Razors and waxing could become a thing of the past for those who opt for IPL, or intense pulsed light, as their hair removal method.

Spring is often touted as a good time to think about booking in those beauty treatments that are often best performed when the summer heat has gone.

Although IPL can be safely performed all year round, according to Clearskincare clinic founder and director Philippa McCaffery, sun lovers are best off having their treatments done during the cooler months and are advised to stay out of the sun for two weeks before commencing a course of treatment sessions.

IPL is described as a process of permanent hair reduction (rather than removal) which works by heating the active hair follicle and progressively destroying the bulb from which the hair grows, leaving the skin smooth and hair free.

Dr McCaffery says that though some practitioners may claim 100 per cent hair removal, her clinics give an 85 per cent guarantee as there is a small chance certain skin and hair types may experience re-stimulation due to hormonal fluctuations.

Mademoiselle Body Boutique director Carmen Anuriw says IPL machines have improved dramatically in the past few years.

“Whereas once darker skin types could never be treated using IPL, they can now get results on some of the latest machines on the market, ” she said.

“Typically for hair reduction the light skin and dark hair mixture responds brilliantly. However, those with fairer hair can now be treated in most circumstances, whereas in the past that was always a big no in terms of IPL.”

For preparation she recommends her clients do a dry shave the day before and have an initial consultation to assess the skin and hair and perform a patch test.

Ms Anuriw says all areas generally respond well to IPL but thicker, coarser hair areas such as the underarms and bikini line are often easier to treat.

Anh Nguyen, from Perth Medispa and Wellness Clinic, says while there’s variation between individuals, generally 6-8 treatments are required, with intervals of 4-6 weeks recommended between treatments.

“Although regular maintenance isn’t required once those sessions have been completed, I advise clients to schedule a yearly maintenance session to keep their hair growth at bay, ” she said.

“IPL machines have become more advanced and now incorporate technology that allows them to predict the melanin content in the skin and guide treatment settings more accurately and effectively, ”

Dr Nguyen says more women than men are treated for hair reduction using IPL but she has noticed increasing numbers of men seeking out treatment to reduce the hair growth on their backs and chests.


© The West Australian