Everything You Need To Know About IPL Hair Removal

img_8793It may seem far too early to even consider it but now really is the best time to get ready for Summer with IPL Hair Removal.

Many of us are fed up with continually shaving and waxing to get rid of unwanted hair. IPL is a method of semi-permanent hair removal which is becoming more and more popular. Shaving and waxing simply remove hair from the surface of the skin whereas IPL treatments use focused light energy to destroy the hair at the follicles. In this blog article we answer questions commonly asked by clients prior to having IPL hair reduction treatments.


How many IPL treatments will I need?

It is important to note that complete hair removal is very unlikely in a single treatment. Typically most clients require around six treatments however this is dependent on the colour of your hair, thickness of your hair and colour of your skin. IPL targets hair in the active growth phase and you should expect hair reduction of around 10 – 25 percent per treatment. IPL works by transmitting energy across the skin and the energy is absorbed by the pigments in the hair shaft and transmitted down to the follicle. What this means is that the IPL targets the pigment. We find that IPL is most effective on clients with dark hair and light skin. This is one of the reasons why we recommend having IPL treatments in the winter months when hair is less likely to be bleached by the sun and skin is less likely to be tanned.


laser-hair-removal-copy1How long do results of IPL last?

Now many companies often describe IPL as a method of permanent hair removal leaving clients disappointed when around a year after the initial course of treatments their hair begins to grow back. We refer to IPL as a semi-permanent hair removal treatment as although the initial course of treatments will remove all of your hair follicles your body will eventually produce and develop more. We find that clients typically require a ‘top-up’ treatment once every six to twelve months to keep unwanted hair away!

Am I suitable for IPL?

Although IPL is most effective on those with light skin and dark hair pretty much anyone can have IPL hair removal. As IPL targets the pigment completely white hair can be difficult to treat. Typically we find that the lighter the hair colour the more treatment sessions are required. When considering the skin, we want the energy to be absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicles, not the pigment in the skin, so we have to change the energy levels in darker skin types, so dark skin types may also require more sessions to get a good result.  So all in all anyone can have the IPL hair reduction but you may require additional treatments.


How should I prepare for treatment?
Limit your sun exposure.

In fact if you have had sun exposure within 72 hours of your treatment you cannot receive the treatment! Most of us with ‘Scottish skin’ tend to burn in the sun.  But all of our skin, even those lucky ones who tan well, can become much more sensitive to heat (from sun exposure) without us even knowing it! If you were out in the sun 72 hours before your IPL treatment you would run the risk of scarring, burning or seriously damaging your skin. It is because of this we would not be able to perform your IPL treatment if you had sun exposure in the last 72 hours.

Limit your use of self-tanners

As IPL targets dark pigment we also ask that you limit your use of self-tanners prior to your IPL treatments. Fake-tan can cause the IPL to target the ‘fake’ pigment on your skin rather than the hair follicle. Not only will this make the treatment less effective but it could potentially damage your skin. If you use fake-tan prior to your treatment we will not be able to perform the IPL treatment.

Refrain from plucking, waxing or bleaching the area.

Before your IPL hair reduction treatment we ask that you refrain from plucking or waxing the area to be treated for at least 2 – 4 weeks. We also ask that you do not bleach the hair. Plucking, waxing and bleaching reduces the effectiveness of the treatment. If you do pluck, wax or bleach the IPL treatment will not be as effective and you will require additional treatments.

Shave the treatment area.

If you do want to get rid of unwanted hair in between treatments, shaving is absolutely fine. In fact we ask that you shave the area to be treated a day or two prior to your treatment. When IPL hair reduction is performed the hair follicles should be visible however if longer hair is visible it could be slightly more painful. At Clinetix our aestheticians are expertly trained so if they find that the hair is too long they will shave the area.

What should I expect from the treatment?

Before your treatment begins we will clean the treatment area to ensure there are no lotions, cosmetics or deodorants left on the skin. You will be given a pair of protective eye wear and we will apply a cool gel to the area to be treated. The treatment involves a number of applications called ‘pulses’ to be applied to the area. It is not a painful treatment and many clients describe the sensation as a ‘pinch’ or a ‘flick’.

What kind of aftercare does IPL require?

After your IPL treatment there is no downtime and you can continue your normal activities after treatment. However as your skin is likely to be sensitive we recommend using an SPF on sun exposed areas. Excessive skin exposure after treatment risks damaging your skin so we advise that you avoid sunbathing or tanning beds.

After your treatment the targeted hair will look like it’s growing again. This is when the hair begins to make its way out of the follicle. Around two weeks after your IPL treatment your hair will shed and fall out. At this time you will be able to gently remove it with a washcloth in the bath or shower. When your hair is shedding, let it fall out naturally. Please do not pluck or wax the treatment area! If the hair has not fallen out naturally it means that the root is still alive and that the hair will need to be targeted again in another treatment. You can shave after your IPL treatments but avoid any treatments that pulls hair out by the roots.

If you have any other questions that we have not covered please contact us on info@clinetix.co.uk. To book a chat and a patch test call one of our clinics on or 0141 221 0229 (West End) or 01698 854 221 (Bothwell).

Permanent Hair Removal?

Unwanted body hair has long been an aesthetic concern for both men and women, with evidence having been found for recipes for hair removal compounds dating as far back as 3000BC!  Some modern commentators feel that the proliferation of female nudes in art since the sixteenth century has encouraged the idea that the female form should be hairless.  The modern form of this is obviously the mass media exposure everyone not living in a cave is bombarded with through magazines, social media, TV and film.  Whatever the causes this is a cultural and fashionable concern that doesn’t seem set to go away in out lifetimes.


So we agree that the desire to have smooth hairless skin is something deep seated in our cultural psyche, and you have decided that you are amongst the majority of people willing and happy to follow the trend.  You are familiar with the current accepted methods of hair removal such as waxing, shaving or epilation but are getting fed up with the time involved, the discomfort and the frequency of treatments required.  You’ve heard about laser hair removal, some people have told you it’s painless and lasts for ever, and others have told you it’s agony and ineffective!  What’s the truth?

How does the treatment work?

“Watch the video here

The reason your hair grows back after most forms of hair removal is that you only remove it at the level of the surface of the skin.  The hair follicle itself actually extends quite deeply into the skin to a structure called the hair “bulb”.  This bulb will constantly regenerate the hair follicle causing return of growth within a relatively short time,  Just think of how often some men need to shave their beards to keep a smooth chin!

The goal of semi permanent hair removal is to remove the bulb itself, thus preventing future regrowth.  Both laser and IPL treatments do this using light energy.  You will know how light energy heats things up, think of how hot the buckle on your seatbelt can get in your car on a hot day.  What the Laser and IPL devices do is apply a specific part of the light energy to the skin, that is preferentially absorbed by the pigment in the hair.  This energy converts to heat along the entire length of the hair shaft causing it’s instant destruction.  When the shaft of the hair is in contact with the bulb of the hair the bulb also gets destroyed, and can no longer produce new hair.  It’s as simple as that!


Laser Hair Removal copy


Why do you call it Semi Permanent?

Good point.  You would think that when the hair follicle is destroyed that should be the end of it for ever.  Unfortunately that isn’t the case. Your skin has an ability to create new hair follicles as time goes on, meaning the hair will very slowly recover.

I’ve heard I need several treatments?  Shouldn’t it work with just one?

Won’t work with just one I’m afraid.  The reason for this related to the way it actually works.  We’ve mentioned it destroys the hair bulbs in contact with the hair shaft, and that’s the problem.  Not all hair shafts are actually in contact with a working shaft, they tend to lift off and float towards the surface as they mature.  As a rule only one quarter of the hair gets treated in any one session.  This means that between 4 and 6 sessions are often required, between 2 and 4 weeks apart.

Am I suitable for treatment?  I’ve been told before that I have the wrong skin type.

Most people are suitable for treatment, the decision is made based upon the skin colour and the hair colour.  Because the technology depends on the pigment in the hair follicle, the darker the hair the better.  Completely white hair is very difficult to treat this way, the lighter the hair colour the more treatment sessions are required.  When considering the skin, we want the energy to be absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicles, not the pigment in the skin, so we have to change the energy levels in darker skin types, so dark skin types may also require more sessions to get a good result.  So to summarise pretty much anyone can get treatment, it’s just that the number of treatments required and the overall result will differ for light hair and for darker skin.

How many treatments are required, and how long do the results last for?

For most people a course of six treatments is recommended.  This is usually effective.  Due to the regeneration of your skins hair follicles, smaller hairs tend to appear very slowly after treatment and a single session is recommended once every year or so to keep them at bay.

Is the treatment painful?

Not at all.  Older technologies using straightforward light energy alone were quite uncomfortable, but modern devices use other technologies together that reduce the overall energy required, and cooling to reduce the sensation.


I’d like to give it a try.  What else do I need to know?

If you’ve read this far and you are interested in finding out more or booking a treatment session there are a few things you should know.  You can’t have treatment if you currently have a tan in your skin, as it may cause burning to the treated area.  You also need to avoid sun exposure during the course of the treatment so a factor 50 spf is recommended to be used daily on sun exposed areas.  This is a medical treatment and whilst usually safe there is an element of risk.  The risk in relation to this treatment is the small chance of blistering, redness and burning of the skin.  To make sure this doesn’t happen a full assessment of your skin type is made, so the safest settings are programmed into the device.  We also require that you have a patch test of the treatment at the chosen settings at least 24 hrs before your treatment, so we can assess the response.

If you would like more information you can contact us by phone, on 0141221029 or e-mail us here