In the past, women with dark skin have always had trouble with laser hair removal. The process would often cause hyperpigmentation, which is a permanent form of skin discoloration.
This gave laser hair removal a bad reputation and women of color have learned to steer clear from these kinds of hair removal methods. Now, however, technology has changed and lasers used for hair removal can handle women of all colors!
Issues in the Past
When laser hair removal was first developed, there was only one kind of laser being used. It worked by targeting the pigment in the hair follicle, which is still how lasers work today. The difference was that back then, the technology behind the laser’s functionality relied on the contrast between the skin and hair colors. For this reason, those with light skin and dark hairs would get the best results. Women with light skin and light hair would often see little or no change to their unwanted hair, which is nothing compared to what women with dark skin experienced. Since the laser wouldn’t be able to differentiate the pigment in the hair and the skin, it would target the skin pigment as well, leaving women with permanent hyperpigmentation marks. Fortunately, that is no longer the case.
The Safest Laser for Women of Color
The YAG 1064nm hair removal laser is currently the best laser on the market for women of color. Since it releases longer wavelengths than any other laser, it’s able to target the hair follicles without affecting the skin. In fact, this laser is able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin without touching those on the surface. Some women have noticed that there is slightly more discomfort when using this laser than others, but treatments are also faster as it’s able to treat a larger area with each laser pulse.
Benefits of the YAG 1064nm Laser
With so many lasers on the market, it can be confusing to decide which one would be best for your hair and skin type. One of the biggest draws of the YAG 1064nm laser is that it’s the only current laser that has been proven effective for all skin colors. It’s the ideal body hair solution for women of color as well as women with tanned skin, as the laser won’t target the melanin in the skin. Some other benefits of the YAG 1064nm laser include:
- Hair grows back slower between your initial laser treatments so you likely won’t have to worry about shaving or waxing before your next trip to the laser clinic.
- The laser has larger coverage than others, making laser sessions shorter than they would be with any other laser.
- Those with dark skin tones don’t have to worry about being left with discolored skin and hyperpigmentation.
- This laser offers the most advanced technology currently on the market for laser hair removal.
Do Your Research
As a woman of color seeking out laser hair removal, it’s especially important that you do your research. You should not only be wary of being treated with the wrong kind of laser but also know that, if the laser technician isn’t trained properly, they can leave you with burns. Here are some questions to ask before you choose a laser clinic:
1. What kind of laser do you use?
If their answer is anything other than the YAG 1064nm laser, you should walk away. Look out for places that offer laser hair removal with inferior devices such as IPL or Intense Pulsed Light lasers. Not only have these kinds of devices been proven ineffective, but you’ll put yourself at risk for permanent skin discoloration.
2. What kind of licensing does each laser technician have?
More often than not, laser technicians will be certified by a single training course. That’s not the kind of person you want doing your laser hair removal. Ensure that your laser technician has a medical degree as well as their laser license. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that they are trained directly by the manufacturers of the YAG 1064nm laser so that they know how to use it properly.
3. Have you worked on women of color before?
It’s important that the licensed medical laser technician who treats you has worked on dark skin colors before. If you have a different laser technician each time you go, then this is a question you should ask before each laser session. When it comes to your skin, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Want to learn more? Find out exactly how laser hair removal works in this video: