IPL hair removal

IPL hair removal vs Laser hair removal

We shed some light on the differences between IPL Hair Removal and Laser Hair Removal.

IPL hair removal (Intense Pulsed Light) is a proven standard in hair removal technology.

Put simply, the process reduces the body’s ability to regrow hair follicles after they have been successfully treated. Like most of our clients, you may find that the reduction is close to permanent.

Our therapists are extensively trained in IPL, using our exclusive machines with cool tip technology, which cool the surrounding skin before treatment, meaning increased client comfort and results

So you can relax knowing you will soon be rid of unsightly, unwanted hair, whether you want your underarms, face, back, Brazilian or any other area treated

You can also use IPL for skin rejuvenation, treating conditions and blemishes including freckles and sunspots, general pigmentation, spider veins, red spots, broken capillaries, rosacea and red scarring, sun damaged skin and acne/acne scars.

Read on to find out more.

Visit one of our IPL salons around Australia and receive a free IPL hair removal consultation valued at $50. Available in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

IPL and Laser – what is the difference?

The main difference between IPL and Laser for hair removal purposes is in the technology that each use to generate light.

IPL emits light which is a combination of different wavelengths (or colours).

Laser, in contrast, is monochromatic meaning that the light emitted from a laser is of one wavelength (or colour).

Both IPL and Laser provide the correct wavelength of light that is absorbed by melanin in hair, which converts to heat and permanently disables the hair from growing.

Both systems have been proven to be effective in permanent hair reduction.

Why IPL hair removal…?

  • You want silky, smooth, hair-free skin.
  • You want to give up shaving forever.
  • You want to be free from menacing ingrown hairs.
  • You want hair removal that saves you time and money in the long term.



  • Shave the area in the 24 hours before your treatment.
  • Make sure your skin is not irritated, inflamed, cut or infected.



  • Use bleach on the hair you want removed in the weeks before IPL treatment.
  • Sunbake or use tanning beds, self-tanning creams or chemical peels for at least 4 weeks before your treatment.
  • Wear perfumes, deodorants or any potential irritants in the area being treated before your appointment.
  • Wax, tweeze or pluck in the 4 weeks before your treatment. If your face is being treated, allow 2 weeks without doing any of this.
IPL Permanent Hair Reduction at Essential Beauty


  • Keep your protective eyewear on for the entire treatment.


What happens during IPL hair removal…?

  • Your therapist will conduct a skin assessment and determine your skin type using the Fitzpatrick skin type scale.
  • Your therapist will determine the treatment parameters and program them into the IPL machine.
  • Your therapist will begin the treatment.
  • During treatment, you will feel the handpiece on your skin. This aims a flash of light at your skin and your therapist will work methodically over the entire area, making sure it has all been covered.


If you feel one of these steps has been missed or hasn’t been done well, please stop your therapist and let her know. When you work together with your therapist, you will get the best possible results.


  • Expect your skin to be sensitive and a little red. This is because treated follicles have been heated and the area may be inflamed for up to 3 days.
  • Use a covered, cold compress to help reduce swelling. This is normal and expected.
  • Consider taking an over the counter pain medication, such as Panadol, to help with any pain or discomfort.
  • Use a soothing lotion, such as Cool Gel, if your skin feels irritated or itchy in the immediate days after treatment.
  • Only pat dry your treated areas and do not rub for the first week after treatment.
  • Wear clothing and sunscreen (SPF 30+) to protect your treated area(s) from direct sun exposure. Be sure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. This is very important for your skin’s health and to ensure the success of future pulsed light hair removal treatments.



  • Scratch or pick at any scabs that may form. These occasionally form, but this doesn’t mean you have an infection or that the area will scar. Any scabs should heal within 1-2 weeks.
  • Expose your treated areas to the sun for at least 4 weeks after treatment. Also, do not use tanning beds or chemical peels on the area,


What happens next…?

  • You may notice dead hair surfacing for 2-3 weeks after treatment. Although this may appear to be new growth, it’s not. This process is called purging or shedding and will take time to complete.
  • Once your skin is no longer sensitive, you can wipe away these hairs with a damp cloth or exfoliate with a loofah mitt. Start this exfoliating process 1 week after treatment, but no earlier.
  • To get the best results from your IPL, you may need multiple treatments. Follow your therapist’s advice.

What types of skin can be treated?

Nearly all skin types can be treated. This table can help you decide if your skin type is suitable for IPL Hair Removal. If the answer is yes, book in today to see one of our hair removal specialists.

Fitzpatrick Skin TypeCharacteristics of the Skin Skin ColourIs Permanent Hair Reduction suitable?
1Burns easily/does not tan White/Pink Yes
2Burns easily/tans a little WhiteYes
3Burns sometimes/tans slowly White/Brown Yes
4Burns rarely/always tans BrownYes
5Burns rarely, naturally dark skin BlackNo

You should see a result after your first treatment. You’ll also see significant improvement if your treatment is repeated at regular intervals. After treatment, it will appear that your hair has continued to grow. What is actually happening, is that the hair is still being gripped by the skin and is slowly being expelled from the follicle.

This table shows you how many treatments you are likely to need.

Colour of your hairYour skin colourApproximate number of treatments
Dark1, 2 or 36
Medium1, 2 or 35 – 7
Light1, 2 or 36 – 7
Dark46 – 8
Medium48 – 9
Light/Grey/RedAny skin colournot suitable