Laser hair removal has grown in popularity over the last several years. LASER is an acronym for light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation. This type of hair removal was not always an option for higher Fitzpatrick types due to the melanin in the skin. To understand how to safely perform laser, professionals must first understand how laser works. Laser treatments offer permanent hair reduction and, due to updated equipment and technology, now this treatment is available to nearly anyone.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF FITZPATRICK SKIN TYPES
Type I is white and very fair – they have a tendency to always burn and never tan. Type II is also fair skin; features may be a bit darker than type I, but this skin type still burns easily. Type III is typically cream white skin which sometimes burns but will gradually tan with repeated sun exposure. Type IV is Mediterranean skin which rarely burns and gradually tans. Type V is Middle Eastern skin which tends to be rarely sun sensitive and tans easily. Type VI is black skin which is also rarely sun sensitive and tans well. Understanding Fitzpatrick types for both an aesthetician and a client will be crucial for performing a safe and effective treatment.
HOW LASER WORKS
Laser works by utilizing pulses of light to target the pigment in hair follicles. The light energy is absorbed by areas of high pigment, which is the melanin. Once the light energy makes contact with the hair follicle, it transfers the energy to heat energy. Over time and several treatments, this will damage the follicle and reduce and even prevent the hair growth.
Heavily pigmented skin can affect the laser’s ability to be able to differentiate the melanin in the skin from the melanin in the hair. Melanin in the skin will cause the wavelengths to react before the laser reaches its target. The risk of damage to the skin is far greater when there is not as much contrast with the skin and the hair.
WHICH LASERS TO LOOK FOR
When it comes to safe options for higher Fitzpatrick types, longer wavelengths are the best alternative. A great option is the 1,064 nanometers YAG, which is yttrium aluminum garnet. The YAG is a crystal, specifically a garnet, that is used as a laser medium. It will emit light with a wavelength of 1064 on the infrared spectrum of light.
Does Laser Hair Removal Work For PCOS Clients with darker skin?
Yes, laser hair removal works for women who have darker skin and experience an increase in hair growth because of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS has a dramatic effect on the body’s natural hormone levels and excessive hair growth is often a direct result of this condition.
In many cases those suffering from PCOS can achieve excellent results from laser hair removal treatment. A reduction in excess facial and body hair from this treatment can not only be achieved quickly but can also offer life changing benefits for those whose self confidence has taken a knock as a result of this condition.
Although results for many can be amazing they do need to be maintained on a regular basis to maintain a permanent reduction in hair growth. Top up or maintenance treatments may be required every 5-6 weeks indefinitely (especially for facial hair growth). It is important to note however that although laser will not provide a 100% permanent result in hair growth, hairs will be considerably finer, lighter and will be much slower to regrow.
Why Do I Need So Many Laser Sessions With PCOS?
Laser cannot influence internal hormone irregularities within the body. It works on the surface of the skin there are are limitations as to what it can achieve. With PCOS, hair growth is persistent and resilient. Our advanced medical grade lasers ensure that the best possible results an be achieved safely.
Once a satisfactory reduction in hair growth has been achieved (after a number of laser sessions) results will need to be maintained. As everyone’s hormone profile is different, the frequency and number of these treatments will depend on the person. Larger body areas may require less frequent maintenance treatments but you should expect that facial hair will need to be maintained on an 5-6 week cycle.
If you have any further questions regarding laser hair removal and PCOS please do not hesitate to contact us. Our dedicated team of hair removal specialists are on hand to answer any of your questions regarding laser hair removal.
Houston, TX: 713-960-6262 / Atlanta, GA: 770-509-0000