Laser Hair Removal For Dark Skin: Everything You Need To Know

By Ash 3rd August 2021 Category: Advice
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Reviewed by sk:n Training Manager Corine Treacy

Laser hair removal is the most successful method of hair removal available, and it may be used on almost any part of the body or face.

Unlike other hair removal methods such as waxing and shaving, laser hair removal has a long-term effect. The hair will become finer and softer with each treatment, making it less noticeable, and the growth will slow.

Continue reading to discover more about laser hair removal for dark skin.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For Dark Skin

Until recently, laser hair removal was not advised for those with darker skin tones, especially black or Asian skin. This was because the laser’s energy has a specific target, one of which is pigment in the hair.

Because the pigment in the skin is shallower than the pigment in the hair, the laser may be drawn to the skin rather than the hair pigment. As a result, darker skin may be vulnerable to burns.

Now we have modern lasers that can be set to different wavelengths so that the surrounding skin doesn’t absorb as much light, reducing the risk.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work On Dark Skin?

When treating darker skin tones, a longer wavelength is required to ensure that the laser only targets the follicle and not the skin pigment.

Our professionals will use the Fitzpatrick scale to evaluate your skin type, which will allow them to choose the best laser for you and modify the wavelength accordingly. Based on how much pigment is naturally present in your skin, the Fitzpatrick scale depicts the six main skin types, ranging from extremely light to very dark.

What Is The Fitzpatrick Scale?

Our doctors use the Fitzpatrick scale to determine your skin type based on your skin tone and how easily it burns or tans when exposed to the sun. Using this scale, we’ll figure out which laser is best for your skin:

  • Type 1: Always burns, never tans (pale, freckles).
  • Type 2: Usually burns, minimal tanning.
  • Type 3: Sometimes burns mildly, tans uniformly.
  • Type 4: Burns minimally, always tans well (moderate brown).
  • Type 5: Very rarely burns, tans very easily (dark brown).
  • Type 6: Never burns (deeply pigmented dark brown to darkest brown).
What Is The Correlation Between Darker Skin And Darker Hair?

Hair colour is determined by two forms of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin, which tint hair follicles. Hair is generally darker when there is more melanin present and lighter when there is less melanin present.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal works by sending a wavelength of light into the skin, disrupting the nutrients that allow hair to grow. Darker skin tones can benefit from laser hair removal in the same way that lighter skin tones can.

Using our medical-grade lasers, the light will convert to heat, destroying the individual hair follicles at the root. This process will slow down the regrowth of hair in the treated region as well as reduce the texture of the hair.

Which Laser Hair Removal Is Best For Dark Skin?

In general, ND:YAG lasers are the most effective for hair removal in darker skin.

This is due to the fact that they have a longer wavelength than other types of lasers, allowing them to be altered to accommodate varied skin tones — and these were created expressly for this purpose.

When a laser of the wrong type or wavelength is used on darker skin, it can cause burns and scars. This is why it’s critical to get your therapy done by a licensed professional.

During your free consultation, our skin experts will be able to recommend the optimal laser for your skin type. All of our laser practitioners are fully qualified, and we are overseen and audited by the Care Quality Commission and the equivalent in Scotland (HIS) and Wales (HIW).

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Take?

Laser hair removal vaporises existing hairs beneath the epidermis and at the root. As a result, it can only attack hairs in the anagen (growth) phase. That’s why it takes numerous treatments, spaced out, to remove all of the hair in a given location completely.

Hair will continue to grow during the course of your laser treatments. Some of it will be regrowth, but the majority of it will be natural hair that has not been treated. Many years after your treatment is completed, you may not see any regrowth.

The outcomes of laser hair removal on the body can be permanent or very long-lasting. Any hair that returns overtime should be sparse and thin.

Key Takeaways
  • Laser hair removal is the most effective method of hair removal available and can be used almost anywhere on the face and body.
  • People with dark skin are safe to have laser hair removal, but it’s important that they consult an expert with the right kind of laser equipment.
  • It is safe to have laser hair removal even on sensitive parts of the body like the face or bikini/pubic area.
  • Sk:n clinics are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, so you can rest assured our clinics meet the strictest safety standards.

Find your nearest clinic and arrange a consultation with one of our dermatologists for advice on how laser hair removal can work for you.

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