Electrolysis and IPL

Written by Angela, 5th March 2018

When laser and IPL (intense pulsed light) became commercially available in the 1990’s, most Therapists didn’t feel the need to train in electrolysis any more, as IPL and laser was hailed as the perfect solution to hair removal. As the years passed the limitations of this new type of hair removal became apparent – inability to treat all hair colours, the need to stay out of the sun etc. Now electrolysis has become popular again, but it will take time before the level of electrolysis practitioners is up to the same number as they were pre-laser and pre-IPL.

So what are the differences in benefits of IPL and electrolysis?

The main difference is that IPL is suited only to dark hair. This is because the light has to target a ‘chromophore’ in order to destroy the hair; in blond, fair and grey hairs there are not chromophores to target. On the other hand electrolysis is suitable for any hair colour.

For IPL to be at its most effective the hair  needs to be fairly course. This is because there will be a greater surface area for the light energy to be absorbed. Electrolysis is suitable for any type of hair.

As IPL targets pigment it is important to keep the area to be treated out of sunlight as a tanned skin cannot be treated. This is not a problem for areas such as bikini line and underarms, but for facial and lower leg areas sunscreen needs be reapplied frequently. Electrolysis on the other hand can be used on any skin colour.

Due to the large applicators used for IPL large areas of hair can be treated and so it is fantastic for larger areas such as legs, underarms and bikini line. Electrolysis can only treat one hair at a time and is therefore more suited to smaller areas such as the chin, upper lip, sides of face, between eyebrows and around the hair line etc.

IPL generally tends to be much quicker than electrolysis due to the larger applicator size.

At Sensoria we are lucky enough to have both a Lynton IPL machine which is the only IPL brand to be used by the NHS and so you can be sure of its effectiveness and safety. Also, Angela Bartlett has been carrying out safe and effective electrolysis in Tarporley, Cheshire and surrounding areas for many years and holds regular electrolysis clinics throughout the week both in Tarporley and at our salon near Cheshire Oaks.

Originally published March 5, 2018 16:06pm, updated January 15, 2024

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