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How to Use IPL Hair Removal: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Viktoria
August 14, 2023
6 minutes

An IPL hair removal device uses impulse pulsating light to heat up your hair follicles and destroy them completely. The devices are usually quick and reduce your hair growth for good and all. The procedure is nearly painless and FDA-cleared making it safe for the users. And you know what makes it even better? IPL hair removal can minimize the risk of ingrown hair and allergic reactions. 

Want to try it but afraid of burning yourself? Well, We are here to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to use IPL hair removal at home without causing you any damage. 

How Does IPL Hair Removal Work?

IPL Hair Removal treatmentIPL hair removal is mainly based on the process of photothermolysis. In photo thermolysis, light energy is used to target a specific area deep in the skin and destroy it without affecting the surrounding tissues. If we specifically mention IPL hair removal, the light of multiple wavelengths (between 500nm-1200nm) is absorbed by the melanin in your hair follicles.

After reaching the roots, this light converts into heat reaching a temperature of up to 70°C. This temperature completely disrupts your hair follicles thus stopping further hair growth. Moreover, this temperature also denatures the proteins in your already present hair leading them to fall off.

How to Use IPL Hair Removal?

Step 1: Preparing for IPL Hair Removal

Before starting the treatment, you need to know how to prepare for IPL hair removal. So here is a little guide for you. 

Choose the Right Device

IPL hair removal devicesIPL devices have different energy levels varying between 3-9 J/cm2 and different devices are suitable for different skin tones. So, know your skin tone and type first, and then buy the IPL device. 

Those with sensitive skin can choose devices within the energy range of 3-6 J/cm2 while others can go above. 

Read Instruction Manual Carefully

After buying the device, read all the instructions in the manual carefully to familiarize yourself with the device. The manual will tell you the time, intensity, and mode suitable for each area you need to treat.

Do a Patch Test

A patch test is important to know how your skin responds to the device. To do the test, adjust the device according to your skin tone and hair color and use it on a small area 24 hours before the actual treatment. If nothing happens, you can continue but in case of any IPL hair removal side effects, it is best to try the device at a lower energy level. 

Shave the Treatment Area

Hair removal before using an IPL device is preferred as it helps the device to focus precisely on your roots. Waxing, plucking, epilators, or electrolysis eliminates the roots too so instead of using these, you can go for shaving. 

Shaving removes extra hair while keeping the roots intact allowing the light to reach the roots easily. So, do it a day before your treatment.

Step 2: Using the IPL Hair Removal Device

Ulike IPL hair removalMost of the IPL hair removal devices work in a similar manner and the Ulike IPL hair removal device is one of the easiest and quickest to use. So let’s get to know how to use IPL hair removal at home with a Ulike handset.

  • Step 1: Connect the power cable and the adapter and then insert the cable into a power socket
  • Step 2: Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from the intense light
  • Step 3: Turn on the device and select the intensity level and mode according to your skin sensitivity. For example, with Ulike Sapphire Air 3 Handset, you can use the spot method for knees, an auto-glide mode for legs, and a gentle- mode for the upper lip or underarms. 
  • Step 4: Put the device on your skin and move it gently on the treatment area
  • Step 5: After completing the treatment, turn off the device, clean it, and keep it in a safe place.

Very easy, right? But, some areas of your body are more sensitive and need some special care so let’s take a brief look at how you can make your hair removal effective and nearly painless for those areas.

How to Use IPL Hair Removal on Face?

Most IPL hair removal devices are safe to use for all your skin areas but with your face, you just need a bit more care. As you are moving your device along your upper lips or on your cheeks, do not take it too close to your lips or eyes.

Moreover, it is better if you only use the device below your cheekbones. 

How to Use IPL Hair Removal in Bikini Area?

Using the IPL hair removal device is safe for your bikini area and even the steps are the same. All you need to do is adjust the right intensity level and use the device as per the instructions in the manual. For example, for using the Ulike Sapphire Air 3 handset, you need to use Gentle mode for the bikini area.

Step 3: Aftercare

We are not done yet. To make sure that your skin remains smooth after IPL hair removal, you need to follow some aftercare steps.

  • After completing your IPL session, you need to moisturize the treatment area. You can use any oil, lotion, or even aloe vera gel for this purpose. 
  • To make sure your skin heals completely, it is best not to expose your skin to the sun at all. If you need to go out, wear full clothes, a hat, and sunscreen with SPF 50 or more. 
  • As your skin becomes sensitive, so do not shave at least for 48-72 hours to avoid any chemical reactions, severe itching, or redness.
  • If you feel any redness or inflammation immediately after the treatment, you can apply cold compressions on that area. 

Tips for Succesful IPL Hair Removal

Be Consistent and Patient

Whenever you start anything, you need to be patient and consistent throughout your journey to finally reach the destination. Similar is the case for IPL hair removal. It requires multiple sessions because your hairs need to be targeted in all the stages as they complete their cycle.

So, don’t be impatient and continue with your sessions as per instructions to finally get smooth and hair-free skin.

Know the Right Time

IPL is easy and quick but to make it effective, you should know the right time of using the device. For instance, avoiding the treatment during your periods is better as your skin is more sensitive during this period and you feel more pain.

If you are sweating excessively, sweat can hinder the absorption of light. Taking a shower opens your pores and makes it easy for the light to flow inside your follicles. Furthermore, medications like antibiotics, blood thinners, or accutane interfere with your treatment, so it’s best either to stop using them or perform IPL after completing your medication course. 

Know the Right Location

IPL hair removal is safe but you should never use it recklessly. Before using the device, you need to know what areas it can treat and only use it for those areas. For example, devices like Ulike IPL hair removal device comes with different modes for normal to sensitive skin so it can treat all the areas of your body.

But, no IPL hair removal device is good for use on tattoos or genital areas as the darker color can cause more heat absorption and eventually burns. So, knowing the right device for the right area is necessary for useful results.

Keep Track of Your Treatment Progress

Wondering how to tell if IPL hair removal is working for you? Keep track of your progress in the form of pictures after every session. It will allow you to know whether there are any positive results or not to decide to keep up with the treatment or to discontinue it. 

Good results also motivate you to stay consistent with your sessions while bad results will prevent you to waste your time or money any further.

Contact a Professional in Case of Unusual Side Effects

IPL hair removal has some side effects like redness, inflammation, or itching but they usually subside on their own. On the other hand, if you notice any other side effects like the formation of blisters, skin burns, erythema, or edema contact a professional immediately. 

Taking swift action can protect your skin from any long-lasting damage and the professional will help you know the exact cause behind it. In this way, you can prevent yourself from repeating the same mistake. 


At-home IPL hair removal is an effective, quick, and long-lasting method of hair removal. You can save yourself from the hassle of shaving, waxing, or using depilation creams every other month. As most devices work for more than 10 years, so they are pocket-friendly too. 

Thinking to buy a device now? Well, try out the Ulike IPL hair removal handset as it is long-lasting, inexpensive, soothes your skin with cooling technology, and the sleek case is easy to use and hold.

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