What is photoepilation?
Photoepilation is a hair removal procedure by using intense pulsed light (IPL).
How is laser hair removal different from photoepilation?
Laser is a medical device emitting a single wavelength of light and working selectively, i.e. accurately destroying the hair follicle and the surrounding cells where the hair grows from, thus achieving permanent hair removal.
Lasers are a lot more powerful devices than photepilation, IPL (intense pulsed light) devices, allowing to achieve very effective results.
Lasers, emitting a single wavelength of light, specialise in fixing a particular issue, i.e. hair removal, and are safe devices but are only available to DOCTORS in medical clinics.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) devices emit multiple wavelengths of light, thus working non-selectively (exactly to its target – the hair), whereas the melanin contained in hair does not absorb the light as much. Because of a photoepilation device’s low power, the hair follicle is not destroyed. Moreover, a wide range of IPL rays increases the risk of side effects.
The efficiency of hair removal procedures depends on the power of the device. Usually, pulsed light (photoepilation) devices have a power output of 10-15-50 J/cm2 (for comparison, Alexandrite laser has a power output of up to 150 J/cm2). IPL light only works superficially and cannot destroy hair follicles, meaning that even after 7-10 procedures the hair quickly grows back. It should be noted that cosmetologists are only allowed to work with low-power intense pulsed light IPL devices.
Due to their wide range of light intense pulsed light-photoepilation devices are not specialised in hair removal and can be used to treat a wide variety of issues: flushing of the skin, hair removal, etc.; however, because of their low power output, their efficiency is very low.
The key difference is that lasers emit a single wavelength of light, whereas photoepilation devices emit a beam of different wavelengths which disperse and are not as effective in reaching hair follicles as lasers due to their low power. Lasers are very specialised and expensive devices and can only be used to perform one type of procedure, such as hair removal. Meanwhile, photoepilation devices are many times cheaper than lasers and can be used to perform a variety of procedures: hair removal, flushing removal, rejuvenation of capillaries and skin.
Are all hair removal lasers equal?
Just like cars, lasers have different uses, wavelengths, power outputs as well as efficiency.
Alexandrite laser wave is best absorbed by the melanin contained in hair, making it the most effective hair removal laser for dark hair and light type I-III skin; less effective is the diode laser suitable for darker type I-IV skin; yet less absorbed is the Nd:Yag laser suitable for dark-skinned people with type I-IV skin. It is important to keep in mind that a longer laser beam is less effective in being absorbed by melanin and is safer for tanned skin, making diode and Nd:Yag lasers safer to work with tanned skin. An exception is the new Soprano Ice laser which uses a completely different technology and is designed for lighter hair and tan-lovers. More information on hair removal with Soprano Ice laser – Soprano ICE laser hair removal.
For the first time in Lithuania Era Esthetic laser dermatology clinic began to use a very powerful Alexandrite laser made by the leading US company Syneron Candela; the clinic has also acquired the latest generation, improved GentleLase Pro Alexandrite Laser. It is able to reach 17 666 W power output compared to 1,6-2,9 W achieved by other lasers. Thanks to its high power output, the Alexandrite laser is able to reach 150J/cm² energy output, allowing to remove even light and thin hair.
US company Candela has been the leading laser technology manufacturer for the last 30 years and its Alexandrite laser is best recognized by patients, doctors, and medical clinics all around the world. More on hair removal with this Alexandrite laser can be found – Hair removal with Alexandrite laser GentleLase Pro.