Permanent laser hair removal is also intended to Dark and Tan skin. It has been more than 10 years since the hair can be removed using a laser on dark and tanned skin without the danger of burns or scars. Nevertheless, they involve taking a lot of precautions and respecting certain constraints.
Laser hair removal on dark and tan skin: what is it?
Laser hair removal is a method used to remove hair in a sustainable manner. Initially, laser hair removal was successful only on light skin with dark hair. Today, with advancements in technology, it is possible for people with dark or tanned skin to use laser hair removal to permanently get rid of their hair.
There is a very large range of shades among the various colors of the skins. Instead of a brutal dichotomy between white skin and black skin, there is a chromatic spectrum varying from the lightest to the most pigmented skin.
There are many types of skin that are categorized by reaction to the sun's rays, but also by pigmentation and melanin. There are 6 phototypes that allow the doctor to adjust the laser treatment:
- Phototype 1: very light skin, likely composed of freckles, very sensitive to sunlight.
- Phototype 2: very light skin, sensitive to sunburn and can be mildly tanned.
- Phototype 3: fair skin of people who typically have blond or brown hair.
- Phototype 4: mildly tanned skin, slightly prone to sunburn.
- Phototype 5: dark skin, easy to tan, without sunburn.
- Phototype 6: black skin without any sunburn
In order to properly adapt the procedure, the doctor will analyze the skin of the person and the color of the hair to determine the power of the laser. The theory is simple: the darker the skin, the weaker the laser shot, and vice versa: the lighter the skin, the stronger the laser shot.
People with tan, dark or black skin typically have very dark hairs with a lot of melanin, which perfectly captures the laser wavelength even when emitted at low power. The laser knows how to distinguish between melanin and skin melanin. It destroys the hair without increasing the temperature of the skin, which protects the epidermis. The main risk of laser hair removal on colored skin is minor first and second degree burns. They induce hyperpigmentation, which can take several months to disappear. In extreme cases, the burn can also result in definitive depigmentation. It is therefore imperative to prevent overheating the skin.
The doctor has two lasers to perform hair removal on colored skin:
- Alexanderite laser for slightly tanned skin
- Nd Yag laser for very tanned, Asian and African skin
To prevent disappointment by assuming that hair removal is unsuccessful, it is important to know that after the Nd Yag laser session, the hair will take between three and twenty days to fall.
Laser hair removal on dark skin and tan: for whom?
Laser hair removal is equally appropriate for men and women with dark or tanned skin. Several types of skin may be ideal for laser hair removal sessions:
It's a tan skin with usually dark hair. The doctor will use Alexandrite when the skin is light enough and Nd Yag when the skin is more pigmented. People of Kabyle descent may have light hair (blond, red). We may not be able to do laser hair removal in this case because the hair does not contain enough melanin. The doctor's consultation will decide whether or not it is feasible.
Mediterranean women also have more developed facial hair and it is not unusual to remove the hair from some areas or the entire face.
In all situations, the doctor uses Nd Yag. Among West Indians with a wide range of colors, the power of laser shooting would be greater than in those of African descent with very dark skin.
The laser is very useful with people with black skin to prevent ingrown hair, which is very common in women's legs and in men's necks.
It's a dark tan skin with black hair. The doctor is using Nd Yag. Asians are usually hairless and seldom seen in hair removal sessions in practice, except for the bikini line.
Laser hair removal on dark and tanned skin: contraindications
In certain cases, laser hair removal on dark and tanned skin should be avoided:
- For example, when taking photo-sensitizing medicines that make the skin more sensitive to light.
- Whether the patient has an immune deficiency, coagulation or scarring.
- Some hormonal treatments can also render laser hair removal ineffective.
- As a matter of policy, pregnant or breast-feeding women should refrain from laser hair removal.
- In cases where the patient has a dermatological disorder or a skin tumor.
- If the patient has white, blond or very red hair, the laser treatment would not be successful due to the low melanin content of the hair.
- When the patient had waxing or laser hair removal prior to the session. The laser will not be capable of destroying the bulb and will not be successful.
Laser hair removal of tan and dark skin: session
Before the session
If a man or woman requires a laser hair removal on dark and tanned skin, a first consultation with the doctor is required. This is an opportunity for a doctor to ask questions about their general wellbeing.
He conducts a skin and hair analysis and then performs a laser test to tailor the intensity of the laser to the skin to avoid the risks associated with the procedure.
Before the first session of laser hair removal, the patient must stop using wax, electric hair removers and all other hair removal items for around thirty days. However, the target area can be shaved, particularly on the legs and armpits, three days before the session. In order to fully eliminate the hair, the hair must be destroyed at the root level of the bulb. Then it must be in the growth phase to be removed.
During the session
During the treatment, the doctor gives the patient safety goggles and searches for short and dark hair. The laser is then calibrated according to the type of skin, the color of the hair and the region to be treated.
After the area to be treated has been washed, the doctor applies the end of the laser handpiece to the area. A jet of cold air is then pulsed to reduce the discomfort and provide relief to the patient during the treatment. Then the laser is turned on and the laser shot is used to hit the hair. Every shot will cover about 2 cm2, corresponding to about 10 hairs.
After the session
It is best to schedule for 5 to 10 sessions of laser hair removal spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart, the period that the hair's growth is noticeable.
You can experience some redness and feel tingling and itching after laser hair removal. It is also essential to moisturize the skin by applying a repair cream. After waxing, the doctor uses a restorative cream that helps to calm the burning feeling.
In the same way, several superficial burns can be observed, the crusts of which disappear after 3 to 5 days.
You would also need to prevent extended exposure of the sun to the treated area for around two weeks.