IPL vs Salon Laser Hair Removal (UK): Which is Better?

IPL vs Salon Laser Hair Removal (UK): Which is Better?

Should you get an IPL device and do your thing at home, or visit a salon for a professional laser hair removal service?

This question isn't uncommon, especially now that the market is awash with many IPL devices that raise our hopes of privately and personally getting rid of our agelong nightmare - unwanted body hair.

If there is one consideration that matters to anyone contemplating either of these choices, it would be to know which of them is the most effective. After all, what use is a device or procedure that only takes your time and resources but doesn't produce any result? None is free, and both have merits and demerits. But where it is evident that one gives an effect that makes everyone happy and with minimal privacy invasion, we can say it is the choice that is worth taking between the two.

As such, I will be very objective while x-raying the salient points for each option. Resting on cost, privacy, long-term effects, safety, and other details, I will compare and contrast these two options to reveal which is better. When you're done reading them, answering this article's question will be a walk in the park for you. That said, let's start by introducing both IPL devices and Salon Laser services.

What are IPL Devices, and How Do They Function?

What are IPL Device

Following the identified drawbacks of shaving, waxing, and epilating, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) came on onboard. It's a light-based hair-removal approach that utilises broad-spectrum lights of high wavelength to reach hair follicles in the skin and disrupt hair growth. The more this disruption occurs, the more likely hair will never grow again.

Hairs have their roots in the follicles, and when high-energy lights hit these follicles, they generate heat. It is this heat energy that interferes with the growth process to produce smooth skin. Of course, the light must proceed from a device that is capable of projecting, flashing, or shooting it into the skin so it can reach its target. Such devices capable of sending high-energy lights into the skin are called IPL devices. Their design is such that users can handle them with one hand and embark on self-treatment without strain.

While all IPL handsets operate by this baseline technology, some produce better results and efficiency than others because of the producer's ingenuity. Things that separate these gadgets include design, nearly painless technology, energy of the light released, number of flashes, and manufacturers' add-ons. Because of these variations, it would be unfair to say all IPL devices are the same; some are miles apart from others in functionality.

A Look at Professional Laser Services

Professional Laser Services

Lasers and IPLs may both rely on light for their functions, but they differ. And if one is to summarise this difference in one word, it would be specificity. Instead of using non-specific, polychromatic, broad-spectrum lights, lasers utilise tone-specific, monochromatic light of high energy to target the follicles and long-lasting stop hair growth.

Like IPL, lasers also come in handheld devices that people can use at home without visiting a salon. However, these at-home laser devices are not as effective and comprehensive as those used by technicians at beauty shops. Therefore, we can not put handheld laser devices side-by-side with professional laser gadgets used in salons.

With this helpful background in place, it's time to compare these two pathways to hairlessness and see which of them outdo each other in efficiency.

IPL vs Salon Laser Hair Removal: Which is Better?

1. Cost of treatment

Excellent IPL devices usually cost between £300 and £400. In fact, if you buy from a reputable brand like Ulike, whose focus is not on financial gains but on customer satisfaction, you will get their device for £319. With the mouthwatering discount that Ulike regularly dishes out, budget-strained users have found a haven to get the best IPL gadget at the lowest price possible.

Ulike Air3 IPL Hair Removal Handset is outstanding for its impressive flashes that last a user for years (900,000), high energy intensity that produces visible results in three weeks, patented Sapphire Ice-Cooling technology that assures nearly painless treatment, and high-powered endorsement from regulatory agencies like the FDA and notable dermatologists.

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The cost of professional laser hair removal services in any UK salon depends on the area to be covered, the skin tone, and the technician's level of expertise. For places with highly skilled handlers and medical-grade gadgets, one treatment for your two legs can cost between £300 and £350. Of course, you will need between 6-10 sessions to get a lasting long-lasting outcome. So, if we estimate the cost of getting a professional laser hair treatment for your leg, it will gulp around £2500.

In contrast, IPL devices are one-off investments that can last a lifetime. Once you purchase the right type, all that remains is proper maintenance to keep it in good shape. Good enough, reputable brands like Ulike offer up to two years warranty and a three-month money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line: It's cheaper to buy an IPL device for hair removal than to visit a salon for laser treatments. Salons charge as much as four times the cost of the most expensive at-home IPL gadget.

2. Privacy of Treatment

Privacy of IPL hair removal treatment

More than half (65%) of those interviewed by a famous beauty vendor in the UK posited that privacy is an important consideration when deciding what method or gadget for hair removal. Perhaps, this matters to you, too. As most of the unwanted hairs on our bodies grow in private body parts - armpits, chests, bikini lines, groin, etc. - many of us that are body conscious will not want to allow a third party to handle us in these places.

If your unwanted hair is in your groin area, a salon treatment will involve taking off your pants or skirt and, in some cases, underwear before a stranger. For many, nothing can be more awkward. Your confidence and humanness are challenged, and you may end up chickening out for this reason.

However, for IPL devices, you can stay in your room and self-treat yourself. If you get a perfect device like Ulike or any other reputable brand, there are precision caps in the package to help you reach contours and difficult-to-reach places on your body effortlessly. CE and FDA-clear IPL gadgets are especially reputed as being safe for home use. With them, you don't have to worry about exposing yourself needlessly to an outsider.

Bottom Line: IPL gadgets are better than salon lasers at keeping your privacy when performing your beauty regime.

3. Suitable for the Crowd

As you shop for IPL machines, you will most likely find a compatibility chart on the package or in the instruction booklet inside, stipulating who can use it and who cannot. Generally, people with very dark hair and light skin tones are the best candidates for IPL.

Ulike IPL support skin tone

With the right technician, everyone can get a laser hair removal service, regardless of their skin tone. Of course, this may also be one of the reasons why it costs more than buying IPL.

Bottom Line: IPL is more affordable than laser and has better privacy. The only downside is that you need to confirm whether your skin tone is suitable before buying.

4. Time Management

Time is sometimes more challenging to get than money these days. And with many things that one has to do, frequenting a salon and waiting for one's time may be too much of a sacrifice, especially for something that is not life-threatening. Most IPLs can complete full-body treatment in less than 30 minutes - the time it will take you to reach a salon and get ready.

Most UK beauty salons are located outside of residential areas and frequenting them for treatments may not only be time consuming but also inconvenient. Besides, you can be in a long queue due to others scrambling for the same service. But with an IPL gadget in your home, you will have none of these setbacks to contend with. Whether it’s your bikini lines, armpits, or genitals that need hair removal, you can do so in the convenience of your home.

Ulike Sapphire Air3 Hair Removal handset especially offers the advantage of a quick completion of treatments with its gliding mode and high-energy photons; you can complete your two legs with it in less than 10 minutes.

Bottom Line: IPL devices are more convenient to use than visiting a salon for laser hair removal.


Both IPL and salon laser can take care of your hair removal needs, although with slightly different results, timeline, and requirements. With salon lasers, you will be sacrificing your privacy, financial resources, and conveniences, while IPL demands a continuous use with no guarantee of 100% hairlessness.

We see things differently and have different needs. Therefore, one cannot adopt a one-size-fits-all approach on this subject. Sometimes, the best approach to getting rid of recalcitrant objectionable hair would be to visit a salon for an expert’s help. At other times, one is fine with an excellent IPL handset. If you have the means, both methods are the best.

However, for folks who take their privacy seriously and do not have the time and money that salon laser services demand, sticking to a reliable IPL device device is a better option.