When it comes to laser hair removal, the type of laser machine being used can make all the difference in the outcome. Going to a laser clinic that uses older and outdated laser technology can leave you with a lot less money in your wallet and little to show for it. It’s for this reason that it’s important to do your research before choosing a laser clinic, and for you to understand how laser hair removal machines work.
The objective of any device designed to permanently remove hair is to eliminate the need for shaving and waxing. Devices do this by targeting the pigment in the hair follicle, ultimately destroying it and preventing it from growing back. This is why early laser technology didn’t work on people with dark skin, as there wasn’t enough contrast between the skin and the hair for the laser to detect the hair pigment. Fortunately, laser technology has advanced over the years so that anyone can enjoy the benefits of ditching their razors.
The Ruby Laser
As the original laser hair removal machine, the Ruby laser was known to be effective on those with very pale skin. Anyone who had tanned or dark skin would experience hyperpigmentation after their treatments, which gave the industry a reputation that discouraged anyone of color from trusting these types of procedures. Even though the Ruby laser is outdated at this point, it’s still being used by lesser quality laser clinics and spas. It’s not as effective as newer technology, but if you have pale skin it will still get the job done.
The IPL Laser
IPL or intense pulse light devices have been promoted as lasers, but they’re actually not. Rather than delivering wavelengths into the layers of the skin, IPL devices use light pulses. They can be used for hair removal, but they’re more commonly used to treat skin conditions such as sun damage and wrinkles. When used for hair removal, these devices also use heat to target hair follicles, but they tend to be far less effective at preventing hair from growing back.
The Alexandrite Laser
Compared to the Ruby laser, the Alexandrite laser can be used on a larger variety of skin colors. However, it still causes hyperpigmentation in those with dark skin. Made with a more advanced technology, the Alexandrite laser is created using an alexandrite crystal, which is a rare and valuable crystal, second only to diamonds. Using longer pulses that allow the laser to penetrate deeper layers of the skin, it uses heat build up to destroy hair follicles and enable the hair from growing back. These lasers are not only considered effective but are often used in quality laser clinics alongside others that are more suitable for people of color.
The Nd Yag Laser
The first laser to be deemed safe for use on those with dark skin is the Nd Yag laser. It doesn’t cause any skin discoloration or blistering that could lead to scarring for people of color, but on the downside, it is known to be less effective on fine hairs. With the ability to deliver two different wavelengths, the Nd Yag laser can target both hair follicles deep within the layers of the skin as well as those on the surface. It’s not as effective as other lasers, but if you have tan or dark skin then this is definitely the way to go.
The GentleMax Pro True Laser
The GentleMax Pro True laser is a medical grade laser that offers two separate wavelengths combining the efforts of the Nd Yag laser as well as the Alexandrite laser. Offering the best of both worlds, this laser can be used to offer laser hair removal for practically anyone, regardless of their skin color. As the most advanced and strongest laser currently on the market, its dual wavelengths allow for your professional licensed medical laser technician to completely customize your treatment. If you have even the slightest concern about skin discoloration occurring after a laser hair removal treatment, then the GentleMax Pro True laser is the best choice.
If you’re interested in the science behind the lasers used for hair removal and how they work, this video explains all of the technical details you could possibly ask for.