IPL Versus Diode Laser 

IPL Versus Diode Laser

Here’s everything you need to know about two of the most popular hair removal treatments on the market today. 

What is IPL? 

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is used for various beauty treatments – including hair removal. IPL is not a laser treatment. Instead, IPL technology uses a broad spectrum of light with different wavelengths. 


IPL hair removal works by helping break the hair growth cycle by targeting the hair follicle. IPL releases light energy, which is transformed into heat when the light is absorbed by the melanin inside the hair shaft. The heat energy breaks down the hair growth cycle, causing the existing hair to fall out naturally and disrupts future hair growth in the treated areas. 

What is a diode laser? 

Diode lasers use a triple wavelength of light to increase the absorption rate by the melanin surrounding a hair follicle. Once the light is absorbed, it is converted into heat, leading to local thermal necrosis of the hair follicle.

Diode lasers are able to deliver high frequency, low fluence pulses to the skin to permanently destroy the root of the hair and cut off blood flow to the follicle disabling future hair growth in the treated areas. 

How are they similar? 

IPL versus Diode lasers for hair removal 


Both are safe and relatively painless

Treatments with IPL and diode lasers are safe and relatively painless. Some people and skin types are more sensitive than others. You may receive a numbing cream prior to your treatment. 


Permanent hair removal can be achieved by both options 

IPL and diode lasers are great options for hair removal, and both options can deliver permanent results. 


Treat a variety of areas

You can treat everything from your face to your feet and everything in between with IPL or a diode laser. 


Both options require several sessions

To achieve noticeable, permanent results, you need multiple sessions. The amount of sessions varies depending on your skin type and tone, the thickness and color of your hair, and several other factors. 

How are they different? 

When it comes to hair removal, how is IPL different from a Diode laser?


IPL is better suited to lighter skin tones 

IPL hair removal tends to work better on people with lighter skin tones and dark hair. 


Diode lasers work on all skin types

Diode lasers are better suited for a variety of skin tones and hair colors. 


IPL treatments can cause minor discomfort for some 

Some people describe IPL treatments as being mildly uncomfortable.


Diode lasers are usually less painful

Traditionally, diode lasers are less painful than IPL.


IPL for hair removal usually requires more sessions 

Patients normally require more IPL treatments to achieve permanent hair removal when compared to diode laser treatments. 

What to expect?

Are you considering IPL or diode laser hair removal? 


The key to a successful hair removal treatment is to be matched with the proper hair removal technique. There really is no right or wrong treatment. It’s just a matter of choosing an experienced and knowledgeable med spa or aesthetician to handle your treatments. 


Generally speaking, people with fair skin and dark hair have the option of undergoing a hair removal treatment with either IPL or a diode laser. People with darker skin typically require a diode laser.  The amount of melanin in the hair is what determines which hair removal method is best.  Hair with less melanin like blond, red, and gray hair require an in-person consultation to determine which approach would be best.  


With either technique, you may experience warmth or slight heat on your skin during your treatment. This results from the light energy being absorbed by your body and converted into heat. To control this sensation, short bursts of the laser or light are used throughout the treatment area. 


You will be required to wear specialized eyewear to protect your eyes for either treatment.


There are very few potential side effects associated with either IPL or a diode laser, but scarring and skin discoloration can occur in very rare situations. The main cause of side effects in either treatment is a result of the patient not avoiding the sun in between sessions. It’s recommended that patients wear sunscreen and avoid tanning or getting a sunburn in between treatments and shortly after treatments have ended. 


Always opt to have your treatment performed by a skilled professional. 


IPL and diode lasers are safe and work very well, but ultimately, you need the right professional to achieve your hair removal goals. Your medspa or aesthetician will carefully select the proper technique for your treatment.  


Need help selecting a local medspa or aesthetician for your treatment?  Contact us to find one we recommend. 

About DermaJEM


DermaJEM is an equipment supplier for medspas and aestheticians around the world. We actively work with and support hundreds of professionals with the tools they need to properly provide their patients with the beauty treatments they want. 


We have an IPL machine and a diode laser in our product lineup. To learn more, click on the following links. 


Discover more about our diode laser – Anima Forza Tri-Diode Laser

Learn more about our IPL machine – Anima Lumiere IPL

author avatar
Wishlist 0
Continue Shopping