What is IPL and how does it work?

Intense Pulsed Light is a fast & easy treatment thatuses short blasts of a polychromatic, high-intensity light to penetrate just below the skin's surface to absorb melanin (the dark pigment in your hair and skin) and haemoglobin (the red colour in your blood vessels). This light converts to heat, which damages the target cells without disrupting the skins surface. This is used as a non-invasive treatment for unwanted hair and many skin conditions. 
We use a cooled glass applicator that is placed in contact with skin surface - the light pulses through it into the skin. The applicator is then moved to the neighbouring area and the process is repeated. Operator skill can also minimise pain, but you should expect discomfort at the very least. The traditional explanation of IPL is that it feels like "a rubber band snapping”. There is heat involved and it can be more uncomfortable than this metaphor indicates!
Hair grows in three cycles called Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen. IPL most effectively interacts with hair in the Anagen (or active growth) phase, when the hair is highest in pigment (excluding white, grey & blonde hairs). The bulb is usually where the highest concentration of melanin (pigment) is located, as opposed to the rest of the hair shaft. As the light is converted to heat energy, the bulb and most of the hair shaft are instantly heated, injuring the cells.
Two or seven days after the treatment hair stubble may reappear. This is NOT new hair growth, simply the body shedding the thermally damaged hair; including the bulb.
When this hair is completely shed it's time for your next treatment (typically four to six weeks). As IPL penetrates through the skin right to the bulb of the hair, it's still OK to shave between treatments if you like, but DON’T tweeze or wax as that will remove the target.
Multiple treatments are required to accomplish permanent hair reduction – your hairs will go in and out of their respective phases and we aim to catch them in the anagen phase. On average a minimum 20% reduction will be noticed in the initial treatment and as much as 95% reduction can be realised in four to six sequential 4-6 weekly treatments. 
After completion of initial sessions, a maintenance session may be necessary from time to time due to the development of some new hair growth. For example, Pia has an IPL session once or twice a year on very minimal presenting hair to keep her underarms and bikini line looking perfect. That is all that is required!
Immediately following treatment you may experience some redness and/or warmth at the treatment site, which is normal and can be cooled with cold wet compresses if desired. It is recommended to avoid sun, vigorous exercise, perfumed deodorants, heavily chlorinated pools and / or hot showers/baths, saunas, etc. for 12 – 24 hours after.
Being hair free is easier than you think – you’ll be so rapt to start! Come on in for your free consult.

It may be a contraindication to an IPL service if you have;

  • tattoos on the area to be treated
  • recent trauma such as sunburn, injury or another invasive skin treatment 
  • consistent solarium use
  • pregnancy 
  • history of seizures/epilepsy
  • Dermatitis, eczema, psiorasis (although in some cases can be helpful)
  • herpes within the treatment area
  • active infections or open wounds (including acne)
  • Keloid scarring
  • Roaccutane use in the last 6-12 months 
  • very dark skin
  • melasma (we have other fabulous options for this!)
  • On medication (we have a list to check). There are a multitude of common drugs which can interfere with treatment. Steroids, antibiotics such as tetracyclines and analgesics like ibuprofen can make you more photosensitive.
  • permanent fillers (injectables)
  • porphyria
  • diabetes (letter from Dr required)
  • hormonal imbalances, including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • It is recommended to wait at least 2 years after finishing chemotherapy, as chemo thins the skin and the immune system can be compromised. Treatment from pulsed light would be more likely to cause damage as the healing potential would be limited.
IPL Hair Reduction Prices
Lower ½ Leg 30min | 165
Upper ½ Leg 30min | 185
Full Leg 60min | 325
Underarm 20min | 59
Bikini 20min | 90
Bikini XX (g-string line) 30min | 120
XXX (landing strip) 30min | 150
XXXX (all off) 30min | 170
½ Arms 20min | 120
Full Arms 40min | 175
Small Area (Lip, Chin, Sides, Neck, Snail Trail or Middle Brow)  10min | 59
Any 2 Small Area 20min | 89
1/2 Back 30min | 115
Back or Chest 40min | 185
Shoulders 20min | 59
Stomach 20min | 89

For hair reduction treatments we generally require to see you once a month for 3-6 visits in a row. IPL is effective on hairs in their active growing stage, which is why consistent appointments are initially necessary to receive the best results. There is a small amount of discomfort felt during treatment (especially the first two), but most people do not consider it any worse than waxing.