IPL Hair Removal vs. Shaving and Waxing



For many decades, most of you have encountered the exhausting and difficult procedures to remove undesirable hairs from your face and body. You may feel bored with one method and try another which is frustrating.

The advancement in science and technology has led to the discovery of the latest trends for hair removal. Shaving and waxing are traditional methods with different pros and cons but the selection of hair removal methods depends on the safety, efficacy, efficiency, and user experience.

Shaving is done by a very simple tool razor that has a sharp metallic blade and cuts the hairs from the epidermis while waxing is done by waxing gel that plucks hairs from the roots. On the contrary, the IPL hair removal method is different.

In IPL hair removal, intense pulsed light is used to destroy the melanin pigment in hair follicles leading to the complete death of hair roots. Therefore it takes time to grow hairs again and regular sessions can inhibit the growth of hairs permanently.

Factor Responsible for Selection of Hair Removal Method:

Waxing, shaving, and IPL are completely different from each other in terms of cost, pain threshold, duration, skill, and longevity. If you don’t know which method suits you best, you can read the following factors and find the best way to remove hair.

1.     Skin Tone:

IPL devices use light energy to damage hair follicles but light energy is not absorbed when skin tone is dark. As a result, it can cause burns on the upper skin layer thus labelling the darker skin as unsuitable for IPL.

Waxing is although not a permanent hair removal solution but it is better than shaving where skin remains hair-free and smooth for just a couple of days. The longevity of hair removal is higher in waxing as compared to shaving.

2.     Exposure to Sun Rays:

If you have fair skin and you have indoor work and leisure activities then IPL is the best choice because it will give you smooth skin for a longer duration. On the other hand, if you have to work under direct sunlight for many hours then IPL is not suitable for you.

Do you wonder, what’s the link between the sun and IPL? The science behind this phenomenon is very simple. First of all, IPL enhances photosensitivity in the majority of patients therefore you can’t go in direct sunlight, Secondly sunlight exposure causes sunburns where the upper skin surface is damaged therefore IPL treatment is not suitable.

Sun direct exposure may tan your skin and it becomes darker and IPL can’t work on darker skin tones therefore shaving and waxing are the best hair removal methods in this situation.

3.     Regularity and Commitment:

For IPL hair removal it is necessary to do regular sessions to get the best results. Have you ever wondered why everyone is forced to get regular sessions of IPL at home or laser at the clinic? The main reason is that laser light damages those hair follicles that are in the active growth stage and at any given time only 25 % of hair follicles are in this stage.

Therefore regular sessions help to damage all hair follicles resulting in a decrease in hair growth with time. If you are not someone who sticks to deadlines and is not interested to see IPL hair removal then waxing and shaving is better for you.

4.     Pain Intensity:

Can you bear the pain? Obviously no one likes to be in pain, therefore while selecting a hair removal method, it is important to consider which method has a lesser pain threshold. Shaving does not cause pain therefore we can say it has zero pain threshold.

On the other hand, the most painful hair removal technique is waxing and there is nothing that can handle it. IPL hair removal is slightly painful but few IPL devices have ice-cooling technology to lessen the pain and there is a soothing gel that is applied before IPL to decrease the pain threshold during IPL treatment.

5.     Skin Lightening and Pigmentation:

IPL hair removal is helpful in skin lightening and reduces pigmentation with the help of laser light. Waxing and shaving may produce ingrown hairs that can darken the skin tone.

6.     Cost of therapy:

If we compare the cost of shaving, waxing, and IPL then it is obvious that IPL hair removal treatment is very costly, and shaving and waxing have minimal charges. However, the results of IPL treatment are great enough to ignore the high cost.

In a few words, IPL is a costly and professional hair removal method that works on light to medium skin tones and requires regular sessions but it gives permanent relief from unwanted hairs. Contrary, waxing is cheap but painful and hairs come back in a week. Shaving is cheap but hairs start appearing on the skin in just 2-3 days.

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