LASER (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) operates quite differently to IPL (intense pulse light) for the purposes of permanent hair removal. Laser light is very specific. A laser sends out a single wavelength of light in which the waves are in phase and run parallel to one another. They are either invisible or of one single colour. In technical terms a laser is monochromatic, coherent and collimated. Lasers can therefore be directed very accurately to destroy the melanin (pigment) within hair follicles. This causes thermal injury to the cells producing hair, preventing them from performing hair production. The settings on a medical grade laser such as the Cynosure Elite can be adjusted to match different densities of hair and types of skin. This obtains optimum results and provides for safe and effective laser hair removal in north London (The Angel Laser Clinic is located at Highbury and Islington).
Those searching for affordable hair removal options may be tempted to choose an IPL rather than a laser. Laser hair removal tends to cost more than IPL because the technology is tailored specifically to the effective treatment of unwanted hair. Unlike a laser, it isn’t possible to refine IPL to a single wavelength. This means that IPL struggles to direct enough energy to individual hair follicles in order to destroy them. For this reason IPL is more commonly recommended for skin treatments (e.g. offsetting aging effects or for troubled complexions) rather than hair removal.
Furthermore, the IPL’s increased wavelength spectrum means that there is a greater risk of damaging the skin, including burning it, for people with darker skin types (e.g. Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin or Black skins). These ethnic groups have a higher amount of melanin in the skin which absorbs the energy, leading to potential complications unless real care is taken during an IPL treatment.
Lastly, lasers are also more powerful than IPL. Because they achieve higher peak energies they can provide a permanent change in conditions such as sun spots and freckles. Although IPL is very good at blanching such conditions, it falls short in permanently removing them.