IPL hair removal: Why TikTok is obsessed

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IPL hair removal isn't a new method of getting rid of unwanted hair, but it's having a serious moment on TikTok.

Videos showing IPL devices have had over 26.3 million views, with creators such as @aliceglows racking up over 253,000 likes after showing before-and-after results.

An image of a woman's let being treated in a salon by an attendant dressed in white with pink gloves and wielding a pink and white hair removal appliance. At right are several home products to perform the same task.
TikTok is going crazy for simple hair removal techniques.


What is IPL?

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light Technology, and works differently from the laser hair removal you might have in a salon.

It uses multiple wavelength light, which isn't quite as focused as the light used in salon laser removal.

However, it does mean you can use the device from home, whenever suits you - and it can be a lot cheaper than going to a clinic.

IPL works best if you have fair skin and dark hair.

To use IPL at home, first you need to shave the area you're targeting.

After you've used the device, apply a cooling gel or cream that contains vitamin E or aloe vera.

Here are some of the best at home IPL devices.

Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL, Shaver Shop, currently $499

This device is dermatologically accredited, and claims to give permanent hair reduction in just four weeks.

It has three settings; normal, gentle and extra gentle, which reduces the energy level for treating beginners or sensitive areas.

It also comes with a special precision head so you can target the right area, and is in a convenient travel case.

a white and gold Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL device next to its white and gold zip carry case.

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL, currently $719.20

This comes with three different attachments for your face, legs or bikini line, and provides up to 92 per cent hair reduction in as little as three fortnightly treatments.

The "zaps" work quickly, so it's not time consuming to use.

It can be used with or without a cord too.

A white ad pink Philips Lumea Prestige IPL with its three heads.

SmoothSkin Bare+ Ultrafast IPL, $249

This reasonably priced device is clinically proven to effectively stunt hair growth in four weeks.

It has two settings, as well as built-in skin sensors for safe and effective treatments.

The instructions recommend using it for 10 minutes, once a week, for 12 weeks, for the best effects.

A black and gold SmoothSkin Bare+ Ultrafast IPL

Remington i-Light Compact Control IPL Hair Removal System, $199

This compact device has five energy settings and an integrated skin tone sensor to adjust the energy levels accordingly.

It's quick and gives up to 350,000 flashes, so it will last you over 15 years of treatments.

It comes in a neat storage case too.

A white and blue Remington i-Light Compact Control IPL Hair Removal System

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