What are the different types of laser hair removal?

by Carly Hibbins

• 26 August 2020

When shopping for at-home hair removal solutions, it can be confusing to know the differences between each method. We've put together all the information you need right here, so you can decide which hair removal technology is right for you.

What types of permanent hair reduction are there?

There are 2 main technologies to choose from when it comes to hair removal – IPL and Laser. Both methods of hair removal channel light energy to disrupt the growth cycle of each hair follicle, gradually reducing hair growth and thickness without damaging the surrounding tissue. However, the differences lie in the way that light is produced and the effect it has on the skin.

How does laser hair removal work?

Laser hair removal produces a single wavelength of pure light, consisting of one single colour and form. This means that the energy is concentrated into a directed beam to specifically target the melanin in the hair follicle.

Most laser machines have a variety of settings, with the highest power being the most effective. However, not all settings may be suitable for use on lighter or darker skin types, so it’s important to find the balance of the safest and most effective setting for your complexion.

Laser hair removal permanently reduces hair growth over time, so eventually you’ll only need top-up treatments. You can still continue to shave any regrowth between treatments, and the light therapy works on thick, dark and coarse hairs across sensitive areas such as the face, underarms and bikini line.

What are the pros and cons of laser hair removal?

As laser hair removal uses a single beam of light energy to treat hair, it's stronger and therefore good for treating stubborn or coarse hairs.

That being said, treatments take much longer as laser can only treat a small surface area. Laser can also be quite painful too because of the concentrated energy it uses to carry out treatments.

Laser hair removal can be costly too and with few at-home laser hair removal devices on the market, you're more likely to need to attend a salon for your treatments.

It's more likely though that you won't need as many top-up treatments in the future as results can be more 'permanent' than IPL.

How does IPL hair removal work?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) produces a broad spectrum of wavelengths, playing an important role in boosting your skin’s overall health. This wide spectrum covers a wider area of the skin’s surface, meaning that treatment times may be quicker than laser.

Many devices also offer Variable Pulsed Light (VPL) settings that continuously assess your skin type before each flash, making sure you’re getting the most customised treatment for your skin tone. You don’t need regrowth for IPL to work, so you don’t have to worry about timing your treatments around your lifestyle. Although you may still feel a slight sensation throughout your treatment, IPL is less painful than traditional hair removal methods. What’s more, the light beams stunt hair regrowth, so you’ll need fewer top-up treatments as time passes.

What are the pros and cons of IPL hair removal?

As IPL works with broad spectrum light, it can treat a larger surface area meaning that treatment times are often quicker.

Most IPL devices aren't suitable for all skin tones and hair colour combinations, so you should always check before purchasing if you're suitable for IPL treatments.

IPL isn't as powerful laser, so you many need to complete more top-up treatments. However, you can achieve the same permanent results with IPL as laser, if you're consistent with your initial treatment plan and top-up treatments.

What are the best at-home hair removal devices?

There are few actual laser hair removal devices on the market, so if you're looking for an at-home solution to stunting your hair regrowth you should try IPL.

This device is the strongest IPL hair removal device currently available on the market. It emits a powerful 20W of hair-stopping energy to stunt hair regrowth permanently, it's so powerful that you'll only need to go for 4-8 weeks between top-up treatments.

You can tailor your treatments to you with 3 treatment modes to choose from. Speed Mode is perfect for treating large surface areas such as the legs. Power Mode supercharges your treatment to tackle stubborn areas such as the underarms or bikini line. SmoothSkin Pure even has a Gentle Mode for treating those extra sensitive areas for comfortable treatments.

SmoothSkin Bare+ IPL Hair Removal Device

If you're new to IPL or you're looking for a hassle-free at home hair removal solution, SmoothSkin Bare+ is the device for you.

The device has 1 treatment mode and 1 energy mode, but that doesn't mean it compromises on performance. SmoothSkin Bare+ completes a full body treatment in just 10 minutes, and you'll only need to complete top-up treatments every 2-4 weeks.

Sensica Sensilight Pro IPL Hair Removal Device

This cordless IPL devices gives you the freedom to permanently stunt hair regrowth from the comfort of your own home. The device harnesses the brand's Reactive Pulsed Light (RPL) technology, which scans and measure your skin tone for safe and comfortable treatments.

Suitable for treating your legs, underarms, bikini line, back, stomach and face, Sensica Sensilight Pro gives you salon-standard results without the need for a salon.

Silk'n Infinity 400,000

This IPL hair removal device uses a unique combination of energy to form the brand's world-renowned eHPL hair removal technology. Galvanic Energy and Optical Energy combine to effectively open your skin's pores and channel the light deep into the hair follicle.

As the device utilises this unique technology, it's suitable for all skin tones and can treat almost all hair colours.

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