Hair Removal

What You Need to Know About Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin

Is laser hair removal safe for dark skin?

When laser hair removal started becoming more popular in the 1990s, the technology relied on hair-to-skin contrast to target the hair follicle, meaning it only worked for those with fair skin and dark hair.      Luckily, technology has come a long way since then, and thanks to advancements in recent years, those with darker skin can finally get the treatment — making removing unwanted hair a reality for a broader range of skin tones. 

Which lasers work the best on dark skin?

One of the most advanced lasers on the market that allows for all skin types to be treated is the Cynosure Apogee Elite Nd:YAG laser, which we use at LaserAway. The wavelength of this laser goes deeper into the skin, helping it to bypass the pigmentation present in the skin. This broad-spectrum wavelength also has a lower absorption rate by melanin in the surrounding skin, making it a safe option for medium to dark skin.

How do you prepare for a laser hair removal treatment?

Before a laser hair removal treatment, one of our treatment specialists will assess your skin type to ensure you’re a good candidate. Be sure to avoid direct sun, tanning beds, spray-tans, and self-tanners two weeks before your treatment. You should also apply sunblock (at least SPF 30) and use barrier protection if you are out and about. Three days before your treatment, stop using any topical prescription or over-the-counter medications on areas being treated with the laser if they are causing irritation like peeling or redness. Make sure to follow all pre-care instructions given to you to help you achieve the best results. 

How do you care for dark skin after laser hair removal?

After your treatment, moisturize the treated area with a thin layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor at least three times daily as needed to help reduce any irritation. Avoid direct sun exposure for the first three days and use an SPF of at least 30 or higher. And for the first 24 hours, don’t exercise or go into a sauna. Set yourself up for success by following all post-care instructions given to you at the end of your laser hair removal treatment. 

What are the risks of laser hair removal on dark skin?

As with any cosmetic procedure, there are potential risks involved. With laser hair removal, rare but possible laser-related side effects include hyperpigmentation, or dark spots, and hypopigmentation, in which the skin pigment lightens.

Want to learn more about laser hair removal?

Interested in learning more about laser hair removal for darker skin tones? Reach out to one of our treatment specialists here. All of our treatments are performed by experienced and skilled registered nurses, nurse practitioners, or physician associates, so you know you’re in good hands!