The best lasers for dark skin “The wavelength of this laser penetrates deeper into the skin than a diode,” Gmyrek says. Because YAG basically prevents melanin from the skin, it's the safest option for medium to dark skin. It's a fairly common misconception that laser hair removal doesn't work for people with darker skin tones. While this might have been true when the FDA first approved laser hair removal in the late 90s, technology has advanced over the years to make it safe for even the darkest skin tones.
Henry says to look for a YAG laser (the 1064 Nd; YAG laser to be exact); it's a long-pulse laser that bypasses melanin in the skin and targets only the hair follicle. Other risks include burning and blistering, which are more likely to occur if devices are used incorrectly or if an incorrect laser is used in skin tone, so it is incredibly important to go to a medical professional who is well trained in laser hair removal. However, with advances in laser hair removal technology, we can now safely and effectively treat patients of any type of skin and hair with laser hair removal. While laser devices operate at a precise wavelength, selectively targeting the skin and the light hair styles they were designed to treat, IPL machines use a range of wavelengths during the procedure.
To get started, research the laser hair professional and the center you are considering using, especially their experience treating dark skin tones. Murphy recommends that you ask the laser professional how long they have worked in the laser hair removal field, approximately how many patients have treated with a dark skin type, and how satisfied those patients were with their results. With older hair removal technology, only patients who were under skin type 1 and skin type 2 could safely undergo treatment. However, it's important to mention that some places that advertise laser hair removal services actually use IPL or intense pulsed light technology, the same old-fashioned technology found in most home devices.
It is this customization that allows us to perform laser hair removal safely and effectively on any skin tone, from the lightest to the darkest. So what happened to patients who didn't have light skin and dark hair? Simply put, doctors could not guarantee effective hair removal treatments on them and, in many cases, it was dangerous to even try. Because dark skin is more sensitive than fair skin, Karavolas recommends that you ask the laser hair treatment center to view before and after photos of patients with a dark skin type who have undergone a laser procedure. The original wavelengths for hair removal were ruby and argon wavelengths, measured at 694.3 nanometers (nm) and 488 nm, respectively.