Laser hair removal is the most permanent solution to body hair. However, darker skin is often left out of laser removal with most technology not advanced enough to treat our richest complexions.
Even so, you may schedule a professional appointment to access the limited technology available for our skin. But if you plan to perform hair removal at home, it is extremely important to know which lasers are safe for you.
According to the National Laser Institute, the ideal candidate for laser hair removal is a fairer skin tone with dark hair. Fairer skin is categorized on the Fitzpatrick scale as skin types one through four, which ranges from light ivory to light-medium brown. The laser can more easily target patients with high skin tone to hair color contrast.
Laser surgery is known to exclude deep brown (type five) and richest brown (type six) skin tones. Because of this, laser hair removal is not considered as safe for our Black skin. The darker your skin tone, the higher the risk of skin damage, including burning and hypo- or hyper-pigmentation.
However, hair removal is still an option. The safest laser for permanent hair removal on darker skin is the Nd:YAG or diode laser. These lasers, especially the Nd:YAG, is the latest technology which can hyperfocus on the hair follicle rather than the skin complexion.
Unfortunately, you have to schedule an appointment to receive their benefits as the Nd:YAG and diode lasers are not available for at-home use. But good news — the Iluminage Touch laser is.
The Iluminage Touch laser is the only FDA-approved permanent hair reduction laser for at-home use on all skin tones, including the most rich skin. No other at-home hair removal device is approved or safe for darker skin tones.
Powered by the patented Elos technology used in professional devices, the device uses a method called Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) to remove unwanted hair.
Let’s break down just how it works.
According to WebMD, IPL uses light energy to target a specific color in your skin. The light heats the skin so your body can remove unwanted cells, including hair and other skin concerns. In combination with IPL, RF helps target darker skin tones for effective long-term removal of body or facial hair.
Use the laser once a week for seven weeks, then perform touch ups as needed if any hair appears. As directed, you have to shave the target area, then only on clean, dry skin can you begin the treatment. Start on the lowest setting then move to medium or high for greater efficacy.
The applicator must be touching your skin for the laser to work. Glide the device over the treatment area without lifting, then after the light flashes you move to another spot. You should treat the area two to three times before treating another spot for the most impactful results.
The quick solution to hair removal includes the most rich skin tones, not just brown skin, which is rare for lasers. Iluminage Touch is proven to remove 94 percent of hair after seven weeks with full body treatments in under 30 minutes.
Illuminate Touch is available at Saks Fifth Avenue and beautyora.com.