IPL vs Laser Hair Removal Differences: Which is Best For Me?

IPL vs Laser Hair Removal Differences: Which is Best For Me?

Sam Garst Sam Garst
6 minute read

If you’re here deciding between IPL vs. laser hair removal, you’re probably already stoked about ditching the tweezers and the horrors of hot wax.

Both are effective in preventing regrowth in the hardest-to-reach places. But one method always comes out on top for those looking for an at-home hair removal option.

We’ll just spoil it: For most people, IPL is probably the best light-based hair removal system. It’s less expensive than traditional laser with fewer potential side effects. Plus, you can use an IPL device at home!

To be fair to laser hair removal, though, IPL devices do take a couple more weeks than professional laser hair removal for optimal results. And for some hair/skin tone combinations, IPL won’t be able to do the job.

Let’s talk differences of IPL vs. laser, and why we stan for IPL.


The goal of IPL treatments and laser hair removal treatments is the same: permanent hair reduction and removal wherever unwanted hair grows. Both target the melanin in your hair follicles with light energy to reduce body hair long-term, even permanently.

A few key differences make IPL treatments more plausible for at-home use.

What is the difference between IPL and laser hair removal? IPL and laser hair removal differ in the type of light and wavelengths used to target unwanted hair.

Laser hair removal uses medical-grade laser technology. This heated light energy typically comes from a single, focused laser.

IPL devices use intense pulsed light instead of laser light to target the pigment at the follicle. That heated, broad-spectrum light source is gentle enough for at-home use but effective enough to serve as a replacement for in-salon laser treatments for many skin types

IPL technology is also used in dermatology practices to boost collagen production. Collagen is critical for skin rejuvenation and resurfacing. It also aids in reducing the appearance of scarring, vascular lesions, and even wrinkles.



Your prep for laser hair removal will be similar to your prep for at-home IPL treatments. The most important step is shaving before your treatments.

We know it sounds counterintuitive, but it makes it easier for the devices to see the hair follicles if you shave 12-24 hours before each session. Each session will go much quicker as the hair growth gets sparser.

It’s also a good idea to exfoliate before you shave to reduce the chance of ingrown hairs. We actually formulated The Revealer as the perfect exfoliant before laser hair removal!

The main takeaway is to be gentle with your skin before and after your treatment sessions. Skip retinol, wear sunscreen, and keep your paws off treated areas between sessions. Avoid plucking, waxing, or tweezing if you find errant hairs that haven’t fallen out.

Who’s a candidate?

Laser hair removal and IPL both work best when there’s a contrast between your skin tone and your hair. That’s why they’re not recommended for those with darker skin or very light hair.

At Nood, we don’t recommend IPL for blonde, red, or gray hair colors and very dark skin. The device won’t “see” any pigment to target, and your efforts will be fruitless.

Some laser hair removal treatments that use longer wavelengths may work for those with darker skin, but that can also increase your risk for hyperpigmentation.


At-home IPL treatments are significantly less expensive when compared to in-salon laser hair removal.

Professional treatments run between $50 to $600 depending on the size of the targeted area. That’s just the cost of one session, though. You may need up to 12 sessions to get the results you want.


The key cost difference with IPL? It’s a one-time fee for the hair removal device. It’s unlimited treatment sessions without worrying about gas in the car or taking off work to make it to a hair removal appointment.

At Nood, you can get started with at-home IPL for just 4 interest-free payments of $47 using Shop Pay. Even if you pay the $189 for The Flasher 2.0 outright, it’s still significantly cheaper than what you’d pay to be hairless from the salon.


IPL and laser hair removal are painless options compared to hair removal methods that pull hair at the root, like waxing. Fans of laser devices describe the feeling as a rubber band snapping against the surrounding skin.

If you’ve already discovered IPL devices, that sentiment is irrelevant.

Does IPL hurt more than laser? IPL does not hurt more than laser. Most IPL users report little to no discomfort during at-home treatments.

Bonus points for the general comfort you feel ticking off hair reduction on your to-do list in your jammies.

Parts of the body

Laser hair removal and IPL love coarse, dark hair, but you can use either method wherever unwanted hair grows. Exercise caution around your eyes, though.

Keep in mind that your treatment time and how many sessions you’ll need can vary depending on the body part. It takes longer to do a full back than your big toe, and some parts of the body (like your bikini area) need a few extra sessions.


Laser hair removal and IPL treatments effectively reduce and remove unwanted hair. Plan for 3 to 12 sessions depending on treatment location, hormones, and hair regrowth rate.

Most individuals need between 4 to 6 initial laser treatment sessions with maintenance touch-ups every few months to keep things smooth. With IPL, you’ll need 6-8 weeks of twice-weekly sessions to see the same results.

You should expect up to 80% hair removal and reduction by the end of your treatment plan as long as you stay consistent.

There’s also zero downtime after either treatment. Serious side effects like blistering and discoloration are rare. If you experience mild inflammation or skin irritation, a cooling after-treatment gel like The Reviver can do wonders for those tender areas.

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Where To Get It Done

IPL is the first choice for affordable at-home treatments. It’s safe and equally as effective compared to laser hair removal.

There’s just one (pricey) at-home laser hair removal device on the market today that uses the same type of laser you’d see in the salon. Otherwise, you’ll have to schedule professional treatments outside of the home.

That means putting on real pants, people. And no one wants that.

Same Results, Less Expense, In the Comfort of Your Home

You can do it in the morning over breakfast or in the evening over breakfast-for-dinner. At-home IPL treatments are cheaper, more convenient, and just as effective as professional laser hair removal.

At Nood, we’re more than just talk. Our handsets come with a 90-day money-back guarantee. Not happy with your results? We’ll send it back to you. Try The Flasher 2.0 today.

Need social proof? Follow us on Instagram.


  1. Laser Complications
  2. Ocular damage secondary to intense pulse light therapy to the face

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