IPL Hair Removal - 4. Comparison IPL & Laser Hair Reduction

In the battle of IPL versus Laser Hair Removal, cost is often the deciding factor. The typical prices of per session for IPL is about half of laser treatment. However, the cheap is only on the surface. In fact, you will need about double sessions to get the results and to maintain it than you would with lasers. In the long-term, you will spend the same. Both of effectiveness is also much debated. Generally the result is close to equivalent, however, IPL might cause more side effects than laser treatment.

IPL is more often recommended for skin treatments than for hair reduction procedures. This is because greater precision is required to focus light energy on individual hair follicles as opposed to problem skin areas. It isn't to say that IPL can't successfully remove hairs, it just means that you should take extra care to confirm.

The bottom line is: Patients with Darker Skin (Skin Type IV, V, VI) are recommended to Laser Treatment. Patients who only need to reduce the density of hairs are recommended to IPL Treatment because less sessions can meet it and the total cost of treatment is cheap. Next, let's clear the main differences between IPL and the genuine lasers for hair reduction.

Comparison IPL & Laser Hair Reduction, What Is Right For You?


Generally the result is close to equivalent. Both IPL and Lasers generally works best by delivering light to dark hair follicles, light-colored hair, such as white, grey and red hairs do not respond that well to IPL or laser treatments. ND Yag Lasers is versatile, it generally works on all skin types and in particular people with darker skin tones or tanned skin which is something that other lasers or IPL cannot always do, but there is still not a ideal results to light, white or fine hair.

Comparison IPL & Laser Hair Reduction


It will need about 6-12 sessions for women and 10-20 for men to experience about 80% hair reduction.

Laser :

It will need about 4-6 sessions to experience about 80% hair reduction.

Generally IPL are up to 8 times larger than the small spot produced by lasers and therefore treatments are much quicker.


The typical cost of per session for IPL is about half of laser hair removal. Lasers equipment is expensive, between £50,000 and £130,000, for Diode or Nd: YAG types and demanded a lot of maintenance. IPL devices is often cheaper, it only about £20,000 - £50,000. Since lasers are expensive, doctors typically do not carry a full spectrum of light frequencies and may choose IPL as a way to treat more clients at a lower cost. However, you will need more sessions to get the results you want and to maintain those results than you would with laser. In the long-term, you will spend the same for laser and IPL.


The general average cost is about £200 per treatment.

Laser :

The general average price is about £350 per treatment.

Side Effects

IPL is a light therapy and not a traditional laser. An IPL machine operates on broad light spectrum, sending out multiple wavelengths, thereby affecting multiple types of underlying structures, using a series of intense overlayed energy. Lasers are a single color of light, they provide more targeted results that IPL. So, IPL is not pin-point accurate lasers and the margin for error is considerably higher. It may cause burning and result in scarring specifically for darker skin if not very skilfully handled in comparison to the nd:YAG Laser. In addition, IPL sends out unnecessarily higher levels of radiation.


Higher risks of burning skin. Not recommended for use on skin type 4-6.
          Very painful due to tendency to super heat epidermal melanin.

Laser :

Less painful due to shorter pulse durations.

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