The IPL Hair Removal Explainer

Reading Time: 5 minutes

IPL hair removal is a progressive, effective hair removal treatment that uses a beam of light to zap hair deep below the skin’s surface. The pigments in the hair absorb the light, converting it to heat and destroying the hair follicle so it can’t produce new hair. It’s clever stuff and if you’re considering undergoing this treatment, everything you need to know is here.


Not only is IPL clinically proven, it is quick and relatively pain free and IPL technology is also excellent for skin rejuvenation, acne, thread veins and broken capillaries. Your Saks therapist guides the light from a flash lamp to the area to be treated. A thin layer of gel is applied to your skin before your treatment to ensure optimal light transmission to the hair. Our therapists are experts at treating unwanted hair on the face and body. And we can achieve up to 95% hair reduction in only 6-8 sessions.


The treatment relies on absorption of light in the hair pigment (melanin), and the most effective treatment is seen with darker hair. Saks’ next-gen IPL machines feature pre-programmed settings for different hair and skin colours to adjust energy output. So a quality service can be tailored to treat most skin and hair colours.

Your therapist will assess the suitability of this treatment for you and discuss any special precautions that may be required, depending on your skin and hair type.


Times vary for one session, depending on the area being treated. A typical upper lip treatment takes around five minutes and a half leg around 60 minutes. Large numbers of hairs can be targeted in one flash… speeding up the treatment process.


The number of sessions that you require depends on factors such as hair and skin colour, hormonal status, age and the density and thickness of your hair. Generally, a minimum of six treatments will be required with a one-month interval between treatments. Your therapist will discuss your individual programme with you to ensure that you fully understand the treatment provisions and any special precautions required.

There is no laser/light-based treatment that completely destroys hair forever, as the follicle has the ability to regenerate itself. And there are lots of life-factors that can influence new hair growth too such as hormones, medication, age, stress etc *however* IPL is a super-effective hair management process with most customers experiencing long term results after their initial course of treatments and others requiring occasional top-up treatments along the way.


Debbie at Saks Beauty Guisborough says: “Excessive facial and body hair is one of the more distressing and visible symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. Impacting 70% to 80% of women with this condition, unwanted facial hair growth is one of the most popular areas customers seek our expertise in removing. I’ve personally looked after lots of customers who have been in despair dealing with daily shaving or tweezing to make them less noticeable, causing skin sensitivity, irritation and redness.

“The above photos are before our customer’s first treatment and only four weeks later before her second. It’s clearly visible the difference it’s already making, and to hear how much better she feels is so rewarding. Our customer was very happy to share her progress pictures to help other women find a solution to a very common problem.”

A great explainer here Debbie, please pass on our love to our customer!


Tolerance varies from person to person, but no anaesthetics are required. Most customers describe the sensation like that of a rubber band snapping on the skin, and that they quickly get used to it.


To minimise the risk of complications, it’s essential that you listen to your therapist’s advice on what to avoid before and after treatments:

Don’t remove hair by tweezing, waxing or use of hair removal creams for four weeks before a treatment. This ensures that as many hair follicles as possible contain a hair and are ready and waiting to be destroyed by the light.

Limit sun exposure and apply a high factor sunblock to the treated area (broad spectrum SPF 30). And avoid tanning – including sun, sunbeds and self-tanning – before and during the treatment period to maximise the effectiveness and safety of your treatment.

Generally, no post treatment care is necessary. But if you have sensitive skin you may benefit from applying a soothing cream for a few days after your treatment.


IPL is THE proven method of reducing unwanted hair and your safety is our top priority. And you’ll be in the best hands at Saks as our therapists are highly trained experts, using some of the best IPL technologies in the industry.

IPL underarm hair removal at Saks Guisborough

Underarm during course of treatments


Our IPL customers all receive the following:

Patch test

At least 24 hours before your first treatment, we’ll conduct a patch test to make sure that your skin responds well.

In-depth 30-minute consultation, covering:

Your expectations of the treatment and if these results are achievable.
Your medical history to make sure there are no reasons why you shouldn’t have IPL. We’ll also ask you to read detailed information and sign a consent form to confirm that you understood the potential benefits and risks associated with IPL.
A treatment program with costs clearly set out at the outset.

During treatments:

The area to be treated will be photographed before and after, for a visual comparison.
You’ll be provided with safety eyewear to protect your eyes from the light generated by the machine.


And we’ll always provide you with full aftercare advice and invite you to contact your therapist should you have any concerns post treatment.


Our therapists are experts in treating unwanted hair
We achieve long term results with our state-of-the-art IPL systems
Up to 95% permanent hair reduction in only 6-8 sessions
Clinically proven to effectively manage unwanted hair


If this service is of interest to you, book a free consultation and we’ll go through the options and how it works.

Beauty choices. We’re here for that. Love Saks xx

Back to blog