For a lot of women, laser hair removal is a pathway to never having to shave, wax or bleach ever again. Unfortunately, some women haven’t had the same kind of success. In particular, women who have darker skin often find that laser hair removal isn’t very effective. But why is that?
For starters, most hair removal lasers work by detecting the contrast between your hair and your skin. So when both the hair and the skin are dark, it can make the process more difficult, increasingly the likelihood of complications.
Fortunately, technology and training has progressed to the point that laser hair removal is possible for people with darker skin, but there are a few tips that you should keep in mind.
Not only is intense pulsed light, or IPL, often ineffective on darker skin, but this kind of treatment can actually be harmful to people whose skin is darker. The problem with IPL is that it can’t be calibrated precisely enough and has a tendency to cause severe discomfort and even burns on darker skin. So it’s best to just skip the IPL entirely and stick with a laser treatment.
Believe it or not, not all hair removal lasers are created equally, and some of them actually work better on darker skin than others. According to experts, women with darker skin should try to find a hair removal center that is equipped with Nd:YAG lasers. Typically, Nd:YAG lasers can be specifically calibrated to handle darker skin tones, limiting the likelihood of complications. Oftentimes, these kinds of lasers also have larger hand pieces, allowing the technician to cover large areas, such as your back or thighs, in significantly less time.
If you’re concerned about how your body is going to react to the laser, then it’s perfectly OK to ask your technician to do a patch test. During a patch test, a small area is treated at various intensities, allowing the technician to set the laser at a level that will be most effective for your skin.
Although it’s become increasingly common, laser hair removal isn’t something to be treated lightly, especially if you have dark skin. Before you seek treatment, do your research and find a facility that specializes in treating people with darker skin tones.
If you or someone you know would like more information about hair removal, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!