Get the Right Laser First, a primer on how laser hair removal works. During treatment, the laser zeroes in on the pigment of a hair follicle and sends light through the skin, landing on its target. Once it's zapped, the hair follicle is damaged enough to hamper hair growth.
When laser hair removal became popular, it was something of a myth that it didn't work on dark skin. "Different skin types required different lasers," says NYC-based cosmetic dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D. "The average treatment center didn't want to pay $100,000 twice for two different lasers -- so they bought the one that was more in-demand." Now there are lasers that treat any kind of skin type.
For dark skin, Eric S. Schweiger, NYC dermatologist and founder of Schweiger Dermatology, recommends finding a facility with a 1064 Nd:YAG laser. Lasers go by many different names (Frank uses Light Sheer Desire and Schweiger uses Gentlemax), but it's the type of wavelength used that's important.
BB creams that come in two shades, hair chalk that shows up only on bleached blonde hair -- beauty innovations that work only on certain hair-and-skin combos put a serious damper on the beauty game for about 98 percent of the population. That's why we're shouting from the rooftops that laser hair removal, previously only available to those with light skin and dark hair, is now safe and effective for all skin types -- as long as you get the right treatment. Before you book your appointment to get rid of your hair for (almost) good, take this crash course on the best hair removal treatments for dark skin.
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