Hair & Beauty

Read This Before Getting IPL

By Zo Zhou - 13 Jul 2015

Summer may seem like a while away, but a little forward thinking will save you big bucks when the leggings come off. Whether you’re thinking about more permanent hair removal services or you’ve been burnt before, you need to read this. 

We talk to Thaspa, the IPL experts in Sydney, so you know what to look out for. 

I’m intrigued… But what is IPL?

In case you’ve been been living in a hairy cave, IPL stands for “Intense Pulsed Light,” and it’s best known as a solution for more permanent hair removal. However more recently it’s been used to treat broken capillaries, fixing up skin pigmentation, and managing acne breakouts. 

What’s the big deal?

As a skin treatment, you should expect much more from your IPL specialist than a standard beauty session. 

“Most customers think that IPL machines are all the same, and all you need to do is flip a switch. It’s much more technical than that,” says Lisa Hody, senior IPL trainer at Thaspa. “We had a new customer who had wasted thousands on IPL for hair removal, not realising the difference between machines. Three weeks after a test shot, we had cleared three quarters of her hair.” 

We don’t know about you, but the thought of losing thousands of dollars we could have spent on cocktails and amazing dinners hurts more than a full body wax, so make sure you’re going to a reputable place (with a good IPL machine).

What to look out for

To help you avoid those dodgy machines and untrained IPL “specialists” in Sydney, here’s a checklist of what to look out for, to make sure you don’t get burnt (in both senses of the word!):

  • Start with a consultation and some test shots before making up your mind
  • Ask to see a certificate that shows your IPL specialist has completed training
  • Let you specialist know about allergies, sensitivities and medication you’re on or you’ve been on
  • Make sure your specialist is confident and clear about pre and post care
  • Wear an SPF sunscreen after a treatment (even if the sun’s behind the clouds), as your skin will be extra sensitive
  • Feel comfortable with your IPL specialist

When to start

With the sun a little more shy, winter is actually the best time to start your IPL treatments. Starting during the colder months will also mean that come summer, you’ll be well on your way to being hair-free. Win!

Still wondering about IPL? Just chat to the pros at ThaSpa—they know what’s up!

Looking for more ways to look hot this winter? Check out our lazy guide to winter beauty.  

Image credit: Nicola Sevitt at ThaSpa

Editor's Note: This article is proudly sponsored by ThaSpa and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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