When it comes to Laser & IPL in the beauty industry, they are considered one of the more modern forms of beauty therapies. However they came on to the beauty market back in the mid 1990’s, after scientists and doctors using IPL for medically treating skin problems noticed a loss of bodily hair on the treated area of patients. It was then proven that intense pulsed light was an effective method of hair removal, and IPL machines were developed and marketed within the beauty industry too, for this purpose.
OK then, so what is Laser Hair Removal and how is it different?
Many people don’t realise that LASER is also an acronym and stands for Light Amplification Stimulated Emission Radiation.
Laser is far more concentrated that IPL – think search and destroy! It uses directional light energy to target concentrated areas such as small individual hair follicles, using a monochromatic light source.
This makes it more suitable for use on smaller areas or specific problem areas.
But what exactly is Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Hair Removal and how does it work?
- IPL Pros:
• You can treat larger areas of the body
• IPL can have additional benefits to the skin. As IPL light waves also gently heat the deeper layers of skin, they can stimulate collagen production, which reduces the appearance of fine lines, scars and wrinkles.
• You don’t need to let your hair grow between treatments! Some hair removal techniques, like waxing and electrolysis, won’t be effective if your hair is too short. IPL is not like that. You can continue shaving in between treatments and in fact, you’ll be advised to shave right before treatments.
- IPL Cons:
• It’s not completely pain free. Some clinics may promote it as a pain free solution to hair removal but IPL can be uncomfortable. However, the more treatments you have, the less active hair follicles there are to target so over time the treatment will become more comfortable. You can liken the sensation to an elastic band pinging.
• You will need several treatments for optimum results. IPL is only effective on follicles in the anagen (growing) stage of the hair growth cycle. As our hairs all grow at different rates you will not catch all hairs at the anagen stage in just one treatment. So a course of treatments is recommended to catch hairs at the correct phase, over a period of time.
• Its not permanent! Sadly this treatment is often mis-marketed as a permanent form of hair removal. Whilst you will notice a significant reduction in hair growth and most clients are very pleased with the results they achieve, there are several factors that can encourage regrowth such as hormones, illness and medication.
- Laser Pros:
• Excellent results – while laser hair removal can work on any body part, it is especially effective on the lips, chin, and underarm areas, especially if the hair is dark and the skin is fair.
• Lasers can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
• It’s a quick treatment! Laser treatments typically take more time to prepare the area than they do to carry out the actual treatment. Treatments averagely take just minutes to do.
- Laser Cons:
• It can be costly. Courses of treatments are usually bought in bulk with an upfront payment. This can work out expensive, however when you weigh up the costs of other hair removal treatments like waxing which need to be completed repeatedly, Laser can work out as a cheaper option over time.
• It’s not recommended to have Laser treatments while you’re pregnant. There’s no safety data presently available to support using lasers for cosmetic procedures like hair removal during pregnancy.
• It has its risks. Laser treatments can cause scarring. This risk is hugely reduced by going to a professionally trained and fully qualified laser technician.
Thoughts from an Expert
So now we understand a bit more about the treatment itself, is it worth bringing into your salon or spa? We’ve asked our hugely successful Laser & IPL tutor, Melissa, about her views on Laser & IPL treatments since she introduced them into her clinic back in 2016.
“At the time it was an area of the industry which was hugely developing. The treatments you could offer clients for hair removal and skin rejuvenation solutions were evolving all the time. The technology certainly takes your knowledge and abilities as a therapist to the next level. It’s definitely an area of progression which you can really get your teeth stuck into.
When it came to choosing a machine and brand to work with, it was really overwhelming at first. With lots of manufacturers competing with one another, all claiming to be the best on the market. And the machines are expensive to buy. But many companies offer lease term agreements or finance options and ultimately the return on investment makes it all worthwhile.
Ultimately you want to look for a brand who will be there to support you with machine maintenance, up to date technology, marketing and promotional materials and ongoing health and safety assistance.
We’re also available in the academy to share our experiences with you and offer guidance and recommendations.”
Study IPL or Laser Hair Removal at Omni
At Omni Academy we offer the VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatments. This course is delivered across 6 days (1 day per week) and teaches the use of Laser & IPL for Hair Removal and Skin Rejuvenation treatments.
The course is suitable for experienced Level 2 & 3 Beauty Therapists looking to take their knowledge and skills to the next step.
For those who are new into the industry, this course can be studied alongside the Level 3 Certificate in Anatomy & Physiology which will give you the necessary pre-requisite knowledge to join our Laser & IPL course.
Find out more by visiting out course page: https://www.omniacademy.co.uk/product/level-4-laser-and-ipl/
Or give us a call on 01932 232322 and talk to one of our friendly team.