Is all IPL hair removal equipment the same?

Q. I’ve been looking to have IPL (intense pulsed light) treatment for hair removal, but I’ve noticed a big variance between treatment prices in different salons and clinics. Is all IPL equipment the same?

A. There is a big difference in the type of equipment on the market and the efficacy of the treatments they provide and this will be reflected in the price.

For an IPL hair removal treatment to be effective it needs to heat the hair up to a high enough temperature to disintegrate it. Failure to do this will extend the amount of treatments needed to clear the hair growth, and some may never clear it at all if the fluency (power) is too weak.

It is interesting to note that there are not many IPL machines in the NHS supply chain. This is because there are many pieces of equipment on the market that over promise and under deliver on results and the NHS have very strict criteria for choosing effective, safe equipment.

Q. I’ve had two IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments on the age spots on the backs of my hands and they are still there. Should they have disappeared by now?

A. The amount of treatments you will need will depend on a variety of factors which your practitioner should have discussed with you at the beginning of your treatment programme to manage your expectations. Occasionally, some age spots (pigmentation) will disappear with just one or two visits, however in the majority of cases three or sometimes more treatments are required especially if the age spots are widespread.

Also, following your IPL course, you will need to apply a broad spectrum sun product to help prevent the spots from recurring, so aftercare is very important to enable you to get the full benefits from your treatment.

In addition, as we mentioned in the answer above, intelligent selection of equipment and machine maintenance is essential for efficacy.

angela bartlett groupAngela Bartlett is a highly qualified Advanced Aesthetician with almost 30 years of experience in the beauty and holistic industries. She is a Director and Past Chairman for BABTAC and CIBTAC. Her expertise is called upon to examine nationally and Internationally and to judge competitions such as Young Make-up Artist of the Year Award at Clothes Show, London.
She is also a regular contributor to a variety of consumer magazines and trade journals in the health and beauty sectors. Angela has a beauty, grooming and wellbeing clinic at the Wild Boar Hotel, near Tarporley where she works with her team of Therapists.
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