IPL or Laser, which should I Choose?

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hair removing methods

After looking into countless ways to eliminate body and facial fuzzies, you encounter yet another decision you need to make, laser or IPL?

The 2 terms are often used interchangeably, so most of us don’t even know the difference. Which one works better? Does one only work for specific people? What’s the real truth about this?

The truth is both of them are very similar. They are essentially both sources of light that target melanin. Imagine the light source as the sun, and your melanin is a black tshirt on a hot day. Dark clothing absorbs the heat on a hot day, and this is very much like what happens when you do these light based treatments for hair removal.

Both light sources can be branded under different brands and names, which only adds to the confusion. Both lights work at destroying hair follicles by directing heat to the root, which is why most people notice the burnt hair smell, and some people also experience some mild skin irritations.

One thing you must understand though, is that neither of them can provide truly permanent results. They both help to reduce the amount and the rate at which the hair grows at. Most people notice there is a lot less hair and it is a lot finer than it was before. It is recommended that you go back and get touch ups done every so often after the initial treatment sessions.

So, back to the comparison between the two!


Intense Pulsed Light – a form of light therapy, was originally used for dermatological procedures. As a matter of fact, after patients underwent these skin treatments, they reported hair loss as a side effect! IPL has multiple wavelengths that targets the dark hair under your skin, which basically zaps and burns the cells that make the hair. Hair needs these cells to regrow, so if they are destroyed, hair follicles technically shouldn’t come back.

This is usually known as a more affordable option, and is only suggested for people with dark hair and lighter skin.


Lasers are another form of light therapy, but the light emitted is more precise, and claims to be able to target the hair while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. The pulse is also a lot quicker, so people experience less pain and are treatments take a shorter amount of time. Lasers can apparently be used on all skin colors as it has the ability to target only the hair. Most in home hair removal lasers are only recommended for fair to medium skin tones though, so keep that in mind.


IPL definitely is effective. I would highly suggest it to anyone that has the right skin tone and hair color. If you don’t have too much hair to get rid of, this would probably be just fine for you. However, if you have the budget, I definitely would splurge and get the laser! Either way, stop waxing and get rid of your hair for a longer period of time.

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