IPL vs. Laser Hair Removal: What's the Difference?

Between the IPL and laser hair removal, which one is better to use?

Everyone, no exceptions, aims to remove all the unnecessary baggage of hair around their body. In this modern time, numerous methods plus hair removal products are all coming out in the market that provide a lot of options to the consumers. It is also becoming part of the lifestyle of most women to go to salons or any derma clinics to have their hair be removed. 

Most people are looking for the best permanent hair removal treatment that sometimes leads them to try almost everything available to use. Tweezing, waxing, or shaving is the common option among the rest since it's the cheaper ones. However, those are time-consuming and sometimes even lead to much pain and injury.

Recently, there are two most well-known methods of hair removal available to consumers at home: IPL and laser hair removal. Between this method, which is better? Which method can be used on any type of skin? 

Let's get into our review! 


What is the Difference between IPL and Laser? 

Sometimes, Laser Hair Removal and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) are mistaken for each other because it is both a light-based hair removal treatment. But there's a certain difference between the two types of hair removal. It is essential to know deeply the difference between the two so that it may save you from any future irremediable skin damage.

Always remember the primary difference between the two types as well as the very important difference to take note before you consider which treatment among the two you want to undergo. Constantly, it is the light source that is being used in each treatment that you must first consider upon engaging yourselves to the hair removal treatment.

IPL uses a broad spectrum while laser hair removal uses the actual laser technology where particularly small and controlled areas of skin are its main target. 


Difference 1: Range of Applicable Skin Colors 

Accordingly, IPL is widely known because of how it uses a wide spectrum of visible light wavelengths. It is not like those lasers that can be focused as a concentrated beam. Moreover, this type of hair removal is not advisable to those who have lighter or darker skin.

It is being said that the common rule is, the darker your skin color, the less safe it is to use the IPL. Since the IPL works in absorbing more light, this can bring an inimical side effect to those who have a darker skin tone, and what worse is, it can lead to burns on the skin.

On the other hand, laser hair removal treatment is known because it is concentrated in the long term, that's why results last longer as well. Laser treatment's light gives much focus on the pore of the skin. Thus, the light gets closer to treat the follicles, and that's what prevents the hair from growing back. Compared to IPL, laser hair removal can be used for darker skin types and the risk of damage is much less likely to happen if it is done correctly by a professional. 

ipl laser at home hair removal

Both treatments take a long-term process to remove unwanted or unnecessary hair and both treatments work in similar ways but indeed, they are two completely separate technologies.


Difference 2: Range of Focus

Moreover, it is being said that when using the laser hair removal, it only focuses on one wavelength of light at your skin, while IPL or Intense Pulsed Light releases light of many different wavelengths whenever you use it.

Plus, light from Intense Pulsed Light or also known as IPL is less focused and scattered more unlike those of laser hair removal. This type of hair removal goes through down to the second layer of the skin or your dermis without causing any harm to the top layer of your skin or your epidermis, which is the reason why IPL causes less damage to your skin.

IPL is known to be useful since you can use IPL on any parts of your body that you wish to remove the unnecessary hair. However, be mindful that it may not be working on your uneven areas. Keep in mind also that it's not recommended and advisable to use for people who have thick, raised keloid scars or for those who have darker skin tones. It is also not as effective for those with very light-colored hair, just like with those who have darker hair.

laser hair removal follicle closeup


Difference 3: Cost 

Usually, IPL technology is the one that requires more treatments and is known to have a less effective effect of removing unwanted hair. But it is much cheaper than laser and the results can be as comparable as going to a salon or dermatologist to get laser hair removal done. 

Laser is expensive because you need to pay for a professional's time and labor. if you do decide to go through with laser, remember that when visiting a skin care specialist, you must make known whether you just want to remove the excess hair you have or you want to completely get rid of the hair for good. He or she will be recommending the true laser as the best choice or option you may have. 

Also be aware that another key point to remember is to have a discussion first on  what truly your concerns are and consider what type of skin you have, so that they can give the best advice for you and what's the best course of action she or he needs to be done.

Both laser hair removal and IPL treatment are all effective and better to use as long as it is delivered and it needs to be done by a qualified laser practitioner in the case of laser, or with a high quality product in the case of using IPL technology. 


Difference 4: Effectiveness

The Intense Pulsed Light hair removal is known to have more permanent results unlike other available methods, but be mindful that these will always vary from person to person where genetic aspects like hair color or skin tone are the first ones to consider upon undergoing any IPL hair treatment session. Plus, hormonal imbalance or any medical conditions of a person will also affect the results or outcome of it.

The first benefit of IPL hair removal compared to waxing and threading is that over time or after doing multiple treatments you will achieve permanent reduction of hair growth that you wish for. The regrowth of hair will be slower so that it will not take your time to shave as much as possible. The hair will also grow thinner and less course after the IPL hair removal treatment. And they may even grow paler that it will be less obvious to be noticed.

According to most people, they have achieved permanently losing all the unwanted hair from treated areas after finishing an average of 6 sessions. The Intense Pulsed Light hair removal treatment might not give you a life freed from any unwanted hair, but it is proven to have long-lasting results. Every individual that wants to use the IPL method must realize that results always vary from person to person and the body reacts differently based on the type of skin and hair they have. Some might experience a 100 percent hair Growth reduction, but there are always others who might see the results for only around 70-90 percent.

By using IPL hair removal to permanently reduce all the unwanted or unnecessary baggage of hair, it is important to have the entire destruction of hair follicles. When a person receives the treatments where the hair follicle was the only damage, there's a chance that the hair can repair and regrow once again. However, the hair re-growth rate is known as not fixed. After all the treatments, some people experience hair regrowth after a few months or years. But others may never experience enough of hair re-growth.

Furthermore, an individual hair growth cycle will always determine according to the personal hair regrowth. Therefore, it is being said that everyone will always experience different kinds of results. Because of this specific reason, most people are required to have yearly maintenance to fully ensure that hair regrowth is eliminated. So, the main goal of having a better, smooth, and clear skin can finally be achieved.



Both IPL and laser hair removal treatment have their advantages, benefits, and somehow the so-called cons. Choosing between the two is known to be a personal choice and decision that a person who will be going to undergo the hair removal treatment must do. The skin tone and hair color you have always affect the results and outcome when using both laser and IPL hair removal, that's why it is important to understand which is best and suits you so that at the end of the day you can achieve what you truly desire. Don't forget that you must always consider what type of skin and body you have, the amount you have to wish to spend or what's only inside of your budget, and of course, how fast or quickly you want to see the results.