IPL has become very popular, but many are unsure of how it truly works. First, let’s talk about how hair growth works.
Hair growth happens in cycles, and every hair follicle works at it its own speed. Oftentimes, hairs will reach different points of the growth cycle at different times. This is helpful to remember when using IPL because IPL targets hair follicles “that are about to enter the active phase of hair growth, known as the Anagen phase. Hair is in contact with the bottom of the follicle at this point, and that is why lasers target these follicles. By targeting the source of hair growth, IPL damages the follicle itself, and likewise, prevents the hair from growing back (Kenzzi).”
More specifically, IPLs emit a wavelength of light with a specific single color. When this wavelength targets the hair follicle, the energy emitted from light is transferred to the skin and the hairs' pigment melanin. “Melanin is the pigment that gives color to human skin, eyes, and hair. It is in high density at the base of each hair follicle, and as a result, the hair follicle can absorb light and convert the energy into heat, especially during the anagen face (Kenzzi). With Kenzzi, this process begins to show the most results at 12 weeks.
After Cassandra started to reach that 12-week mark with Kenzzi, an IPL device, she started noticing that her leg hair was growing back slower. People compare this effect with laser hair removal, but IPL is not laser hair removal. "While both lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) uses light to heat hair follicles and prevent regrowth, IPL uses a broad spectrum of light with multiple wavelengths. This means it has more unfocused energy around the hair and skin area. IPL energy is scattered and much weaker. Laser has a densified light, and all energy is focused on this single light" (Xu, 2020).
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As mentioned before, IPL means “intense pulse light.” More simply, it targets the melanin and the pigment in the bottom of our hair follicles, sizzles them, or kills them at the source. So, hopefully, they don’t grow back, they grow back slower, or they don’t grow back at all.
Consequently, some people may have had notable problems like burning or with the Kenzzi not flashing, but for Cassandra, she only noticed that she was getting a couple of bumps on her legs during weeks 12-24. When using IPL, you do still have to shave your legs for a time, and you can’t actually wax or tweeze. Because again, IPL targets pigment. If you remove the hair completely, there’s no pigment to target. Upon shaving it though, you’re still able to direct the IPL light directly into the skin, and it will still be able to damage the hair follicle and stop the growth of hair as quickly.
Furthermore, as Cassandra continued with the Kenzzi, she noticed that she was beginning to get strips or patches of significant hair growth, while the rest of her leg had less hair growth. Cassandra started noticing that the area on top of her shin, by her kneecap, by her ankle, and by her sockline began to grow back really fast and thick. The reason why is that when she was doing IPL, she normally sits down, holds the IPL down to her skin, pulls, and lets the Kenzzi continually flash. However, she was missing her ankles, kneecaps, and shin. So, the patches that she missed were growing faster and thicker.
As she compared these patches that she had missed to the ones that had received IPL, the IPL’d patches were indeed growing back slower, less thick, more sparse, and less wiry in comparison.
Cassandra used Kenzzi for a year, and she describes not having to shave as much. Kenzzi can be used at home, but this is not going to work for everyone. For Cassandra, she has hair on her legs that is vey dark and deeply contrasts against her legs. Because IPL targets pigment, the ideal candidate is going to be someone who has a lighter skin tone and dark hair. Unfortunately, if you are a Fitzpatrick type six, this is not for you. “The problem with using laser hair removal for those with a darker complexion is that the pigment melanin in the upper layers of their skin will also absorb some of the laser's light and heat, which tends to create a burn. For some, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur, which can leave flat spots of discoloration as a result of the treatment (Kenzzi).
Cassandra says that Kenzzi is looking into alternate technology for people with deeper skin tones. Alternatively, there are jag laser and alexandrite lasers. However, it’s important that people with deeper skin tones have greater options. In accordance, for someone who has Fitzpatrick type one and blonde hair on their legs, the Kenzzi may not be the best either as its goal is to target hair pigment. So, the ideal candidate is someone who has dark hair and light skin. Given that skin/hair contrast, it can effectively zip that hair away. The Kenzzi has different potency settings from 1 to 5, and Cassandra was able to go up to 5. So, as Cassandra continued to use it, the hair began to grow back softer and smoother.
Ultimately, the Kenzzi is for the person who is tired of shaving and wants less and thinner body hair. Also, don’t go into the sun right after you IPL and apply sunscreen.
Also,If you think this is a fit for you, use the code IPL50 to save money.