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September 20, 2022 4 min read

Since long-lasting hair removal methods have been developed, many have dreamed of having smooth and hair-free skin without having to resort to techniques that, in addition to being very painful and irritating, such as waxing, must be carried out frequently and regularly, since that only pull out or cut the hair, not acting on its growth.

Those who choose to eliminate the hairs in a lasting way, end up being lost among the various techniques available on the market. But, among all of them, two stand out: laser hair removal and IPL =  intense pulsed light (photoepilation). Many people even confuse them, thinking they are the same technologies, which is not true.

But if they are different techniques, what are the differences between them? Which is more efficient? In this post we will answer these questions and explain how each technology works. If you want to know these answers, read on!

What is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal has been one of the preferred methods of those looking forlong-lasting hair removal. Today, there are different technologies that use lasers to destroy hair, what makes them different is the wavelength of the laser used.

Through the emission of the laser on the skin, a certain amount of energy is emitted in a focused way in the specific region of the treatment. This large amount of energy is transformed into thermal energy and absorbed specifically by the target chromophore, which in this case is the melanin found in the hair. This will affect the structures of the hair's germinal centers, preventing its growth.

What is Intense Pulsed Light? (IPL)

Intense Pulsed Light  works by emitting pulses of light that also generate a thermal effect in the region. This causes the distribution of energy in the tissues of the region, being absorbed mainly by the hair follicle, which causes its weakening and destruction.

In the treatment with Pulsed Light there is not only one wavelength, it is possible to control the intensity of the light spectrum. Therefore, the energy is not focused only on the target, but absorbed in a broader and more dispersed way, reaching other structures and not only the melanin in the hair.

Differences between laser hair removal and pulsed light

As seen earlier, the main difference between laser hair removal and intense pulsed light is the specificity of the light emitted.

In laser hair removal all the energy is concentrated and absorbed by the target chromophore melanin. This causes only the “root” of the hair to be reached and destroyed, progressively preventing its growth.

In hair removal with Pulsed Light, the energy is also dispersed and absorbed by other structures, such as blood vessels and collagen, not acting specifically on the hair, causing only its weakening and not acting in its complete destruction.

Often you will see in some places that, by not having this energy focused, the treatment with Pulsed Light isless painful than the laser.

Which is better: IPL Hair Removal or Laser Hair Removal?

When it comes to eliminating hair, Laser Hair Removal and Pulsed Light fulfill their role well. However, due to the difference in the emission and concentration of the light emitted by the laser, its results are faster and longer lasting when compared to Pulsed Light.

With laser hair removal fewer sessions are needed to achieve the same results as IPL hair removal.

The dispersion of the Pulsed Light emission causes the hair to be hit with less intensity and more superficially. This makes them progressively grow back faster when compared to laser hair removal, as the follicle will regenerate faster.

Comfort and privacy 

We can also talk about the comfort of doing the hair removal yourself with the IPL Laser. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable in going to a clinic and letting another person do it on their body, so with the IPL Hair Removal you can do it on yourself in the comfort of your home.

Another benefit of the IPL Hair Removal is that by buying the pulsed light device, you can do the procedure how many times you want and think it’s necessary without having to pay nothing more than the price of the device. We can’t say the same about going to a clinic, to maintain the results you’ll always have to keep paying for the procedures.


Regardless of choosing between laser hair removal and pulsed light, it is important to note that there is no 100% definitive hair removal. Even when using these long-lasting methods, periodic maintenance sessions are necessary.


TheIPL Laser Hair Removal by Snowyskin is suitable for most skin colors and it works on both dark and light/white hair colors, if your hair is lighter you may just need 1-2 sessions more to achieve the same results as someone who is brunette for example. When we talk about clinic’s hair removal, people that have a very fair skin, with light hair, may not be able to perform the procedure at the clinic, since the laser may not work or harm their skin.
Evelyn Setubal
Evelyn Setubal



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