Type of laser hair removal
With almost all of our body and many areas of the face covered in hair that we don’t want, keeping on top of hair removal can be hard work. Shaving, plucking, waxing, sugaring, and epilating are just some of the ways to temporarily remove hair from the face and body. But fast regrowth means your skin doesn’t stay smooth for long and ingrown hairs can cause scarring and nasty infections. Additionally, as the hair grows back, you may have to put up with stubble before it is long enough to remove.
Laser hair removal can put a permanent end to the misery of trying to keep skin smooth and looking great. With so many different laser hair machines plus intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal, how do you know which laser hair removal is best for you? If you are considering laser hair removal but are confused about the various types, we get it.
In this post, we will explain the difference between laser and intense pulsed light hair removal and give you a lowdown on the best laser hair removal machines used by professional clinics.
Laser vs intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal
Laser and intense pulsed light are the two most popular methods of permanent hair removal. They both use light to kill the hair follicle, yet they are actually very different. This is because IPL uses a broadband pulsed light source, whereas laser uses a monochromatic coherent light source.
Don’t worry if that doesn’t explain everything — we just wanted to cover the distinction in the technology before we explore how they work. What really matters is which is the best for permanent hair removal!
Both methods produce permanent results, but here are the five key differences:
|Intense pulsed light||Advanced laser|
|Treatment is only suitable for darker hair.||Machines can be used on all shades of hair, including brown.|
|Treatment is only suitable for lighter skin.||Machines can be used on almost all shades of skin.|
|Treatment takes longer, as it’s performed in pulses, with an average session typically taking over twice as long as laser hair removal.||Machines are fast as they allow for sweeping motions covering larger areas of skin in less time.|
|Treatment typically requires 12 to 15 sessions to achieve permanent hair removal and a top-up treatment every six months.||Machines typically reduce the number of treatments to between six and eight sessions to achieve permanent hair removal and only require a top-up treatment every 12 months.|
|Treatment sessions are normally less expensive. However, as more sessions are required, treatment can cost more overall.||Machines cost considerably more to purchase than IPL machines, so sessions are typically more expensive. As you generally need fewer sessions, it’s worth calculating the price of six to eight laser sessions (compared to 12 to 15 IPL sessions) to work out the real price comparison.|
What is the best laser hair removal machine?
The first laser hair removal machine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was the Nd:Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (Nd:YAG) laser in 1964. It is still in use and is also used for treating posterior capsule opacification (PCO), a complication of cataract surgery.
In the 70s, significant progress was made in laser machines for hair removal when the first alexandrite and diode lasers to achieve continuous wave operation were invented. The diode laser uses longer wavelengths with deeper penetration, which makes it safe for darker skin tones. Additionally, it has contact cooling of the laser tip, making the treatment with this laser less painful. Another advantage is this laser can be continuously operated, reducing damage to the surrounding tissue.
However, the Nd:YAG laser is the safest laser for darker skin types (V and VI). Now the most advanced laser hair removal machines, such as the Sporano ICE Platinum, are designed to combine diode, alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers to target hair follicles at different depths in the skin. Additionally, they are safe and effective for darker skin tones and more effective for coarse hair.
One drawback to this type of laser, however, is that they have not been created for home use. Therefore if you want the most advanced and effective laser hair removal, you are better off going to a clinic.
At Shumaila’s, we regard the Soprano ICE Platinum machine as the best laser hair removal machine. Not only is it professionally recognised as one of the most advanced on the market, but it also received the coveted MyFaceMyBody award in 2020.
Shumaila’s aesthetic and laser clinics in London and Essex provide the most advanced laser hair removal, suitable for almost all skin types. Book your FREE consultation today to find out if you are suitable for permanent laser hair removal.