Which IPL or laser device is right for your salon

Doing your research before investing in a laser or IPL device is vital.  Ensuring you choose the right system for you can not only save you time and money, but can make or break your salon’s reputation. While laser and IPL machines are hugely versatile, the most common salon uses are hair removal and skin rejuvenation.

Although all wavelengths used for laser/ IPL hair removal are suitable for the removal of the hair itself, they are not all necessarily appropriate for all skin types I–VI on the Fitzpatrick scale. “Lighter colour skin can be treated with any of the wavelengths, while darker skin requires wavelengths that are not as well absorbed by melanin, which means they go deeper into the skin, bypassing most of the skin’s epidermal melanin,” says Kerry Belba, laser  trainer and clinic director of Laser Skin Solutions in Bournemouth. “Lasers and IPLs emitting light between approximately 650nm and 1100nm can all be used to permanently reduce hair but each has its advantages and limitations.” Nd Yag Tattoo Removal Machine Price

Some of the main systems in use now are Alexandrite, Nd:YAG, diode and IPL, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.  “Alexandrite 755nm lasers can effectively treat all hair colours, including finer, lighter hairs providing there is some melanin present; however, they can be uncomfortable and are only really suitable for white skin types I to III,” explains Belba.

Supplied by Lynton in the UK, the Again laser by Deka combines Alexandrite and Nd:YAG technologies with Deka’s Moveo technology to provide fast and effective treatments for skin types one to six.

Suitable for hair removal, vascular lesions, pigmentation, and skin tightening, the Again offers high power, with a 30mm spot size to provide faster treatments to larger areas.

Moveo technology guarantees minimal discomfort, featuring plume protection to reduce the risks associated with plume inhalation.

The Thunder MT combines Alexandrite and Nd:YAG laser technologies to overcome single-source limitations. The versatile device is suitable for treatments including hair removal, vascular lesions, pigmentation, acne, and collagen

Using a super-elliptical shape with several spot sizes, the device can cover a more uniform and wider area compared to a classic round spot, reducing the need to overlap, and completing treatments up to 30% faster than with round spot.

The latest generation 1200W high power 808nm diode laser from Zemits with QDC technology offers effective dual treatments SMART protocols for hair removal and skin rejuvenation. The dual cooling system with dynamic temperature control allows you to deliver treatment more safely and comfortably. 

This two-in-one laser offers the most suitable pre-set parameters, simple to navigate customer records database directly from interface, and intelligent diagnostic system ZM-Save to prevent the system from failures. The ergonomic handpiece is perfectly balanced in weight, dimensions, and interface module for prompt change of setting. The ideal working spot size makes performing the treatment efficient and enjoyable.

“Diode laser 810nm is a popular choice due to its ability to treat a wide range of skin types. These were the first lasers to be  used for “in-motion” or “pain-free” modes with energy being delivered gradually to the skin for maximum comfort. However, not all diodes have “pain-free” modes.

“Nd:YAG 1064nm is considered the safest of all lasers for treating dark skins due to its long wavelength. But due to the depth of penetration, it can make treatment more uncomfortable. Low melanin absorption means efficacy can be limited on fine or fair hairs,” continues Belba.

“Intense light sources, commonly referred to as IPL devices, are popular due to their versatility and ability to treat a wide range of skin types. However, quality and spec varies enormously and treatment outcomes depend very much on peak power output and how the energy is delivered in terms of pulses, pulse durations and delays,” she advises.

When selecting a laser for skin resurfacing, Dr Nick Lowe, consultant dermatologist at Cranley Clinic in London, explains there are several parameters to consider. “Some lasers are what we call chromophore specific. So, you can use the Alexandrite and related lasers to target  pigment or you can choose lasers with non-specific absorption,” he explains. “These longer wavelength lasers like the erbium yag and the CO2 are strongly absorbed by water within the skin or the tissue, so they don’t require a specific chromophore.”

Another factor is non-ablative versus ablative. Non-ablative is usually used for mild to moderate skin issues while ablative lasers are used by medical professionals for more severe conditions. “The decision is dependent on what is required in terms of the depth of injury, the intensity of the energy, the density of the delivery and the laser tissue interaction,” explains Dr Lowe.

The use of fractional lasers for skin rejuvenation has become more popular recently, as Dr Lowe explains. “Fractional lasers are able to fragment the laser beam into minute microscopic  channels. This is a way of scattering the beam, of being more in control, and also, because you’re skipping areas, of achieving a more uniform effect and less severe surface damage.” By adjusting the energy as well as the density, operators can scatter those micro thermal zones more widely. “With an increase in energy you can vary the depth of penetration, which offers much better control and variability than the older lasers,” explains Lowe.

Fractional lasers can be used to treat a wide variety of indications such as facial and neck rejuvenation, some body skin rejuvenation, and scars and stetch marks. Some can also treat pigmentation.

Intense puled light (IPL) is also often recommended for rejuvenation treatments, particularly to treat vascular and pigment issues.

Portable Diode Laser Hair Removal Which laser or IPL device do you use and why? Tell us below.