People of all different ages, sizes, and skin tones should have access to permanent hair removal services—but can any of those factors affect results? The short answer is yes. There are a few factors that you should consider before booking your laser hair removal appointment. Here are a few of the commonly asked questions we get, specifically about what factors affect laser hair removal results:
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
To better predict how laser hair treatments will work for you, you should first understand the basics of laser hair removal. Most lasers are attracted to the melanin (or color) in your hair follicles—these lasers work best when a person has fair skin and a dark hair tone.
Why is that? Melanin usually plays a significant role in laser hair removal treatments because most lasers target the melanin in your hair follicles. The heat from the laser damages the melanin in the hair follicles, resulting in slower hair growth.
Does Laser Hair Removal Work on Dark Complexions?
There’s a common misconception that laser hair removal doesn’t work on dark complexions. This actually used to be true. In the early 2000s, many people with dark complexions didn’t see any hair loss after laser sessions.
Why? We just mentioned that most lasers work off melanin in hair follicles; the older lasers couldn’t decipher between the melanin in the skin and hair follicles. People with darker skin tones experienced burns, hyperpigmentation, and scarring from getting laser hair removal treatments.
Luckily, laser technology has advanced along with every other type of technology. Nowadays, it’s completely safe and effective for a person with dark skin to receive laser hair removal.
Which Type of Laser Hair Removal Is Best for Dark Skin?
Modern laser technology will work on dark skin. You’re not alone if you have dark skin and feel a little apprehensive about getting laser hair removal. If you put laser technology into the perspective of phone technology, you’ll start to trust it more. Did you see the original iPhone? You wouldn’t trust it to have the same capabilities as the newer models today.
We use advanced laser devices (the Soprano by ALMA Lasers and V-Frost by Vertex Lasers) that are effective on all skin types. The V-FROST machine actually bypasses the epidermis—without relying on melanin at all!
Why Do Laser Hair Removal Results Vary by Hair Color?
Now that you can rest assured that laser hair removal is safe for all skin types nowadays, let’s dive into how your hair color will affect your results.
We mentioned that laser treatments work best on people with dark, coarse hair and pale skin. Why? The laser is attracted to the pigment in the follicle—dark hair has more pigment!
This means that if you have light skin and dark hair, the light source in the laser will pinpoint your hair the best. Dark hair stands out a bit more (which is why many people with dark, coarse hair want to get semi-permanent hair removal in the first place). Since the laser can see dark hair the best, it picks up the hair and effectively zaps it.
Does this mean you can’t see results if your hair isn’t dark? While laser hair removal works best when there’s a contrast between light skin and dark hair, this doesn’t mean that people with other hair and skin types can achieve effective results.
If you want laser hair removal, your light-colored hair shouldn’t stop you from getting treatment. Instead, you should be more selective when choosing a laser spa. You might choose a place with the appropriate lasers that should be effective, but still not see your desired results. Why? The laser technician isn’t experienced using the advanced machine on people with light hair!
It’s equally important to select a laser spa with advanced lasers that can bypass melanin and experienced skincare professionals who know how to operate these machines.
Will Laser Hair Removal Work on Gray or Blonde Hair?
You’re technically not an ideal candidate for laser hair removal if you have gray or blonde hair. You may still see some results from treatments, but laser treatments might not be the best fit. We recommend speaking with a licensed laser technician to determine whether laser hair removal is right for you.
Advanced lasers like the Soprano ICE were designed to target a broader range of skin and hair types. If you have gray or blonde hair, these newer machines will provide better results than treatments would’ve years ago.
While hair color certainly plays a factor (since this treatment is focused on hair follicles), people with blonde hair will likely see some results if they visit the right laser spa. Your laser technician should be experienced with treating people with lighter hair—and know how to use the advanced laser effectively.
Does this mean people with light hair will see results comparable to dark-haired people? Maybe not.
Here’s the reality of the situation: you can’t control the color of your natural hair. Instead of focusing on your hair color, you should shift your focus to other factors that you can control.
Every person who gets laser hair removal—it doesn’t matter their hair color—will see the best results when getting lasered during the Anagen phase of hair growth. This phase is known as the active growth phase; it’s the phase that is most effective for laser treatments.
How will you know if your hair is in the Anagen phase? You’ll know because your hair will be visible above the skin! Certified laser technicians will walk you through the entire process, and let you know if laser hair removal will be effective for your hair color.
Laser Hair Removal Should Be for Everyone
We strongly believe that everyone should have access to laser hair removal. Whether you want to receive laser treatments to boost confidence, stop painful waxing treatments, or help a medical condition — we’re happy to help you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about your hair and skin type. Our certified laser technicians will answer any questions for you!