Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin: Everything You Need to Know

Discover everything you need to know about laser hair removal for dark skin tones - from myths & misconceptions to pre & post-treatment instructions.

Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin: Everything You Need to Know

Until recently, laser hair removal was not considered safe for people with melanin-rich skin because early laser models were not created to differentiate melanin in the skin from melanin in the hair follicle. This posed a risk of burns, scarring, hypopigmentation (light spots on the skin) and other adverse reactions when treated with a laser. However, with new lasers created with melanin-rich skin in mind, specifically lasers with longer wavelengths, longer pulse durations and more efficient cooling devices, this is changing. According to Charles, an expert in laser hair removal, it is now very safe with minimal side effects, provided the person doing it is using the right laser and understands the mechanics of treating darker skin.Before investing in laser hair removal, it's important to find out if you're a good candidate for treatment.

Charles explains that no matter how much melanin in your skin or how light or dark your complexion is, you can get laser hair removal. However, people who tend to do better have thick, dark hair as the light source in the laser tends to see that hair better and zap it more effectively. Before booking your initial session, you'll want to take stock of your skincare routine and consult your dermatologist or laser provider. If you use products that contain ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in the areas you plan to receive treatment, professionals may recommend that you stop using them altogether or at least pause them for a few days before and after treatment.

This is because they can cause increased skin sensitivity and, along with laser hair removal, you risk irritation or more serious problems such as skin peeling and scarring.It's time to put an end to the myth that lasers don't work on dark skin tones. If you have deep tanned skin, you can get treatments such as laser hair removal - you just have to keep in mind a few key things. We spoke to dermatologists Jeanine Downie and Michelle Henry to discuss all the things people of color should consider before booking a laser hair removal treatment. With advances in laser technology, this has changed in recent years.

However, there are still several common myths and misconceptions regarding laser hair removal for dark skin tones.Keep reading to discover the truth about laser hair removal for darker skin tones and if it's a viable option for you. In the early years, laser devices had trouble distinguishing between hair follicles and surrounding skin if it had a darker shade, causing burns and skin damage. However, technological progress has made it possible for people with darker skin tones to reap the benefits of laser hair removal. The Nd-YAG laser works well for people with darker skin tones and can reach the hair follicle without damaging the skin pigment, leading to mild results.Because dark skin is more sensitive than fair skin, Karavolas recommends that you ask the laser hair treatment center to view before and after photos of patients with a dark skin type who have undergone a laser procedure.

You should also avoid waxing or tweezing as it removes the entire hair follicle - for the laser to work, you need a little hair since the laser detects the pigment in the hair follicle.At your laser hair removal appointment, your provider will review pre-treatment and post-treatment instructions. To get started, research the laser hair professional and the center you are considering using, especially their experience treating dark skin tones. During my first visit, the nurse at the site who administered the laser that day prepared my face with a makeup remover wipe to remove anything left on the surface of my skin. Both Downie and Henry encourage patients to see a specialized dermatologist who has used lasers to remove hair from dark skin.Some research shows that the diode might be a little more effective at removing hair from brown or black skin; it might also be worthwhile if you're closer to 3 on the Fitzpatrick scale and have a low pain tolerance.But thanks to advances in technology and growing focus on inclusion, people with darker complexions can now finally receive laser hair removal.

Charles explains that it is incredibly effective when performed with a laser that provides a wavelength of 1064 nanometers. Laser hair removal generally requires six to eight treatments but may require up to 10 sessions depending on the part of the hair growth cycle at the time of treatment. For those who have discoloration or lumps caused by hair growth, laser hair removal can also improve skin texture over time.That's why it's imperative to use a laser that targets only the pigmentation of the hair follicle and not the skin, and get services from people who have experience working with colored skin.

Sandra Prybylski
Sandra Prybylski

Typical internet trailblazer. Evil internet ninja. Avid beer buff. Hardcore beer evangelist. Typical pizza fanatic.

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