Laser Hair Removal, IPL vs. Laser

Which Hair Removal Treatment Works Best?

What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Unwanted Hair?

If you are considering permanent hair removal for the first time, you may be confused by the numerous options available. Which treatment is the most effective?

What is the difference between IPL and Laser Hair Removal?

Many clinics offer Intense Pulsed Light technology or IPL. IPL treatments are less expensive than laser treatments but they are not nearly as effective.

Both laser and Intense Pulsed Light treatments involve producing light energy, which is absorbed into the dark pigment of the hair to ultimately cause damage to the hair follicle. Hair growth is then reduced without damaging the surrounding tissue.

The main advantages of laser over IPL based technology are:

  • Lasers are far more precise, and can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
  • Each laser pulse takes a fraction of a second and can treat several hairs at a time.
  • Laser hair removal can be used to treat larger body areas.
  • Laser settings can be adjusted to suit your specific skin tone and hair color.
  • Lasers are safe forall skin colors, whereas IPL can cause burns on darker skin tones.

The main differences between laser and IPL for hair reduction lie in the technology that each use to generate the light, as well as the different properties of the light being used.


  • Laser machines produce a single wavelength of light (pure light consisting of one single color and form), which has a very concentrated beam and specific target (the melanin in the hair follicle).
  • Laser machines are tuned to emit the exact wavelength required to treat your hair.


  • IPL’s are not lasers. The machines produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths (like a light bulb) and cannot be focused to a concentrated beam. Because a range of different wavelengths is dispersed at a variety of depths only some of these will be effective for hair reduction.
  • A shallower penetration in comparison to laser means that deeper, thicker hairs are not treated effectively. In addition, some of the light can be absorbed into the surrounding tissue as well, leading to heating of the pigment in the skin. This is why there is more of a risk of burns for darker skin types.

Laser Hair Removal at Northwest Medi Spa

Laser is definitely the best way to go for permanent hair removal. At Northwest Medi Spa, we use only Candela lasers, considered the gold standard and most effective types of lasers available. Call us at 541-318-7311 to finally get rid of that embarrassing, unwanted hair.