The IPL hair removal system consists of weakening or destroying active hair follicles, with the purpose of inhibiting or reducing hair growth. Results may already be seen after the first sessions, though at least 4 to 6 sessions are required to achieve optimum effects.
Multiple sessions are required due to variation in hair growth cycles; not all hair grows at the same time. Only hair in an active growing phase may be effectively treated; hair in the resting phase or follicles which still do not exist cannot be treated.
The US FDA has qualified these treatments as providing permanent hair reduction rather than removal, since they provide a permanent reduction in hair amount and thickness of up to 85%.