IPL stands for Intense Pulse Light. It works by using Selective Photothermolysis, photo meaning light, thermo meaning heat and lysis meaning destruction. The light is attracted to the melanin (colour) of the hair. It then travels down the follicle of the hair into the root where it creates heat. It is this heat that destroys the hair.
What results can be achieved?
IPL Hair reduction is a great way to get rid of that unwanted hair and stop it from growing back. The hair follicles are destroyed which means the hair will fall out and when maintenance sessions are followed the results can be permanent. IPL Hair reduction can be used almost anywhere on the body apart from the eyebrows. The most popular areas for this treatment include Brazilian/Bikini, under arms and upper lip. You can expect to lose around 20% of your hair each treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
A minimum of 6 sessions are required, most people generally need 8. The hair needs to be in the right stage of growth, the anagen phase, which is where the hair has a blood supply and therefore can be destroyed. The anagen phase occurs once every 6 weeks for the body and 4 weeks for the face. As stated above, you can expect to lose approximately 20% of your hair each treatment. Maintenance sessions are required every 6-12 months as new hair can develop through changes in hormones etc.
What will happen during my treatment?
When you come in for your treatment we will first give you specially designed goggles to wear during the treatment, these goggles are made specifically for the wavelengths of light used with IPL. A cooling conductive gel will be applied to your skin. The application of light is made by using a sapphire crystal in a handpiece. The light will be a short bright flash and will create a sensation that many people describe as a flicking of an elastic band. Your therapist will ask you throughout the treatment if you are comfortable. The gel will then be removed.
What will happen after my treatment?
After your IPL Hair Reduction treatment, your hair will grow aback immediately as we have not removed the hair in any way. Within 2-3 weeks you will notice your hair start to fall out in patches. While the hair is falling out you will be able to grab it by your fingers and it will literally just slide out. It is recommended, though not essential, to let your hair grow after the first session to physically see this happening.
Is IPL Hair Reduction right for me?
IPL is a very successful treatment and when performed by qualified and experienced technicians like the staff at O’Hara Skin & Body Clinic, it is a safe procedure. We use state of the art equipment, have received qualifications from Australasian Academy of Dermal Science and we always perform in depth consultations before commencing any treatment. There are restrictions on who can receive IPL treatment. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not suitable for IPL and many medications may be contraindicated. Photosensitizing medications create a risk of burns (especially acne medications such as Roaccutane). It is important to be honest with us when filling out consultation forms so we can perform safe and effective treatments. Dark skin colours may be difficult to treat so your therapist may recommend an alternative treatment if IPL is not the most appropriate treatment for you. Light hair may also be very difficult, if not impossible to treat. It is best to book in for a spot test if you do have very blonde hair to see if the treatment will work for you.
Is there any specific preparation or aftercare?
The hair must not be removed 4 weeks prior to your IPL appointment either through waxing, plucking, epilating or threading. The root of the hair must be intact for the treatment to work. In between the treatments the same rule applies, no removing the hair from the root. You can shave or use hair removal creams, though we do not recommend that due to the high amount of chemicals in those creams. It is very important to stay protected from the sun especially in the areas you are receiving IPL, there must be no tan present in the area for your treatment, real or fake.