2 Recent Major Advances in Laser Hair Removal Technology
While the first laser hair removal device invented in 1995 removed hair poorly, the next hair removal laser developed in 1998 worked very well and was officially approved by the FDA for use by professionals.
What made this new laser different from its predecessor was its ability to target the melanin in a hair’s follicle and then destroy the follicle with heat. While this early laser hair removal device worked very well on people with very light skin and dark hair, it could not be used on people with darker skin tones successfully since, unfortunately, it also directed heat at the melanin in darker skin.
However, several advances in laser hair removal technology have been made since the service was first FDA approved almost two decades ago. Read on to learn about the two largest advances made in laser hair removal technology over the years and why you may now be a good candidate for the service, even if you were once told you were not.
Newer Lasers Make Laser Hair Removal Possible for People With Darker Skin Tones
One great advance in laser hair removal occurred when it was discovered that with the right laser and the right technique, laser hair removal could be performed successfully on people of all skin tones. In the past, only the people with very light Caucasian skin experienced laser hair removal success, and anyone with even a slight tan was directed to allow their tan to fade before seeking this permanent hair removal treatment.
Classic hair removal lasers that only worked on very light skin emitted very short wavelengths of strong light that didn’t discriminate between melanin in the skin and melanin in the hair follicle and had only one pulse setting; if used on people with darker skin, these lasers would burn the skin.
Newer lasers emit longer wavelengths of light, which allow them to “ignore” the melanin in darker skin and hone in on just the melanin in hair follicles. They are also equipped with longer pulse settings, which further enable the laser setting to be tailored to the needs of the individual client and their unique skin tone. These lasers can be used on people with even very dark skin without causing burns or any other type of skin damage.
Cooling Attachments Reduce the Occurrence of Laser Hair Removal Side Effects
Another great advancement in hair removal laser technology was the invention of hair removal laser cooling attachments that help greatly lower the chances of side effects in people of all skin tones. In addition, these attachments keep discomfort during laser hair removal sessions to a minimum.
Even though hair removal lasers target only the melanin in the hair follicle, as the follicle heats up, the skin around the follicle also can. Before cooling attachments were introduced, this heat could lead to discomfort during hair removal sessions. The buildup of heat in skin during hair removal sessions in the past could also lead to burns, swelling, or blistering, especially in darker skin tones.
Today, there are three dermal cooling technologies that laser hair removal practitioners can choose to utilize to make their services even safer for clients. One cooling attachment uses contact cooling technology, which relies on a cool liquid to keep skin from heating up during treatment. Another relies on simple, yet effective, cold air to keep skin temperature down during treatments.
In addition to using cooling attachments that keep skin cool while the hair removal laser is pulsing, some practitioners also spray skin with a special skin cooling agent called a cryogen spray between laser pulses.
If you sought laser hair removal shortly after it was FDA approved in 1998 and were told you were not a good candidate due to your darker skin tone, then realize that new laser technology has made laser hair removal a great option for people of all skin tones. In addition, if you have wanted laser hair removal but have feared unpleasant side effects, then obtain the service from an experienced practitioner that takes steps to keep your skin cool during treatment, like The Sheen Vein Institute.