Excellent question! The answer is clear that laser is more effective than IPL for permanent hair reduction.
In particular, the Cynosure Elite laser which has both Alexandrite and NdYag wavelengths. These wavelengths are specific for the melanin in dark hair follicles & will have less chance of unnecessarily having an effect on the surrounding skin.
For light brown skin such as yours, the NdYag is the best choice. A big word of caution however, go to an experienced physician for your treatments! Especially here in NY, a lot of these laser centers do not even have a physician overseeing the treatments.
Darker skin is at greater risk for absorbing the laser or IPL energy & therefore get burnt or darken. You want to be treated by a caring physcian only. For instance, in my office, I personally treat all the patients. The treatments are comfortable, painless and very effective.
Many physician offices offer prices comparable to these laser centers so do not be lured by low prices. Your safety is the most important. Laser hair removal is absolutely great & with the right machine & right physician, you will do great!
Written by Dr. Halaas