Lasers that zap away unwanted body hair have been exploding in popularity. The products work incredibly well for a lot of people, but there is still a significant chunk of the population that isn’t so lucky with these gadgets. Just why is home laser hair removal for dark skin such a problem? Lasers that zap away unwanted body hair have been exploding in popularity. The products work incredibly well for a lot of people, but there is still a significant chunk of the population that isn’t so lucky with these gadgets. Just why is home laser hair removal for dark skin such a problem?
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Both the lasers the professionals use in salons and clinics as well as the lasers designed for home use work on the same principle. A very bright light is flashed against the skin, where it is absorbed by the hair, transported down to the root, and ultimately works to kill the hair so that it never grows back, ever again.
The reason the lasers are able to destroy the hair while leaving the skin unharmed is the melanin in the hair. Melanin is the pigment that gives hair, and skin, its color. As you may remember from science class, dark absorbs light and heat.
This is why any type of laser treatment works most easily and effectively with dark hair on light skin, and why home laser hair removal for dark skin can be such a problem.
The darker a person’s skin tone, the more likely it is that their skin will absorb the light meant for their hair. Because it is a very powerful laser, capable of killing hair cells, it also carries a risk of burning the skin if the conditions aren’t right.
Fortunately, the home laser products on the market are designed to first test the skin tone to make sure treatment will be safe, shutting down if it won’t be, so there is no risk of burning. Professional treatments aren’t away around this, unfortunately, because the problem is inherent to all lasers- the pros will just turn you away 🙁
How Do I Know If My Skin Is Too Dark?
If you check out the website for The Tria, which is the leading product of this type on the market, they have a section where you can select your hair color and skin tone, and it will tell you whether or not the product (and presumably any similar product) is a good match for you.
It may be worth noting that the amount of darkness the sun adds to your skin can also be a factor in whether or not it works. In fact, users of any of these products are typically recommended to stay out of the sun for a while before their treatments.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do??
It’s important to remember that lasers have only been approved for hair removal since 1995, and for most of the time since, they’ve been incredibly expensive. I think now that we’re in the era of home lasers, we’ll see more and more advances in the technology at a higher rate, so I imagine they’ll have resolved the issue within a few generations of these devices.
In the meantime, though, the only real option for permanent hair removal is electrolysis, and even though home kits like the Vector Electrolysis System bring the technology home for your convenience, it’s still a pretty big pain compared to the lasers.
There is also a product called the No No which offers something similar, but with heat instead of light. It’s been gaining a lot of popularity recently, but is unfortunately not permanent- results last about a month or two.
Hopefully we’re on the cusp of an era where home laser hair removal for dark skin is just as simple and affordable as it is for everyone else. When that happens, you can bet you’ll hear about it first here!