Regularly removing body hair can quickly become a chore and often leaves people wondering how to remove hair permanently. Thankfully, modern innovations in hair removal mean that shaving is just one option at your disposal.
Intense pulsed light (IPL), laser treatments and electrolysis are all time-saving options for hair removal for women that you can choose from based on your needs. Taking a less painful approach than waxing and more traditional methods of hair removal for women, each method of permanent hair removal has its own advantages and drawbacks to be aware of.
IPL Hair Removal
What is IPL hair removal?
Unlike the other methods in this comparison, IPL devices are a solution for long-lasting hair removal that you can use in the comfort of your own home. Using a broad-spectrum light, IPL machines reduce your hair growth by targeting hair follicles at their root.
This targeted process prevents regrowth of hair over time making it a more permanent visible hair removal method than shaving.
How do I use IPL?
Using an IPL device lets you target any exact area you desire. Start by placing the device directly against your skin, press the button and the Silk-Expert Pro will start reducing visible hair. Gliding mode also lets you move more easily over larger areas.
While IPL slows the regrowth of hair, it is not an overnight fix. Once you know how to use IPL hair removal devices, treatments are suggested every week for 4-12 weeks. After this initial stage, you can use IPL every 1-2 months based on the speed of hair growth.
One thing to be aware of is that this hair removal method works best on dark hair and may not have effective results on fair hair.
Prepping for IPL
Before applying these gentle pulses of light to your body hair, you are advised to remove all visible hair from the area you’ll focus on. This allows the IPL machine to best target the hair at its root and prevents regrowth.
For more information, read our detailed piece on things to know before using an IPL.
How long does IPL last and what are its benefits?
With Braun IPL hair removal you can expect to see visible hair reduction after using it for 4 weeks. With every treatment, the Braun Silk Expert Pro IPL will deliver longer-lasting smoothness and hair that grows back is lighter and softer.
Laser Hair Removal
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a salon treatment that works similar to IPL by focusing on individual hair follicles. However, laser hair removal’s beam uses a single wavelength rather than broad-spectrum light. This means that laser can be more precise but can only be performed by a trained professional and can cause skin irritation if performed incorrectly.
Preparing for laser hair removal
If you book this salon treatment, you are likely to be advised on preparing for laser hair removal. Much like using an IPL device, you should remove all visible hair from the targeted area before your treatment. It is also advised that you avoid hair removal methods such as epilation or tweezing between sessions as the laser needs the root of the hair present to work effectively.
How long does laser hair removal last?
Laser treatments generally take around six to eight sessions spread over weekly appointments. After completing this course, you should expect permanent hair removal though some people find they require touch-up treatments after a few years. Changing hormone levels can also trigger hair regrowth.
Comparing IPL and Laser
Electrolysis Hair Removal
How does electrolysis work?
You may have heard of this final method of permanent hair removal and wondered how does electrolysis work? Unlike the first two methods, electrolysis does not use light to remove hair. Instead, electrolysis requires a dermatologist to insert an epilation device into the desired area for hair removal. By sending shortwave radio frequencies, electrolysis prevents hair follicles from developing.
Preparing for electrolysis hair removal
Unlike IPL and laser treatments, for electrolysis hair removal you should avoid shaving or epilating for at least a week. If you are having facial electrolysis, you will also want to remove any makeup before your treatment for the easiest access to pores. Electrolysis hair removal is also made easier if your skin is well hydrated so drink plenty of water beforehand.
How long does electrolysis last?
Each electrolysis session typically takes between 15 minutes and an hour and you will need a series of weekly sessions. Once this permanent hair removal method is complete, you should expect lasting hair-free skin in the treated area.
Comparing IPL and electrolysis
As with laser hair removal, booking multiple weekly treatments is a commitment of time and cost. Treating a larger area of your body like the bikini line may also suit IPL as the SensoAdapt technology of the Braun Silk-Expert Pro continuously scans your skin to find the perfect balance while moving over your skin.