The Dangers Portable IPL Hair Removal Devices

24th April 2020

Recently, there have been many new IPL hair removal devices being advertised on social media the ‘at-home’ consumer. While this has been seen as a plus for many consumers, they do not come without risks and dangers. 

This blog will aim to outline some main issues to consider before going ahead and purchasing an ‘at home’ IPL hair removal device.


With at home IPL hair removal devices, unless you are a qualified skin specialist or laser therapist, it becomes very difficult to determine your own suitability for hair removal treatments, particularly with an IPL device. You are risking severe burns and pigmentation changes if treating an area which is not suitable (dark in skin colour, not in the correct stage of hair growth, sun exposure or if you are under any medications which can make you more sensitive to light and heat). This is why clinics like ourselves make sure all customers fill in a detailed medical history form to ensure you are eligible for treatment

Our first priority at Abila Aesthetics is safety, this is in a controlled environment such as our clinic in Sunderland, we are experienced in determining skin type and suitability for laser hair removal. It is this skill coupled with years of laser hair removal experience that allows our therapists to treat at maximum yet safe intensity levels for the most effective hair removal results

Calibration of device

With any hair removal device whether it be an IPL or Laser, there is a gradual drop and variation in energy which occurs and this is due to the degradation of the components inside the devices. For this reason, much like a car and regular servicing, these devices need to be regularly calibrated and checked to ensure they are delivering an accurate amount of energy.

Many at home IPL devices unfortunately do not offer this kind of service or fail to offer any sort of guarantee or repair service. If you purchase one of these devices which do malfunction or have not been calibrated in quite some time, you may risk being stuck with a poor investment which cannot be used or even worse, a dangerous device which is capable of causing burns, pigmentation changes and scarring.


Most at home IPL devices cannot deliver the amount of heat required to destroy the hair follicle permanently. The substandard heat being delivered to the hair using these home devices does cause some damage to the hair in the short term, however what we see eventually occurring is that what was once thick, dark and course hair (which is perfect for treatments with a targeted laser for example for maximum results) is now finer and discoloured or have multiple hair coming out of one follicle (look like split ends) which is really uncomfortable and has a much harder time responding to hair removal treatment.

There are also various at home IPL devices which claim to be able to treat a variety of different hair colours. The reason for this is because the energy being delivered from the device is ‘broad’ and not targeted or specific. This means that the energy and heat is being dispersed over a wide spectrum, meaning that most of it is not being used effectively for treatment but may cause slight damage. Excess hair responds best to targeted heat which destroys the root of the hair follicle. In order to achieve this, the energy being delivered from the device has to be very specific and targeted (70 degrees to destroy hair permanently).

Time Consuming

When comparing visiting a laser clinic versus performing an at home IPL treatment yourself, you will find that it will actually take longer and be less convenient for you! Some of the most common at home IPL devices pulse at a rate of about 1 shot every 4-6 seconds. That is an eternity if you can imagine how many pulses it would take for a large area for example a full leg treatment or back and shoulders area. With our devices for example, they can pulse at a rate of up to 2 times per second.

Coverage & Convenience

Perhaps the most simple and overlooked factor to consider when purchasing an at home IPL device is the inability to treat yourself on hard to reach areas. In Men for example these areas can include the back and neck. In women, these hard to treat areas can include the back of the legs, Brazilian and lower back. To avoid missed patches and uneven coverage, we recommend visiting an experienced laser & skin clinic such as Abila Beauty & Aesthetics Clinics. With a convenient location in Sunderland, ask yourself is it really worth the risk to go ahead with an at home IPL device?

What are your other options?

Laser hair removal is safe, permanent and painless.
Get in touch with us to learn how we can help you.