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By now, no doubt, you’ve heard about laser hair removal. Maybe you know someone who’s had it done or you’re considering having it done yourself? If the latter is the case, you may have started the research process (at least we hope you’re researching!) to figure out which laser or laser practice might be right for you. If not, then you should be, because the laser that’s used really does matter in laser hair removal! The percentage of hair removed, whether it’s permanently removed, how many treatments you’ll need for full results and potential side effects can all be factors that depend on the laser that’s used for your treatments.
For as common as laser hair removal is, there are a few different lasers out there that can be used for the treatments, so it is really important for you to know about each of them to be able to make an informed decision as a consumer looking to purchase this service. Depending on your skin type and hair type, one may be a better choice for you than the others; a practice that only has one laser for laser hair removal may not be your best choice as the one-size-fits-all approach to laser hair removal may lead to ineffective treatments or worse, unwanted side effects. Here’s a little bit more information on some of the most commonly used lasers for hair removal.
The Diode Laser: This laser is probably the one that is most widely used around the world to treat unwanted hair. The best-selling laser of this type is the Lumenis LightSheer laser, so it is a very common name in the laser hair removal arena. This laser is a go-to for anyone with a lighter skin type that wants to be hair-free. While there are a few models of the diode laser that are marketed for use in darker (African-American) skin types, it is important to know that using this device on someone with darker skin needs to be done by someone with a great amount of experience, knowledge and skill to avoid unnecessary and unwanted side effects.
The Alexandrite Laser: This device is considered the “grandfather” of lasers used for hair removal. It’s been around longer than any other type of laser technology used for that purpose. It works great for getting rid of dark hair on those with light skin; it is not a good choice for anyone with a darker skin type. African-Americans, East Indian and Middle Eastern patients should definitely not be treated with this type of laser. A very commonly used laser in this family is the Cynosure Apogee.
The Long-Pulsed Neodymium YAG laser (Nd: Yag): This type of laser is the device to choose if you want to get rid of unwanted hair and you have a darker skin type. It works by using a longer wavelength of energy that safely targets the melanin (pigment) in the hair and not in the skin. This long-wavelength also can be helpful in treating males with a lot of thick, coarse, and dark hair anywhere on the body. An example of this type of laser is the Sciton Profile. One thing to consider with this laser is that it may take a few more treatment sessions to get the full results (same amount) of hair removal as with some of the other devices, but the efficacy of this laser in darker skin is literally the same as devices safe for lighter skin types and the safety of this device is unmatched.
IPL: This device, also known as Intense Pulsed Light, is commonly referred to as a “laser”, but it really isn’t one at all. Many practices tout IPL as a permanent hair removal device, but this isn’t exactly true. While IPL can get rid of hair, it is usually a temporary phenomenon as the energy that an IPL generates just isn’t enough to do the job, and when the device is “turned up” to become more effective, the risk of something bad happening to your skin goes up as well. Please beware and avoid this device if you have a darker skin type and want laser hair removal! There are other safer, more effective technologies out there to get the job done for you.
We hope this page has given you a good start to understanding the different devices available if you’re considering laser hair removal. While it is an extremely common procedure, it really is a more complex one that takes a true understanding of the type of hair that you want to get rid of, your true skin type (color), and the intricacies of the device that is being used to remove your hair. The bottom line is that you want to choose a practice that can provide the most effective and safest options for you. Personalized care like this is what we excel at here at Celibre Medical Corporation. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation at either of our conveniently located offices in Torrance or Los Angeles. We would love the opportunity to meet you and explain how we can help you get rid of your unwanted hair once and for all.