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FAQ - Hair Removal

How does it work?

Bursts of light at different wavelength are delivered to the treatment area of the skin at preset lengths of time, calculated in milliseconds and called “pulse duration”.

The light is delivered by a hand piece connected to the main device and adequately fitted with a xenon lamp with filters and focusing optics.

The light penetrates the skin, is absorbed by the melanin included in the hair which turns it into heat, and conducted to the hair follicle whose temperature rises to the point of destruction.

The procedure

Client/patient is required to shave the projected treatment area 24 hours before each successive session.

During treatment, client/patient and practitioner should wear specially adapted protective eyeglasses In order to shield eyes from the light emitted by the “IPL” device.

A gel is applied onto the skin in the treatment area. This gel will act as a refracting agent, directing and concentrating the light beam to the target.

After deciding on the starting point of his treatment, the practitioner gently rests the quartz lens of the hand piece onto the skin and flashes a first “pulse”. He then moves the quartz to the next spot and so on until treatment is completed.

How many treatments are needed?

The hair cycle is divided into 3 distinct phases:

  • Anagen, when the hair follicle is attached to its root and blood supplied by nutrient vessels.
  • Catagen, when the hair separates from its nutrient source, and starts sliding upward into its protective sheath.
  • Telogen, when the hair is expelled entirely from the sheath and falls out.

A new hair then starts growing to replace the fallen one (new “Anagen phase”)

For obvious reasons, hairs can only be efficiency and permanently removed when they are attached to their roots and their nutrient source is active, therefore in the “Anagen” phase only, our target being precisely the hair follicle and its nutrient source.

In different parts of the human body, a different percentage of hair is in the “Anagen” phase at a given time. For example on the head, 80% of hair are in the “Anagen” phase at the same time, while on the legs, only 30% of hair are in the “Anagen” phase at the same time…

This explains why several treatments will be needed in order to achieve optimal results in each targeted treatment area.

Depending on client/patient, an average 3 to 7 sessions should be sufficient to successfully remove 90/95% of unwanted hair. Thereafter, and only if need be, 1 or 2 “maintenance” sessions could be planned at 6 months/1year intervals to perfect treatment.

How long does one session last?

It all really depends on the size of the proposed treatment area.

For example, and this applies to all the devices actually on the market including Yperion’s “L series”, the following times per session are standard:


Upper lip 1 or 2 min
Armpits 20 min
Full bikini 25 min
Arms 30 min
½ legs 45 min
Full legs 1:30h

With Or Light, Yperion’s new generation of “IPL” equipment, treatment time has been drastically reduced:

Upper lip Just a few seconds
Armpits 5 min
Full bikini 6 min
Arms 8 min
½ legs 10 min
Full legs 20 min

 

Does it hurt?

Sensitivity to light treatment varies from one individual to the other as each of us obviously has his own level of pain tolerance.

The sensation of pain is extremely variable from one individual to another; it depends on: 

  • individual sensitivity
  • The area of the body (the face is more sensitive than the legs, the centre of the face more sensitive than the sides of the face)
  • The skin pigmentation. The more the skin is pigmented the greater the epidermis will be heated. Light skins are the least sensitive
  • The hair density. The more hairs there are per cm2,  the greater the sensation of heat (density of a man’s beard 455 hairs/cm² and legs 50 hairs). This explains why the pain sensation diminishes with the number of sessions

The darker the skin, the greater the pain. In general, the sensation is that of an elastic band snapped against the skin. For most people a LOT less painful than waxing. Most will feel NO pain at all.

To put the record straight, hair removal using “IPL” technology is no more, even sensibly less painful than waxing or other antiquated and repetitive hair removal methods.

Are there any undesirable side effect?

The vast majority of clients/patients do not experience any kind of side effect. Most of them can resume work just after completing their session.

Right after treatment, client/patient may, on very rare occasions, experience some form of minor swelling, and sometimes skin may show some redness or turn pink and slightly sore. The feeling might be that of a very mild sunburn, and will generally disappear after a day or two.

On some very rare occasions, mostly deriving from erroneous parameters having been entered into the device’s computer by the practitioner, intense light delivered to a fair skin can darken it at the flash points. These darkened spots, or hyper-pigmentation, will lowly disappear over time.

On the opposite, if the skin pigments absorb too much energy, white or pallid patches may appear at the flash points. These pale spots, or depigmentation, will also slowly disappear over time.

Does it work on me?

The Fitzpatrick skin type scale ranges from “Type 1” or very fair to “Type 6” or very dark.

“IPL” hair removal treatment is best suited for Fitzpatrick “1 to 4” skin types, as darker skins with high concentration of melanin absorb high quantities of energy and can easily be overheated and burnt, with serious risk of blistering, scarring.

For the same reason, clients/patients who have been exposed recently to the sun and have tanned skins cannot be treated without risk and should wait for their skin to return to “fair” before starting or continuing treatment.

The Fitzpatrick skin type scale:

Red hair responds poorly to “IPL” treatment while white and blond hair do not respond at all, for the obvious reason that they do not contain sufficient concentrations of melanin, the chromophore indispensable for conducting the light and the heat to the target area.

People who have a history of sensitivity to light-based treatment should refrain from exposing themselves to any “laser” or “IPL” device treatment or therapy.

If the projected treatment area presents any type of infection, client/patient should refrain from exposing it to an “Intense Pulsed Light” or any other Light-based treatment.

Pregnant clients/patients should also abstain from exposing themselves to Intense Light radiation.

Some companies claim their devices can be used on dark skin. Is this true?

Any device can “theoretically” be used on dark or even black skin!
 
But client/patient should be treated at such low energy, in order to prevent burning or worst, that no significant result will ever be achieved.

Client/patient with very dark or black skin is often falsely made to believe that he will enjoy
comparable results as his friend with a fair complexion.

Gullible or unscrupulous manufacturers and/or practitioners may believe or maintain that efficiently treating dark or black skin is possible, but according to science progress as it stands today their affirmation should be considered as naive at best and dishonest at worst.

The same applies to manufacturers and/or practitioners claiming to be able to efficiently treat red, white or blond hair. Without the presence of melanin, the indispensable chromophore responsible for absorbing the light and turning it into heat, how can the follicle and the hair root ever be permanently destroyed?

Science might possibly be able to give us a response one day, but  as of today: significant hair removal for white or light-colored hair, using “laser” or “Intense Pulsed Light” devices is totally unconceivable.