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Know Your Lasers: Alexandrite Laser System


Many lasers originally created for medical and scientific purposes are now part of mainstream cosmetic procedures. The precision Alexandrite laser was originally designed for use by the government in military applications. Refined over time, the Alexandrite laser is now used for skin treatments and laser hair removal with terrific success.

The Alexandrite lasers are among the most popular forms of lasers used for laser hair removal procedures today. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Alexandrite lasers for hair removal in the United States in 1997. There were instances of lasers being used for hair removal prior to the FDA’s approval, but laser hair removal did not start to skyrocket in popularity until the FDA gave the process the safety okay.

The original laser used in laser hair removal was the Ruby laser. The Ruby laser was effective because of the bright red light it emitted, which was easily absorbed by the melanin in the hair. However, if someone had a darker complexion, there was increased risk of blistering, because the natural melanin in the skin also absorbed the laser. The Ruby laser is a good choice for people with lighter skin and finer hair, but the Alexandrite laser has become a staple of the industry for its ability to handle a wide range of skin types and hair pigmentations.

Another important factor that makes the Alexandrite laser so popular for laser hair removal is its large spot size. This feature makes hair removal in large areas much easier and speeds up the laser hair removal process. The Alexandrite laser system is also known for its high repetition rate. The rate of the pulses of the laser increases the speed of the overall laser hair removal procedure, meaning less pain and a less stressful experience at the clinic. In fact, the combination of the large spot size and fast repetition mean that the Alexandrite laser can effectively treat the average size back in less than thirty minutes!

The Alexandrite laser is not unlike other lasers in terms of basic science, but its advantages in functionality are hard to ignore. The Alexandrite laser is suitable for rapid treatment of large body areas, but your practitioner can also finely tune it to treat other areas of the body with more precision. Whether you have a darker complexion or blonde or red hair, ask your laser hair removal practitioner if the Alexandrite laser system might work for you.

--Carrie Aker

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