In earlier years, getting a laser hair removal procedure would have been a risk for people of color or those who have tanned skins. This is because lasers were not created with the consideration of melanin. Laser hair removal treatment back then was safe only safe for people who had dark hair follicles and a lighter skin tone. Melanin is vital in the procedure because it is the main target of the laser’s light. The melanin will absorb the energy from the laser and disable hair growth.
The problem with laser hair removal and people who were tanned or had a dark skin tone is that the lasers used in the procedure could not correctly distinguish between the skin’s pigment and the hair follicle. That is why people of color could be in danger of getting burnt, scarred, and discolored.
However, due to the increasing demand for the treatment in recent years, there have been notable advancements in laser hair removal technology, making it suitable for all skin colors.
Here we provide you with some tips and precautionary measures to consider before undergoing this non-surgical cosmetic procedure.
Know which laser works best for you
Although lasers have been utilized in the healthcare industry for years, the application for cosmetic purposes, such as hair removal, only started in 1990. There have been substantial technological advancements in recent years, and there are now three types of lasers that technicians use for all skin types.
- Ruby lasers – One of the earlier lasers used in laser hair removal treatments. However, it is only ideal for patients with dark hair follicles and fair skin.
- Alexandrite lasers – It works in a broader combination of hair colors and skin tones, making it suitable for patients with light-to- olive-toned skin
- Diode and Nd: YAG lasers – The revolutionary laser offers effective results for dark skin tones, giving everyone the safest and best results they deserve. It improves the absorption of melanin and protects the skin of those who have darker skin tones.
For patients of color who also have darker hair, the most ideal laser hair removal method for you is the diode laser hair. Studies have shown that diode lasers are most suitable for mature and colored hair.
Tips before getting the treatment
- Before considering laser hair removal, do your research, find an experienced technician, and tell them about any medical, condition, or skin allergies.
- Inform your technician if you are taking any medications or supplements as it can hinder the treatment of laser hair removal.
- These technicians will tell you to stop taking these medications or supplements before the procedure because any kind of medicine increases the photosensitivity of your skin, which may lead to severe burns.
- Do not wax or pluck any hair on your body for up to two weeks before getting the laser hair removal treatment because it removes hair bulb, which is needed during the procedure.
- However, if you want, you can shave any part of your body a day before getting the treatment.
- Avoid going out before the session because getting tanned before the session requires lower energy, and the technician will reschedule your laser hair removal treatment.
Precautions to take after the treatment
Ideally, there should be no side effects after getting laser hair removal treatment. You may experience inflammation or redness on your skin. Don’t worry if this is the case since it usually subsides after one day.
You can also ask your technician or cosmetologist for recommendations on soothing topical creams to ease any pain or discomfort you may experience. However, after getting the treatment, the most important thing to remember is to avoid direct exposure to the sun. Your skin is hypersensitive after treatment and going under the sun can result in severe burns and red skin.