Truths and Fallacies of Laser Hair Removal Treatments for Darker Skin Tones

“Do you treat darker skin tones?” I use to be shocked by that question as I assumed that every person that advertises laser hair removal should be able to do it with all skin types, but I’ve found that this is not the case.

People with darker skin tones have come to me with stories of the images they’ve seen on the internet of third degree burns, how they have heard it doesn’t work on them, how it’s super painful and how they visited laser hair removal centers only to be told that they can not be treated because they might easily burn etc.

It’s time to separate the truths from the fallacies:

Myth 1: Laser Hair Removal treatments on darker skin tones doesn’t work or doesn’t work as well as on lighter skin tones

Truth:  Laser Hair Removal done with the right laser and the right parameters works just as well for darker skin tones as for lighter skin tones. If you have dark coarse hair, no matter what your skin tone, it will work, period.


Myth 2:  Laser Hair Removal on darker skin tones hurts more.

Truth: Upon completion of their brazilian, darker skinned women look at me stunned and declare “Is that it?” A bigger procedural pain factor is based more on an individual’s pain tolerance and their hair coarseness rather than skin color. Laser hair removal is not the most pleasant experience for anybody but some people simply tolerate discomfort better than others because their body and pain sensitivities are a bit different.


Myth 3: If I have a darker skin tone it will take more sessions to see results.

Truth: No matter what skin type you have, you should see results after your first session. My clients have expectations of 70 to 80 percent hair reduction in just 6 sessions no matter what skin color they have.


Myth 4: Laser hair removal on darker skin tones causes pigment issues.

Truth: Laser hair removal performed with the right laser and the right parameters

will not cause any change of pigment except for the lightening of hyper-pigmentation due to ingrown hairs. This basically means that any hyper-pigmentation you’ve gotten because of ingrown hairs may lighten to your natural skin tone (not a bad thing). Thus, you may experience an evening out of your skin tone with less hyper-pigmentation because those nasty and painful ingrown hairs are no longer an issue.


What to watch out for:

If you’re shopping around for a laser hair removal center in New York City, and you find a place that tells you they cannot treat you because you could burn, that means that they do not have the right type of laser to treat you safely. Leave that place immediately!

Make sure the technician assigned to you has all their licenses and certifications and has been performing laser hair removal for at least a year. It takes a year of experience before insurance companies will insure technicians to perform hair removal on darker skin tones.

If you decide to numb the area with a numbing agent, make sure to wipe that numbing agent off thoroughly. I can’t stress this enough! Numbing agents left on an area to be treated can result in burns so wipe, wipe, and then wipe some more!!

Don’t assume that the rules about sun and antibiotics don’t apply to you because you have darker skin tone. They do! So listen closely to your technician and follow their recommendations.

If you are still unsure, ask the technician for a reference from someone that they’ve treated with a darker skin tone. I’m sure if people are happy and feel well-treated, they will be happy to share their experience with you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I am committed to ensuring anyone looking for laser hair removal experiences safe and effective treatments no matter who they are or where they choose to be treated.

– Monica

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