Being smooth and hairless is a universal beauty standard that can easily be achieved through laser hair removal. However, Indians and other people of color have a difficult time finding a laser hair removal device that can work safely and effectively for their darker skin tones.
So which laser hair removal option is best suited for Indian skin? The most appropriate laser type Indian patients should use is an Nd:YAG laser. As one of the latest lasers available in the market today, the Nd:YAG can work on a wide range of skin types and remove very thick, unwanted hairs.
What Makes Laser Hair Removal Risky For People of Color
In the past, laser hair removal was inaccessible for men and women of color because of how laser removal technology worked. The earliest laser types like ruby and alexandrite lasers were ineffective and harmful when used on patients with darker skin.
Laser hair removal works by targeting the melanin in hair. Melanin is what gives hair its pigment; the darker the hair, the more melanin it contains. When the lasers beam light on the hair follicle, the melanin absorbs the light and transforms it into heat. This heat is responsible for destroying the hair growth center in the follicle.
Older laser models could focus on the “bullseye” and remove unwanted hairs more accurately only when there is a contrast between dark skin and light hair. However, this made laser hair removal dangerous for tanned or darker-skinned patients, as their skin contained a high concentration of melanin as well.
Because outdated laser models could not distinguish between pigment in skin and hair, they presented a risk to dark skinned patients. These risks include hyperpigmentation, burns, blisters, scarring, and spots in the skin around the follicle.
As Indian patients have medium to darker colored skin and dark, thick hair, they would need to find a clinic that has invested in the right type of equipment. The laser their provider uses should be able to differentiate between the hair and skin. As darker skin requires cooling in between beams, the laser should come with a cooling function as well. These factors would make the procedure more comfortable for Indian patients.
Which Type of Laser Hair Removal Tool Is Best For Indian Skin?
Patients with darker skin tones have very sensitive skin. As Indian skin tones range from lighter olive to darker shades, it’s especially crucial to identify the specific laser that can work safely and effectively for each patient. There are two types of laser that work for darker skin and dark hair: diode and Nd:YAG.
The diode laser is good at treating thicker, coarser hair compared to the Nd:YAG. Most diode lasers are less painful because they have an instant cooling function that protects the skin from overheating. However, the Nd:YAG is the safest option for Indian patients because it can bypass the melanin in your skin.
The Nd:YAG works at a higher wavelength than other lasers so it can pass through the epidermis and target the follicle directly. Since it no longer targets the color, the Nd:YAG is great at targeting resistant hairs and treating darker-skinned patients.
Do keep in mind that the Nd:YAG may be more painful than other lasers because it penetrates more deeply. It also hasn’t been around as long as other FDA-approved lasers so you may have trouble finding a provider who uses this type of laser.
Should You Try At-Home Laser Removal Devices?
There are a lot of at-home devices and laser kits available in the market but they are not recommended for Indian patients. Most of these products are safer for lighter skin types as they have shorter wavelengths. For Indian skin and hair, these short wavelengths are neither safe nor effective.
Many home laser kits also include screening questionnaires to check if the device can be used on particular hair and skin types -- but most Indian patients will not be able to pass this test. For patients who do meet the criteria, they may find that the results are not satisfactory as the power of a home laser won’t be strong enough to remove thicker hairs.
Although laser hair removal can be costly, letting an experienced, certified provider will save you money and time in the long run.
The Ideal Candidate For Laser Hair Removal
Historically, people with dark hair and fair skin were ideal choices for professional laser hair removal. Advancements in technology have challenged this standard and many people with various skin and hair types can now undergo laser hair removal treatments. Patients who have met the following criteria are most likely suitable candidates for laser hair removal:
- Individuals who aren’t pregnant or nursing: Pregnant and nursing women should postpone their laser hair removal plans for the safety of the child. While no one can say for sure if any harm will happen to the baby, it’s better to exercise caution.
- Patients who can withstand pain: It may be best to reconsider laser hair treatment if you have a low pain tolerance. The process is not entirely pain-free and the laser may feel like a rubber-band snap on the skin. However, most clinics do offer topical numbing cream and pain relievers to keep patients comfortable during the procedure.
- Someone who has realistic expectations: You may be weary of waxing and shaving already but you should know that laser hair removal is not permanent. It’s more like long-term hair reduction because your hairs will grow back slower, thinner, and finer than before.
6 Laser Hair Removal Tips For Safe and Long Lasting Results
After a laser hair removal session, your skin will be sensitive. Aftercare is imperative to prevent any issues and to maximize results. Here are a few tips to follow after getting laser hair removal:
- Stay out of the sun: When you’re undergoing laser hair treatments, it’s best to stay in the shade and out of tanning beds for at least one month. Your skin needs to be as light as possible when undergoing the procedure to avoid developing any irregular pigmentation in the treatment areas. If you’re going outdoors, apply sunscreen that is SPF30 or higher.
- Wait 48 hours before working out: As much as you don’t want to skip your daily workout, you should give your body some rest after laser hair removal. Sweating will invite bacteria to your body and possibly cause an infection or ingrown hairs. Visiting the sauna, taking a hot shower, and other activities that increase body temperature should be avoided as well.
- Keep other skin procedures on hold: Your skin will be highly sensitive after a laser hair removal session, so skin treatments like chemical peels and other laser procedures should be rescheduled for at least two weeks after your treatment. Giving your skin time to heal will prevent irritation.
- Avoid waxing or plucking hairs: Plucking, waxing, bleaching, tweezing, or scratching the treatment area after treatment are strongly discouraged. Removing the hairs by force may reverse the laser treatment effects and cause hair follicles to regrow. While you can’t pluck or wax for 4-6 weeks, you are allowed to shave 4-5 days after your session.
- Skip the makeup and skincare: Cosmetics, deodorants, and skincare products should be avoided for the first 24-48 hours. Your skin will be red and sensitive so strong products with harsh ingredients may irritate it. If you absolutely have to wear makeup, choose mineral-based products and keep it light.
- Apply a cooling compress after treatment: Swelling and redness are normal after laser hair removal. A cold compress or ice can help bring the swelling down. Moisturize the treatment areas with soothing topical products such as aloe vera gel or arnica cream.
Experience Effective Laser Hair Removal At Ethos Spa
Ethos Spa is the leading laser hair removal center in New Jersey. We offer the latest laser hair removal services bikini lines, underarms, shoulders, legs, upper lip, back, stomach, and other areas.
As every patient has unique needs, we spend a lot of time with them to ensure they have a safe experience and amazing results. Let the experts at Ethos Spa prepare a treatment plan for you. Book a free consultation with us today.
Read more: 4 Reasons Why Laser Hair Removal Costs a Lot