Is IPL permanent or just a moment solution?

I have a friend that tried IPL and the results were better than expected but after a while she started to notice hair growing. Is that normal or this just means that the treatment wasn't done correctly? Is IPL just a solution for a longer period of time than traditional hair removal or is it a permanent removal?


F, 35, California

Tags:woman age 25-34 unwanted hair permanent temporary

IPL or photofacial is a broad band light source treatment that is a very effective treatment for aging skin.  Nothing in plastic surgery or dermatology is permanent and this is especially true of noninvasive modalities such as laser, chemical peels, neuromodulators, or fillers.  IPL is best done as a series of treatments with periodic maintenance.

IPL is very effective at hair reduction, but it is not permanent.  It generally requires about 5 treatments to an area spaced a few weeks apart, then maintenance treatments about twice a year after that.  There are different types of IPL devices, some are more effective than others.  We have found that Sciton's BBL device, which is broadband light IPL treatment, is the most effective.  

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) procedure can be a very effective method for permanent removal of unwanted hair anywhere on the body after a series of treatments. The number of required treatments to permanently remove hair can vary from person to person but your skin care specialist will help you determine that.

During the IPL treatment, the laser emits a light which is absorbed by the pigmented color in the hair. The energy from the light heats and damages the bulb “root” that produces the hair. Not all hairs during treatment are in the phase of development that allows the hair follicle to be destroyed completely. If the hair follicle is only damaged or not in the “anagen” phase, then the hair is likely to regrow. If hair has grown back, it does not mean that the procedure was not done correctly. It more likely means the hair development cycle was not in the ideal phase to be destroyed. It is important that the energy level for the light is on an appropriate setting for the skin type and IPL area being treated.