For most of history, dark skin tones were excluded from the beauty industry narrative. From skin care products to makeup and skin treatments, products were not made with melanin in mind.
Lasers are an example of a product created for lighter complexions. Because of this, women with darker skin tones once ran the risk of being burned during treatment in addition to discoloration and even scarring in extreme cases.
Fortunately, the beauty industry has made significant strides in the past years. Women of color can now safely obtain the benefits of laser hair removal without incurring the risks.
With the advancement of modern technology, there are now lasers created, especially for laser hair removal for dark skin tones. Individuals of any skin tone can now feel safe undergoing most types of laser hair removal treatments.
However, knowing the nuances of darker skin tones and the vast difference in treatments depending on complexion and skin follicles, it is imperative that those with darker skin tones still do their research before signing on to the process of laser hair removal treatment.
Have confidence when researching and know that you are your own best advocate.
Do the research, ask the right questions, find technicians you trust, and always follow pre and post-procedure guidelines to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience with laser hair removal.
If you are interested in laser hair removal and have dark skin, but don’t know where to start the process, keep reading as we breakdown everything you need to know.
This post will tackle types of lasers, how they work, the kind of laser required to treat darker skin tones, how to care for dark skin after laser hair removal, and how to find the right technician for your skin type by asking the right questions.
What You Need To Know: Laser 101
Keeping this short and sweet, the first thing you need to know when it comes to laser hair removal for dark skin is that not all lasers are created equal. More so, not all lasers are created to treat a darker skin tone successfully. A lot of laser hair removal devices will falsely claim to work on all skin tones but do not.
Laser treatments work by beaming an intense light at the hair follicle. When the beam of light hits the follicle, it damages the hair so that it can no longer grow. With traditional lasers, it is the contrast of the hair pigment and the skin color that allows the technician to target the hair follicles.
Laser devices in the past and some that are still in use today are not advanced enough to distinguish between darker skin tones and dark hair follicles. Hence why so many beautiful dark-skinned women have suffered from discoloration, blisters, and scarring after undergoing laser hair removal using less sophisticated laser devices.
More advanced laser technology admits a light that bypasses the melanin and pigmentation in skin altogether and will safely treat darker skin tones with ease. Make sure you double-check with your technician on the type of laser technology they will utilize during your laser hair removal procedure. The best laser for darker skin will work for dark hair and dark skin, which segues into our next topic.
How to Find the Right Technician
Armed with laser technology knowledge, how it works, and what specific type of laser device is needed to treat darker skin tones, you are now ready to find the technician that fits your laser hair removal needs.
Note that we highly advise that you skip using the coupon, groupons, or cutting costs when it comes to laser hair removal or any laser treatment. This treatment is an investment, and it is vital that you only go through professionals with quality equipment and hygienic facilities.
The right technician will know the differences in all ranges of skin tones and how to treat each during the laser hair removal treatment.
Ask your potential laser hair removal technician whether they have experience treating individuals with darker skin tones within the first few moments of conversation.
If so, do they have before and after pictures that they can share with you?
What type of laser device are they utilizing for treatments on removing hair from dark skin?
You can also ask the laser hair removal technician to do a test patch on an area of your body and wait at least 48 hours before further treatment to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions to the laser light.
Know Your Skin Type
During initial conversations with your potential laser hair removal technician, it should be crystal clear to you that your technician is acutely aware of your skin type and where your skin complexion falls on the scale of skin tones.
Regardless of skin tone, it is still possible that different skin types will react differently to laser technology.
Lastly, when you are looking for the best laser hair removal for dark skin treatments, make sure to check out their businesses’ comment sections and take a long look at their reviews for a more holistic view of their practice before booking your first laser hair removal appointment.
Le Parlour NYC Laser Spa takes a holistic approach to laser hair removal, just check out our reviews!
Laser Hair Removal Care: Pre & Post
Once you have your laser practitioner and your first session is booked, it is time to prepare for your first laser hair removal treatment fully. Understanding how the laser hair removal process works and how to care for your skin before and after your treatment is essential for getting the long-lasting hair-free results you desire.
- Assess your current beauty and skincare routine. If your routine includes any harsh ingredients like retinoids or glycolic and salicylic acids, cut these particular products out at least a week before your appointment. Harsh elements make your skin more sensitive to lasers and cause adverse reactions. When in doubt, make sure you consult your technician or dermatologist.
- It would be best to avoid sun exposure throughout your treatment series and always wear an SPF of at least 30 as recommended by dermatologists. After your last treatment, as an extra safety precaution, make sure to continue avoiding sun exposure for at least a month. Increased exposure to UVB rays increases your skin’s sensitivity and can increase your chances of burning or scarring post-treatment.
*You can also find sunblock made specifically for your skin tone without leaving a white annoying residue on the skin. Ask your laser technician what sunblock would work best for you and your skin tone.
- Besides avoiding sunlight and cutting harsh products from your skincare routine, post-procedural care should entail a lot of rest (no exercise for 24-hours) and applying a cool compress to the treatment area. We recommend purchasing clear aloe gel as well to use only on irritated areas.
There are endless options for laser hair removal treatments, but for individuals with dark skin, it truly is imperative that you do your research and find a laser specialist who is knowledgeable and experienced with hair removal for dark skin specifically.
Here at Le Parlour NYC Laser Med Spa, our dedicated leader Shelley and experienced laser technician Maya, knows just what it means to care for women of color and their skin. With our state-of-the-art laser technology, we can serve all skin types and tones while providing the best results!
If you have any additional questions that are not covered in this article, feel to reach out via our phone number or email. Schedule your free laser hair removal consultation today!