Everything you wanted to ask about IPL Hair Removal
Updated: Apr 17, 2022
Basically, you can consider this the ultimate FAQ page. After years of having IPL Hair Removal as my number one service, I've seen the same questions come up over and over. So, to make your life a little easier, I'll just answer everything right here!
DOES IT HURT?
No. Nope. For real, no. I know it's hard to believe but it doesn't hurt. Look, I know your best friend had this done 10 times somewhere else a few years ago and can tell you that every flash of light felt like an elastic bank whapping her body (which quite frankly sounds bloody awful and would scare me away sooner than than later too). When we get together, I'll explain everything about WHY it doesn't hurt, but for now, you'll just have to trust me.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
This is Intense Pulsed Light, not a monochromatic laser, but rather a broad spectrum light. It flashes light energy from the cooled crystal hand piece. The light energy turns to heat energy when it finds it’s target, the hair. The hair and it’s follicle are destroyed by the heat and you don’t grow hair from that follicle anymore.
IS IT PERMANENT?
Yes-ish. NO light based permanent hair removal modality is 100% fully permanent. But.. you will be as close to it as your body will let you. Over the next few years following your treatments most people will have some very minor regrowth. It’s not like you go back to how you were when you started though. Those who have regrowth will tend to just get a few scant patches of sparce hair here and there. The remedy is a single, or maybe two or three, maintenance treatments; not a whole set of 10 but rather just one or two. You’ll be back on track and ready to stay smooth for another long time.
CAN I THROW OUT MY RAZOR FOREVER?
For most people the answer is yes. For some people the answer is, mmmmm just hang on to it. So, here’s the thing. You may have the occasional, sparce, hair here and there. For day to day life they won’t even notice the random hairs. But, for super special, I-want-to-be-baby’s-bum-smooth, occasions they may want to run a quick shave over the spot. For some people, they end up baby’s back smooth rather than baby’s bum smooth. What the heck is the difference, you ask? It’s like this: the light will only reach hair that has more pigment than your skin. Because we have dark course hair we often don’t notice the baby-fine light hair we have. The treatment will get rid of all the dark and course hair and you’ll discover you have some baby-fine light hair there as well. Those little babies are yours to keep.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
That depends on what you’re getting done. The full body package for ladies takes about 45 minutes. A brazillian takes about 15 minutes. A man’s full torso takes about 45 minutes. HOW MANY TREATMENTS DO I HAVE TO DO?
Body areas are 10 treatments. Face areas are 8 treatments.
8 and 10 are generally enough. Some people require a few more. These can be purchased individually at a rate of $25/15min.
Please read the next two questions and answers carefully.
I'VE DONE A FEW TREATMENTS IN THE PAST ELSEWHERE. IT DIDN'T WORK. SO CAN I JUST DO THREE INSTEAD OF 10? I'M PRETTY SURE THAT'S ALL I'LL NEED
All IPL hair removal sessions come in packages of 8 (face) or 10 (body). I ONLY work with packages. It takes this number of sessions to get a full efficacy. It is my aim to make sure that you are fully hair free and the only way to do that, regardless of what you’ve had done before, is to complete all 10 treatments. There are no exceptions to this.
MY FRIEND SAYS IT FEELS LIKE A RUBBER BAND SNAPPING ON MY SKIN. SHOULD I USE LIDOCAINE OR TAKE TYLENOL FIRST?
I suspect that wherever your friend had her treatment done was a different laser platform than this Intense Pulsed Light platfrom: Venus Versa. Her treatments likely did feel like that and her technician may well have given her that advice. However, treatment with this IPL platform DOES NOT HURT. We will communicate from the moment we begin and during your treatment you will know that there is a sensation on your skin, but… that’s the amount of it. THIS DOES NOT HURT. So, no; you don’t need lidocaine or tylenol. Please don’t use or take either; both are totally unnecessary.
WHAT IS MY AFTER CARE?
First and foremost, understand that the process will make you more photosensitive throughout the sessions. So, let this be your least tanned summer. Then, next year, you do you. Your old thresholds for tanning/burning will be more sensitive. I tell clients to treat the areas that they are having hair removal on like they treat their children’s skin in the summer. Simply put, don’t get burned. Be sun savvy. Wear sunscreen or preferably, this year, sunblock.
HOW LONG DOES MY HAIR HAVE TO BE BEFORE TREATMENT?
Come clean shaven. Not waxed, not sugared, not naired, not with a quarter inch of regrowth. Come clean shaven. Can you tell I’ve been asked this question 100 different ways, 100 different times? lol.
This platfrom, IPL, works a little differently than most other modalities. During this process you’ll have to shave if you don’t already and that’s all you do. If you have stubble on the surface of your skin, this may feel a little more uncomfortable than the no-pain process that I’m promising you. Stubble makes for sensation and a less effective treatment.
I HEARD YOU CAN'T DO THIS IN THE SUMMER...
True and also NOT TRUE. No, we can’t treat on sunburned skin. No, we can’t treat on actively, purposefully deeply tanned skin. But, with the Venus Versa platform there are different treatment heads, one is gentler for darker skin. The Versa is a platform that can account for slight changes in skin tone and gently continue to perform treatments. If you are exercising diligent sunburn prevention and you make your treatment period your least tanned summer, you’ll be just fine. We can do this through the summer you just have to comitt to not actively tanning the treatment areas.
CAN I PAY MONTHLY OR IN INSTALLMENTS FOR MY PACKAGE?
All of my clients for all of my packages pay in full at their first appointment.
IS BRAZILIAN INCLUDED IN THE FULL BODY PACKAGE?
Yes Ma’am. Front to back. All good. Look, we’re not here for 10 months to leave hair behind. Hair. Free. That’s kinda the point. If Brazilian is what you want, no problem. If a different style is your preference, just create clean strong edges and a close trim and that’s what we’ll do. Totally your choice!
DOES IT WORK ON EVERYONE?
Oh Man! I WISH. Sadly, the answer is NO. In a quick nutshell, the hair needs to be darker than the pigment in your skin. So if the hair you want to treat is blonde, this is a no-go. Redheads, unless your hair is dark bronze, no-go as well. If you have PCOS, this is a real gamble- like 50/50 -and the consequence of that gamble is that it could make matters worse. My advice: no-go. And… unfortunately, there will be the very occasional non-responder. For this client all criteria will look great and we won’t get a result. This is RARE, but I can’t guarantee you won’t be the one. For reference, I’ve had ONE complete non-responder. This sucked for both of us, but unfortunately, it can happen.
WHAT IF I'M PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING?
Nope. Sorry mama. You have some bigger work to do here for a bit and this will just have to wait. See you soon!
Also, if you think you might begin trying to be pregnant during the 10 months of treatments, honestly… I’d wait. If you interrupt your treatments for any length of time the effort we’ve already put in will be mostly lost. See you in a couple of years!
HOW COME IT COSTS SO MUCH LESS THAN ANYWHERE ELSE?
The short story is because I’m super nice. I mean, really. That’s why. Consider it a gift. I can’t even make this up.
The long version is THIS. (If you care to read it all, click here).
If you have ever looked into getting permanent hair removal done, you know what an opportunity this is. You’re welcome. 🙂 If you don’t know how much this would cost anywhere else, and you are tempted to ask for more or a deal or question why I don’t take payments over months, please – I implore you – do your research first.
A client once asked me, “what if you disappear after two months?” I get that concern. That would suck. But.. here are two truths:
1) I’m not going anywhere.
2) Even if I did disappear after two months (which, if that concerns you, please see number 1)… you’d still owe me 50 bucks if you were just about anywhere else at their pricing for the surface area we did. (kidding, but not really. It really is that much of an opportunity.)
But… all kidding aside. I’m not going anywhere. And … it’s worth it to read the long story. You’ll get it then.