These days, there are many ways to remove unwanted hair. Women aren’t the only ones that desire efficient hair removal though. Plenty of men want to remove their facial hair with less frequency than a daily shave.
For men that want a smooth face all the time and don’t want to get into the hipster facial hair movement, IPL devices can be a viable solution. An IPL device uses intense pulsed light technology to remove unwanted hair in a more permanent way.
My husband usually gets ingrown hair after shaving especially around the contour, while trying to help him, I looked around and done the research to about whether or not men can use an IPL device for facial hair removal.
IPL devices are a great solution for men to remove facial hair. A 2010 study has proven the effectiveness of laser and IPL hair removal devices, as the satisfaction score given by the patients was very high. The trial was even conducted on areas with coarse hair, such as the underarm area. However, IPL devices are more effective in shaping, rather than removing the beard.
It works differently than shaving because shaving simply cuts off the hairs that extend out of the follicles on the skin. Because there is still hair in the follicle, it will grow out again. Tired of the 5 o’clock shadow? An IPL device could be right up your alley for achieving a smoother, hair-free face.
This can be appealing for many reasons. For one, many men like having a clean-cut appearance but tire of the process of shaving daily. Especially when appearances matter, like for the office, a man needs to complete his daily shaving ritual. Nicks and cuts can arise from shaving too, and on the face, there’s very little to do to hide it. And then those ingrown hairs…ouch!
Considering an IPL device to keep your male facial hair from growing in? Keep reading to find out the benefits and how it can help you!
Does a man really need facial hair removal with an IPL device?
There will always be two sides to every story. You have to be happy with the way you look and if it makes you happy to have a fresh, smooth, and youthful face that looks hair-free, then you should go for it.
- Suitable for a Wide Variety of Hair and Skin Colors
- Delivers over 250 000 Flashes
- Equipped with a Unique Curved Attachments for More Precision
Some say men aren’t men without having a hint of facial hair, but if you live for everyone else’s expectations, you’ll never be happy. IPL devices like the PHILIPS Lumea New Prestige(Amazon link) can be a divine solution for you if you have ingrown hairs because too many of those can cause hyperpigmentation which is far worse than being teased for having a feminine face. Ingrown hairs are painful too, and if you can remove them and prevent them from happening, why not do so?
IPL can definitely work for facial hair, even for men, though it will take multiple treatments. That’s because hairs all have different stages of growth. Not all of them are in the same stage at the same time. This happens with hair on every part of your body from the top of your head to your eyelashes and down to your toes. Even if you have a beard that you love to sport, an IPL device can be tremendously helpful in keeping it well-groomed by preventing those random unsightly hairs outside of the realm of your beard from sprouting up.
Is IPL effective on a male beard?
For men, the facial hair found on your lip and chin area can be thicker and have deeper roots than in other places on your body. It depends on what wavelength you use on the IPL device to really get down in there. Some devices just can’t do it and for those instances you should consider using Nd:YAG or Diode laser hair removal to get the job done.
On a quality IPL device though, when it’s set at the right settings, it should work for the male beard. It really depends on a few things though.
– The phase of your hair
As mentioned, hairs all over your body are in different stages. It depends on how many of your hair follicles are currently in the active growth phase when you use an IPL device.
– Hair color vs skin color
Your facial hair color and the contrast between your skin color can play a role too. IPL and laser treatments aren’t as effective if you have blonde, red, or grey hair.
– How often you use it
With IPL, it’s not a one-and-done solution. You’ll need to do these sessions with a bit of regularity, usually every 6 to 8 weeks to catch all the hairs as they reset in their growth cycles, allowing you to remove more of them from the follicle with success at the same time.
– Hair thickness
We also touched upon how the thickness of your facial hair can have an impact. The hairs on your upper lip and chin are thicker than those you’ll find on your cheeks or neck.
IPL devices aren’t the best solution for everyone though. They will work best on skin tones that are light to medium and with hair colors that are a natural blonde, dark brown, or black. These devices don’t perform as effectively on red, ultra-blonde, grey, or white hairs as the smaller amount of melanin can’t effectively absorb that light energy from the device. Higher energies can be used but there are more side effects.
Understanding more about how IPL can benefit you or if it’s even right for you will help you make your decision. Keep reading and you’ll soon get the bigger picture!
Is facial hair removal safe using an IPL device?
Luckily, most people that use an IPL device find that it’s very safe and easy to tolerate. No major or long-term health risks have been found for using it either. You may have some minor side effects after this method of hair removal though.
Whether you have sensitive skin or not, it’s always a good idea to consult your dermatologist. You can do a patch test first to see how your skin responds. This way, you won’t be sporting a face full of irritation if things don’t go as planned. That’s a good idea for just about anything new you do on your skin!
How does an IPL device function?
So what does this magical IPL device do? It uses a broad waveband of light. You target this light at the area you want to treat. The light goes deep into your skin and targets certain chromophores. It destroys the roots of your hair and prevents hair regrowth in the follicle, leading to permanent hair removal.
But because your hairs could be in varying stages of growth from each other, you will have to do IPL treatments more than once, likely several times or so, before you can get rid of all the hair in any area you treat. One of the best ways to be most efficient with an IPL device is to first exfoliate the skin. This helps get rid of dead skin cells on the surface and makes for a smoother transition.
Next, you’ll need to shave the area you plan to treat with your IPL device. In this case, it’s your face. Shaving will help optimize the growth cycle so you will have fewer missed hairs.
Once you’ve shaved, you can use your IPL device to treat your face. While all IPL devices have similar functions, the one you buy and use at home should be used according to the manufacturer’s directions. Make sure you read up on everything!
You can also have it done professionally though this is much more expensive. And since it will require multiple treatments at the very least (generally anywhere from 6 to 8 treatments), it’s a better investment to buy your own IPL device to use whenever you need to. While it does lead to permanent hair removal, it will be necessary to touch up every now and then.
When you have it done professionally, you’ll be charged by the area. Your face might not seem that large until you tally up the expense of having IPL done over and over until all hair is removed.
Is facial hair removal using an IPL device permanent?
After about 3 months of using your IPL device on your face to get rid of that male facial hair, you’ll notice more permanent results. At that point, you’ll notice most of that hair isn’t growing back in and you’ll have a smoother face. It keeps getting better over time.
This is why buying your own IPL device is the best way to go. You can keep up the treatments without having to make appointments or spending too much money.
Things you should and shouldn’t do before using an IPL device
Once you have your IPL device, make sure to follow these tips for your best success.
– Don’t wax or pluck the area
Some guys try to take a page from their wives or girlfriends by plucking or waxing. Trust us, shaving is all you should do.
– Try to avoid the sun
The lighter your skin is, the better the results will be.
– Avoid lotions
Right before using it, refrain from putting lotion on your face. If you have a low tolerance for pain, you can use a numbing cream to make the treatment more comfortable.
– Don’t do it while on antibiotics
Antibiotics are photosensitive medications which can make your skin more sensitive to light. IPL devices are light-based so you could increase your chances for burning your skin or creating hyperpigmentation.
– Get protective glasses
This will prevent damage to your eyes. Since you’ll be removing your male facial hair, you don’t want to accidentally cause damage to your peepers.
What to do after you use your IPL device
Once you use your IPL device for the first time and every time after that, you should take some self-care tips as well.
– Stay away from the heat
In the first 48 hours, you shouldn’t go to the gym or sauna. You also should keep your showers lukewarm (which you should do anyway so as not to dry out your skin). Following using an IPL device, your skin remains heated and if you go into a hot environment, your skin can breed bacteria which can result in spots.
– Use more cooling gel
You can also use that cooling gel from just prior to your treatment on your tender skin. It helps soothe the skin and reduce inflammation while protecting from infection.
– No colognes or fragranced products
For the first 24 hours, you should keep away from cologne or scented skincare products. These can irritate your tender facial skin.
– Don’t wax or pluck again
While men are most likely to pick up a razor rather than pluck or wax, we feel we should warn you not to try plucking or waxing after using IPL devices. Your treated hairs need to be able to fall out on their own naturally.
– Keep from the sun and fake tans
After you use the IPL device to remove your male facial hair, you shouldn’t go out in the sun for a good 2 weeks or apply a fake tan, if that’s your thing. For those times you can’t avoid being outdoors, make sure you slather on high-SPF sunscreen to keep you protected.
IPL devices can be a fantastic solution for men that want a smoother contour on their face. This should only be done if you’re sure you never want to grow out a beard, though you can use it even if you have a beard when you’ve got too many errant hairs growing outside of your desired beard zone. Then you can use your own IPL device to ensure you only have facial hair growing where you want it to grow.
It’s a more cost effective solution to buy an IPL device to use at home since you’ll have to repeat the treatment quite a few times to stop all hair growth. Even then, some hair may grow back at some point, but never to the extent that it currently does.
Remember to take care of your skin before and after using your IPL device and you’ll find it’s a great way to stay smooth, and pardon the pun, will shave plenty of time off your morning routine!