Why You Want to Be Treated With a Laser For Permanent Hair Removal Not An IPL Machine

Many salons will offer laser hair removal but use an IPL machine which is not a true laser. Clients wanting hair removal should be aware that IPL (intense pulsed light) is not the same as laser.

Both treatments disrupt the growth cycle of each hair follicle using heat. The difference between the two technologies is that IPL is not as effective as laser in getting rid of unwanted hair. This is the reason that at Twenty Twenty Salon & Spa we use the latest in medical grade diode lasers for hair removal.


Laser machines produce a single wavelength of light. This wavelength has a very concentrated beam and specific target depth. The hair in the follicle absorbs the light energy and draws it down to the papilla which is the blood supply of each follicle. The heat damages the papilla causing the blood supply to be cut off. This causes the hair regrowth to be slower and finer and eventually stopping all together.

At Twenty Twenty Salon & Spa, the type and colour of your hair and skin will determine the settings used to give you the best results possible. Laser machines are tuned to emit the exact wavelength required to treat your hair taking your skin type into account.

Laser machines direct more heat at the hair follicle than IPL systems. This allows laser to achieve better results with fewer treatments. With laser the heat is absorbed by the follicle and not the skin. This means there is a decreased risk of burning the skin surface when using laser machines especially on darker skin types.


Intense Pulsed Light also known as photofacials play an important role in the treatment of the skin. With IPL we can affectively treat superficial pigmentation, acne and fine blood vessels. That being said for safe and efficient permanent hair removal this treatment is not as effective as our diode laser.

IPL’s are not lasers. The machines produce a broad spectrum of light and cannot be focused to a concentrated beam. This means they are treating many depths all at once and cannot be targeted at the appropriate depth for permanent hair removal.

IPL often has a more shallow penetration in comparison to laser so thicker hairs are not treated effectively. There is more of a risk of burns for darker skin types as well because the IPL is bulk heating the skin and absorbed by any pigment not just that of the hair.


Lasers are more selective and more effective then IPL at causing hair reduction. An IPL system will only have about 30% of its energy absorbed by melanin, whereas a medical grade diode laser system will have about 98% of its energy absorbed by the melanin in the hair shaft. You need fewer laser treatments to achieve the desired results with laser then with IPL and they will also be much longer lasting. Lasers penetrate deeper into the skins layers. IPL’s penetrate approximately 2mm beneath the skin, and lasers will penetrate 4-5mm which is a more ideal depth to target the structures that will disable the blood flow to the hair follicle.

What To Know Before Your Treatment

Laser hair removal can prevent future uncomfortable ingrown hairs and if you ask anyone who has had it they do not miss the itchy regrowth felt after shaving.

Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

With the use of our zimmer cooling machine and cryo cooling tips your treatment at Twenty Twenty Salon & Spa will be virtually painless making it a preferred choice over waxing for many.

How Do I Prep for Laser Hair Removal?

1. Avoid direct sun exposure

Avoid sun exposure for 10-14 days. Fall and winter are the perfect time to start your sessions as you are less likely to have a tan and will most likely be avoiding sun exposure.

2. Shave the treatment area before your appointment

Shaving before laser hair removal is necessary to achieving painless hair removal. No need to grow out the hair as with waxing! The laser will singe any hair above the surface and can burn your skin so shave within 24 hours of your treatment.

3. Stop waxing or tweezing at least 4 weeks before

The laser requires the pigment in your hair within the hair follicle to draw the heat energy down to the papilla. So stop waxing or plucking prior to your treatment as we need the hair to be growing inside the follicle.

4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol make your nerves more receptive to pain, meaning you won’t have painless laser hair removal. Do yourself a favour and skip out on anything that contains caffeine or alcohol for 24 hours before your session.

What do I do post laser hair removal?

1. Apply cool compresses

The treated area may feel warm post laser hair removal, so having a cold compress handy throughout the laser removal aftercare process will reduce the heat and temporary swelling.

2. Avoid potent skincare ingredients

Avoid irritation by waiting a few days after your treatment to use body lotions and scrubs.

3. Stay out of direct sunlight

No sun exposure for 10-14 days because your skin will be photosensitive and more likely to burn.

4. Avoid any sweaty activities

Skip the gym the day after your treatment because sweat contains bacteria that can irritate sensitive hair follicles post laser hair removal, resulting in an infection or rash.

5. Stick with shaving in between sessions

Laser hair removal reduces and eventually cuts off blood flow to the hair eliminating any future growth. When you wax or pluck your hair, blood flow increases in the area and allows it to regrow. Avoid wasting treatments and commit to shaving for the duration. The hair growth will dramatically slow and come back much finer early on in your treatment progression so you won’t be dealing with it often anyways.

How many sessions will I need?

On average 8-12 treatments are needed at 4–8 week intervals for the body, and 3-6 for the face. Different areas of our body have different growth cycles. We are wanting to target each growth cycle to get permanent hair reduction.


After each treatment hair will appear finer and fewer in number until they stop growing altogether. We all have thousands of dormant hair follicles on our bodies and as we age and go through hormone changes they can become active. We offer half price maintenance treatments so just come in whether it has been 1 year or 15 years and we will zap those few new hairs into oblivion!

Some popular areas to treat are: Underarms, legs, bikini, back, breasts, stomach, mens neck and beard edging, shoulders, ears, face etc. We offer complimentary consultations so feel free to book yourself in today!