Laser vs IPL

At SHEER Medical Laser and Aesthetics we employ cutting edge technology from Lumenis to treat unwanted hair in all areas of the body. We use the Lumenis LightSheer DESIRE launched in December 2016 to give you fabulous results.

We are the first clinic in Atlantic Canada to use this machine. Unlike the commonly known IPL/VPL machines that are used in most clinics, the DESIRE safely targets the hair follicle at the root. This is a virtually pain free method of hair removal.

We have the advantage of having two interchangeable hand pieces for the DESIRE – the ET which allows the smaller delicate areas to be targeted and the HS which is a larger vacuum hand piece which allows larger areas to be treated quickly.

Whether your body hair is fine or thick, it can be treated using the LightSheer DESIRE.

Our friendly and professional team will take care that your experience of laser hair removal is pleasant. We always review our prices to give you great value for your money.


As a patient, trying to understand the differences between Laser and IPL/VPL for hair removal and deciding which method is the right one for you can be very confusing due to the general absence of sound advice and intelligible technical details.

To begin with, you should know that both laser and IPL work on removing unwanted hair in essentially the same way. Both require that the region to be treated is shaved prior to the procedure. Both convert light energy into heat energy which will heat up the hair follicle, prompting the bulb of the hair to fall out thus reducing hair growth. However this is where the similarity ends.

The main difference between Laser and IPL is the process by which the light is produced, the type of light, and how well it is absorbed by different hair and skin types.

Most clinics state that they use Laser Hair Removal machines when in fact they mostly use the VPL/IPL (Variable/Intense Pulse Light). The IPL machines are much cheaper to manufacture but unfortunately the light is “one-size-fits-all” in terms of its effectiveness on the hair.


The laser is an intensely concentrated beam of light where the energy is extremely focused rather than diffused so it is very precise, offering more powerful and accurate results. There are many types of lasers of various wavelengths for specific purposes. Each one is chosen for optimum effectiveness and safety for particular hair and skin types. During the initial consultation, we carefully tune the laser to your individual skin and hair type, making sure you get the best possible results.


IPL is far less effective than laser hair removal. The energy is produced by a lamp, a little like a light bulb. This energy is produced in the form of a variety of light waves, meaning it diffuses a broad band of light in the visible spectrum, typically 550 to 1100 nanometres. However, the optimum wavelengths for treating most hair types fall into 700 to 850 nanometre range.

The less powerful broad-beam of light targets everything in its path and is unable to reach and destroy the roots of deeper hair. It also means that more treatment sessions will be required to achieve the desired results.

Furthermore, IPL cannot be used on sun-exposed or darker skin, nor is it effective on all hair and skin types, thus making it less versatile than a laser treatment. It can also cause damage to pigment producing cells, which can result in patches of darker or lighter skin.

If you have any further questions, our staff will be happy to advise you.
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