IPL Hair Removal: Fast, Easy & Non-Invasive

Intense Pulse Light, or IPL, can be used for several beauty treatments, including IPL hair removal and this is just one of many medical spa treatments we offer here at Thaxton Plastic Surgery. Let’s take a quick look at IPL and how it can help you look and feel your best.


What Is IPL Hair Removal?

As stated above IPL stands for intense pulse light, and we can use this broad-spectrum light energy to target the roots of your hair. The light waves target the melanin in our skin and essentially damage the hair follicles, which forces them to release the hairs. It is important to note that it can take a day or two for the hair to fall out, and sometimes even up to a week or more.


IPL hair removal differs somewhat from laser hair removal, although some people confuse these two terms. IPL uses a broader spectrum of light meaning we can treat a larger area at one time than we could with laser hair removal, which uses a more concentrated beam of light.


This means that each IPL treatment takes less time than a laser treatment, although you may need more total sessions with IPL than you might with laser treatments. Still, IPL can be a great treatment for people with busy schedules who just can’t fit a long laser treatment into their day.


IPL hair removal, as with any hair removal treatment, can be slightly uncomfortable, and we use a numbing cream to minimize our patients’ discomfort. Without the numbing cream, some patients will liken the sensation to having a rubber band snapped upon their skin or perhaps the feeling of having their skin pinched.


Does IPL Permanently Remove Hair?

IPL hair removal won’t permanently remove all of your hairs, but, of course, laser treatments also are not a permanent solution for hair removal. You will notice a permanent reduction in hair growth, and with follow-up treatments, you will enjoy smoother skin with far fewer visible hairs.


IPL hair removal may not be permanent, but it has some advantages over other hair removal options. It’s cheaper and faster than laser hair removal. It also reduces the need for daily shaving, which can be a nuisance and shaving products can be costly. In comparison with waxing, IPL has the advantage because you don’t need to wait for hair regrowth as you would with a wax treatment.


If you do want a permanent hair removal treatment, electrolysis is currently the only FDA-approved option available. It does take several sessions to achieve the desired results, but electrolysis works will all skin and hair types, while laser and IPL hair removal are better for patients with light to medium skin tones and darker hair.


IPL Hair Removal Side Effects

Side effects with IPL tend to be mild. It’s not uncommon to experience some redness and swelling after your treatment; it might feel a bit like a mild sunburn. Some patients report that their skin feels itchy, and you may notice some scabbing and peeling of the skin.


These issues should resolve within just a few days, but we recommend that you avoid applying lotions, creams or makeup to the affected areas until the swelling has gone down. After all the swelling and other side effects have resolved, be sure to moisturize the area twice per day for several months.


We do not recommend IPL treatments for patients that are pregnant or for patients with certain skin conditions. Additionally, be sure to tell your IPL treatment provider about all medications and supplements you are taking before undergoing IPL. IPL is not recommended for patients with skin cancer or for patients that use retinoid cream, and it’s also not wise to opt for an IPL treatment if you have recently tanned, either at a tanning facility or using natural sunlight.


Other Uses For IPL

IPL also sometimes is called a photo facial because this procedure can be used for more than hair removal. IPL also can be used to rejuvenate the skin and can reduce the appearance of sun damage, acne scars and hyperpigmentation. In some cases, it can be used to reduce stretch marks, freckles, scars, birthmarks and even redness due to conditions such as rosacea.


While you probably have seen various IPL hair removal devices on the market, it is not recommended that you use these devices for skin rejuvenation treatments. It is recommended that you have this procedure done by a professional for optimum results as we know how to precisely target the areas of concern. (Even with IPL hair removal, using a professional is a better option because you simply end up with better, longer-lasting results.)


As with IPL hair removal, you may need several IPL treatments before you see full skin rejuvenation results. One perk with IPL is that we can treat skin issues and hair removal at the same time. Laser treatments only target hair removal, so if you want to rejuvenate the skin and remove hair, IPL can be the best option to consider.


Additional Skin Rejuvenation Options

While IPL can be an effective option to consider, we have several other minimally invasive and non-invasive skin treatments to consider. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels also can be used to brighten and freshen up the skin and reduce the appearance of acne, scars, fine lines and hyperpigmentation.


SkinPen microneedling treatments are yet another medical spa treatment to consider. Dermaplaning also can be used to freshen the skin, removing dead cells and those fine vellus hairs on your facial skin.


We offer all of these treatments at Thaxton Plastic Surgery, as well as treatments such as Botox, baby Botox, Juvéderm® and ThermiSmooth®. These are minimally invasive treatments that can provide you with a more youthful glow with little to no downtime. We also can provide you with dermal fillers (a liquid facelift) and lip augmentation.


Whether you are interested in IPL hair removal, IPL skin rejuvenation or perhaps even a surgical procedure (facelift, tummy tuck, etc.), the team at Thaxton Plastic Surgery is always here to help. Give us a call at (304) 925-8949 at any time to book a treatment or to book a consultation.