Plucking & IPL Hair Removal
When considering hair removal options it’s no secret that IPL technology is a convenient and effective method of hair removal. However, as IPL treatments adhere to a strict schedule there can often be confusion around how to remove hair in-between treatments. And so the question is often raised: Is there a way to remove hair in-between IPL treatments, and if so can I pluck my hairs as they grow back?
And the answer is two-fold. YES, you can remove hair in-between treatments, so you don’t have to go around looking like a furry yeti, but NO, plucking in-between, or before IPL hair removal is allowed if you want the treatments to be effective.
The method that you choose to remove hair in-between IPL treatments can have a significantly negative effect on the results of your treatments. Specifically, any method that targets the root of the hair you are removing will negate any effect the IPL treatment can have. The reason for this is because of the inherent way that IPL technology works to remove unwanted hairs.
How IPL Hair Removal Works
To understand why plucking, tweezing, and waxing are not a good combination with IPL treatments you need to understand how IPL hair removal devices work. Using a quartz bulb IPL hair removal devices like the Flash&Go Express send pulses of light into the skin and hair. The Infinity hair removal device also incorporates galvanic energy which helps open the pores of the skin making the hair removal process more effective. The light of the quartz bulb heats up the hair follicle and effectively damages the root of the hair. The overall result of treatments is that the hair follicles are destroyed, so that the hair won’t grow back.
This ability to permanently stop hair growth is the main reason to use IPL as a hair removal option, and so anything that limits the result of the treatments should be avoided.
How Plucking Hair Affects the Results of IPL Treatments
Using any form of hair removal that takes the hair out from the root in-between IPL treatments, such as plucking, tweezing and waxing, will negatively affect the success of your targeted areas hair loss.
Because IPL works by targeting the root of the hair, if other treatments that remove the root of the hair are used in-between sessions, then the root of the hair might not have enough time to grow back. If the root has not grown back in time for the next IPL treatment the root will not be exposed to the light – rendering the process ineffective and the hair will continue to grow back.
Ultimately, plucking and waxing will do more harm than good, so they should not be used as a hair removal method while undergoing IPL treatments.
Can You Combine Plucking with IPL Treatments?
The only time that IPL treatments can be used the same time as plucking is when the area being plucked is not being targeted with IPL hair removal. Silk’n devices are NOT intended to be used above the cheekbone, so plucking eyebrows and nose hairs at any time is perfectly fine as you should never be using an IPL device on those areas anyway.
But if you are undergoing IPL treatments then you should not pluck these areas as it will negatively impact results. So, if you’re using IPL on your chin, legs, or any area of the body IPL treatments are approved to be used on - but are still growing hairs in-between treatments you really only have one option - shaving.
Hair Removal Between IPL Treatments
Shaving is best, and only option to keep hair removal down between treatments. This is because shaving only removes the surface level of hair, leaving the root untouched. Therefore IPL treatments will still be successful even if the hairs have been shaved. Ideally you want to shave the day of your IPL treatment to ensure the skin is smooth and ready. This shaving will improve the process and ensure a more successful session as longer hairs can impede the process.
Remember, the key to successful IPL treatments is through targeting the root of the hair, anything that affects the hair root will impact the success of the treatment.
So regardless of where you are in your IPL treatment, if you pluck or tweeze, it doesn't mean you have to stop your treatments, it just means it will take another few weeks before the tweezed hair grows back into the active growth stage – the stage that is required to get permanent results from IPL.
Tweezing after IPL Treatments are Stopped
If you decide to stop IPL treatments, for whatever reason, it’s ok to pick it up again, as treatments will still be effective on some of the hair. Tweezing, waxing, depilatory creams, laser, or epilators should not be used while you’ve stopped IPL treatments.
The reason for this wait time is to allow the IPL hair removal treatment round to completely run its course. After an IPL treatment there can still be dead hair inside the pore that needs to be removed. This removal is best done naturally through bathing, washing, and exfoliating between treatments. If waxing or plucking occurs before these dead hairs are removed damage could be caused to the skin in the form of blocked pores, ingrown hairs, pain, and generally irritated skin. Therefore, two weeks after an IPL treatment is the earliest tweezing or waxing should occur.
And remember that IPL treatments should not be stopped midway, as this will impact the overall effectiveness of the treatments, as it is the continuous use, with frequency decreasing over time, that makes IPL devices such an effective hair reduction method.
IPL Treatments & Plucking - Summary
The only time you should be plucking and tweezing between or during IPL treatments is when treating areas that are too sensitive for IPL treatments, such as your eyebrows.
To have the most effective hair removal results using IPL you should only use shaving as your supporting hair removal method. Using an IPL device like the Silk’n Infinity is the only method that will provide the hair removal results you’re looking for.
If you’re finding lack luster results with your IPL device, consider learning more about other common home removal mistakes that could be affecting your results.
Learn more about the Silk’n line of hair removal devices and see which device would be best for you. Or - if you want to learn more about hair removal in general, visit the hair removal section of our Resource Center, and of course, the hair removal section of this blog.