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Effectiveness of IPL Hair Removal: Limitations and Characteristics

Effectiveness of IPL Hair Removal: Limitations and Characteristics

Is Intense Pulsed Light effective to get rid of unwanted hair? Which are the characteristics that work better with the process? Which hair are easier to remove? Which skin guarantees the best results? What is phototype? Which are the phases of the hair growth? Why is not good to perform IPL laser hair removal regardless of the hair phase? If you’re planning to undergo IPL hair removal and wondering if your physical characteristics fit for a secure and satisfactory treatment, read on.

The IPL hair removal treatment is effective, but there are conditions that make the removal harder, especially if the hair to be removed are very thin or very light.


IPL cannot be done on tanned people or with high skin phototype (sensitivity to sunlight). Also pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid the treatment.

The described above are general limitations. The results anyway depend on the personal characteristics of each individual. The IPL hair removal process will be more or less effective depending on these characteristics:

Colour of the hair:

The darker are the hair, the better will be the removal. Light is absorbed by the melanin, and dark hair have more melanin than lighter ones.

Skin prototype:

Dark skins can suffer burnings during the IPL hair removal process because contain more melanin. A high concentration of melanin is good in hair, not in skin.

Thickness of hair and density:

A higher density of hair is beneficial for IPL hair removal because more energy is attracted and this helps its destruction.

Hair growth phase:

Depending on the growth phase in which the hair is, the energy of IPL will be more o less strong. There are three phases.

The better phase is the one called anagen. Here are the details:

  • Anagen phase: is the active growth phase. In this phase hair are completely outside and contain the bigger quantity of melanin.
  • Catagen phase: Is a regression phase. The lower part of the hair stops to grow but it is not removed and the follicle is reabsorbed.
  • Telogen phase: Is also a regression phase. The older hair fall to prepare the growth of the new ones.

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