One of the most challenging elements of the aesthetics industry is the inability of lasers to work for all skin types. Some lasers respond negatively to pigment in the skin or even hair color, segmenting out a large portion of people who are unable to benefit from these desired procedures. Laser hair removal is no different… until now.
Previously, those with darker pigment skin (those higher on the Fitzpatrick scale) and those with blonde, red or grey hair were not good candidates for laser hair removal (LHR). The ideal candidates were those with very light skin (a 1 or 2 Fitzpatrick) who also had dark hair. All of the available technologies used radio or light waves to target pigment on the skin to locate the hair follicles. The problem is that the lasers can not tell the difference between the pigment in the skin and the pigment in the hair follicle, which meant people with darker skin could experience burns.
Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin
With the introduction of the diode laser, darker ethnic groups, such as African Americans, European Indians, Hispanics and others can now partake of LHR benefits. Lumenis, a company that has been developing trusted, cutting edge technology for over fifty years, now has a machine called LightSheer Desire that specifically targets pigment in the hair follicle, not the surrounding skin.
The process is virtually painless and very fast.
Laser Hair Removal for Blonde and Grey Hair
Right now, all laser hair removal lasers focus on pigment, which is scarce in those with blonde hair. The Nd:YAG laser process involves using a solution that is applied to the skin before the treatment. The solution is absorbed into the hair follicle and is then used to attract the laser wavelengths to damage the hair follicle.
ELOS or electro-optical synergy combines the technologies of BiPolar Radio Frequency and Laser light. The combined energies allow targeted treatments, while protecting the surrounding skin. The technology is also referred to as “Vortex Heating”, which disables the hair follicle.
Diode lasers can also be effectively used for light pigmented hair, however the energy absorbed by the follicle is much less than that of a person with dark hair.
More sessions or treatments are required for effective results for these hair types on any laser, however, given the necessary amount of time, permanent hair reduction is possible for darker blondes and darker red heads. Those with white, grey or light blonde hair will not benefit from treatments.
There are many clinics that claim to be able to treat all skin types and hair colors, however, it is important to understand which technology is being used. Many lasers have the ability to treat different skin tones and hair colors, however more treatments may be necessary and those treatments may be unnecessarily painful.
Use this handy Laser Hair Removal checklist [Free Download] to determine if laser hair removal is right for you!