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Will Dying Light Hair Help With Laser Hair Removal?

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Laser hair removal is a hair removal procedure that concentrates laser energy onto hair follicles. The pigment in the hair attracts the laser to target the follicles and prevents future hair growth in that area. 

Does this mean that dying (or dyeing, as it would be correctly used) light hair with a darker color helps with laser hair removal? Experts think that dying hair won’t affect the laser hair removal because the hair dye normally does not reach into the hair follicle.

This article will explain the science of hair dye and how laser hair removal works, as well as alternatives for removing hairs that are not dark in color.

The Science of Laser Hair Removal 

Among all the hair removal options available in the market today, laser hair removal stands out from processes such as waxing, threading, shaving, or tweezing because it can help remove or reduce unwanted body hair almost permanently. 

Laser hair removal utilizes pulses of highly concentrated laser beams into specific target cells: hair follicles. These are located in the part of the hair known as the hair bulge, and these cells are responsible for producing hair. The light emitted from the laser is converted into heat that damages these hair follicles. 

Destroying these follicles either permanently stops the hair in the area from growing, or permanently reduces the density of the hair. This means that if the hair grows back, it will be much finer and thinner. Other factors that determine if hair will be completely removed or reduce include:

  • The type and quality of the laser used: Different types of lasers are built for various hair and skin colors, as will be discussed later on. 
  • The color of the patient’s skin: Patients with dark haired and dark skin will need a special laser with longer wavelengths and pulse widths. This is because ordinary lasers have shorter wavelengths, which the hair and skin absorb too quickly and sometimes lead to skin discoloration. Most laser hair removal works best for patients with light skin and dark body hair. 
  • The number of times the procedure is done: Multiple sessions are needed to prevent any hair follicle from growing back. As hairs have growth, resting, and fall-out phases, the sessions must be done within a patient’s hair growth phase or around every month. 
  • The abilities of the aesthetician conducting the procedure: A licensed and trained esthetician will not only have the ability to keep your skin safe from burns and scars, but will also know how to maximize the treatment for you with the right machine and technique. 

Hair Color Also Matters 

Hair color is an important factor in a laser hair treatment because the pigment in dark hair is what attracts the laser to go all the way down to the follicle. The heat and the energy directed at dark hair destroys the follicle and prevents regrowth. Patients with dark hair, coarser hair achieve greater success in hair removal because more concentrated energy is emitted into the follicle. 

Why Dyeing Doesn’t Help 

Since lighter colored hairs have far less pigment, the laser energy absorbed will be insufficient to prevent future hair regrowth. While some patients observed their hairs thinned in a specific area after treatment, results (if any) often vary. 

Theoretically, dyeing your hair would be able to give the hairs pigment. However, hair dye cannot reach the follicles all the way down, which means the laser will not reach to destroy them either. Ordinary lasers will not be effective for patients with the following hair colors: 

  • Blonde
  • Red
  • Grey 
  • White

Laser Hair Removal For Lighter Hair: Is It Possible?

While traditional laser hair removal is not the best option for patients with light hair, more advanced solutions are available now, thanks to the development of high-end technology that caters to patients with various hair and skin colors. Some suggested alternatives for removing hair are:

  • Carbon Hair Dye: Instead of using regular hair dye, some laser technicians may opt to treat light-haired patients with a special carbon dye. This carbon dye is rubbed directly onto the skin’s surface to ensure it reaches the follicles. Carbon dye may also be used by dark-haired patients to further enhance energy absorption from the laser and result in a more effective hair removal. 
  • Alexandrite Laser: An Alexandrite laser works with an alexandrite crystal as the laser’s source. As a red-light laser, this works at a higher intensity compared to traditional lasers and can blast a patient with the necessary pigment, so you can enjoy permanent hair removal.
  • Nd:YAG Laser: With its longer wavelength, the Nd:YAG laser is highly sensitive to all hair colors and can precisely penetrate hair follicles without damaging surrounding tissues. Unlike the Alexandrite laser, the Nd:YAG laser can successfully remove light-colored hair without needing to dye it first. 

Remove Unwanted Hair with NJ’s Best 

While there is a wide range of at-home laser removal models, these are something to be cautioned against. While they may be designed to be less intense than office equipment, they can seriously damage some areas of the skin. Patients at home often tend to be more aggressive in the treatment, since they have the mentality that they can have much faster results. However, these at-home lasers may cause more pain and other consequences. 

For safe, effective, and customized aesthetic procedures, visit us at Ethos Spa, Skin and Laser Center in New Jersey. Our licensed specialists are well-equipped and experienced with permanent hair removal procedures for all our patients. Aside from guaranteed safety and results, you’ll also enjoy a comfortable and luxurious patient experience with us.

Book an appointment with Ethos Spa today. 

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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