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Skin Tone is No Longer a Factor in Laser Hair Removal

For many years, the belief has been that laser hair removal is a service fit only for those with dark hair and light skin. In the earliest days of laser hair removal technology, this guideline was absolutely true. Fortunately, however, development in hair removal lasers has changed the rules regarding what types of people can actually be safely and effectively treated for hair removal purposes. Nowadays, practically anyone with any skin type can be safely and effectively treated on a hair removal laser, provided they are treated on the most modern and advanced hair removal technology.

Who Cannot Be Treated for Laser Hair Removal

We’ve stated above that nearly anyone can now be safely and effectively treated using laser hair removal technology. Unfortunately, though, with every rule there is an exception. The exception to this rule has more to do with hair color than skin tone. Though hair removal lasers have become more and more sophisticated at targeting their energy away from the skin surface and towards the root of the hair follicle, they are still attracted to pigment, or color. When considering laser hair removal, the old axiom of “opposites attract” does ring true. Consider the laser energy used for hair removal to represent the color white. A white light is going to be most attracted to a black target; therefore, in the case of hair removal, the laser is going to be attracted to darker hair. Another way of looking at laser hair removal when it comes to hair color is to consider the difference between wearing dark colored clothing in the summer versus light colored clothing. Which absorbs more heat? The lighter the hair, the less energy will be imparted into the hair follicle. Less energy means less damage and when considering hair removal, the greater the damage to the hair follicle, the greater the likelihood of long term or permanent hair removal clearance. The bottom line to this hair removal equation is that those with blond, grey, or white hair should not be treated. Red hairs are also considered extremely difficult to treat with laser hair removal.

A Breakthrough in Hair Removal Technology May Help Those with Light Hair

In recent years, a new hybrid technology has been introduced for hair removal purposes. Laser technology called “Electro Optical Synergy” or “elos” has entered the hair removal arena with very encouraging results. Elos combines medium to long laser wavelength energy with bi-polar radio frequency and intense pulsed light. Now that may sound awfully sophisticated, and even a bit confusing, but when examining each hair removal technology it’s actually quite exciting.

Longer wavelength lasers have proven essential when it comes to getting more energy into the root of the hair and away from the skin’s surface thus increasing the effectiveness of the treatment and decreasing pain and discomfort. Pulsed light is simply another energy source designed to get additional energy into the hair. Pulsed light on its own has very limited effectiveness. However, as an adjunct or supplement to other energy sources it can be very effective. Finally, bi-polar radio frequency is nothing more than a fancy name for electrical current. This third hair removal technology is most interesting because it applies the oldest proven theories of permanent hair removal borne from the principles of electrolysis. Unlike a laser which is attracted to pigment, or color in the hair, electrical current is attracted to fluid. For the purposes of hair removal, the bi-polar radio frequency – or electrical current – is attracted to the fluid in the hair follicle, regardless of color. For darker skin types or for those with lighter hair, this has massively positive implications for hair removal purposes. The primary principle behind elos is that the practitioner can now customize the amount of energy from each of the three sources to most safely and effectively treat the patient to provide permanent hair removal results. Exciting!

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