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Laser v IPL – Which is better?

With abundant choices of laser hair removal clinics, it’s hard to know what clinic would be the best for you and the best value for your money. Unfortunately what the average person doesn’t know is that there are hundreds of different types of machines all promising effective hair removal, so it’s easy to get confused about what you really should be looking for.

The most common misconception that people make is that laser treatments are the same as IPL (Intense Pulse Light) treatments – and this could not be further from the truth. Here are a just a few differences between the two:

Light Colour
Laser is a very special type of light that has three characteristics (colour, dispersion & coherency) that separates it as the brightest, most powerful light known to mankind. Laser light is monochromatic (ie. one colour) meaning that nearly 100% of laser light is one pure colour.
IPL on the other hand is not monochromatic, meaning that it has many different colours. Unfortunately only a small percentage of these colours are effective in the treatment of hair reduction, which can lead to less than optimal results.

Light Dispersion
Laser light is collimated meaning it’s slow to diverge or spread out. This makes laser light very powerful as nearly 100% of the light is effective in the treatment of hair reduction.
In contrast, IPL is not collimated and is therefore quick to spread making it less effective.

Light Coherency
Laser light is coherent meaning that the light is totally reinforcing and doesn’t cancel itself out, whereas IPL is not coherent and not reinforcing making it less effective for the treatment of hair reduction.

Spot Size & Speed
Furthermore, different spot sizes and speed of treatment separate laser from IPL. Although some IPL machines have larger spot sizes suggesting faster treatments, there is still a delay before each pulse is administered as the machine charges up. The Candela GentleMax™ used at Cosmetic Laser Solutions has no delays between pulses, ensuring execution of treatments are twice as fast and more comfortable than not only IPL machines, but other lasers on the market. The Candela GentleMax™ has a range of spot sizes, enabling selection of the most suitable spot size for the area being treated thereby ensuring that areas not requiring treatment don’t receive unnecessary exposure to heat.

From the information above, is it clear to see why laser treatments are superior to IPL treatments and why laser is a lot more effective in the permanent reduction of hair.

Understanding the various capabilities of the different types of hair removal lasers will help make your selection of a laser hair removal clinic that much easier! You can read more comprehensive information about the differences between IPL & Laser here.

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