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Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin

Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin

30th September 2020

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What are the ins, outs and issues? Read on to find out all you need to know

Let’s be honest - in this day and age, inclusivity is on the minds of all. It’s encouraged via the beauty industry, TV sets, the workplace, you name it. Whether it be in the form of a greatly anticipated celebrity makeup palette, or perhaps some general diversity in the forms of our treasured entertainment, it’s constantly being sought after and implemented, to vastly improve general life.

But when it boils down to specific beauty treatments, or more accurately, laser hair removal, has inclusivity risen to such a point, that the aesthetic industry caters to the needs of deeper skin tones? Are there any, if at all, possible options for women with darker complexions?

It’s been said time and time again: "Laser hair removal on dark skin don’t work", "It's a waste of money and effort". Many will even claim that laser hair removal will always result in permanent skin damage and should never be executed on coloured women because it just isn’t advanced enough. Right?

Well, here’s the good news!

Nowadays the majority of opinions on laser hair removal are actually myths, formed back when laser hair removal methods for dark skin were underdeveloped and is no longer appropriate for a modern-day context. This is due to many technological advancements in the beauty and aesthetics industry. One of these breakthroughs includes the Nd:YAG wavelength (1064nm) for hair removal, which works brilliantly on darker skin, because its wavelength is such that melanin does not absorb it as easily, rendering it safe and proper to use.

To further expand upon this, the ND:YAG wavelength can be found in, for example, the GentleMax Pro Laser, alongside a 755nm wavelength which when combined, offer the capacity to not only destroy the hair follicle but prevent the follicle from regenerating, leaving the skin smooth to the touch and delivering the hair removal results people desire.

In addition to this, people of colour also have the option of Diode lasers. Whilst, historically, it has been more optimised for fair to medium tones, newer diode lasers also include the ability to deliver to the 1064nm wavelength making it effective on all skin tones. This laser hair removal method offers minimal harm as it’s gentler to the skin, is faster than other laser machine types and lasers the hair off just as well.

Yes, you read that right! There are now, more than ever, options for people with darker complexions to pick from, with all the information of each at your very fingertips. Though before you rush to the nearest clinic to zap all your hairs off, there are some precautions that would be handy to take onboard.

Despite these options, individuals with darker hues must ensure that they’re going to a skilled and qualified practitioner, who has vast experience and expertise on not only laser hair technologies but specifically on the treatment of it to darker skin. This is imperative, no matter where the laser is to be located (laser facial, bodywork, etc.) as ignoring this step could result in poor results at best, and irritation, skin discolouration, and burns at worse, which in some cases are permanent… ouch.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen, research clinics with a host of experience on dark skin for show. You can also check customer satisfaction rates in the form of laser hair removal reviews and before & after pictures. Patch tests are also a wise move and if the place you visit does not do this - run for the hills!

On that note, stay away from self-tanners or tanning beds and around approximately 24 hours prior, it’s recommended that you shave the area to be lasered, rather than using waxing methods or tweezers. If all of these precautions have been taken care of, you’re well on the road to having a successful treatment resulting in that smooth, supple skin that you’ve been longing for.

Laser Hair Removal carries a host of pros alongside it. It's amazing for typical problem areas that are hard to target effectively otherwise, including the back, bikini line, and other areas. Technology has advanced so much, that on darker women, the lasers can now distinguish the difference between melanin in the skin and the pigment in dark hair, so narrowing down on a specific area is no issue at all. Due to such precision, it completely destroys the hair follicle and prevents the hair from growing back.

How you spend and where you spend your money is important. Especially seeing as how it doesn’t blow through the breeze and land on your very doorstep. Typically, people are swayed away from getting laser hair removal, due to the lump sum cost.

However if think about it - the cost of laser hair removal is worth every penny. Buying strips, waxes, and razors can be very costly, especially if they’re being replaced every so often and more importantly it helps to save something much more precious - your time.

Laser Hair removal renders these obsolete, so you won’t ever need them again, seeing as, after 3-8 sessions, the effects are permanent. It's essentially a payment (mind, that is cheaper than all the razors and strips when you think of how much will be used in a lifetime) with lasting results.

The benefits don’t just stop there; the best part is the speed. It's a rapid process that doesn't consume much time at all; the beams can simultaneously target hairs, and pulses from the laser take a fraction of a second and pulses 100s of times a minute. Results are evident as soon as the first session is complete with weaker hairs and regrowth, less visible pores, and softer skin.

There are always two sides to everything in life, and the same applies to laser hair removal. All-in-all, irritation can be an issue with laser hair removal, especially in darker skin if not performed correctly. If this does occur after the session, it can be easily remedied by applying aloe vera, a cool compress, and moisturizing creams and serums, to reduce swelling and inflammation.

Moreover, it may bring about changes to the natural pigment (through exposure to the light) but this is simply a temporary inconvenience and is a short-term effect that is usually quickly resolved. No issue there, but a little heads-up.

Alternatives to laser hair removal

Okay, okay. Let’s say that you’re a person with a darker complexion that is looking for alternatives to laser hair removal for the time being. Don't worry, you’re in luck since there are also many safe options too, fortunately. These include electrolysis, a process in which heat energy is used to destroy the growth centre of the hair follicle. This could be especially beneficial to folk of colour, as it addresses folliculitis.

Folliculitis (more commonly known as ingrown hairs) can be a lot more prominent in darker-skinned individuals, and as one could imagine, can lead to itchiness, irritation, and bumps that can become infected when popped. Electrolysis is a very good option to consider when addressing the issue of hairs.

Other alternatives include:

  • Threading (most clinics do this, as it is a fairly simple practice and involves twisting thin cotton or polyester thread, and then rolling it over the hair)
  • Hair Removal Pads
  • Epilators (an electrical device that removes hair by grasping them simultaneously and then pulling them out)
  • Tweezing
  • Waxing
  • Shaving

To summarise all of this, Laser hair removal is now a safe practice for people of colour, as technological advancements have made necessary changes to better suit deeper tones. It is quick, simple, and effective and although it comes with risk if the practitioner isn’t experienced with darker skin tones, these won’t apply to you if the necessary precautions are made. Laser Hair removal was once exclusive seeing as how technology was underdeveloped in this forte, but we can confidently say that is not only relatively safe but is now inclusive to all tones.


Laser Hair Removal At Charmelle London

Our industry leading lasers use concentrated energy to target hair follicles in unwanted areas to slow and eliminate the hair growth cycle, leaving your skin feeling silky smooth, with lasting results.

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