IPL and Laser hair removal are great hair removal methods because they cause permanent hair reduction of up to 98%. Specially if your hair is dark and you don’t suffer from hormonal imbalances, you should try laser or IPL. Prices are now so cheap that for only a few more dollars you can be rid of hair permanently.
However, because of the growth cycle of the hair you need multiple treatments, about 6 to 8, and they are spaced every 6 weeks. So, how do you deal with the hair in between treatments?
How IPL and Laser Hair Removal Work
IPL and hair removal work by applying light energy to the melanin in the hair. This light gets transformed into heat and travels through the hair to the follicle, destroying the follicle. The hair needs to be attached to the root and in the Anagen stage (growing phase) for the treatment to be effective. In the body only about 15%-30% of the hair is in the Anagen stage at any one time. Treatments are spaced every 6 weeks because that’s the most favorable time frame. When you wax, sugar, or pluck your hair you are pulling the hair out from the root and disrupting the hair cycle. It has always been the view of Laser and IPL therapists that to get the best out of your treatment you should only shave in between treatments. If you shave, the hair will continue to grow going through the normal phases of Anagen (growing phase), Catagen (transitional phase) and Telagen (resting phase), and thus it can be predicted that a large proportion of hairs that were not treated the first time because they were not in the anagen stage, will be treated in the second and subsequent times.
Lately, some manufacturers of the sugaring paste have been claiming that if you sugar every 2-3 weeks, after a few times, all your hairs will start growing at the same time, hence it can complement your IPL or Laser treatment. By having all the hairs in the Anagen phase, when you do Laser or IPL you will effectively be treating them all and may not need as many sessions, getting better permanent results.
Finding the Truth
Unfortunately there are no studies of the effectiveness of IPL or Laser hair removal when combined with frequent sugaring and until then I would err in the side of caution. Unless you don’t mind the extra expenditure of additional IPL or Laser sessions if so happens the combination with sugaring doesn’t work, I would recommend you to shave in between treatments and wait at least 4 weeks after sugaring to start treatment.