There was a time when laser hair removal for dark skin tones without side effects like burns or scars was a dream. However, this has changed from myth to reality as there are now more laser machines accommodating colored skin tones.
During the early booming years of laser treatment, they were not built to properly distinguish between skin pigment and hair follicle. This resulted in people with dark skin ending up with more than a few burns and scars.
However, this has changed, with the advance in technology accommodating more colored skin tones and inclusive beauty. Now, the treatment is safe enough for ladies with dark skin tones. No need to worry about the severe side effects that used to plague dark skins after laser treatment.
But like any other high-tech treatment, there are some things you have to do to prepare for your laser treatment, especially if you are dark skin.
Laser Hair Removal Tips for Dark Skin
If you are getting laser hair removal as a dark skin, you have to take some simple precautions to make the treatment as easy and painless as possible. If this is your first time, all the more reason you should heed this pre-treatment and post-treatment advice for laser hair removal.
1. Research the facility
This is crucial, especially if you are a first-timer. If you have decided the treatment is for you, the first thing you need to do is research. Research the facilities or practitioner you are interested in. Not only do you need to scout the internet for information, but you might also have to consult with the clinics first.
When you get there, the first thing to do is inquire if they have been treated and are well vast in laser hair removal for dark skin. And then, get proofs. You can ask to look at their before-after photo catalog to put your mind to rest. And if you have questions, ask. Your doubts and fears about the risk should be allayed, than you getting worked up.
2. Review your medication
The next thing you have to do is check what medication and skincare products you are using. You might have to stop using some. For example, skincare products with photosensitivity like retinol, glycolic and salicylic acid, and AHAs and BHAs should be stopped for at least a week before your procedure.
Also, medications like Accutane needs to be stopped months before the treatment. And then, protect your skin with sunscreen as much as possible, not to pigment any further.
3. Shave not tweeze or wax
To keep your hair follicle intact, you should avoid anything that removes the hair from the root-like waxing or tweezing. But you should shave your hairs a day or two before your laser treatment appointment. Shaving lightly removes only the surface hair and keeps the skin clear enough for the laser to sight the follicle clearly.
4. Patch test
When it’s getting close to your laser hair removal treatment appointment, it is recommended you get a spot test. The spot test is just a precautionary step and would influence your real treatment. It would help direct the treatment better because the technician would know how your skin reacts to the laser.
You have to patch test on an inconspicuous area of your body and wait at least 24 hours or more to see if there would be a reaction. If there are side effects, then you might need to cancel the treatment or see a professional as to why. And if you get a green light, then you can proceed with the treatment.
Post Laser Treatment
5. Apply soothing creams
After undergoing the laser treatment, you might see skin redness or swelling. It is best to treat such with topical balms like corticosteroids or over-the-counter hydrocortisone to relieve the inflammation. If you notice hyperpigmentation, use mild topical creams for dark spots. Also, aloe vera is a great natural alternative because it contains vitamins E and K.
Caring for the skin post-treatment morning and night with these topical treatments for at least five days will ease the skin back to its normal glow.
6. Don’t irritate your skin with strenuous activities
You will have to change your lifestyle for a while after laser treatment. This includes forgoing anything that would strain or irritate the skin. For example, exercising within the period of treatment might irritate the skin. Also, plucking, bleaching, or waxing is discouraged for at least six weeks.
And no direct exposure to sunlight after or throughout the procedure. You should always wear sunscreen to protect your body.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a procedure that involves laser picking out hair from the base of the skin, which is the hair follicle. It removes hair from the root, where the stem cells grow new hair. It uses intense light to kill the roots, causing permanent damage so that hair won’t grow again.
For the laser to work, there has to be no tan or dark pigment on the skin because it becomes harder for the machine to spot hair. This used to be a bane for colored skins when they got laser hair removal treatments in the early days.
The skin rather than the follicles could be beamed, causing burns and scars. Notwithstanding, the treatment is known to produce excellent results when done right.
Furthermore, there has been an advance in technology that includes being able to distinguish between melanin on skin and follicles. The laser technology is now more precise and smarter when it comes to identifying hair follicles on dark skin.
Is laser hair removal safe?
Yes, it is. That is as long as you are seeing a board-certified practitioner. It’s best to do the right thing and not cut corners. You can consult with the practitioner first to discourse the laser procedure. They would tell you all you need to know before and after the procedure. This includes the possible risks and cautions you should take.
As mentioned earlier, seeing a well-known specialist with a clean track record when it comes to laser hair removal for dark skin will put your mind at ease. You know you can trust them with your body.
What are the possible risks?
Dark skin tones have more sensitivity than lighter skin. This may result in more risks when it comes to laser hair removal for dark skin. For instance, there could be burns on the skin if the wrong wavelength or equipment is used.
As mentioned earlier, researching the facility will help you greatly. The technician has to be experienced with working with dark skins. Also, the equipment used must accommodate dark skins.
Another side effect is hypopigmentation, which is the lightening of the skin. This is harder to treat, but it fades with time. Patch-testing will save you this side effect because you will know how well your skin’s reaction to the laser.
What is the cost of laser hair removal?
According to a statistic from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a session of laser hair removal cost about $285. However, some treatments are as high as $1,500 for a session. The cost of the treatment varies on what type of laser machine is being used. And the location of the facility you are visiting.
Though the less expensive treatments might be enticing, it is recommended you do thorough research of the facility. Some things can be too good to be true, so you have to be careful and aware.
Laser hair removal for dark skin used to be something dreaded. But this has now become a misconception. The advance in technology has made laser treatment acceptable for all skin tones. However, you have to take or pre and post-treatment care to enjoy the experience.
Although the sessions are on the high price side, they are worth it. Especially if you grow body hair easily. But do not be mistaken, laser is a semi-permanent to permanent treatment. You will grow back your hair, but at a slow rate. And because the treatment is now meant for all, there are wider options for dark skin tones for hair removal.
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