Laser Hair Removal for Olive to Darker Colored Skin Tones

Laser Hair Removal for Olive to Darker Colored Skin Tones

Through Laser Hair Removal, being smooth and hairless can be achieved. However, people with Olive colored to Darker skin tones have a difficult time finding a laser hair removal device that can work safely and effectively for their skin tones.

What Options do people with Olive to Darker skin tones have with Laser Hair Removal?

The most appropriate laser type that: Asian, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Columbia, Persians, and African American clients should use is an Nd: YAG (Fitzpatrick IV-VI) laser. The Nd: YAG can work on a wide range of skin types, and remove very thick, unwanted hairs. 

What makes Laser Hair Removal Risky for people of Olive to Darker Colored Skin?

In the past, laser hair removal was inaccessible for men and women of Olive color or Darker skin tones, because of how laser removal technology worked. The earliest laser types like ruby and alexandrite (Fitzpatrick I-III) lasers were ineffective and harmful when used on clients with darker skin. Many clients have come to us from other local spas (some big like: Ideal Image, and that other "Big Name Laser Company", and some small, including an OBGYN office) who have used alexandrite or IPL to remove hair. The biggest complaint is that they were burned. They left red and swollen and was informed to use ice when they arrived home. 

How do Laser Hair Removal Lasers Work?

Laser Hair Removal works by targeting the melanin in hair. Melanin is what gives hair its pigment; the darker the hair, the more melanin it contains. When the lasers beam light on the hair follicle, the melanin absorbs the light and transforms it into heat. This heat is responsible for destroying the hair growth center in the follicle.

Don't use Older Laser Technology

Older laser models could focus on the “bullseye” and remove unwanted hairs more accurately only when there is a contrast between dark skin and light hair. However, this made laser hair removal dangerous for tanned or darker-skinned clients, as their skin contained a high concentration of melanin as well.

Because outdated laser models could not distinguish between pigment in skin and hair, they presented a risk to dark skinned clients. These risks include hyperpigmentation, burns, blisters, scarring, and spots in the skin around the follicle. 

As Asian, Indian, Mexican, Columbia, Persian, and African American clients have medium to darker colored skin and dark, thick hair, they would need to find a clinic that has invested in the right type of equipment. The laser their provider uses should be able to differentiate between the hair and skin. As darker skin requires cooling in between beams, the laser should come with a cooling function as well. These factors would make the procedure more comfortable for Asian, Indian, Mexican, Columbia, Persian, and African American clients. 

Which type of Laser Hair Removal is Best for Asian, Indian, Mexican, Columbia, Persian, and African American Skin? 

Clients with darker skin tones have very sensitive skin. As Asian, Indian, Mexican, Columbia, Persian, and African American clients skin tones range from lighter olive to darker shades, it’s especially crucial to identify the specific laser that can work safely and effectively for each client. There are two types of laser that work for darker skin and dark hair: Nd: YAG. 

The Nd: YAG laser is good at treating thicker, coarser hair compared to the Nd: YAG. GentleMax Pro lasers are less painful because they have an instant cooling function that protects the skin from overheating. The Nd: YAG is the safest option for Asian, Indian, Mexican, Columbia, Persian, and African American clients because it can bypass the melanin in your skin.

The Nd: YAG works at a higher wavelength than other lasers so it can pass through the epidermis and target the follicle directly. Since, it no longer targets the melanin, the Nd: YAG is great at targeting resistant hairs and treating olive to darker toned skin clients. 

The Ideal Candidate for Laser Hair Removal

Historically, people with darker hair and fair skin were ideal choices for professional laser hair removal. Advancements in technology have challenged this standard to all Fitzpatrick skin and hair types can now undergo laser hair removal treatments. Clients who have met the following criteria are most likely suitable candidates for laser hair removal: 

  • Individuals who aren’t pregnant or nursing: Pregnant and nursing women should postpone all laser hair removal plans for the safety of the child. While no one can say for sure if any harm will happen to the baby, it’s better to exercise caution. 
  • Someone who has realistic expectations: You may be weary of waxing and shaving already but you should know that laser hair removal is not permanent. It’s more like long-term hair reduction because your hairs can grow back slower, thinner, and finer than before.
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