Darker skin type? Yes, you can do laser hair removal
19 Jul 2018
If you’ve got a darker skin type and are looking to de-fuzz for good you might have heard that you won’t be a good candidate for laser hair removal. Fortunately, that’s not true at all, or at least not anymore.
Many years ago, when it came to laser hair removal, your options were pretty limited. The most popular form of hair-blitzing was intense pulsed light (IPL) and yes, that wasn’t ideal for darker skin tones. IPL machines work by being set to seek out and destroy darker pigment like hair follicles. This makes it most effective when used on skin and hair that has a strong contrast between colours, so it’s easy for the laser to spot the difference between the two.
For this reason, anyone with pale skin and dark hair should get good results. If you’ve got a darker skin tone with dark hair, however, the machine can get confused. Sadly, the unwanted results can range from not finding the follicles at all to mistaking your skin for hair and giving you a nasty burn.
Darker skin type? You need to pick the right tools
While IPL isn’t a good pick for those with darker skin. A long-pulsed ND: YAG laser used at the right setting can do a great job of permanently removing unwanted hair. It still targets melanin (the pigment that goes your skin its colour) but it enters your dermis at a specific depth. This allows it to target hair follicles, not the skin above it.
Hair removal using an Nd: YAG laser is largely painless and you can achieve a permanently smooth result. For best results plan on at least eight treatments scheduled at regular intervals, usually four to six weeks apart.
As with IPL, an Nd: YAG laser can cause your skin to become a bit more sun sensitive. This makes winter the ideal time to start treatment. However, you could do it any time of the year provided you’re cautious about unprotected sun exposure.
But that’s not all when it comes to a darker skin type
Yes, certain lasers are off limits to darker skin types, but at Skin Renewal, you’ll find a wide selection of light and laser machines that are ‘colour blind’, meaning they can treat skin of any colour.
Laser Genesis Rejuvenation is a great multitasker in that it can treat wrinkles, lax skin, acne, scarring and enlarged pores. It can also minimise the appearance of pigmentation by breaking it into small particles that can be easily removed via exfoliation.
Another laser suitable for all skin colours is Titan. It heats up your existing collagen, causing it to contract and ‘lift’ while encouraging new collagen to form over time.
In short, it’s a myth that those with darker skin can’t benefit from lasers. You simply have to pick the right one.