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What is Flashlamps aka Intense Pulse Light (IPL)?
According to the Remington Company, more than 70% of men and 77% of women agreed that “the best facial hair is no facial hair.” The world of hair removal is a vast and comprehensive field; in this article we will talk about flashlamps, what they are and how they can help someone experience permanent hair reduction.
Pioneered by Dr. Patrick Bitter Jr., flashlamp or intense pulsed light (ILP) is a light-based hair removal method done by using a full-spectrum, broadband light. There are two main differences between flashlamps and laser hair removal:
- Type of light: flashlamps do not use one wavelength of light which is normally used for laser hair removal. A flashlamp emits every wavelength of light within a visible spectrum and a small amount of infrared radiation.
- Shape and size of the beam: most flashlamps emit a beam that is able to penetrate a larger area than a laser. Lasers use a round type of light beam, while flashlamps use a rectangular spot.
There is very little statistical data to verify how much hair reduction is experienced, however some people experience permanent hair removal, while others notice a permanent hair reduction.
Description of an IPL treatment
Prior to undergoing a flashlamp/IPL procedure, a person needs to visit with a practitioner who will explain the process and answer any questions. The IPL practitioner should be able to determine from an examination, whether or not the desired results are able to be achieved. IPL treatments should never be conducted by an untrained or inexperienced technician.
Before undergoing an IPL treatment a practitioner will ascertain a patient’s comfort level and apply a topical anesthetic if necessary. Once the area has sufficiently numbed, a soothing gel is applied and a pyramid or glass prism is put over the gel. During an ILP treatment for permanent hair reduction, light pulses are aimed at the hair follicle which causes the hair to fall out and not grow back.
Generally, IPL is thought to be ineffective for the removal of light colored hair. IPL can be used on hair located in any area of the body such as neck, back, bikini area, arm pits, chest and legs. Generally IPL treatments are performed every 3-4 weeks until the desired results are accomplished.