Beauty & the Blog

Permanent Hair Reduction vs Permanent Hair Removal

Is this some sort of marketing trick?

Most women and men yearn for silky smooth skin 24/7 and there are many ways to achieve this through shaving, waxing, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Laser.

But what is this word trickery when they say Permanent Hair Reduction? Why can’t they say Permanent Hair Removal?

Simplistically – please consider the following. Electrolysis is a technique which inserts a micro needle into the hair follicle and destroys it using heat and current. One hair follicle requires one needle. The hair is now permanently disabled (providing it is in the anagen stage of growth – more on this term anagen, later).

The final result? One immobilised hair follicle. A 100% success rate which can be measured. Enter the term “Permanent Hair Removal”.


Now consider Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Laser.

IPL has different wavelengths of light which are used to permanently inhibit the growth of hair. Laser, is monochromatic (one wavelength) of light which also is used to permanently inhibit the growth of hair.

However, unlike electrolysis, these techniques destroy hair over a larger surface area. Put simply, there is not one needle entering one follicle destroying one hair.

The light emitted from the IPL and the Laser passes over many hair follicles whose growth is inhibited, through the absorption of heat generated by the IPL and Laser. So the success rate is there. However, it is more difficult to quantify as it involves possibly hundreds of hair follicles.

Now let us introduce the fact that hair grows in 3 phases known as anagen, catagen and telogen. One of the stages was mentioned earlier on – anagen,

IPL and Laser hair removal also only treat hair in the anagen phase, which is when your hair is growing and cells are dividing in your hair follicle.

At any point in time, you only have some of your hair in the anagen phase – and the amount varies between people.

Let’s say for this example 30% of your hair is in the anagen phase. IPL and Laser will in turn treat around 30% of the 30% of hair in the anagen stage. Net result – 9% of hair has been treated and will not grow again.

Which 9% of hair though? No one can actually pinpoint which hair follicles have been permanently inhibited.

Enter the term “Permanent Hair Reduction”.

This is why, to achieve the best results with IPL and Laser, you need to have your treatments over several sessions with a break between treatments. If you follow this guide, you can achieve 70% to 90% hair reduction.

Reputable salons like Essential Beauty know about these differences and offer both IPL and Laser.

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