Laser Hair Removal and IPL: What's the Difference?

No more confusion.

There are similarities between the two hair removal treatments that often causes some confusion as to what makes each different.

We’ve done our homework and gathered everything you need know about what sets the two apart.

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The Similarities

Both hair removal techniques use light energy to interrupt the natural growth of hair follicles to minimise hair growth without damaging the surrounding skin tissue.

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The Differences

The major difference between the two is how this light energy is generated.

Laser Hair Removal:

The lasers used in laser hair removal is one single wavelength of pure light that focuses specifically on the melanin in the hair follicle.

The lasers can be adjusted to emit a light that’s suited to your hair type.


The light used in IPL treatment is in the form of broad-spectrum wavelengths, so it’s similar to that of a light bulb, really.

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IPL is best used in treating pigmentation and fine blood vessels, as the light doesn’t penetrate the skin’s surface as much as the lasers in hair removal.

Also, as lasers create more heat that targets the hair follicle (and not the skin!), it’s better at hair removal than IPL and is safer to use on dark skin tones.

IPL also works out to be more expensive and is needed more frequently than laser (every four weeks compared to 4–8 weeks with laser).

Want to learn more about the difference between IPL and laser? Read more here on Kinetic Contour’s website.

Side note: The Oranjezicht-based skin and body clinic uses the new, state-of-the-art LightSheer Diode Laser in their laser hair removal treatments. This is the only laser that comes with a contact-cooling hand piece which is used to cool and protect the upper layer of the skin before, during and after each hair follicle is targeted with the strong laser!


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