Review: IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Hair Removal Treatment for Underarms

Thought of sharing my IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) experience with you. At first, I was curious as to how it works. I also learned that famous actors(she/he) used this method to remove the unwanted hairs on their bodies.

Well, they are the best marketing strategy for any business. I also have friends who went for treatments as well and heard of good reviews so I was super duper eager to give it a go. I don't want to immediately commit to a 1-year IPL session because I've heard that it's pretty expensive so I've decided to look for promos on Groupon to get my first taste of the treatment.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Hair Removal Treatment for Underarms Review

photo source: tradekorea

What is IPL?

Intense pulsed light describes the use of intense pulses of non-coherent light distributed over a range of wavelengths from 500 nm to 1200 nm, for removal of hair and other purposes. ~ source: wiki

How Does it Work?

The focused, broad-spectrum light is applied to the surface of the skin by way of either a hand-held wand or an articulated arm. This light travels through the skin until it strikes the hair shafts or the bulb (root) of the hair.

The bulb is usually where the highest concentration of melanin is located, as opposed to the rest of the hair shaft. As the light is converted to heat energy, the bulb and most of the hair shaft are instantly vaporized.

The intense heat radiated by the hair also destroys the hair-producing papilla. It is also claimed that direct light-heat conversion occurs directly in the darker colored capillaries that bring nourishing blood vessels to the follicle. ~ source: wiki

The IPL Procedure

1. First, the attendant will ask you to change to a gown they have provided. This way it would be much easier for them to do their work.

2. Then the attendant will ask you to lie down on the bed.

3. Afterward, they will start to shave off the unwanted hairs on your underarms.

3. And apply the handheld arm of the IPL machine to the surface of your skin.

5. Once it is done. They will clean the area with a wet towel.

6. Apply cold cream to the area and wait for 30 minutes.

7. Then the attendant will remove the cream and do extra cleaning.

8. Then you're off.

The process takes 45 minutes to a maximum of an hour.

My Experience

I love it! It's not painful compared to tweezing, waxing, or using an epilator. When the light hits your skin you can actually feel a tingling sensation and you can smell the hair shafts burning. Don't fret, it's not like something is on fire plus is not that strong.

I tried to look out of curiosity while the handheld arm of the IPL machine is applied on my underarms but the lady warned me not to because it can be blinding. She applied a cold gel on my underarms after the machine is applied. This is to reduce the swelling (don't over imagine, it's not that bad) and to close the pores of my skin.

After the whole thing is done the feeling is so light and fresh. Ah! It was so good but so expensive. The attendant started to give me calculations of the sessions and the costs.

If I could remember it right the cost was around $50 - 60 SGD per session and sessions available for the offer are 3, 6, and 12 sessions. To be honest, I actually don't like to spend that much. It's good for those who have deep pockets and for those people that need it for their career. I was discouraged. I did further research on its effectiveness and this is what it says.

How Effective is the IPL Treatment?

Contrary to what is often claimed, photo epilation is not a permanent hair removal method but a permanent hair reduction method. This means that although IPL treatments with these devices will permanently reduce the total number of body hairs, they will not result in permanent removal of all hair.

At any one time, not all hair follicles are ‘active’, and only active hair follicles can be affected and destroyed by the treatment. ‘Inactive’ hair follicles can be treated as they become ‘active’ over time. For IPL treatments an average of 8–10 treatments are required to remove most visible hair. ~ source: wiki

What? Gosh, my mind couldn't keep up with the cost. (lol)

In Conclusion

All in all, I have gone to 7 sessions about 2 years ago. The moment I stopped I noticed that the hairs that have grown are not that thick and coarse as before but they still grow. I guess my hair follicles are very active (its normal when you're still young).

It's good but not for frugal girls like me. I don't want to invest in a very expensive hair removal treatment unless I'm a superstar that needs it for my career.

You might also like to check out my Phillips Satin Soft Epilator HP6519/01 and Review: Veet Hair Removal Cream.

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