Ethnic Skins and Laser Hair Removal: Be In The Know

Ethnic Skins and Laser Hair Removal: Be In The Know

What are some of the common reasons you see people getting laser hair removal treatments?

There are many reasons why you may decide that Laser Hair Removal is right for you…Razor rash, In-grown hair, the time it takes to shave… We see a lot of women with unsightly facial hair growth that affects their self-esteem, as well as women’s bikini or underarms that have darkened from shaving and waxing. Men are also getting laser hair removal due to shaving that has caused terrible razor bumps and scars on their arms, chest or hard to reach places like their back. Thankfully, we can treat the full body for Men and Women! Laser hair removal not only stops hair growth and saves time from shaving, but it also prevents scarring that in-grown hairs and razor cut cause.

How is hair removal different for darker skin?

Unlike fair skin, darker skin contains skin melanin (color), which requires highprecision devices that can distinguish between the hair and the skin. There are lingering misconceptions about laser hair removal on darker skin tones. Because earlier technology had difficulty distinguishing between hair follicle and surrounding skin, machines tended to heat up both areas significantly. Results were often uneven, unsuccessful, damaging or needing in more treatments and more money spent with the inappropriate laser. Many people with darker skin, particularly those with curly hair, struggle with Ingrown Hairs and Razor
Bumps. However, if treated improperly (or left untreated), hyperpigmentation (dark spots), pain and keloid scarring can result. Yes. Laser hair removal treatments are safe for skin of color and effective because they destroy the
hair follicle, thereby reducing inflammation.
Laser hair removal treatments are not just for getting rid of unwanted hair. They can be used to treat conditions related to inflammation of the hair follicle such as ingrown hair and razor bumps.

Which laser is right for darker skins?

All skin tones can be treated, but to varying amounts of success… depending upon the laser used. One is the Alexandrite, which is a more aggressive laser and the other is Yag, which can treat anybody of any skin tone but less aggressive in results – the main difference is the number of sessions needed to reach 80-90% reduction. The alexandrite laser cam give you close to 90% or more (depending on the area, and the Yag will give you less- closer to 73% and you would need almost double the sessions. No IPL [Intense Pulsed Light] for dark skin! It’s very unsafe. IPLs work in a similar manner to lasers, but with a less controllable energy emission.

Consultations and Test Spots

A credible laser clinic will never tell a client over the phone that they can treat their skin type/hair color without asking a series of questions. Nor will they tell them the exact number of treatments they will need without an in-person consultation. It is critical to come in for a consultation, the laser specialist will be able to correctly evaluate if you are a perfect candidate and accurately estimate your results…
they can average between 80% to 95% depending on the area of your body and medical conditions that can influence your results. We will explain all the do’s and don’ts to have a succesfull treatment and overall great experience. If we feel the need to test-spot darker skins, it is important to wait 48-72 hours before performing the full treatment. Skin tones of this variety can have a delayed reaction to exposure.

Safety Protocol

Everyone is different, but treatments need to be performed during an active hair growth cycle. There should be no sun exposure when getting hair removal treatments, no tanning and no use of medications that make your skin sensitive to light. There are also many oral medications that cause you to be sensitive to light and possibly burn from the laser, [so] it is important that you always let the
laser specialist know of any medication or medical history changes since your last visit. Additionally, the body should not be heated for two days following a treatment, including: hot tub use, excessive exercise or sitting in a steam room. Laser safety protocol must always be taken seriously to avoid injury.
In the wrong hands, lasers can burn, scar, discolor and induce significant pain. For everyone, but particularly for clients with darker skin, your laser specialist should have hands on training with all skin types and extensive experience on your skin color. Experienced technicians will always perform a test spot to determine how skin will react to a particular machine before performing a full treatment.

How long does it take for someone to start seeing the benefits of laser hair removal?

On average it takes 7-14 days after each treatment to see a reduction of hair growth. About 75 percent of our patients see a reduction in the first session. The number of sessions for darker skins is generally higher, since the treatment is more gradual to prevent side effects. The minimum number of treatment to reach maximum permanent reduction starts at 8 sessions and can take up to but not
limited to 15 sessions.

Does the hair ever grow back?

Laser hair removal is FDA approved for permanent hair reduction. On average it takes 8-10 sessions each spaced 1-2 months apart. After completing your series of treatments usually a 80-95% reduction is achieved. However, most people need touchups to maintain those results. Many different factors can contribute to hair regrowth such as weight gain, medications, stress, pregnancy and other things
that cause fluctuations in hormone levels. I always tell our patients to be prepared to do at least one touch up per year to maintain their results.

How can you tell if someone is qualified to perform the treatment?

The state of Florida requires all laser techs to have 360 hrs of electrolysis and 40 laser training. We
must laser under the guidance of a medical director. Doctors, Nurse practitioners and PAs are able to
perform laser. A state license is required when the medical director is not in house.
Ask them how long they have been operating that particular laser as well as how many patients they
have performed treatments on. I also recommend asking if you can get a test spot during your
consultation and then waiting 48 hours before scheduling your treatment to make sure that you are
treated correctly and your skin doesn’t have an adverse reaction.

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