How can you assess if your IPL Hair removal treatment is working
Intense pulsed light
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) devices offer cosmetic treatments for removing unwanted hair from the skin. IPL systems are high-intensity light sources, which emit polychromatic light. These flash lamps work with non-coherent light in a broad wavelength spectrum of 515–1,200 nm.
IPL devices apply very gentle pulses of light to the hairs root, and make the hairs go into their resting phase and the targeted hairs fall out. Red blood cells have good absorption towards spectrum light, and hence, IPL has been proven clinically to be an effective treatment. The effectiveness of the treatment further increases in a combination of darker skin and thick hair.
How does IPL work on facial hair?
IPL acts by weakening the hair-producing follicle. The light pulses are optimized to target the pigment in the hair, called melanin. Each pulse sends a flash that is absorbed by melanin into the hair follicle and is transformed into heat. This breaks the hair growth cycle and with continued use, the hairs become weaker, thinner, lighter, and grow more slowly.
The coverage of IPL hair removal devices is wide, as the broad-spectrum IPL light naturally spreads out. Because the larger area can be covered at once, the time required for hair removal is lesser with IPL. The treatment with IPL could be considerably cheaper, however, more sessions might be required to achieve the desired results. IPL can be used to remove hairs from various skin types successfully. It can also be altered specifically to match different skin and hair types within a treatment type.
How do you assess the Effectiveness of an IPL treatment
IPL is most effective in large areas for removing hair, such as the back, arms, underarms, and even in the sensitive parts of the body such as private areas. The effectiveness of IPL depends on various factors.. It works better on white or light brown skin compared to black skin. Candidates with thin vellus hairs, white, grey, or red hairs, do not respond well to IPL systems.
Different people, however, would respond differently to IPL, and most people will need multiple sessions of the treatment before they start noticing results. The efficacy is improved when repetitive treatments are given. The hair growth cycle varies for individuals and can take up to 16 months, depending on the area of the body. A start-up phase of 4 to 12 treatments, performed weekly, is recommended to obtain optimal results. After completing the start-up phase, one can continue according to the need. Some people will need one session every 1 to 2 months, while others just need one every 6 to 12 months. (10)
Typically after 1st treatment cycle, it can still take around 1 to 2 weeks for hair to fall out. Sometimes, after the initial treatment, you may still see some hair growing. However, these will fall out in subsequent treatment cycles.
After 2-3 treatment cycles, a noticeable hair reduction is observed and after 4 to 5 treatment cycles, a significant hair reduction is noticed and the hair density at targeted location goes down. Continuous usage of the IPL device would lead to slower growth of hair and sustained results over time.
The improvement in IPL treatment outcomes, post multiple treatment cycles, has been established in clinical studies as well. A study conducted on 10 females assessed the efficacy of the Ellipse Relax Light (second generation IPL) for hair removal in the bikini zone. After four sessions and a follow-up period of four and eight months, the clearance rate rose from 74.7 to 80%. (7)
Expected results from the Procedure
The effectiveness of IPL treatment can be assessed if you observe the following:
- Your hairs take more time to regrow
- Hairs are lighter in texture
- You will find it easier to shave
- Your skin is less irritated
- Ingrown hairs have started to disappear
- Your hair-free periods in between your sessions are increasing dramatically.
The increasing innovation and the availability of highly effective IPL Hair removal devices have ensured that the users reach the successful treatment outcomes faster and with complete safety. EvenSkyn Pulsar, a recent addition to FDA approved IPL devices, constitutes a quartz tube that augments the advantages of IPL scattered light, elongates the product life, and ensures pain-free treatment. The device also offers benefits such as covering more skin areas in lesser time, stable beam of light and controlled range of wavelengths in the area of application. Advanced silicone chips and the quartz tube used in the device provide a life of nearly half a million flash over 20 years of use.
IPL technology has particularly proven its worth in medical treatment. The high success rates and low occurrences of adverse effects have been confirmed in several publications. Its proven efficacy brings higher levels of patient satisfaction, especially in cosmetic indications such as hypertrichosis (excessive growth of facial hair). IPL treatments take less time as compared to other treatment options. IPL technology is an alternative option to well-established laser treatment methods and plays an indispensable role in cosmetology .(8)