The use of intense pulled light, or IPL, as an efficient form of permanent hair removal has helped transform the cosmetics industry. However, despite IPL’s many benefits, there is still a lot of misinformation out there that may confuse many consumers. Below are some of the most common myths about permanent hair removal you should be aware of.
- IPL hair removal is not permanent
You may have heard that laser hair removal treatments are not permanent. With that belief, you may assume you may as well stick to waxing and shaving. However, this is false. After the first treatment, the hair count on a treated area can be reduced by as much as 80 percent. If any hair does survive, it will tend to grow back thinner and can be easily removed with a follow up treatment. Once successfully removed by the laser, it will never grow back again.
- Laser hair removal isn’t safe
Some people also believe that laser hair removal is dangerous. They may think that the treatment hasn’t been approved by authorities. This is in fact false. IPL has been approved as a safe means of body hair removal by both the FDA and Health Canada. However, only certainly kinds of lasers have been approved for use in IPL treatments in the United States and Canada. It may be wise to inquire about what kind of laser a clinic implements when applying this treatment.
- It causes hair to grow back thicker
Some also believe the myth that using IPL to remove body hair will actually cause the hair to grow back in thicker. This is actually an offshoot of an urban legend about shaving that predates the use of lasers to remove body hair. Not only does shaved hair not grow back thicker, IPL is not a form of shaving. Shaving only removes the top part of a hair follicle. This is why the hair can grow back. An intense pulsed light treatment, on the other hand, destroys the entire follicle including the root. Not only will the hair not grow back thicker, it will not grow back at all if the treatment was successful.
- IPL can give you radiation poisoning
Another myth states that IPL is dangerous because it exposes you to radiation. While this is true for other things like x-rays, it is not true for IPL at all. IPL does not emit radiation. Radiation naturally exists between the different light barriers in the laser. However, it does not exit those barriers to reach the patient. There is absolutely no risk of radiation exposure when receiving an IPL treatment.
- It hurts
Other people may be weary of getting body hair removed with a laser due to the belief that the experience will be quite painful. Don’t worry. Receiving an IPL treatment is not like going to a dentist or a tattoo parlor. For most patients, the process is completely painless. Most modern IPL treatments involve the laser being in continuous motion, so it does not stay fixated on a single spot long enough to create pain.
- IPL treatment is expensive
IPL can be done inpatient and in a very quick amount of time. As far as cosmetic medical treatments go, it is certainly on the low side as far as expense is concerned. Having body hair removed via laser also has other financial benefits. You will no longer have to spend money on expensive razors or wax jobs that have to be performed once a month. These kinds of expenses will be a thing of the past.
- It does not work with lighter hair
Blondes and lighter redheads may be under the impression that IPL will not work for them. This myth is a holdover from older laser hair removal technology that is outdated and no longer used in the industry. Today, light hair, whether blonde or red, can certainly be removed through an IPL treatment. It is true that it is easier to remove darker colored hair. For that reason, it may require additional treatments versus brunettes and those with black hair. Still, lighter colored hair can certainly be removed with the laser.
- It does not work with dark skin
Another common myth states that IPL cannot be used to remove the body hair of people with darker skin tones. As with the myth about lighter colored hair, this belief is based on outdated technology that was used in the past. Today, however, people with dark skin can receive laser hair removal. Newer lasers have been approved by the FDA for people with darker colored skin.
- It’s too time consuming
Today’s technology also works a lot faster than the lasers of the past. One session can last 30 minutes or less depending on the amount of skin the laser will have to cover.