IPL hair removal: first impressions

Hair removal is the bane of my life. I appreciate that out of many things that suck around the world, hair removal is pretty trivial. That aside, it is a problem that needs regular attention if I am to conform to societies expectations regarding the female appearance.

I have wanted to try permanent hair removal for years, but the price and fear of pain have put me off. The other week though, iCandy in Bristol ran an offer on Groupon I couldn’t resist trying. The offer was to have a course of IPL sessions on the extended bikini line, probably the most painful and awkward place for hair removal procedures on the body. The thought of not having to do any hair removal on this area was too hard to resist, and so I took up the offer.

IPL: A quick overview

Incase you don’t know what IPL is, here is a quick run down: IPL (short for Intense Pulsed Light). It is not the same as laser hair removal, but it works in a similar way using light to cause the hair follicle to cease working. Laser hair removal is permanent where as IPL lasts for several years once a ful course of treatments has been carried out.

IPL is only suitable for people with medium – light skin tones and darker hair – which makes it perfect for me. Its the only time I think my pale skin and dark hair has ever done me a favour.

After having a patch test done on my hand, I was ready to have my first proper treatment:

My first session

I had my first IPL session yesterday. It was quite an odd experience. I want to document the process so that if any of you are thinking about having it done, you know what to expect.

First of all, you have to shave the area you are having treated 24 hours before the procedure, if you do it on the day of the treatment I was told that your skin is too sensitive and they wont carry out the treatment.

You have to wear a pair of disposable pants which are very unattractive, I guess you could skip the pants and go au naturel, but seriously, those positions you have to get into are not something most will want to do fully exposed in front of a stranger! These pants are worn to stop the gel that’s spread over the treatment area from messing up normal pants. The gel helps the light to penetrate the hair follicle.

The treatment itself takes only about ten minutes – it is amazingly quick. I was really scared about it hurting (as waxing is so awfully painful along the bikini line), but IPL is much more comfortable. Other people have described the sensation like an elastic band hitting the skin, but I didn’t feel that much discomfort. I found the sensation to be more like a very mild stinging nettle that disappeared almost immediately. I was given aloe vera gel to soothe the skin following the session. Since having the treatment I’ve not had any redness or irritation.

The machine that delivers the pulses of light is so powerful that you have to wear protective goggles while it is working. It really is very bright.

I have five further sessions to go, so I’ll be finished in five months time. Hopefully then, I will not have to worry about my bikini line for years to come! I will continue to update on my progress to let you know how I get on.

I paid £79 for six sessions on Groupon for six treatments. On the iCandy website it says that one treatment for the extended bikini line is £120 – so the Groupon deal was a serious saving.

Have you tried IPL or laser hair removal? How did it work for you?

One comment

  1. shipshapebristolfashion

    I’ve tried it on my underarms before, but I booked the sessions for a London salon, which I thought would be a good excuse to go to London every six weeks, but actually turned out to be a major pain! It was great while it lasted, but unfortunately the hair is back now, two years later. Less than ideal but as I only paid a similar price to you it’s not so bad. Would be great if it lasted forever though!

I love reading comments - why not leave one today?