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IPL Hair Removal

What is IPL?

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It quite literally means that an Intense Light using waves from the visible light spectrum is Pulsed into the skin.


How does it destroy hair?

By a method called selective photothermolysis. This means that the light (photo) selects a target and in this case it is the hair, and heats it up (thermo) and destroys it (lysis). The light will be attracted to a pigment in the hair called Melanin.

How is IPL different from Laser?

Lasers and IPLs work in exactly the same way to destroy hair using heat energy. However, how that energy is produced and delivered to the skin is a little different. During the consultation you practitioner will explain this in further detail and you can then decide which option suits you best.

Are there other treatment options?

Ther are other methods or permanent hair removal and these will be discussed with you at the consultation.

Can all hair colours be treated?

Because the light is attracted to the pigment melanin, it will work more effectively on thick, dark hairs. It will not treat hairs that are white or very fair and fine. Your practitioner will be able to assess if treatment would be suitable during the consultation.

Red hair can be treated, however patients will be advised that treatment results may be unpredictable.

Can any area be treated?

Most areas can be treated. The only areas that cannot be treated are the nasal passages and the eyebrows.

Common areas that are treated include the under arms, bikini lines and facial hair.

Can anyone be treated?

We will only treat patients over the age of 18yrs. Both males and females are treated at our clinic. Patients who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy will not be suitable for treatment. There are certain medications that will be affected by the IPL light and in these cases patients may not be suitable for treatment or the medication may have to be discontinued whilst treatment is taking place, The clinic does reserve the right to refuse treatment if the practitioner feels a patient is unsuitable for treatment.

Who will be treating me?

A qualified practitioner will be completing the treatments. Treatments are overseen by the Doctor. All practitioners hold a BTEC qualification in Laser and IPL treatments and regularly update their qualifications. A copy of Practitioners qualifications and insurance cover is available on request and can be found in the clinics reception area.

Is the consultation free and how long will it take?

Yes. The consultation is free and will take approximately 45 minutes. If after this time you are still unsure and need to spend more time with the practitioner this will be arranged, either immediately if the bookings allow or a new time will be arranged for you. Consultations are given to provide you with as much information as possible regarding the treatment and are without obligation.

Is there anything I can do before a consultation to prepare the treatment area?

Yes. Whilst it may not be always be possible we would like to see the hair growth in order to determine suitability for the treatment. Only 2-3mm of growth is required. Therefore coming just before waxing or plucking will not enable the practitioner to establish suitability for treatment.

It is also very important that there is no tan in the treatment area. This includes fake tans, sun bed tan and tan from the sun.

If you are on any medication it is also advisable to bring these along in order to check if they will affect the treatment.

What will happen during the consultation?

The practitioner will explain the treatment thoroughly. There are diagrams and pictures to help you understand the procedure. You will then be assessed for suitability i.e. the practitioner will examine the treatment area. If at this point you decide that you want to proceed with treatment you will then be asked a series of medical questions and asked to sign consent form. At this stage you may wish to take the information home and think about it and maybe even return with a friend. If however you are happy then all the relevant paperwork will be completed.

Can I bring somebody with me for the consultation and treatments?

Yes. If you would like to bring along a chaperone that is absolutely fine. We do not permit children in the treatment room and do not provide child care facilities. Treatment will be declined under these circumstances.

What happens after the consultation?

No treatment can proceed without the area first being tested. This can be completed at the consultation stage.

What is the cost of the patch test?

£25, but this will be deducted from the first treatment.  

What will happen during my patch test?

A small area in the treatment site will be tested using various treatment settings. Observations will be recorded by the practitioner and you will be asked for your feedback. These tests are carried out to further eliminate some of the risks associated with the treatment.

Can I have treatment without a patch test?

No. Please do not expect to have a full treatment on the same day as patch testing. Whilst we appreciate that patients travel long distances to visit our clinic we cannot provide treatment on the day of patch testing and you must wait one week before treatment. We hope that you will be reassured by this policy as our care of the patient is of up most importance to us.

If I have had treatment at another clinic can I have treatment straight away without a patch test?

No, you will be treated as a new patient and as such will require a patch test.

Once I have had the patch test what do I do?

You will be asked to observe the treatment area for 2-7 days (depending on skin type). If during that time you have any concerns you must contact the clinic and inform us of your concerns. If however no adverse response is noted treatment can then be arranged shortly after this patch test.  

What will happen during treatment?

You will be asked to wear a pair of protective goggles. The treatment area will be prepared and a layer of cooling gel applied. Treatment will cover a small area and each area will be immediately cooled. Depending on the area to be treated, treatment times are between 15-45 mins. Your practitioner will advise you on treatment times during the consultation.

Will the treatment hurt?

Treatment feels like a splash of hot fat, others have described as an elastic band flicking the skin. The sensation wears off very quickly and a heat sensation and tingling feeling is experienced. This normally wears off within an hour or so.

What will the area look like after the treatment?

It may be red and slightly swollen. You may experience heat in the area and cool compresses can be applied. Make up can be applied immediately to reduce any visible signs of treatment. Most patients report minimal signs of treatment. The hair will still remain in its follicle and will shed over 4-7 days.  

Can I prepare the treatment area prior to my visit?

As with the patch test we will not treat an area that has been exposed to the sun, sun beds or fake tan (within 6-12 weeks of exposure). If your medical history has changed in anyway it is always advisable to call and speak to your practitioner just in case treatment is not able to be carried out.

If the treatment is to be carried out on the body we do ask that the treatment area is shaved the day before treatment. Facial areas can be left. The practitioner will advise you on preparation as in some cases they may wish to assess treatment progress.

Do I have to protect the area after treatment?

It is essential that the area is kept cool for up to 48 hours after treatment. You will be give an after care sheet to follow. It is very important that you do not expose the treated area to the sun for at least 1 week after treatment. You will be advised to use a sun block on the area during your treatment.

How many sessions will I need?

Typically 6-12 sessions are required. This is very much dependent on the hair and skin type as well as reasons for the hair growth. That is to say that is there are underlying reasons for the hair growth such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, treatment may be ongoing.

Once I have a course of treatment will that be it and I never have to come back?

We always suggest that over the course of a persons life hair growth may occur at different stages. We therefore suggest that patient may have to return for maintenance sessions in the future.

Are there any risks associated with this treatment?

As with all procedures there are risks. We strive to eliminate these risks by completing thorough consultations, skin testing and pre and post care advice. However there is a risk element and these include, scarring and permanent discolouration as well as short term side effects such as reddening, mild burning, blistering, bruising, swelling and hyper-pigmentation and hypo-pigmentation. A copy of these risks are given to you and explained fully.

Are there any long term side effects?

None have been reported other than favorable rejuvenation effects to the skin. The light used is from the visible light spectrum and as such does not carry the risks associated with the more harmful UV rays.

Do you provide facilities for disabled clients and those that have visual, learning or language difficulties?

Yes. We offer full disabled access. If you have any difficulties mentioned above please contact our clinic and we will be happy to make any necessary arrangements for you prior to you visit.

Are the treatments governed by anyone?

Yes. These treatments are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. They will inspect our clinic once a year and a copy of our registration form can be found in the clinic. If you wish to contact the CareQuality Commission with regards to our service to you there address is:

East of England Team

1st Floor, Finsbury Tower

103-105 Bunhill Row

London EC1Y 8TG

What should I do next if I want a treatment?

It couldn't be easier call or email us to arrange a consultation in one of our national clinics.

If you have more questions please e mail us or call 01206 298464/0870 4585483 and we will be happy to answer you questions.