What is IPL?
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is a more modern and innovative light-based treatment than traditional laser. The IPL beam is emitted over a spectrum of wavelengths, so a wider range of treatments can be performed safely and more comfortably across all skin types.
How does IPL work?
The purpose behind permanent hair removal using IPL is to destroy the individual hair follicles. Controlled pulses of light are absorbed by the melanin in the hair, the heat is then transferred to the hair follicle, which is then destroyed. The treatment is only effective in specific stages of the hair growth process, therefore you’ll need a series of visits at set intervals to ensure you get the best results.
Are the results permanent?
With the use of the latest generation of IPL technology, the Ellipse, it is clinically proven to permanently remove up to 80-95% of unwanted hair after 6-8 treatments. It is one of the only IPL systems with scientific results published in recognized medical journals, and clinical studies show impressive long-term results after ten years.
Due to the body’s hair growth cycle (hair follicles go through resting and growing phases), 100% permanent hair removal cannot be guaranteed with any light-based hair removal technology. Any remaining stray hair that may appear over time will grow more slowly and will be much finer, lighter and easy to remove.
Is IPL safe?
Yes, clinical trials documenting the safety and effectiveness of our IPL system have been carried out by leading doctors and published in independent medical journals. IPL hair removal is one of the medical aesthetic industry’s most popular treatments and has provided safe and trusted long-term hair removal results to thousands of customers worldwide. With IPL, the light is pulsed, or “turned on” for only a fraction of a second, just long enough to disable the hair follicles without causing any damage to the surrounding skin structures.
Our IPL system is approved by the FDA, CE (European Community) and registered with the South African Department of Health to meet all medical and scientific requirements.
What are the differences between IPL and laser?
Laser and IPL are both light based hair removal systems but IPL is a more modern technology. With IPL, the light beam is emitted over a spectrum of wavelengths, so a wider range of treatments can be performed across all skin types. Laser is a single beam of light of one wavelength so each laser machine is limited to a particular type of treatment and skin type.
Unlike some laser treatments, IPL is virtually pain-free, and does not require the use of ice-packs or anesthetic gels for pain relief. IPL treatments are also more affordable than laser and treatment times are faster, as larger areas can be treated per shot.
What are the benefits of IPL hair removal?
IPL provides an effective and affordable solution to permanently remove unwanted hair on almost any area of the body, in both men and women, with proven long-term results. Our IPL system is suitable and safe for all skin types. IPL treatments are gentle and virtually pain-free with the added benefits of helping to improve overall skin tone and texture as well as heal and prevent ingrown hairs.
Am I a suitable candidate for IPL hair removal?
Unlike laser treatments of the past, The Ellipse IPL technology is suitable and safe for all skin types (from European to African Skin tones). However, as IPL targets the pigment in the hair ‘true’ blonde, red and grey hairs are not treatable. In some cases we find clients think their hair is ‘blonde’ when in actual fact it is a ‘light to medium brown’ and can definitely be treated. It is important to check the root of the hair because if it is dark, it can generally be treated with IPL. In essence, the lighter the skin tone and the darker the hair, the better the hair removal result will be.
Each client is unique, and so during consultation we will examine the skin and hair type, assess medical and lifestyle history as to ensure there are no contraindications to IPL.
What body areas can be treated with IPL?
Our IPL system can successfully remove unwanted hair from almost any part of the body, in both women and men.
Popular treatments areas for ladies include underarms, bikini/Brazilian, legs, arms, face (upper lip, cheeks, chin, eyebrows) as well as the areola.
Popular treatment areas for men include the beard, back, shoulders, chest, neck, cheeks, ears, arms followed by stomach, buttocks and legs.
How many IPL sessions will I need to see results?
6 to 8 IPL treatments are generally recommended for maximum hair clearance. The total number of sessions required will vary from person to person depending on your skin type, hair growth, colour and thickness, treatment area, gender, age and hormonal status.
Why do I need multiple sessions?
Hair grows in cycles and not all hairs grow at the same time. Only hairs in an active growing phase are effectively treated by IPL / laser. Several treatments are thus required at specific intervals to ensure all hair follicles are treated in the appropriate phase of growth.
How often should I have an IPL treatment session?
The research behind our IPL technology has determined the optimal intervals between sessions to maximize hair removal results. At first you will require sessions more often, on average 8 weeks apart. As the hair takes longer to reappear, these sessions will be spaced progressively farther apart, up to 3 to 4 month intervals, depending on the body area being treated. It is important that you stick to the timelines provided by your therapist to optimise your results.
What happens at my initial Consultation?
We offer all new clients a free initial consultation, where we will discuss your requirements, provide an explanation of our treatments and answer any questions you may have. Your therapist will perform an examination of your skin and hair type and ask you questions on your medical and lifestyle history, including any medications you may be taking to make sure there are no contra-indications to IPL. You will be asked to sign a consent form for the IPL treatment. A confidential pre-treatment photograph will be taken for your own personal file, to enable better monitoring of your progress and results. Your therapist will perform a skin patch test to determine the optimum settings for your treatment and design a customised treatment program just for you. Comprehensive pre and post-treatment advice will be provided.
What are the contraindications to IPL treatments?
Contraindications may include, but are not limited to:
- recently tanned skin
- tattooed skin
- certain medical conditions e.g. cancer, porphyria, bleeding disorders, unstable diabetes, epilepsy etc.
- certain medications e.g. Roaccutane (Isotretinoin) for acne, corticosteroids, anti-inflammatories, anti-coagulants and other medications / herbal supplements causing sensitivity to light. At your initial consultation your IPL therapist will assess your medical and lifestyle history, including any medications you are taking, to ensure that there are no current contraindications to IPL. In some cases we may request you to obtain your Doctor’s consent for treatment.
What advice do I need to follow before my IPL treatment?
- For at least 4 weeks prior to your treatment avoid sun exposure and tanning beds, and apply a daily sunscreen SPF15+
- Do not wax, tweeze, thread, epilate, bleach or use depilatory creams or electrolysis for at least 4 weeks prior to your first treatment and in between treatments.
- For at least 2 weeks prior to your treatment do not apply self-tanning products and or other prescription creams in the area.
- Preferably stop shaving or trimming your hair in the area to be treated, at least 3 days before your treatment.
- Avoid using any anti-inflammatory medication for at least 3 days before your treatment e.g. Ibuprofen, Diclofenac.
- Inform your therapist about any medications you are using / have used before each treatment, including prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medicines as some may cause photosensitivity. Ask your Doctor to make sure or contact us for advice.
What happens during an IPL hair removal session?
When you come for your treatment your therapist will mark the area to be treated with a white pen, shave the area and then apply a gel, which allows optimum transmission of the IPL light. You will be given protective eyewear to wear during the treatment. The IPL hand piece / crystal is placed onto the skin and controlled flashes of light are delivered to the area as the hand piece is moved within the marked region. At the end of the treatment the area will be cleaned, a post-IPL soothing lotion applied and sunblock if the area will be exposed to the sun.
What does the IPL treatment feel like and does it hurt?
Our IPL treatment offers a comfortable, virtually pain-free alternative to laser hair removal treatments. Customers often describe the feeling as a slight tingling or warm sensation (like the gentle flicking of a rubber band).
How long does each IPL session last?
The duration of the sessions varies according to the area to be treated from 10 minutes to an hour or so. For example, the upper lip 10 minutes, underarms can take about 20 minutes, Brazilian 30 minutes and half legs about 45 minutes.
What will the area look like immediately after treatment?
The appearance of the area immediately after treatment will vary from person to person. There may either be no immediate change in the treated area or slight redness and warmness may appear at the treatment site, but this typically goes within an hour or so. IPL is a non-invasive procedure requiring no recovery downtime so clients can return to routine daily activities immediately after treatment.
What advice do I need to follow after my IPL treatment?
- For at least 4 weeks following a treatment avoid sun exposure and tanning beds and apply a daily high protection sunscreen SPF30 to areas exposed to the sun.
- For your own comfort, on the day of your treatment, avoid excessive heat exposure (very hot showers, gym, Jacuzzi) and avoid perfume, deodorants, scented body lotions and aromatherapy oils in the treated area.
- Do not wax, tweeze, thread, epilate, bleach or use depilatory creams or electrolysis in between treatments. Shaving or trimming is the only hair removal methods to be used during your treatment course.
What result should I expect after an IPL treatment session?
Treated hairs will slowly begin to fall out (shedding) between 1 to 3 weeks after each session. Any dormant hairs that will not have been treated will begin to grow. After your treatment you should preferably not shave for 21 days, in order to observe the treatment results.
At any given time an average of 25% of hair is actively growing in an area, so only those hairs are treatable at an individual session. Although you will notice a difference after your first session, significant hair-loss results may only become visible after your 4th treatment session.