IPL and Laser Hair Removal London

Laser hair removal therapy

Intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser hair removal is a dermatological technique that can be used to remove hair from any area of the body, including the face, with minimal risk of side effects such as blistering and scarring.

IPL treatments are very effective for hair removal and results can often be seen immediately. The Devonshire Clinic offers IPL laser hair removal and a range of cosmetic dermatology services from our London private skin clinic in the Harley Street area of London near Harley Street.

How does intense pulsed light hair removal work?

Intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser hair removal work by destroying the hair follicles using heat. Light energy is applied to the skin and absorbed by the hair pigment melanin. This causes the pigment to heat up, which kills both the hair shaft and the follicle from which new hair would grow to replace it.

What kind of hair can be removed?

It is possible to remove any type of pigmented hair using IPL or laser but the darker the hair, the more of the target pigment melanin is present, so dark hair responds far better than lighter hair.

Grey or white hair has no pigment and so cannot be removed using IPL or laser.

Preparing for IPL or laser treatment

To increase the effectiveness of the laser treatments, you should shave or trim the hair on the day of each session. However, you should not pluck, wax or bleach the hair, as this will not leave enough pigmented hair for the IPL or laser to work on.

You are advised not to have treatment if your skin is tanned, or if you have used ‘fake tan’ within six weeks prior to your treatment.

The IPL / laser process

Before your treatment starts, a thin layer of gel may be applied to the skin to aid the transmission of the light pulses. This also soothes and cools the skin. A cooling machine may also be used during the treatment to reduce any discomfort.

Laser hair removal does not hurt, but you may feel a moderate level of discomfort or stinging as the hair follicles are heated and destroyed.

How long does treatment take?

The laser hair removal sessions will vary in length depending on the size and location of the area that is being treated. You may not see the effects immediately, and your hair may appear to be regrowing after the treatment as the epidermis is gradually replaced over one to three weeks pushing the dead hairs out. However, these hairs will usually be loose and can be plucked out easily if required.

Since treatment only affects hair in the growth phase and only 10-70% of hair is in this phase at any one time, several sessions will be needed to complete your treatment. Treatments are recommended every four to six weeks, with a course of at least eight to ten sessions usually required. Nonetheless, you may see significant results from the very first session.

Are there any side effects with IPL/laser?

Side effects to laser hair removal are rare. Your skin may initially redden, and you may feel a slight burning sensation, but this will pass quickly within a few hours or a day or two at most.

In very rare cases, the treated skin may appear darker (hyperpigmentation) or lighter (hypopigmentation), or you may get mild blistering, however, the risk of scarring is low.

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IPL and Laser Hair Removal London

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Frequently Asked Questions IPL Laser Hair Removal

Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a technique that removes hair from any part of the body, including your face, with minimal side-effects. Results are immediate. The treatment involves destroying the hair follicles using heat. When light energy is used on the skin, it’s absorbed by the hair pigment, melanin. The pigment heats up and this kills the hair shaft and follicle so that new hair is unable to grow.

IPL laser hair removal can be used on your face, chest, neck, back, legs, armpits, and bikini line.

IPL laser hair removal is safe when it’s carried out by a trained professional. Side-effects are rare, although your skin may redden for a while, and you might experience a mild burning sensation for a few hours. Avoid having treatment if your skin is sunburned or if you’ve used a self-tan solution within the past six weeks.

People experience pain differently. Although your skin many redden at first and you may have a slight burning sensation, this should pass within a couple of days.

Although you may see significant results from the first session, you’ll need several appointments to treat the hair fully. That’s because IPL can only treat hair in the growth phase (10-70% of hair at any time). We recommend you have an appointment every four to six weeks, and you’ll usually need a course of at least eight to ten sessions.

You should allow 15 minutes to approximately one hour per session, depending on where and how much is being treated. IPL treatment for your bikini line can take about 15 minutes, while legs can take up to 45 minutes.

IPL laser hair removal works well if you have fair skin and dark hair because it focuses on dark pigment (melanin) in the hair follicle. The more melanin you have, the more effective it is. And because grey or white hair doesn’t contain melanin, IPL won’t be effective.

Although IPL laser hair removal is effective, studies have shown that hair isn’t permanently eliminated. IPL can only treat hair while it is in the ‘anagen’ active phase of growth when the hair follicle is working to produce hair fibre. So you’ll need to have more than one treatment of IPL to get rid of the unwanted hair.

It can take time to see the effects, and your hair may seem to regrow after your treatment. That’s because, as the epidermis is replaced over several weeks, it gradually pushes the dead hairs to the surface. These can easily be removed at home.

IPL home devices typically use weaker energy settings than the type used in clinics and may be less effective.

If your skin feels sore after your IPL laser hair removal, you can use a cold compress to soothe it, and any cream your dermatologist has advised. It’s best to stay out of the sun and avoid shaving skin that’s been treated.  And avoid using tanning products, or products that might irritate your skin, such as perfume or deodorant.

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