IPL Explained: Things You Need To Know Before Going For Your First Session

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Girls will understand the difficulty that comes with getting hair-free pits and legs. Shaving every few days is a chore, and waxing at home can lead to potentially disastrous situations if you are a complete novice.

To avoid this, you can either leave it to the professionals for waxing or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). But what exactly is IPL – and is it safe? In today’s article, we compare the pros and cons of getting IPL.

IPL uses a broad spectrum of high intensity light to destroy your hair follicles. However, not all hair follicles may be destroyed due to them being in a different stage of the hair growth cycle.

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To be removed during IPL, the hair has to be in the active growth cycle, also known as the Anagen phase.

There are 3 stages in our hair growth cycle: Anagen, Catagen and Telogen.

This is the beginning phase of hair growth and the best stage for IPL because it is still attached to the papilla (a knoblike indentation at the bottom of the hair follicle). Light attacks the papilla and prevents any new hair growth.

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In this phase, hair drops normally on its own even without any treatment. Treatment is not as effective because there might be no hair follicle in place to remove. However, there is still follicle growth.

The final stage of hair growth and where any IPL treatment is completely useless for hair in the telogen phase. The follicle is neither growing nor developing and it is not attached to the papilla. Only 10 – 15% of hair is undergoing telogen at any one time, so do not worry about your appointment!

Pros of getting IPL treatment:

  • It does not hurt as much as waxing – on a scale of 1 to 10, it has a pain level of about 1 to 2.
  • Frequent shaving causes hair to become thicker, but any hair that grows out post-IPL is a lot finer.
  • IPL is extremely suitable for women with dark hair because the light targets the melain in our hair.
  • You can be 95% hair-free with just six to eight sessions!

Cons of getting IPL treatment:

  • It is definitely more expensive than waxing or shaving ($2 for 5 at Watsons, anyone?) but the effects are more permanent.
  • You have to go for treatment regularly – if you start shaving, it will defeat the purpose of IPL.

Contrary to popular belief, the light emitted from the IPL machine is actually safe. The only small side effect is that the skin undergoing IPL will be slightly redder for a short period of time post-treatment but this can be remedied by putting ice packs on it. Also, exfoliate the area in-between treatments to prevent the risk of ingrown hairs.

I’m sure the pros outweigh the cons – by undergoing IPL, you will never have to worry about last minute shaving ever again.

Going to a trained aesthetician for your treatments are also a must, and here are some salons on Vanitee that offer IPL treatment:

Underarm IPL – At Skosk Beautique, underarm IPL will set you back by only $50. This is definitely a good investment as sleeveless tops in Singapore are practically a must-have.

Bikini Line IPL – Hit up JStudios before going to the beach! A bikini line IPL ($78) is perfect for those who aren’t ready to commit entirely but still want to rock that swimsuit!

IPL shots – If you’ve yet to decide where you want to undergo treatment, why not purchase 100 IPL shots from Indulgence Beauty? At $88, you can enjoy the freedom of choosing the location of the 100 shots, from your upper lip to your lower leg.

All these salons are Top Shops on the Vanitee app, so you will definitely be in safe hands. Embrace the hair-free life today!


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