How Do IPL Hair Removal Devices Work?

How Do IPL Hair Removal Devices Work?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a form of laser hair removal, which targets the hair during the ‘growth’ phase for permanent reduction. These handheld devices have been around since 2005, however, only with recent advancements in clinical grade technology have they been available for the general market. 

IPL emits wavelengths of light which is attracted to the contrast of dark hair on light skin. IPL devices use polychromatic light and low levels of infrared which target the melanin found in skin and hair, which is present in higher concentrations at the root of the hair follicle. The light is absorbed, which transfers the heat to the hair follicle, causing it to burn and damage. Once the hair has been zapped, it will grow back for around 2 to 4 weeks before falling out. New growth will begin to appear in patches as some follicles won’t be growing back. Although the effect is not instant, and requires multiple treatments, it is a permanent solution to hair reduction and a valuable investment. Permanent results will be visible two to three months after treatment, when a lot of your body hair isn’t growing back.

The Fether Silk Light at home IPL device is quick to use and pain free compared to other forms of hair removal. Treatment can be performed on most parts of the face and body apart from the eye area. It is designed for convenience and to be used in the comfort of your own home. For a successful experience, the handset should be used once a week for eight weeks, and then once a month until satisfied. For safe treatments, follow our IPL Hair Removal Preparation Guide.


Three phases of hair growth


  • The anagen phase is the first stage of the hair growing cycle where the cells of the hair divide rapidly, and the hair can grow for anywhere between 6 to 24 months.
  • The catagen phase is the transitional phase as the hair growth stops and a signal alerts the hair to detach from the blood supply and move up from the base. As the shortest phase, it usually lasts for 6 to 10 weeks.
  • The telogen phase is the resting stage of the hair as it remains dormant for 1-4 months. This phase usually lasts for 3-5 months where a new hair will usually take place. Shedding of the hair will occur once the new hair has come through.

As not all hair follicles are active at the one time, the anagen phase is the best time for the IPL treatment to be effective. The melanin in the hair follicle is only present in this stage and thus the hair follicles cannot be treated until they become active over time, which is why IPL requires multiple sessions. IPL devices will permanently reduce the total hair on the treated area, however may not permanently remove all hairs.

Possible side effects are mild however may include redness, swelling or itchiness. These are usually short term and can be simply treated by keeping the affected areas clean, moisturized and out of the sun. It is important to avoid treating areas with skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne or eczema as the IPL can irritate it or get infected.


Fitzpatrick Scale


Skin color index

Using IPL devices on dark to very dark skin tones is inadvisable as the light is likely to target the melanin in the skin instead of the hair, leading to unsatisfactory results. For all other skin and hair types, the Silk Light is the perfect solution to affordable and permanent hair growth reduction.

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