IPL and Laser Hair Removal: What's the Difference?

by Jess Marrazzo

Kropspleje • 30 April 2021

There's a lot of confusion around the difference between laser hair removal and IPL hair removal, mainly because of how easily we throw around the term 'laser'. Although the two treatments are used in similar ways, the science behind them is different, and knowing about the differences can help you make a more informed decision about which device to purchase.

Laser Vs IPL

  • Laser hair removal uses a single wavelength of light, whereas IPL uses a broad spectrum of wavelengths. In a salon setting, a laser will be 'tuned' to the correct wavelength for your hair colour.
  • Lasers are more concentrated and focused, and target the melanin in the hair follicle.
  • IPL is a broad spectrum of light that is absorbed by the skin at a variety of depths, meaning only some of the light will be effective.
  • Some at-home IPL devices are suitable for a range of skin tones – even darker skin tones – but the majority will only be suitable for light skin tones.
  • Laser hair removal is traditionally used exclusively in salons, but a few at-home devices are started to emerge.


To make matters more confusing, there is an additional strand of IPL called HPL – Home Pulsed Light – which offers extra levels of protection when using devices in the home. Devices like the SmoothSkin Bare+ have a skin sensor that adapts the light to your skin tone, and a skin contact sensor to ensure the light only fires when it is in direct contact with skin.

Another one of our bestselling devices is JOVS. The first device of its kind, it removes unwanted hair and treats signs of ageing at the same time. Boasting 6 treatment attachments and a world-first 180° rotating head for ultimate precision, it's no surprise this device is Asia's trending hair removal tool. 

Derived from salon technology, the Sensica Sensilight IPL Pro Device is cordless, comes with unlimited flashes and a skin sensor which safely adapts to your tone. You can treat your legs in just 15 minutes and treatments are pain-free.

And last but not least, the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 is a popular choice for newcomers, as it offers extra levels of protection to ensure your skin is protected throughout treatments.

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