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.