The device used for your treatment will depend on your skin tone and hair pigmentation – your consultant will work with you to find the best treatment for your skin.
When dealing with these advanced machines, it’s important to use a laser hair removal facility that you trust – not all lasers are created equal! Make sure your provider is using legal, FDA-cleared equipment to maximize your results and your safety.
Below are some different types of devices used in laser and light-based hair removal.
Alexandrite lasers, like many lasers, are named for the gems used as a lasing medium to emit laser light at a specific wavelength. Most Alexandrite lasers use synthetic Alexandrite. They were approved for use in the U.S. in 1997. Because the energy from these types of lasers are readily absorbed by melanin, this type of laser is excellent for targeting dark hair but can impart too much heat to darker skin.
The pictured model is a GentleLASE made by Candela. This machine is used on lighter skin types, from very pale to olive (1-4 on the Fitzpatrick Scale). The laser targets hair with dark pigment in high contrast to the skin color and uses a cooling device to maximize comfort during treatment. It is considered the gold standard on the market.
ND: YAG lasers use neodymium-doped YAG for their lasing medium. YAG stands for yttrium aluminum garnet, and the YAG contains neodymium. When light enters the ND: YAG, it excites the neodymium particles, which then become excited and emit photons. This type of laser has numerous medical applications in addition to cosmetic treatments.
The pictured model is the GentleYAG made by Candela. This laser is effective for all skin types, but generally used for dark skin (4-6 on the Ftizpatrick Scale). This model includes a cryogen cooling system that cools the skin, enhancing comfort. Considered the gold standard on the market.
The lasing medium is a semi-conductor, and a collimator focuses the beam. Unlike the above types, it does not use a gem or crystal. This laser is used for all skin types. The Syneron eLaser model, pictured at left, combines laser with radio frequency for fast results.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light):
Used on all skin pigments and types. While the IPL uses light, it is not, by technical definition, a laser. It emits powerful light over a broad spectrum that can be tailored for a number of skin treatments. Some sources say it is not as effective as laser hair removal for permanent hair reduction and removal. This device is also used for other medspa services, such as skin tightening. At right is the Syneron eLight IPL device.