I.P.L. = Intense Pulsed Light
The IPL method works on the principle of selective photothermolysis, also called xenon light therapy. Short xenon light flashes are led through a sapphire to treated hair. The hair contains melanin (pigment) that absorbs the light and in a few milliseconds turns into heat. This heat effect is devastating to the hair follicle.
How does selective photo-thermolysis happen?
Today there are many different IPL brands on the market. The offer is large and some caution is in order here.
These are some features of the better IPL devices:
1. A water cooling system: very important to ensure safety (devices only equipped with air cooling can overheat and cause skin burns), also very important at increasing efficiency: often these devices are on the weaker side, the reason why many treatments are required.
2. A sapphire: a sapphire or optical hard glass focuses the light rays so little of them are lost, for devices with only a glass slide in front of the lamp much light is lost, which in turn is compromising the effectiveness of treatment.
3. Working with gel: devices which do not “need” gel have their weakness. We will notice a very gradual hair decrease. Dr. Bjerring, a dermatologist that did much research on light hair removal, warns of the following:
With some laser and light treatments the hairs falls out already the next day. This seems to look very effective, but is actually a bad sign. Namely, it means that the laser or IPL gave a too short and too high energy supply, so the hair evaporises and causes an inflamation in the superficial cells along the hair shaft. The deeper cells however, are not affected. In response, the hairs are ejected and the growth will be slower, but eventually, most hair will grow back.
Better method therefore is a milder one with a long-term effect. When the deeper growing cells are reached, hair loss does not happen the following days, but only about 10 days to 4 weeks after treatment.
4. Not overly large surface spot: if the treatment area per flash is quite large, so you can work faster and give out less flashes, this will be detrimental to the effective joules value (light energy) which results in weaker treatment and less effective results. The treated surface spot varies from 2cm² to 12.5 cm². According to research, the ideal spot size is 5cm ².
5. Safe filters: an important safety feature for the use of intense pulsed light is filtering out unwanted sections of the light spectrum of UV (ultraviolet) and IR (infrared) light. Some devices use a cheap filter or a painted lamp. These can lose quality during treatment, making them not filter the harmful light. This brings a potential risk of burning during treatments for permanent hair removal.
The left figure shows a diagram of how the light is refracted through a prism and thus changes in to the visible color spectrum. Ideal for hair removal is the spectrum between 600 and 1000 nanometers, the non-injurious spectrum with the respective colors green, yellow and red. The higher the number of nanometers, the deeper the light can penetrate into the skin. Hence the red light being the most ideal light to destroy thick hair.
Can you get rid of all the hair?
This rule applies for all light systems: dark hair on a white skin are the easiest to treat.
Nevertheless, always stands:
The hair must be darker than the skin in order to obtain good results!
What about white and blonde hair?
Firms or practitioners who claim that white or light blonde hair can be treated with a light hair removal system (or any laser or IPL system) do not seem to understand the system. The light is in fact only attracted by everything that is dark and is reflected by everything white. In short: white, blond or downy hair can’t be removed.
Which skin tone is eligible?
We can successfully treat almost all skin types. The different skin tones are as follows:
According to the Fitzpatrick scale – skin reaction after sun exposure:
|I||not||very fast||always||pale skin, blond or red hair|
|II||slow||fast||sometimes||pale skin, dark blond to brown hair|
|III||easy||rarely||not||light brown skin, dark hair, light Mediterranean|
|IV||very well||never||never||dark Mediterranean, light Asian|
|V||very well||never||never||dark Asian|
How permanent is permanent?
Does the hair really never return?
The hair follicles that are destroyed with the IPL system, (as determined by biopsy of the treated area) can never again produce hair.
The growth cells are “coagulated” which means that their protein structures are irreversibly adhered at the microscopic level.
The longest growth cycle of a hair is +/- 8 months, so if the excess hair is still away eight months after the last treatment, the hair follicles which were active during treatment are destroyed forever.
As much as lasting hair removal is possible in many cases, we can not guarantee that a hair will never grow again. Unfortunately there are thousands of hair follicles that are inactive, which in a later stage of our lives can become active by (for example) certain medications, by friction or pressure (such as a cast and under straps of a helmet), or hormonal changes such as pregnancy, menopause or endocrine disorders.
Please note with sun and/or tanning!
Unfortunately, no permanent hair removal system is combinable with a recently tanned skin. The pigment in the hair acts as a guide for the light to ultimately destroy the growth cells of the hair. If the skin is tanned, this pigment will also (which is in the first weeks after tanning on the surface of the skin) attract the light.
The more the skin is its natural skin tone, the better.
If your skin is tanned by sun or solarium you should wait a few weeks before starting with permanent hair removal. With a tanned skin is the efficiency of a treatment much weaker because we have to adapt the energy strength. You also risk getting pigment changes if you don’t respect the necessary waiting period.
To get to a tanned skin faster its original color, you can use regular exfoliation. Even after treatment you should avoid tanning the treated areas for at least 24 hours. After the treatment you can start tanning again, but the first week after treatment you should cover the treated area or use a high UV filter, but for the treatment you should be as pale as possible.
If you still wish to tan, we would recommend to use a self tanner up to 10 days before your treatment with a permanent hair removal system. These tanners are indeed easier to exfoliate than sun tan.
Does it hurt?
For most people it is not really painful, there is a tingling, stinging sensation but for most people it is irritable at most. Due to the effective skin cooling is the treatment more tolerable.
Which body parts can be treated?
Underarms, legs, arms, feet, chest, back, bikini, anus, cheeks, upper lip, chin, neck, …
Which body parts can not be treated?
Eyebrows, nipples, dark beauty spots or moles with hair in it.
Are there side effects?
After treatment, some redness can apear caused by the cold cooling plate. This lasts on average about 15 minutes. Sometimes, slight redness appears similar to a light sunburn which lasts approximately between 12 and 24 hours and then disappears.
How do I come to my treatment?
We would appreciate it if you come freshly washed to you treatment and if you have shaved the treated area 3 to 5 days in advance. The best results are achieved on a 1mm hair length. In case you have forgotten it we will trim your hair ourselves before the treatment.
On what should I specifically pay attention to have a good result?
Since we work on pigments we recommend to maintain the skin as light and natural as possible. We ask therefore to avoid tanning or sun for at least 4 weeks before treatment on the areas that are to be treated. Please use therefore a sunblock 50.
It is also important that you, at least 6 weeks before treatment, no longer pull out your hair by eg waxing, plucking, Epilady… shaving, cutting or using Veet is allowed.
How many treatments are needed?
Since the hair grows in different phases, there are multiple treatments necessary that may vary by the area to be treated and the result one wishes to have.
We can only destroy the hair when it’s in the growth phase. Since not every hair is in this phase but also in the development or sleep phase, we wait at an interval of 3-6 weeks until the hair is in the next phase.
The number of treatments that are needed is between 5 and 12 treatments.
Beware! It is always possible that due to aging, medications, hormones, pregnancy… hair grows back. This is not the hair that was there already before, but hair that was not yet developed and now comes out.
Is it permanent?
If the removed hair does not grow back after 8 months, it is permanent. This applies to hair that was in the growth phase in the time of treatment.
(Unfortunately, there are thousands of hair follicles present in the skin which later will develop and there is a chance that the hair emerges after subsequent period. Here we are talking of course about a limited return and not the previous hairiness.)
What you see after treatment?
The first 2 weeks hair grows as usual. You may possibly shave it if it’s disruptive. Then the hair begins to fall out after 3 to 4 weeks, and you will notice there are places where the hair is gone.
Can ingrown hair be treated?
Yes definitely! An ingrown hair is a dark color. Because the system works on color differences it can also remove subcutaneous hair permanently.
Can you be treated during pregnancy?
If you are pregnant or intend to become, no treatments will be applied because the skin is more sensitive to the light flashes. We don’t apply it during breastfeeding either.
What are the contraindications?
The treatment should not be performed in the following cases. If you want it anyway or having any doubts, you may, with written permission from your doctor, have the treatment done.
A course of antibiotics or penicillin
Using St. John’s Wort (up to 3 months before treatment)
Use of medication as anticoagulant: lithium, steroids, vitamin A-acid
Under 18 years (unless you have permission from the parents)
Can not be done if you are taking medication that causes photosensitivity.
Tattoos (can be done around a tattoo)
For prices and booking, see pricelist.