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IPL VS Laser Hair Removal: Which Is better For You?

armpit treated with laser

Unwanted body hair can be a persistent issue for many individuals, leading them to seek effective and long-lasting solutions for hair removal. In recent years, two popular methods have emerged as frontrunners in the field of aesthetic treatments: IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and Laser Hair Removal. While both methods offer advantages in achieving hair-free skin, understanding the differences between IPL and Laser Hair Removal is crucial in choosing the right approach for your specific needs and desired outcomes.

Get rid of unwanted hairs with Laser Hair Removal

What Is IPL?

IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, is a hair removal method that utilizes a broad spectrum of light wavelengths to target the melanin pigment present in hair follicles. The device emits a range of light pulses, which are absorbed by the melanin in the hair shaft and converted into heat. This heat damages the hair follicle, inhibiting future hair growth.

Benefits Of IPL:

Versatility: IPL can be used to target a wide range of hair types and skin tones. It is effective on light to medium skin tones with dark hair.

Large Treatment Area: IPL devices cover larger treatment areas, making it a quicker option for hair removal on larger body surfaces such as the legs, back, or chest.

Cost-Effective: Compared to laser hair removal, IPL treatments tend to be more affordable, especially for larger areas.

Minimal Discomfort: IPL treatments are generally well-tolerated, with most individuals experiencing only mild discomfort during the procedure.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser Hair Removal employs a focused beam of light that targets the melanin in the hair follicles. The laser emits a single wavelength of light that is absorbed by the pigment, generating heat that disables the hair follicles and inhibits future growth.

Benefits Of Laser Hair Removal:

Precision: Laser Hair Removal offers greater precision and accuracy compared to IPL. The focused laser beam can precisely target individual hair follicles without affecting the surrounding skin.

Efficacy: Laser Hair Removal is known for its effectiveness in achieving long-term hair reduction. It can be particularly effective for individuals with darker hair and lighter skin tones.

Speed: While the treatment time for Laser Hair Removal depends on the size of the treatment area, it is generally faster compared to IPL. The laser can target individual hair follicles in a shorter amount of time.

Fewer Sessions: Laser Hair Removal typically requires fewer treatment sessions to achieve desired results compared to IPL. This is due to the laser’s ability to deliver more concentrated energy to each hair follicle.

Choosing The Right Method For You

The choice between IPL and Laser Hair Removal depends on several factors, including skin type, hair color, desired results, and budget. Consider the following:

Desired Results: If you are looking for long-lasting hair reduction or removal, Laser Hair Removal tends to offer more permanent results. IPL may require ongoing maintenance sessions to sustain the desired outcome.

Budget: IPL is generally more cost-effective, especially for larger treatment areas. Laser Hair Removal can be more expensive per session but may require fewer overall sessions for satisfactory results.

Does Age Matter?

Does age really matter between IPL and Laser Hair Removal? Both treatments do not require a certain age to start the journey with IPL or Laser Hair Removal treatments. 

Adults of any age are free to do so anytime without restrictions. These treatments are versatile and can be safely and effectively performed on adults. 

The efficacy of both IPL and Laser Hair Removal depends more on factors like skin type, hair color, and the specific goals of the individual, rather than their age.

Does Laser Hair Removal Requires Lesser Sessions?

Laser Hair Removal requires fewer sessions compared to IPL treatments for achieving similar hair reduction results.

The laser has the ability to deliver concentrated light directly into the hair follicle, effectively inhibiting future hair growth while IPL uses a broad spectrum of light that can be less targeted

Laser technology is more precise and can be adjusted to suit different hair types and skin tones.

As a result, patients often see quicker and more permanent reductions in hair growth with laser treatments, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a more efficient and effective solution to unwanted hair.

Which Is Safer?

Laser Hair Removal and IPL are both an effective treatment for achieving long-term hair reduction, but Laser Hair Removal is often considered the safer choice. 

Laser Hair Removal uses a focused laser beam with a single wavelength, which is more precise and can target hair follicles with greater accuracy, minimizing the risk of damage to surrounding skin and tissues.

However, IPL uses a broader spectrum of light, which may not be as precise and can potentially lead to more scattered energy, increasing the risk of side effects or complications. 

Consult With Our Certified Doctors

To determine the most suitable hair removal method for your unique needs, it is crucial to consult with a qualified dermatologist or aesthetician. They will evaluate your skin type, hair color, and specific concerns to recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.


Both IPL and Laser Hair Removal are effective methods for achieving hair-free skin. While IPL offers versatility, larger treatment areas, and affordability, Laser Hair Removal provides precision, efficiency, and potentially longer-lasting results. By considering factors such as skin type, hair color, desired outcomes, and budget, you can make an informed decision on which method is best suited to meet your specific needs.


Written by Dr Ian Tan

Dr Ian Tan