The best candidate for light-based hair removal is someone with fair skin and dark hair. Dark hair absorbs light more effectively, but the light can’t tell the difference between brown hair and brown skin. This can be tricky for those with darker skin types.
A doctor could under-treat and get no response, or he or she may over-treat, stopping hair growth, but damaging the pigment-producing cells in the surrounding skin, leaving white spots.
If you have dark skin and want to try laser hair removal, try to find a dermatologist who performs a lot of laser hair removal and also treats people with your skin color and type on a regular basis. Be sure to ask if he or she has treated others with your skin type with a decent amount of success, and what the complication rate has been.
It is also recommended that you ask how old the doctor’s technology is, since devices manufactured before 1999 emit pulses that are too short to address darker skin. Using these older machines could leave serious blistering and permanent discoloration.
Are you a laser hair removal success story, despite the challenges presented by darker skin? Or perhaps you have a cautionary tale? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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