Why laser hair removal doesn't work on dark skin?

Downie explains that light energy safely removes hair by focusing on the pigment in each follicle. What makes laser hair removal problematic for dark skin is when the laser targets the pigment (melanin) in the skin in addition to the hair follicle.

Why laser hair removal doesn't work on dark skin?

Downie explains that light energy safely removes hair by focusing on the pigment in each follicle. What makes laser hair removal problematic for dark skin is when the laser targets the pigment (melanin) in the skin in addition to the hair follicle. Although laser hair removal has been found to drastically reduce hair growth, it's important to emphasize that laser hair removal is really like permanent hair reduction, it's not going to eliminate everything, says Dr. In other words, it will decrease the amount of hair you have, but it may not completely remove it forever.

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. Because of this, people with darker complexions were at increased risk of burns, scarring, hypopigmentation (also known as 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. Charles, laser hair removal is very safe with minimal side effects, assuming the person doing it is using the right laser and understands the mechanics of treating darker skin, he says.

The biggest problem when performing laser hair removal on dark skin comes from the heat produced by lasers, says Dr. The intensity of heat can heat melanin and damage the skin, causing changes in pigmentation, such as hyperpigmentation or post-inflammatory hypopigmentation. 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. Before investing in laser hair removal, it's important to find out if you're a good candidate for treatment.

Charles, no matter how much melanin in your skin or how light or dark your complexion is, you can get laser hair removal. But people who tend to do better have thick, thick hair and darker hair, and that's because the light source in the laser tends to see that hair better, so it picks up the hair and really zaps it, he says. Charles does not prevent his patients from using topicals in treatment areas, but he does not recommend using retinol or retinoids immediately after receiving treatment. Charles does not recommend receiving treatment, as the skin can respond unpredictably.

After the session, you may experience small bumps on your skin due to inflammation of the hair follicles, but they usually go away in a day or so, says Dr. He adds that redness is also common, and tends to give people a mild topical steroid to use for a few days after the session in order to reduce it. Speaking from personal experience, providers often offer aloe vera gel to soothe the skin immediately after performing the treatment in each area. After feeling like you have been touched by thousands of rubber bands, you may wonder how long it will take to see the results.

You'll usually see 50 to 90 percent hair reduction with the first treatment, says Dr. Charles, adding that it usually takes about five sessions to see the main differences. 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. If you think about it, darker skin has a high concentration of melanin that provides pigmentation in your skin. All laser machines target the pigment in the hair, so they also target the pigment in the skin. Because of this, there is a risk that any laser treatment will burn your skin, even more so if you have darker skin.

While I still have a long way to go before I am completely finished with my specific laser hair removal plan, I have already noticed a tremendous difference. Not only does my facial hair grow back more slowly than in the past, but it's also thinner and less noticeable. All in all, I'm sure it was the right decision for me. So yes, if you are a woman of color, you can have a successful and safe experience with laser hair removal.

Just make sure you're careful and do thorough research before choosing your treatment provider. Laser hair removal works by targeting a specific medium, such as melanin, pigment or a hair follicle, he explains. Cynosure Elite iQ measures the amount of melanin in the skin and customizes laser hair removal treatments based on this information, rather than judging skin type with the naked eye. When lasers first rose to popularity, the original devices often struggled to distinguish between one's hair follicles and the surrounding skin if the patient had a dark complexion.

After undergoing laser hair removal, there are certain things you'll want to do and others you'll want to avoid to make sure you get the best possible results. For those who have started their research, you've likely heard laser hair removal providers or friends who have done so say it's painless. It also lasts 6 to 8 weeks, which is good compared to some of the other traditional hair removal options. You may have come across estheticians or skin care professionals who claim to be able to successfully remove hair using laser treatments on dark skin.

It is one of two lasers that Shobha Tummala, founder and CEO of Shobha Hair Removal, offers in its salons. It's easy to rule out some of the more traditional hair removal methods, such as shaving, waxing, or waxing. Many people who struggle with unwanted hair on their face and body turn to laser hair removal for a long-term solution. Early generations of laser technology couldn't distinguish between hair pigment and skin pigment.

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Sandra Prybylski
Sandra Prybylski

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

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