While permanent hair removal can make your life so much easier (imagine the dread of shaving or dealing with ingrown hairs is gone – FOREVER ) -not everyone is suitable for IPL treatments.
Here are few factors to consider before considering any light based permanent hair removal.
Of course, this is only a guide and your suitability can be best assessed by a trained IPL technician.
1. Hair colour…
Ideally, your hair colour should be dark, black, dark brown and brown hair is best for permanent hair removal. Lighter hair can be treated (IPL combined with Radio Frequency is effective in treating red and dark blonde) however may need more treatments.
Once your hair loses its pigment (yes, that’s grey hair) it is almost impossible to remove permanently. Electrolysis can work on grey hair and multiple treatments are needed.
And bad news – dying your hair won’t work. As the light penetrates BELOW the surface of your skin your hair colour needs to be dark from the growing bulb.
2. Skin Colour…
Most permanent hair removal systems work best on dark hair on pale skin. Darker skin colour – whether tanned, fake tan, natural skin colour and tattoos all impact on your suitability for permanent hair removal. This is because the light treatment is attracted by the first point of colour. Tanned or pigmented skin
We use the Fitzpatrick Skin Scale which measures your melanocytes (skin pigment) reaction to UV light.
If you like to fake tan best do AFTER your hair removal treatment. Tanning BEFORE your treatment may exclude you from your treatment, and as timing is everything (more on that later) can mean longer for your desired result.
If you have a tattoo on the area to be treated it will need to be covered. IPL and laser may burn an exposed tattoo. TIP – do your hair removal first – then tattoo.
Timing is everything…
For maximum effectiveness permanent hair removal works when hair is in the active growing stage or anagen phase. At any time, your hair can be in one of FOUR stages of hair growth when you start your hair treatment program. And as only 30% of your hair can be in the active growing stage and this means repeated treatments are needed. Th e number of treatments vary – however you can expect between 4 to 8 treatments to achieve the desired results.
And that’s why it’s critical you have regular treatments. You’ll be guided by your therapist when to return for next appointment.
Anagen is when your hair is actively growing; the hair is feed by blood vessels via the Dermal Papilla. Our aim is to denature the dermal papilla by applying a traumatic event via selective photothermolysis (light and heat) via IPL.
Medications can affect your treatments
Some medications can cause photosensitivity – this means you’ve increased sensitivity to sun exposure while you are taking these drugs. And as laser and IPL are light based treatments you could have a possible adverse reaction.
Here’s a list of photosensitive drugs.
- Antibiotics: doxycycline, tetracycline,ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin, trimethoprim
- John’s wort
- Antihypertensives (blood pressure drugs):
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Cholesterol drugs
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Neuroleptic drugs:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories
Check with your pharmacists and of course always wear sunscreen. Before starting your treatment, you may need to suspend your medications or wait till you’ve finished your course. Some medications such as Roaccutane have a 6-month waiting period.
Before any IPL or Laser treatment program you must have comprehensives consultation and patch test. During your consultation all aspects of your suitability will be covered.