Winter is the perfect season for hot cocoa, brisk walks and cozy fires. While it might not immediately come to mind, winter is also the ideal time for IPL hair removal. When the weather gets cold we stay out of the sun, tans fade and body hair is able to “grow out” a bit. All of these things make winter the ideal time to get rid of unwanted hair.

IPL is a broadband pulsed light source. It targets the melanin in the hair follicle. This “damages” the hair follicle, or root. After a series of treatments, it stops the root from producing hair. IPL is most effective on the combination of dark hair and fair skin, which makes it ideal to remove hair on the bikini line, underarm and back.

Hair removal using IPL usually involves a series of 3 to 5 treatments spaced about 4 to 6 weeks apart. It is important not to wax or tweeze the hair prior to treatment. Shaving is fine, but it’s best not to shave 3-4 days before treatment if possible. The hair grows in cycles, so some hairs are growing during the first session and during the next session other hairs are growing. Spacing out the sessions allows the IPL to target the hair during it’s growth cycle, making for a more thorough result. IPL hair removal is permanent. However, some clients may need a “touch up” treatment every year or two to remain completely hair-free.

An IPL hair removal treatment can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the area treated. While most patients tolerate IPL treatments well, it can be a bit uncomfortable. It is described as feeling like being popped with a rubber band. The Skin Care Center at Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery uses topical numbing cream to minimizes the discomfort. For larger areas, we may recommend nitrous oxide to make the treatment more comfortable. After the procedure, you will be provided with an ice pack to help cool the area. Post treatment, the treated area will likely appear red, similar to a sunburn. You’ll want to avoid the sun and anything that may irritate the area. The redness usually subsides within 24 hours.

If you’re tired of spending your time and money shaving, waxing and tweezing, only to be prickly a day later, schedule a free consultation with one of our skin care experts at our new office at 4707 N. Davis Hwy. in Pensacola.