Are you thinking of embarking on laser hair removal to get rid of hair on your face or body? If so you might be wondering what type of laser is best for hair removal?
It’s a bit like looking for TVs. You start off thinking ‘I know I want a 42 inch smart TV’. But when you actually start looking it seems to get more and more complicated!
It can feel a bit like that when looking for laser hair removal. The good news is I’m going to help you understand the differences and what you might want to choose. (I’ve been operating lasers for 16 years and also train other salon owners to use them.)
What type of Lasers are there?
All light devices (Lasers and IPL) use a type of light which is flashed into the skin to make the hair follicle heat up. The heat destroys the cells to stop more hair growing.
Some lights are better for fair skin and fairer hair and others are better for dark skin. If you choose the wrong laser then you could end up with a treatment that doesn’t work very well and in the worst case a burn.
Lasers are categorised into type depending on the type of light which comes out.
They can have different wavelengths of light (think of them like different colours of the rainbow).
Which type of Laser is best depending on skin type?
Fair skin can take any kind of light really, as it’s less likely to burn. If your hair is too fair then no laser will work. You’ve got to be able to see the hair, and it must be at least fair brown to get a good result with a laser. So no laser will work on blonde, grey, white, silver or fair red hair.
For light skin and fair to dark hair – An Alexandrite Laser, IPL or Diode will work well. Although Alexandrite will be best if the hair is fine and quite fair.
For a Mediterranean or light Asian skin with dark hair – A Diode laser is best. (Alexandrite could burn / IPL could burn)
For dark Asian, mixed skin, or Caribbean skin with dark hair – A Diode or ND Yag Laser is best.
How do you know what the Laser is?
The next issue you may have is that Lasers have brand names. This means that you won’t necessarily know what type of laser it is, just from the name.
You will hear names such as Cynosure, Soprano Ice, Evolution Ice, Lynton, Light Sheer and so on. Sometimes clinics will tell you the name of their laser and the type that it is. If they don’t then just ask.
Here’s a few brand names and what they are:
Cynosure Apogee Elite – has an Alexandrite and ND Yag laser.
Lynton Lumina/Excelight – has IPL.
Evolution Ice – has Diode with 3 wavelengths (Alexandrite / Diode / ND Yag)
Soprano Ice/Platinum – has Diode with 1-3 wavelengths (Diode or all 3 as above)
Light Sheer – has a Diode laser (with 1 or 2 wavelengths)
This is just a small selection and there are many many more systems on the market!
The pain factor
There’s one more thing you might want to consider. Diode type lasers operate in a different way to traditional lasers or IPLs.
They build up the heat gradually in a ‘painting’ type motion which makes the treatment less painful. In fact they are dubbed the ‘less painful lasers’. So if you’re getting treatment on your bikini or face, then you might want to consider going for a Diode system.
I hope this has helped you understand what type of laser is best for hair removal. And more to the point, which would be best for you and your skin type.
If you live in my area (North West England) and you’d like more information on laser hair removal – then click here.
Or if you need some advice then feel free to email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org