Removing unwanted hair is an important step in any beauty regimen.
Many men and women find constant shaving and waxing tedious and time consuming. Laser hair removal is often a simple process and is becoming an increasingly popular choice as the preferred method for hair removal from the face and body. Further, the ideal candidate for laser hair removal has thick, dark hair and fair skin. However, there exists a variety of skin types with a variety of hair types and all wish to achieve the same effects of smooth and hairless skin. In the initial years of laser hair removal gaining popularity, people with darker skin were advised against choosing to undergo laser treatment for hair reduction and hair removal. In recent times however, all skin types can undergo laser treatment without worrying too much about the potential side-effects.
There are six skin types known to us and they are classified using the Fitzpatrick Scale, where the skin types are listed according to genetic makeup and reactivity to sun exposure.These six skin types are:
•Type I - Caucasian, always burns easily, never tans extremely, sensitive to the sun.
•Type II - Caucasian, always burns easily, tans minimally, very sensitive to the sun.
•Type III - Light Olive/Asian, sometimes burns, tans gradually to light brown, sun sensitive.
•Type IV - Dark Olive/Asian, burns minimally, tans to moderate brown, minimally sun sensitive.
•Type V - Light African/Indian, very rarely burns, tans well, sun insensitive.
•Type VI - Dark African/Indian, never burns, deep pigmented, sun insensitive.
The process to effectively treat unwanted hair in any patient requires the laser light to safely pass through the epidermis to affect the follicle. Laser hair removal satisfies this criterion because the light of the laser beam can be converted to heat which is attracted to the pigment (melanin) in the hair. Dark pigment absorbs this light and then converts it to heat. This heat then affects the hair follicles thus preventing hair growth. The challenge faced while performing laser hair removal on darker shades of skin is that the melanin present in skin tends to absorb the laser light thus preventing the laser beam from reaching the sub epidermal layer and successfully affecting the hair follicles. This may affect treatment’s outcome; the number of treatments required & may cause more discomfort during the procedure.
Customized Laser Hair Reduction Procedure As Per Skin Color:
Laser hair removal for Fair Skin and Blonde Hair is tough because they do not have enough pigment to attract the laser’s heat, making traditional laser hair removal for pale skin unreliable on blonde or even grey hair. There are specially developed lasers that have proven effective in removing unwanted hair for fair skinned and blonde haired men and women. The problem faced by those with Brown Skin is that the laser has a hard time differentiating between the skin and the hair, since the colour of both are nearly the same. The laser beam may end up killing the surrounding skin tissue instead of the hair, causing permanent scarring and discolouration of the skin. Laser hair removal for black hair works best when the skin has a contrasting, lighter colour.However, the solution for dark skinned patients who wish to enjoy laser hair removal can choose the Nd:Yag laser which reduces the chances of scarring, burns and discolouration.
Types of Body Hair:
There are two types of hair present on the body, Terminal and Vellus.
Vellus hair is fine, short and covers the entire surface of the body except for the palms of our hands and bottoms of our feet. Vellus hair is practically invisible and most people don’t notice it.
Terminal hair is thick, heavily pigmented and visible. This hair is usually the target of patients seeking laser hair removal and is often found in the pubic, underarm and leg areas.
Customized Laser Hair Reduction Procedure As Per Hair Type:
The type of hair you have will therefore determine the effectiveness of your treatment. Laser hair removal for the thicker “terminal” hair is often the most effective, as it is easier for the laser to target the melanin in the hair and destroy the follicle. Laser hair removal for Vellus hair is not as effective, although there are techniques available that will allow even those with fine, light-coloured hair to enjoy the benefits of laser hair removal. Men’s hair, in general, is thicker than women’s, while older adults typically have thinner hair than their younger counterparts. For example, removing sideburns is likely to cost more than removing arm hair. Meet our experienced dermatologist for customized laser hair reduction .