LASER VS. IPL: What's The Difference? Which Is Best?
06.10.2021 | MissPeachy | news

Nowadays you’ll find a wide range of devices and salon services for permanent light-based hair removal and there are mainly two types of lights with regard to it — IPL and laser light.

Both methods target the melanin in the hair follicle and prevent regrowth. However, the technology used to deliver the light is quite different – with the key difference being the kind of light itself. Thet both can provide long-lasting results, yet how do you decide between laser and IPL hair removal methods? Is it necessary to always go to a salon or do it yourself at home is just as effective? Here’s what to know.

Laser Hair Removal Explained

The laser beam is made up of precisely controlled pulses of energy which are absorbed by the melanin or pigment in the hair, reaching into the active hair follicles that lie beneath the skin. In short, the laser produces a very specific single spectrum of concentrated light in one single color all going in one direction, which creates a single beam like a laser pointer. Thus, speed and precision make laser hair removal an attractive option for a number of people. At the same time, because laser light is very powerful and can even be a real safety risk, laser hair removal is normally performed by certified technicians in a salon or clinic. Most people require six to eight sessions to achieve permanent hair reduction results.

Laser Hair Removal Cost Breakdown

The average cost of laser hair removal is $429, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

However, the cost varies depending on a number of different factors. The single most important factor is the area of the body that receives treatment. The size of the area and the amount of time it takes to perform the procedure help to determine the cost.

The table below illustrates the average high and low costs of laser hair removal for different areas of the body.

Area of Body Low Cost High Cost
Face and Neck $600 $900
Arms $350 $500
Bikini Area $350 $500
Lower Legs $600 $850
Back $600 $900
Chest $350 $600


Now, you have a rough idea of the cost of laser hair removal if you buy each session individually. But you can lower the cost by paying for a package of several sessions at once or opting for treatment on multiple areas of the body in most beauty salons and clinics.

To summarize, laser hair removal has a relatively high upfront cost. But when considering the lifetime cost of waxing, tweezing, and other hair removal options, laser hair removal is right on par. So, before beginning the procedure, make sure you know how much it costs.

Read also: MTF laser hair removal

IPL Hair Removal Explained

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, a kind of broad-spectrum light formed by a collection of light with different wavelengths, unlike laser that emits a single spectrum of concentrated light in one single color. Spectrum lights are measured as wavelength (nm), for example, 600 nm wavelength means this spectrum light can penetrate 600 nm deep beneath the skin. You can expect to see up to 95% hair reduction after 6-8 sessions of treatment. The time it takes to achieve permanent hair removal results varies from person to person and the location of the hair on the body, but is typically 12-24 months. In return for your dedication to your regime, you can save money and time on long waits at a beauty salon's reception office, enjoying completing your treatments in the comfort of your own home.

The Difference Between Laser and IPL Hair Removal

The key difference between laser and IPL is that laser has higher and more concentrated energy at a single wavelength. IPL is a broadband pulsed light source, whereas laser is a monochromatic coherent light source. Professional laser treatment is a more selective process and therefore the very high energy will focus on the hair follicle intensively rather than surrounding skin. Because of this, professional laser treatments will lead to faster results as well as being suitable to darker skin tones, yet the process can be very painful and the price of the equipment is exorbitant.

Read more: Does laser hair removal hurt

So, Which One Is Better For Me?

Overall, energy, frequency, and skin&hair color are all determining factors in the efficacy of the treatment, while the light source, whether it is a laser or an intense pulsed light plays a minor role. 

Both methods can target the melanin in the hair follicle and lead to smooth and hair-free skin as long as you stay on top of top-ups to maintain results. Doing it yourself at home will save time and money, but you’ll have to do it more regularly. Having hair removal treatment in a salon can lead to faster results and often a higher cost. Although IPL devices are not as efficient and powerful as lasers, they can give the same standard of results as laser treatments after repeated use and are safer, cheaper, less painful, and allow you to treat yourself in comfort and privacy. In either case, results will be similar: a long-lasting reduction in body hair. What’s not to love?

For any further questions or general inquiries with regard to the differences between IPL and laser hair removal, don't hesitate to email us at