Policy Statement

Policy Statement Intense Pulsed Light Devices

Date: 12/07/2017
Referenced Sources: Statutes and Regulations (Cosmetology and Barbering)

Table of Contents

Intense Pulsed Light Devices

Policy 2016-01 - Intense Pulsed Light Devices

Amended March 12, 2019


The Board issues this policy to clarify and unify the basis on which aestheticians, cosmetologists and electrologists may use Intense Pulsed Light (“IPL”) technology. 

Policy – Intense Pulsed Light Devices.  Licensed cosmetologists, aestheticians, electrologists and salon owners who use IPL devices for hair removal services must comply with the following guidelines:

A. The Board authorizes cosmetologists and aestheticians to use IPL for hair removal and photofacials in compliance with this Policy.  Cosmetologists and aestheticians are prohibited from using laser devices for hair removal, which is defined as “laser electrolysis.”  Laser electrolysis is authorized only for qualified electrologists who are approved by the Board pursuant to Policy 2015-01, “Licensure Requirements for Laser Hair Removal,” and the Board’s regulations.  See also Policy 2017-1 on Practices Outside the Scope of Licensure.

B.  Only licensed cosmetologists, aestheticians and electrologists who have received a minimum of thirty (30) hours of training on an IPL device shall be permitted to provide IPL services.  Licensees providing IPL services must have proof of training available on-site for Board inspection upon request.

B.  The-Board approved floor plan of the salon must identify IPL devices, thus licensed salons adding IPL services must submit an amended floor plan to the Board and must have a copy of that floor plan on-site for Board inspection upon request. 

C.  Salons and electrology offices providing IPL services must maintain a copy of the manufacturer's instructions for the IPL device on-site for Board inspection upon request.  Licensees shall not use an IPL device that is not cleared by the FDA, and cosmetologists and aestheticians shall not use any device, setting or apparatus on any device that provides for or allows laser electrolysis.

For further information about this policy please contact the Board at cosmetologyandbarberingboard@mass.gov or (617) 727-9940.

Referenced Sources: