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IPL & Laser Treatments > best device for hair removal?

Hi! I am an esthetician/ laser tech looking to start up a small laser spa. Im interested in leasing a Palomar Starlux 500 but have heard mixed reviews. My main concern is hair removal. Any suggestions on what devices are most effective? Thanks!

11.19 | Registered Commenterlm

IPLs,are not ergonomic(large handpiece not suitable for small areas such as upper lip ,chin,bikini close to the lips).Also the learning curve is not short, and are time consuming(shaving,gels).Alexandrite,I think is the king.Palomar is the best of ipl ,very good results, less pain than alexandrite and doesnt really needs gel ,but i think expensive .

11.19 | Unregistered Commenterhan

"Palomar is the best of ipl ,very good results, less pain than alexandrite and doesnt really needs gel"

No the best IPL is BBL by Sciton!!!Get a demo you will be very satisfied!!

11.19 | Unregistered Commentercharry

I have worked with Palomar, Syneron and Candela Lasers for hair removal. Palomar, in my opinion, is the best IPL for the Hair removal. They have handpieces like the YS or RS for hair removal that treat smaller areas and work quickly enough when treating a larger area like a back or legs. The Handpieces can be used on varied skin types, and I have had very good results. Patients are very satisfied.


I cannot believe you mention that the Sciton is the best. You have only done that 373 times so far in the last 2 years. The truth of the matter is that Palomar, Candela, Lumenis and.....drum roll.......Sciton all make very good hair removal devices.

texas laser

All the companies you mentioned above are good companies,but my personal opinion is this that Sciton has the best platform!!!
Everyone has his personal opinion and he there is no need to agree with me.

11.21 | Unregistered Commentercharry


I love your passion more than you will always bring a smile to my face. I along with everyone on this site appreciates your input and we hope you continue to add your knowledge here at this website.

i agree with Chary on his comments about the Sciton BBL. The result, dependability is hard to beat. I did try out the Light sheer Duet Diode laser for a while but consistently come back to the Sciton BBL for hair removal.

What about the Syneron Aurora?

11.30 | Unregistered Commenterlmm

I like the Aerolase - it is a 1064 and although this wavelength is traditionally known to be best for tanned or darker skin, this device has a shorter pulse duration and higher peak power and it's quite intriguing to see it produce charring and edema that other lasers have, even on light skin types, without nearly as much pain. One thing for sure: IPL is really a mistake, I got tired of treating people 12-15 times and occasionally seeing burns before I switched permanently to lasers (no matter the vendor, IPL is IPL)>

12.20 | Registered CommenterOSTspa

how effective is this aerolase? is it only for hair removal? how much is it? is it based on laser or light? Thanks

01.31 | Unregistered Commentershell

How about the new Soprano XL in motion technology? Is this an effective machine for permanent hair reduction? thanks!

03.28 | Unregistered Commenterrichman

Problem is you are all judging these devices based on your own preferences, and not based on any real world data. You are not even taking positions as consumers because you are invested in your respective devices. There is some light to be shed on these companies:

Palomar Medical- Palomar Medical is currently in violation of 21 CFR 1040.10(h)(2)(ii), and 21 CFR 1040.11(1) and(2), in that no calibration information is provided to servicing dealers, distributors, or others upon request as required by US law. The company also allegedly is in violation of various provisions of the different Anti-Trust laws, including "tying in," in that Palomar does not supply parts, or service to customers who do not purchase service agreements.

Sciton, Inc.: Sciton is in violation of the same regulations in that it does not provide service information at a cost that does not exceed the cost of preparation and distribution, as required by law. It is further in violation in that the service information provided does not contain instructions for optical alignment, nor does it stipulate radiation exposure protection provisions regarding optical alignment. The information provided is accompanied by clauses which state information is withheld from technicians who do not attend Sciton service traing... yet this very training is not offered to third parties. There is no legal requirement for manufacturer training, and the requirement is also a violation of 21 CFR 1040.10-11.

Candela/Syneron: One of the greatest violators of 21 CFR, allegedly. Syneron has some recent fines for violations, and Candela will likely receive some within the next few months for their various violations.

Lumenis, Cutera, Cynosure, Alma Lasers, AMS, Iridex, Laserscope, etc. etc.: All of these companies are in regular defiance of 21 CFR 1040.10-11.

What does this mean for you and your patients? Well, the problem has various parameters-

1- Patient safety cannot be ensured on a periodic basis as recommended by ANSI 136, the ASLMS, The Joint Commission, and various state laws which have adopted ANSI 136 as law.

2- Manufacturer's monopolize service, not allowing consumers to freely choose between servicers, and stifling competition which stifles the quality of service delivered by manufacturers, while costs rise.

3- Improper or no documentation of manufacturing defects, and patient incidents.

Because the cosmetic laser industry in large part does not view itself as part of the medical community, the manufacturers, the devices, and the patients are not treated with the same care required by federal law. If a patient is burned by a hair removal laser, for example, it is mandatory for the practitioner or facility to report the incident to the FDA via mandatory reporting for FDA 3500A. When was the last time any of you filled one out, and how many of you even knew what it was before I mentioned it???

The efficacy and safety of medical devices is up to us- the consumers and medical personnel who use and service them. If we are not following the proper procedures, and not reporting these companies- instead we fall in love with them, advertise their products as "king," and treat the manufacturers as if it is our privilege to own their devices. Scientifically, every device meets a specific standard set forth by a predicate device. Every patient is different, and so is every practitioner. The device is only as good as the technicians servicing them, combined with the knowledge and effectiveness of the user. If it is FDA approved to remove hair, it should do so completely and permanently within 6-10 treatments. The fact that it does not does not mean the particular model itself is not good, rather you must take into consideration all these other factors I have mentioned...

The Sciton BBL is the best IPL on the market for photo rejuvenation, brown spots, vascular, etc.
However the BBL willnot compete with a Lightsheer, A laser is the optimal wavelenght for hair removal, its less expensive to do hair removal with a laser and it takesless treatments to do hair removal on a laser. If someone is getting better results with a BBL on hair removal then they are not using the right energy levels on the laser. You need to increase the tempeture 3 to 5 J on every treatment and should be up in the high 40's to 50 J on a skin type III on a back for example. Many technicians are afraid to use the laser the way it needs to be used to produce results. If your not getting good results with a lightsheer it is purely technician based and not the laser.

The BBL is the same way. You cannot be effective if you are not using the right settings.

06.21 | Unregistered CommenterDr Morris

It is my experience that IPL for hair removal is a waste of everyone's time. The longterm results are poor.
We have a Syneron EMax diode laser for LHR and I am VERY pleased with the results. I am getting 95% clearance on axilla in 4-5 sessions.

06.21 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

@Dr. Morris- Sciton is among the habitual violators of 21 CFR 1040.10-11, and by far the most expensive systems to service. When using the word "best," one needs to take into consideration various parameters. You can purchase a $250,000 system today, and 12 months later it is worth $80,000 on the used market due to the lack of serviceability and parts. A $250K Bentley, on the other hand, would sell for around $245K a year later. If Sciton were a car manufacturer it would be making Pintos with golden parts. In a sense, that is exactly what they build.

On another note, people need to stop referring to the Lumenis Lightsheer as a laser. It is NOT a laser. The light is produced by an array of diodes, and collimated by a crystal. This is NOT Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It is only a "laser" by virtue of being subject to 21 CFR 1040.10-11, standards for Laser and Light based devices. It is NOT a laser.

@Julie, and others- The Syneron eMax is not an FDA approved unit. Syneron is currently undergoing an investigation with the FDA, which often lasts a year or two. In the meantime, if you injure a patient with the eMax, you are completely liable. And though the FDA rarely goes after consumers after issuing a warning letter to a manufacturer for adulterated products, you are, in effect, using an illegal device and could be considered guilty of various federal laws for using, possessing, or transporting the unit.

I don't use any of the aforementioned brands so will give my view as a bystander.

Based on a pure technical stand point, I am inclined to believe that Palomar gives more bang for the buck. Its power output allows a bigger head to be used without diluting the effect which makes treatments of large areas significantly faster and thus cost effective.

For fine work, none of the IPLs are good coz the heads are too large. Lasers are better. However, honestly, there aren't very many places where you MUST use a laser. Also, where I'm from, after you consider the costs involved to the client (not to mention the pain), I'm more inclined to use IPLs over lasers..... lasers do give better results, but I find that its often over sold for bragging purposes by doctors since aestheticians here cannot use them. To each his/her own though... if you are willing to pay, nothing to stop you getting a 'better' result with a laser.

01.28 | Registered Commentermasakari

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