Before starting laser hair removal, it’s important to know that there is a direct effect on which type of laser hair removal treatments you can have based upon your skin type. Skin types are categorized by the Fitzpatrick scale on a sliding scale between 1 and 6. In its simplest form, the Fitzpatrick scale is a way to classify how easily someone can get sunburn with Type 1 being the lightest of skin which never tans and always burns to Type 6 being a very dark skin tone which never burns.
Determining the right laser for your particular skin type and taking the time to understand the differences between lasers’s used for hair removal will ultimately lead to a better and safer outcome for you.
There are three accepted types of Class IV medical lasers for hair removal, Diode, Alexandrite and Yag. IPLs are used, however should never be mistaken for a laser and are less effective when you want a permanent hair removal treatment.
Below, we’ve provided a quick breakdown and identified pros and cons for each which may help you in making a more informed decision.
IPLs as previously stated are not lasers. IPLs produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths (like a light bulb) and cannot be focused to a concentrated beam. Because a range of different wavelengths are dispersed at a variety of depths only some of these will be effective for hair reduction. IPL’s shallow penetration in comparison to a laser means that deeper, thicker hairs are not effectively treated.
The Diode produces a beam of highly concentrated light. The light emitted by the Light Sheer Diode is well absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicles. During the procedure, the laser pulses for a fraction of a second, long enough to heat up the hair and significantly impede the follicles ability to re-grow. The Light Sheer system technology has proven effective on a wide range of hair colors, from blonde through auburn to brown and dark hair. And most important, Light Sheer systems can successfully remove hair from all skin types – from porcelain white through olive to dark brown complexions.
The Alexandrite laser is one that uses an alexandrite crystal as the laser source. The Alexandrite laser produces a specific wavelength of light and is considered a red light laser. The Alexandrite laser penetrates the skin 755nm (nanometers) deep and is suitable for skin types 1 through 4 and not recommended for darker skin types 5 and 6.
The YAG is a long pulsed laser and penetrates the skin at 1064 nm. The physical properties of this laser allows it to penetrate deeper than the Diode or Alexandrite lasers, thus bypassing the upper layers of skin that contain higher levels of melanin darker skin types making the Alexandrite laser more suitable for darker skin types with very thick coarse hair.
In summary, there are two important things to remember. First of all, unfortunately laser hair removal does not work on light, grey or red hairs because of the melanin in the skin. Secondly, some laser professionals do not use lasers for hair removal treatments, they use IPL (intense pulse light) which is far less effective at getting rid of unwanted hair.
The best laser on the market is the Gentle Max Pro, as it has a dual wavelength – YAG for darker and deeper follicles plus the Alexandrite for lighter, more shallow hairs – allowing individuals of all ethnicities to be treated for laser hair removal.
Sanctuary Salon & Med Spa is the go-to day spa in Orlando, Florida for expert laser hair removal in Orlando. At our luxurious day spa in Orlando, we use the gold standard in laser hair removal with the Gentle Max Pro and the Luminus Light Sheer Diode.
Please call Sanctuary Salon & Med Spa today to schedule your complimentary consultation to begin your hair free tomorrow!