IPL treatments can achieve dramatic reductions in unwanted body hair. Unlike temporary treatments like waxing and plucking, IPL treatments permanently affect the hair generating cells to reduce hair growth. And, unlike electrolysis, IPL is quick and tolerable thus allowing larger body areas to be treated. All body areas can be treated.
IPL treatments work by affecting the hair growing cells during the active growth phase. Hair growth goes through three different phases during the cycle of a hair. The first phase is the growth phase and is termed the anagen phase. Cell in this phase a especially susceptible to IPL. Roughly 20% of the hair is in this phase during any point in time. Therefore, only about 20% of the hairs are very sensitive to treatment at any one time. This leaves 80% of the hair follicles resting and less susceptible. This is the reason that multiple treatments are needed to achieve acceptable hair reduction. The next phase of the hair growth cycle is the catagen phase. During this time, the bulb at the end of the hair gradually shrinks. Some of these hair follicles are affected by IPL. The hair remains within the follicle until the hair has shrunk enough that it becomes ‘loose’ within the follicle and it is then shed. This phase, from shrinkage of the hair bulb to shedding is termed the telagen phase of hair growth. Hair follicles in telagen phase are minimally affected by IPL treatments.
Dark hair absorbs much more light energy than does light colored and is therefore more effectively treated by IPL. If you are brunette or black haired you will usually achieve over 80% reduction in hair with five treatments. With light brown hair there is usually a 60-80% reduction with five treatments and with white, gray, red or blonde hair it may well take eight or more treatments to achieve an acceptable result. Even though there usually some hair left following treatments, the remaining hair is often finer and less noticeable than when treatments were started. The need to shave is usually substantially reduced. Booster treatments can be administered on an annual or semiannual basis should the need arise. IPL treatments are not fine enough to ‘shape’ eyebrows so we do not recommend attempting it. Hair growth between the eyebrows can be treated.
Prior to your treatments, there are few requests that we have. You should not have hair plucked or waxed for at least two weeks prior to a treatment, plucking removes the hair from the follicle and there will be nothing to conduct the light energy to the growing cells. Prior to your first treatment, we request that you not shave the involved area so that we can accurately depict the line between hairy skin and hairless skin. Following the first contact, we request that you do shave prior to coming in for a treatment. Sun tanning does not effect most hair reduction therapy.