorbs that heat energy to make an effective treatment and the skin typically reflects that light. With IPL there is also another factor and thats scattering. Which sounds like it could be a bad thing but it really isn’t. There’s a little perk to this scattering effect. And that is stimulating the bodies natural healing response. It sends in the cleaner-uppers, stimulates your collagen and as a result your skin texture improves and hydration increases. Scattering also heats tissue surrounding the actual hair bulb target, which means it can pick up on those finer little hairs that sit in slightly different levels. This makes it that bit more effective on lighter coloured hairs.
At any given time there are different numbers of hairs actively growing on your body and this varies from one specific area to the next. For example upper lip is notoriously slow to treat and this is because the active growth in that area is usually only about 10% at a time. Whereas legs are more up around the 20% and scalp is about 85%. So different areas might take longer than some others. But there are plenty of other factors that stimulate hair growth. Particularly hormones. Those with an imbalance may need to use IPL as a form of maintenance rather than expecting a definite end point.
Typically a successful course of treatments removes around 75-85% because of all the underlying systemic influences its difficult to achieve that full 100% reduction. Any hairs that are left are generally quite fine and hardly noticed. Everyone is different though. Maintenance treatments/ tough up’s might be needed every few years (except for those with hormonal imbalance these might be required more frequently 4-6 monthly, again everyone is different). In my opinion it still beats that regular waxing and shaving… the whole painless thing is a real winner in my books and treatments are so much faster.
So is IPL for you? Why not come and see us at Soul Studio Beauty and Wellbeing and find out. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about these treatments and assess your skin suitability. We start with getting to know you and your lifestyle, then do a little test and see how it goes over 24-48 hours. If all is well from that point you are free to start your treatments. It’s all nice and quick and easy. Come see for yourself.