So, what exactly is IPL for hair removal?

We understand it can be hard to wrap your head around every single treatment we offer and it can be harder to understand what we’re talking about when it comes to different treatments and how your body will react!

The gorgeous Danielle has come up with TEN of the most common confusions that people have when it comes to IPL for hair removal, have a read and let us know what you think!

1. How it works

Like magic! …With a little bit of help from a medical grade machine that is!

IPL works as the full energy from the machine’s light waves are absorbed by the dark pigment in you hair follicle (this is why light skin, dark hair works best for hair reduction!). When the energy hits the dark pigment (known in the biz as a chromophore) it’s then converted to heat which causes damage to the hair follicle.

And just like magic, the hair falls out!

2. Who’s it for?

Everyone! Male, female, young or experienced.

As long as you are not using roaccutane or photo-sensitising medications, you don’t have open wounds on the area, you’re not pregnant, you haven’t tanned or fake tanned (read on below as to why).

Book in for a consultation with one of our clinicians so we can assess if IPL is perfect for you!


We cannot treat you if you have had sun exposure within two weeks of your laser hair removal treatment as laser will be attracted to the pigment trapped in the topical layers of your skin instead of the deeper hair follicle.

This means that if you are sunburned or tanned, you may need to reschedule your appointment (It’s okay, we don’t mind as long as it’s at least 24 hours before!).

If you’re a bit of a beach babe or surfer guy (yes Thirroul locals, we’re talking about you!), we advised Winter is the BEST time for you to start your treatments… What a coincidence?!

3. A fake tan’s a safe tan (unless you’re getting laser!)

We know you all live at the beach but for the foreigner or newbie to Thirroul who has a sneaky fake tan here or there, its a no go! The same as with a real tan, we can’t treat you if you have a fake tan either as the IPL will most definitely burn your skin instead of where we want it… the hair follicle.

Hot tip: Uber Zinc by Synergie Skin is our #1 pick for sun protection!

4. Skip the moisturiser

When it comes to the day of your treatment you need to make sure you are going au naturale on your body. Make sure your skin is clean and completely product free, don’t even moisturise or apply deodorant. This goes for 24 hours after your appointment as well, if you can tolerate. Otherwise PLEASE advise with your clinician to take appropriate measures.

5. Be honest

Before your treatment we are here to answer any and all questions! Please be honest with any and all medications you are taking as well as your past medical history so we can give you the absolute best results! 

6. Shave, don’t wax!

Whether its a cream, epilation, waxing or plucking, we know it’ll be hard but DON’T DO IT! These are all methods of removing or disturbing the hair follicle from the root and we MUST have the full root attached in the follicle for the laser to correctly identify and target (kill) it.

Shaving the desired treatment area the night prior to your treatment with a new sharp razor is ideal and will minimise agitation to the area soon to be ‘lasered’.

Leaving hairs that sit above the skin increases your chances of burns as a higher amount of heat will be stuck on the surface layer instead of at the root. A small bump or agitated hair follicle after treatment is GREAT! This inflammation means we have successfully killed the cell.

7. Have realistic expectations

Unfortunately it is only ever ‘permanent hair reduction’, anyone who says otherwise (we’re sure you’ve heard claims of a permanently hair free life) just isn’t as honest as us!

Hair production is deeply linked with hormones, an increase in hormones results in an increase of hair production... As females, we know all too well of the pesky hairs that pop up when we’re having a heightened hormonal month.

So please understand that after the initial amount of treatments you may need a touch up every 3, 6 or 12 months depending on our lovely, totally individual hormones.

8. Be consistent

For best results, make sure you attend your appointments as advised by your clinician.

The timing of your treatments dramatically influences the outcome as each of us have an individual hair growth pattern.

Generally our hair will shed 14 days after the first treatment IF the hair follicle was still attached. This is why multiple treatments are very necessary! If you leave it too long between treatments we may miss that follicle completely and won’t have the chance of getting it again for 3-5 months.

9. After your treatment 

A little irritation or redness is absolutely normal!

Treated areas may appear ‘sunburnt’ for up to 24 hours after the treatment. If ever you have a progressive amount of heat PLEASE USE AN ICE PACK! You will be advised by your clinician if the pigment in your skin is of concern, and a light ice pack will stop any complications from happening! Although extremely rare.

For full leg please wear loose clothing and not your tightest hugging skinny jeans (although we are sure look great!) as the abrasion after your treatment can cause irritation and itching… Not an ideal time for your first few treatments.

10. Avoid exercise and hot showers

Exercising and hot showers both increase your body temperature, causing your body to sweat and creating a potential breeding ground for bacteria. This could lead to infection or ingrown hairs, so we recommend waiting at least 24 hours after a laser hair removal treatment before attempting any activity that may increase your body temperature and upset the hair follicles, a light walk down at the beach with your dog (out direct intense sunlight is absolutely fine though!)