Why is IPL more effective than all other shaving methods?
That’s an excellent question. And thankfully, all excellent questions come with equally excellent answers — the reason IPL is more effective is actually very simple. It’s all about the light, wavelengths, and power.
Light therapy is incredibly beneficial to your skin, but we will expand on that later. For now, we want to focus on the hair removal side of things. How does it work? With fast, powerful bursts of light.
"But wouldn’t that be painful?"
Not at all — in fact, depending on the type of glass that is built in the lamp of your device, it can be virtually pain-free. You will feel some heat from a lamp that uses standard glass, but crystal glass makes all the difference; you won’t feel anything.
"So how can we tell if it’s functioning properly?"
With patience. The only downside is that it will potentially take a while to see those highly anticipated results, but it’s very worth it. Allow us to explain below why it takes a while, and why using IPL everyday would not speed up the process in any way (which, additionally, we highly advise against doing).
Your hair grows back all the time, and has a life cycle of its very own. You see, it’s made of a protein called keratin — you may already be aware of the fact that your nail is made from the same protein. Well, much like the way your nails grow back after you’ve trimmed them, your hair is exactly the same. More specifically, it regenerates, and essentially never stops growing until you get older and your hair starts to thin out a little more, as is normal. Exceptions for this rule can be observed in men, some as young as 20, who suffer from Male Pattern Baldness – this is caused by an over-production of the DHT hormone, present in men, and this is mostly due to genetics.
How does all of that relate to the efficacy of IPL?
The technology inside an IPL uses light, which targets the melanin inside the root of your hair follicles. From there, the hair itself acts like a conductor for the light. Take a look at the illustration below:
As you can see, the life cycle of your individual hair follicles is split into 3 different phases: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen.
Anagen is the active growth phase, during which IPL is the most effective. Now, without diving too much into logistics, this is exactly the reason why IPL is likely to take some time. It will vary from person to person, based on so many factors (as everyone’s hair grows at different speeds and rates). But mostly, it depends on which stages the majority of your hair is at currently. At any given moment, around 90% of your hair is in its active growth stage. This means the Anagen stage.
Your hair will then fall out as it regenerates itself. This refers to the Catagen and Telogen stages. The old hair follicle will detach itself from its blood supply, until it sheds, weakens, and falls out. So yes, some of the hair attached to your head and body are not actually actively growing but instead holding on to your scalp, where they’ll eventually fall out. This is all a very normal and natural process.
Now, as aforementioned, IPL is most effective during the Anagen phase. Why? Because your hair is exactly like a conductor, like metal is to electricity. As you can see, when IPL targets a hair that is in its Catagen or Telogen stage, it is not directly targeting the root as there is no physical connection to it – yet. This is why you need to wait for your hair to reach different phases of growth before you start to see fully permanent hair removal results, while actively using IPL in between.
IPL is more effective than waxing, shaving, and epilating all together because it’s faster, easier, and it doesn’t hurt. But scientifically speaking, it’s the best method of permanent hair removal out there. Once the light has targeted the root of your hair follicles enough times, it will eventually kill them, thus completely eradicating them and stopping re-growth on a permanent basis (as it will never be able to grow back). Shaving and waxing only scratches the surface, as you can see in the illustration above.
Now, earlier, we mentioned that IPL is very beneficial to your skin outside of hair removal. We don’t just refer to skin rejuvenation or acne reduction lamps, however – even hair removal lamps are good for your skin. You see, IPL helps to cut the follicle away from its blood supply, while also eliminating the oil glands surrounding it. You know, oil glands… responsible for most dermatologic issues, like acne and pimples. Yuck.
The good news is that IPL eliminates all of that, making your skin silky smooth to the touch. Underneath the epidermis of your skin, however, also lies sweat glands — these are very essential, and will not be removed with IPL. So when the weather gets hot, you don’t have to worry about getting too hot – your ability to sweat will remain.
So what are you waiting for? Take a look at some of our IPL devices, and see which product fits you best!