Ongoing Touch-Up Hair Removal Treatments
IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal is a great cost-efficient way to achieve permanent or very long-lasting results. Both IPL and laser hair removal have gained popularity to the point that it is one of North America’s top methods of hair removal. However, with such intense results comes some pretty strict pre- and post-care. Additionally, IPL doesn’t provide instant results like some other hair removal methods such as waxing. Due to this, there are a few things to consider before even starting treatments. The main one being maintenance and touch-ups.
What is IPL Hair Removal?
IPL is often confused for laser hair removal. Laser hair removal uses concentrated laser beams of energy to damage hair follicles underneath the skin. IPL doesn’t use any kind of laser; it uses a broad spectrum of light with multiple wavelengths. This light is less concentrated and gentler on the skin, making it a great tool to treat skin conditions as well as hair removal. IPL targets the melanin, or pigment, of individual hair follicles and uses its light technology to heat and damage the follicle. This then prevents any hair from growing from the follicle.
This method of hair removal will result in hair that grows in very slowly, thinly, and sparsely. Ultimately, the goal is to damage all the follicles in the targeted area to provide permanent hair loss. When receiving IPL hair removal treatments, it is key to remember that results won’t be instant. The rate in which your hair grows back in is completely dependent on your individual skin, hair, and follicles. Some people record seeing results in as little as three treatments, but it is common to do multiple sessions. Additionally, you will most likely need to go in for touch-ups after a few months to maintain the results of the treatment.
How Often Should I Get Treatments?
Since IPL is so popular, there are multiple options for at-home and professional devices available to the public. If you are visiting a professional, their machines are generally more powerful. This being said, you will most likely need less treatments if you are seeing a professional. However, professional treatments can be pricey. At-home hair removal devices are available for anywhere from $200 to $500 and make IPL easy and accessible.
Mixing Hair Removal Methods with IPL
You may be thinking, “what’s the point if I have to let my hair grow out for weeks between treatments?” It may feel counterintuitive to not remove your body hair in between treatments, but you actually can. In between treatments, you are actually allowed to remove unwanted body hair, but by shaving only.
Shaving cuts the hair right where it comes out of the follicle in the skin, so it actually leaves the follicle fully intact. In order for IPL hair removal to work, the hair follicle needs to be intact and there should be some hair in the follicle itself. This way, the device can pick up on that pigment caused by the hair. With waxing, plucking, or threading, the hair is pulled out of the follicle completely. This leaves no pigment in the follicle for the light to target. For this reason, avoid plucking, waxing, or any other hair removal method that removes the hair from the follicle.
It is recommended to shave the night before or day of your IPL treatments. By removing grown-out hair, the device is able to detect only the pigments under the skin. It also makes the procedure less painful!