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IPL Hair Removal

IPL Laser Hair Removal at CapeMAC, Dr DH Manoj Bagwandeen

Intense Pulsed Light - IPL Hair Removal

* Please note individual results may vary. Results are not guaranteed.

IPL hair removal is a medical procedure that removes and reduces unwanted hair on the face and body using an IPL machine. IPL means Intense Pulsed Light. IPL used for reducing unwanted hair has become one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed and has been proven to be one of the most effective procedures as well.

IPL hair removal is based on beams of high energy pulsed light designed to seek out the dark pigment of the hair. The IPL selectively penetrates into the individual hair follicles where it is absorbed into the dark pigment of the hair. The intense heat ultimately causes damage to the hair follicle, which inhibits future hair growth, without damaging the surrounding tissue. Once destroyed, a hair follicle will never grow back. Hair grows in cycles though; therefore, each growth cycle will need to be treated to obtain significant hair reduction.

What are the Benefits of IPL Hair Removal?

  • IPL effectively removes unwanted hair on the body or face
  • IPL is less costly than laser hair removal
  • IPL is gentle on the skin, less painful, with less sensation
  • IPL has a smaller risk of damaging surrounding tissues than laser treatments
  • IPL has a high treatment speed: can cover large areas of skin, quickly
  • IPL reduces the risk of hyper-pigmentation and scaring
  • IPL requires virtually no downtime
  • IPL has fewer side effects
  • IPL is reliable and safe to use
  • IPL offers fantastic results.*

IPL hair removal is most effective for men and women who have light skin and dark hair. Newer technologies, however, have made the procedure safer for patients with darker and very dark skin.


* Please note individual results may vary. Results are not guaranteed.

What is so special about IPL Hair Removal compared to Waxing, Shaving or other Hair Removal Treatments?

Whilst hair removal with intense pulsed light is not a “quick fix”, there are many advantages compared with other ways of removing hair. IPL is a lot more comfortable and less painful than waxing, electrolysis, tweezing, shaving and even the traditional laser. IPL therapy also minimises undesired side effects like razor burn and/or ingrown hairs. The cost of IPL is usually less than all the other methods using modern technology. Even though it may be slightly more expensive in the short-term, in the long-term, it will save you money, time and hassle. After your 6-8 treatments (depending on each client), you will not have to shave or wax again! IPL it is the safest and least painful among other hair removal techniques.*

IPL Hair Removal - Questions frequently asked by Patients

Am I a suitable candidate for IPL Hair Removal?

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for IPL as not all skin and hair colours are suited for IPL. Fair hair, for instance, may not respond to the light as well as darker hair; or darker skin is prone to absorbing more light than lighter skin types due to the high concentration of pigment. Patients with fair hair, tanned skin or olive or darker skin tones are often not suitable candidates for IPL.
In addition, individual medical conditions can affect the reaction of a patient’s skin to IPL. Always make sure you discuss your candidacy with a qualified and well-trained Practitioner. They will examine your skin and any scars you might have and determine which treatment option and which setting and mode is safest and most effective for your skin type/condition. And for your safety, they will also perform a test patch test a few days prior to the first IPL session to see if your skin reacts well.
Should IPL turn out to not be the safest or most effective option for you, do not worry, there are usually good alternative options to IPL therapy.

Which areas can be treated?

IPL treatment can be administered on almost any part of the body – IPL hair removal is mostly done on the face, chest, back, bikini line, arms, legs and hands. It is however best to avoid the extremely sensitive parts of your skin, such as areas directly around the eyes, lips, nose and ears.

What precautions should I take before the treatment?

For further information, please see our Patient Information Leaflet for IPL treatments.

How long is one IPL hair removal session?

One IPL treatment session can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes, depending on the area being done.

  • Underarms – 5 minutes
  • Full legs – 40 minutes
  • Half legs – 20 minutes
  • Bikini – 10 minutes
  • Full Back – 20 minutes

Why do I need multiple treatments?

Hair grows in cycles. Only about 15-20% of a person’s hair is in the growth cycle, which is when it can be destroyed by IPL therapy. Therefore, each growth cycle will need to be treated to obtain permanent hair reduction.

Is IPL hair removal permanent?

IPL hair removal provides significant relief. For most patients, 80-90% hair reduction can be expected. Hair will usually grow back thinner, lighter and much finer. After completing treatment, patients may need to return 1 or 2 times a year for the occasional touch-up.


* Please note individual results may vary. Results are not guaranteed.

What is the recovery and downtime for IPL?

There is no downtime with IPL. The patient can return to normal activities immediately after the treatment. There are usually no blisters, burns or long recovery periods. You might, however, experience very little visible side effects after the treatment such as light skin redness and your skin might be a little more sensitive after a treatment.
Blistering or slight bleeding might occur after intense pulsed light treatment. This is very rare though. Other potential risks can include pigment changes and scarring. For fast and easy recovery, patients are advised to apply strong sunscreen after IPL treatments to protect their skin.


* Please note individual results may vary. Results are not guaranteed.

What results can I expect from a hair removal with IPL?

IPL hair removal provides permanent relief. For most patients, 80-90% permanent hair reduction can be expected. Hair will usually grow back thinner, lighter and much finer.


* Please note individual results may vary. Results are not guaranteed.

How many sessions of IPL will I need for hair removal?

Even though you may see results as early as your first session, you will need several treatments. How effective your hair removal treatment is, can depend on you age, ethnicity, weight, metabolism, body area, medication and hormones. We advise patients to plan for about a year on average and we recommend between 6 to 8 treatments. Your Hair Removal Specialist will update you throughout your sessions.
The average patient is satisfied with their hair removal after 4 to 6 treatments.* After completing the hair removal therapy, patients may need to return 1 or 2 times a year for the occasional touch-up. Touch-ups are offered at a discounted rate for patients that completed their IPL treatment with CapeMAC.

Do I need to do another test patch if I have already done laser before?

Yes. The different areas of a body can react differently to the same treatment or a different of machine may cause a different reaction on the same patient, even if the same type of treatment is being performed. For your benefit as well as your safety, we at CapeMAC require a test patch for every area that you want to treat with the IPL machine.

Is IPL hair removal treatment painful?

Each person has different sensitivity levels. Some of our patients find our treatment virtually pain free; some patients feel a slight sting, like the snapping of a small rubber band. During the IPL treatment, the cooling gel ensures that the treatment is comfortable. We also provide numbing creams for those patients that are more sensitive. And you will get to try the IPL treatment with the free test patch, before coming in for the first full IPL session.

What is the cost of IPL Hair Removal?

Use our “Prices” section for an up-to-date overview on available treatment options and price ranges for aesthetics treatments at CapeMAC. Always remember: It is not always possible to give you accurate treatment prices for aesthetic procedures without properly assessing the extent of the problem. Contact us now at CapeMAC to book an appointment with Dr Bagwandeen as a first step towards revealing a more radiant and confident you.

We hope that this helps you understand a little more about IPL Hair Removal and assists you in making a better choice for your aesthetic treatments. To find out if IPL Hair Removal treatment is the right hair removal option for you, please contact us at Cape Medical Aesthetics Centre. Also, if you might still feel anxious about the use of IPL for the removal of unwanted hair, Dr Manoj Bagwandeen will be glad to discuss any queries and questions you may have about the use of IPL for yourself. You are welcome to visit with us at CapeMAC in Plattekloof, Cape Town for more information and to get further advice on looking and feeling even better.

* Please note individual results may vary. Results are not guaranteed.

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