To this day, many aesthetic treatments exclude certain skin types. But thankfully, technological advancements are making that an issue of the past.
This includes laser hair removal, or LHR. Here’s everything you need to know about safe laser hair removal for black skin in Reston, Virginia, including where you can find it!
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a long-lasting hair removal treatment that uses a laser to heat up your hair follicles, which then damages or destroys them.
This is primarily done by targeting the melanin in your hair follicle, which is why there’s confusion about the safety of laser hair removal for Black patients, but more on that later.
LHR boasts a ton of benefits. It’s fast, efficient, cost-effective, and can be used on a variety of body parts. Plus, laser hair removal doesn’t carry side effects like ingrown hairs or razor bumps. It can be used on the arms, back, bikini or Brazilian area, face, legs, underarms, and more.
Is Laser Hair Removal for Black Skin in Reston, Virginia? Is It Safe?
Is LHR safe for dark skin? Most experts would agree that yes, it is generally safe for melanated skin if you know how to navigate it.
It’s all in the laser. There are very specific laser systems that are suited for the use on dark skin. Thankfully, increasingly more laser technicians are employing these laser systems and ditching archaic ones that limited who could benefit from them.
Speaking of, a good laser technician is your best friend. Look for professionals who have plenty of experience with Black skin. Make sure to read their reviews and check out their social media as well as portfolios for patients of color.
Which Lasers Are Best Suited for Dark Skin Tones?
It’s best to avoid at-home laser devices. You just can’t guarantee their safety and efficacy the way you can with a professional laser technician. So, right off the bat, take that laser device out of your Amazon cart!
The two best lasers for deeper skin tones are diode and Nd:YAG, or simply YAG. They work in two different ways.
- Nd:YAG is a virtually colorblind laser. It doesn’t rely on melanin the way other lasers do, including diode. It uses a wavelength that penetrates deeper, bypassing the pigmentation in your skin to strictly target the hair follicle. This makes it the safest for medium to dark skin tones.
- Diode, however, still relies on the process of targeting melanin in your hair follicles. That being said, it has perks. The energy from a diode laser system is delivered in a slower manner than traditional laser systems, making it more precise and giving the skin time to cool. It also has a built-in cooling system.
Following the Fitzpatrick skin phototypes, diode is safest for skin type four and lower. Nd:YAG has more wiggle room and can be used on types as high as a six in some cases.
What Are the Side Effects and Risks?
Patients of color experience different risks and side effects than fair-skinned patients, namely hyperpigmentation, burning, scarring, and hypopigmentation. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to minimize your risks for these side effects and complications.
Again, a skilled laser technician who uses the correct laser system and settings can circumvent the majority of risks and side effects. You can also do a patch test to see if you respond well to the laser. Prep and aftercare are also important for avoiding complications.
Side effects like tenderness, a sunburn sensation, and swelling are totally normal, so don’t panic if you experience them. Using high-quality moisturizers and a cool compress can help with these. You can even wear makeup the next day if you aren’t experiencing blistering.
The most important thing is to avoid UV exposure. Laser treatments increase your photosensitivity, so sun exposure can be incredibly dangerous after an LHR treatment. Keep your skin covered, and use sunscreen with a high SPF when sun exposure can’t be avoided.
How Do I Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
Preparation for laser hair removal is super easy. Not only should you avoid UV exposure after your treatment, you should avoid it prior to your treatment as well. This means no tanning via sun, sunless tanners, or tanning beds. Always keep your skin protected with sunscreen.
You’ll also be advised to shave – not wax or pluck – before your LHR session. This ensures that the laser can better target the follicle, making the process easier and more comfortable.
It’s also recommended that you stop the use of products that have harsh ingredients, such as retinoids, glycolic or salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide. Also, be sure to let your laser technician know about the use of isotretinoin, a common acne treatment.
Other details your laser tech should know is if you’re prone to scarring, particularly keloid scarring, alongside active or frequent cold sores or herpes outbreaks. This is to ensure your safety and that they can take the right steps to provide suitable treatment that doesn’t pose harm to you or your skin.
Experience the Benefits of Laser Hair Removal for All Skin Tones at Generations Medical Aesthetics!
Our state-of-the-art laser systems at GMA ensure that virtually everyone can enjoy the perks of long-lasting laser hair removal. We prioritize our patients’ safety and satisfaction, taking an individualized approach to help you get the results you desire.
Contact us at 703-439-1104 to book your consultation and learn more about laser hair removal for Black skin in Reston, Virginia today!