If, like me, you have found that tweezing is just too darn slow and painful for removing hair, while waxing is a level of pain that makes your neighbours call the police because they think someone is being tortured when they hear the screams coming from your apartment, then maybe it’s time to think about using IPL hair removal treatment. Yes, I know this can seem like a big step and may be somewhat intimidating. That’s why, today, I am going to set out a beginner’s guide to IPL hair removal treatment at home. So that you can all go away and have the confidence to give it a go yourself.
So, what is this IPL thingy?
IPL. Yeah, just some letters that you see or hear banded about by your friends and co-workers, but what does it actually mean? Isn’t it just the same as laser hair removal? Well, no, not really. The letters actually stand for Intense Pulse Light and the treatment uses a full spectrum of light with scattered wave lengths in order to remove hair. Laser treatment, which I’m guessing more of you will have heard about, uses one specific wavelength of light. Why does this matter? Well, it’s because different wave lengths are able to target different colours of hair follicles for improved removal.
Where do I start?
Okay, deep breath, before you go out and spend your money on a new home kit, take the time to find out if IPL is even suitable for you! It will save a lot of time. In general, the treatment is successful on skin types including very fair, fair, olive and tanned. I have fair skin so I was okay. But, it does not normally have much effect on dark brown or black skin. Also, it doesn’t have much effect on white/grey, red or light blonde hair. So, you should definitely take time to find out if the treatment is suitable. Other important things to consider:
- Check what is included in your kit. Does it include safety equipment? Is there some important part that isn’t included?
- Make sure the product comes with a set period money back guarantee and warranty, in case you aren’t happy.
- Read the leaflet or guide that comes with your device!
Where can it be used?
I’ve only ever needed to use the treatment on my legs, but I won’t tell you how hairy those bad boys used to get. But, maybe you’ve got other furry areas that you often have to cover up when the sun is out for fear of embarrassment. Well, IPL hair removal treatment can work on the arms, armpits, chest, back, abdomen, and, ahem, bikini area. Okay, maybe I’ve used it on another area mentioned just there. Needless to say I was particularly scared about using the treatment there, but it went well and my boyfriend is particular happy!
Let’s get started!
Okay, let’s get down to it. Let’s talk about actually using a home kit and the steps you should normally take. And, don’t worry, it doesn’t really hurt, all I’ve ever felt at most is a slight tingling and no burning.
- First of all, have a shave. Yes, you’re probably thinking that you could do that anyway and be rid of your hairs. But not really. They come back pretty quickly. Anyhow, this is a necessary part of the process for the light energy to be channelled to the hair root.
- Second, if your kit comes with a pair of safety goggles, put them on. Come on, you know you’re going to look cool! Okay, maybe not, but you’re at home. It doesn’t matter!
- Third, choose the right level according to what the guide book says is recommended for your skin type.
- Fourth, grab hold of the applicator and place it against the area you are targeting, and then press the button for a pulse of light to be sent.
It really is that simple. You were probably expecting something … more, but it really is simple. From personal experience, though, it’s a good idea to check that the pulse light part of your kit is still working after a while, as you may need to replace it.
Insider safety tips
I’ve been using IPL hair removal treatment for some time now and it’s given me some helpful insights. So I thought it would be a good idea to share some of these with you guys, before I leave you to embark on your own IPL hair removal journey:
- Only use the kit for the areas that it is meant to be used for!
- Always shave beforehand. Why? Because unshaved hair can actually be burnt by the intense light, which won’t really hurt but will smell bad and could actually damage the appliance.
- When you start out using the treatment for the first three or four times, you are recommended to do so two weeks apart. After this, I have found that it is best to wait until you notice some hair start growing back before repeating the treatment.
- Using the treatment more than you’re supposed to on a specific area will likely only lead to irritation. Trust me, I went there.
- Chose the right setting. IPL hair removal home kits will often come with different settings. Don’t go all gung-ho, be careful and follow the guidelines provided with your kit.