Because laser hair removal works by preferentially targeting the melanin in hair follicles, people with high-color contrasts, such as those with dark hair and light skin, tend to respond best to treatment. That being said, there are still laser hair removal options for other hair and skin color combinations. People with light hair and skin, for example, can achieve good results by first dying their hair a darker shade before a laser hair removal session.
For those with darker skin and hair, certain lasers, such as the Nd:YAG laser, have proved highly effective in eliminating unwanted hair. The Nd:YAG laser has a longer wavelength, and is highly sensitive to all color and melanin. This means it can more precisely penetrate hair follicles without damaging surrounding tissue.
It should be kept in mind, though, that people with darker skin tones tend to experience a higher risk of complications associated with laser hair removal. They can suffer hypopigmentation, keloid scarring and folliculitis.
It goes without saying that everyone should discuss their medical history and any potential side effects with their physician before starting treatment.