Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin – Is It Possible?


Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin
Removing hair for those who have dark skin can be tricky. Not so long ago everyone was quite sure that laser hair removal for dark skin was impossible. People thought that the only eligible ones for a permanent hair removal were fair-skinned individuals. However, technology is improving every day and that’s no longer the case. However, a perfect patient for laser hair surgery is still someone with pale skin and thick black hair. Why so? It’s because of the way laser hair removal machines function. I’ll explain that later though. In conclusion, laser hair removal is advancing as it now works with individuals of any skin type. I can’t wait what future will bring us!

What’s Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a method to remove hair permanently. It’s done by a laser light which attacks hair and destroys its follicles. The first time it became eligible for commercial use was in 1995. It’s been evolving and improving ever since. As you can see it hasn’t been around for a long time. Therefore, it’s still a relatively new technology that has a lot of space to improve. In my opinion, hair removal is going to become more efficient and more pleasant in the future. I’m really looking forward to seeing that happen.

Why is Laser Hair Removal Riskier on Dark Skin?

Laser hair removal works by targeting melanin. The darker your hair is – the more melanin you have. Therefore, it’s easy for a laser machine to locate where the hair is and then emit the beam to burn it. Sounds very simple right? However, there is one slight problem. There is melanin in our skin as well. The darker the skin, the more melanin it has. As a result, a laser beam will start attacking your skin cells thinking that it’s hair. All of that due to the fact that a laser machine cannot truly differentiate between skin and hair. All it can do is target areas that have melanin.

The problem with that is not only the fact that hair removing process becomes ineffective but also that it burns skin. Whenever the beam attacks your skin cell, it burns it and that can result in massive skin burns, no hairs removed and prolonged redness. Doesn’t sound pleasant, does it?

Have a Patch Test Before Removing Hair with a Laser

It’s very commonly advised for those with dark skin to have a patch test to check how your skin will react to a certain laser treatment. What is a patch test? It’s basically a test when a laser is tried on a small area of your skin. Afterwards, you can see end results. Knowing the possible side effects that your skin may exhibit is extremely important. Laser hair removal is not something to play with. It’s powerful and dangerous. Therefore, don’t be lazy and get that patch test.

Avoid Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Laser

If you are searching for a cheaper way to remove hair permanently, you probably started looking for laser hair machines. There are quite a few IPL laser machines that you can easily use at home for one-time payment of around $200-300. That could look like a super attractive choice. However, the reality is that IPL can only be used for light skin. It works with a high power flashgun that emits intense pulsed light with the wavelength of 400 nm to 1200 nm. It uses a broad spectrum of wavelengths, unlike lasers that use a single wavelength. Therefore, it can be dangerous to the dark skin.

Read More: Advantages and Disadvantages of Intense Pulsed Light

Best Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin

For now, the only laser suitable for dark skin is Nd:Yag. It’s safe to use on absolutely all skin types. Therefore, if you have dark skin, that’s the laser you should be interested in.

Nd:YAG – Pros and Cons

This laser uses a crystal as a medium. It mostly produces light with 1064 nm wavelength. It’s considered long for laser hair removing.


Works with all skin types
Fast with removing hair in large areas
Nd YAG 1064 nm is specifically very efficient with dark skin


Less effective with fine or light hair
More painful than other lasers
Scientists are not yet sure whether you can achieve long-term results with this laser

Can You Use Nd:Yag at home?

Unfortunately, Nd Yag laser hair removal is not possible at home yet. I’ve been trying to find a Nd:Yag gadget for home, however, it was a bit pointless. The only way you can remove your hair with this laser is by going to clinics and getting a proper treatment. Obviously, that could be quite expensive.


A research has been conducted to prove that Nd:YAG is indeed efficient in removing hair in dark-skinned individuals. The paper for this research was written in 2001.

Long-Pulsed Nd:YAG Hair Removal in Pigmented Skin

For this research scientists gathered 20 women with skin types IV to VI. Each of them received 3 long-pulsed treatments on a monthly basis.


  • Hair has been substantially reduced after 3 treatments
  • Patients experienced prolonged hair loss after 12 months (12 treatments)
  • Underarm hair was removed much faster than leg or face hair
  • Patients found the procedure to be moderately painful

Overall, the research concluded that Nd:YAG is a safe method to remove hair for individuals with dark skin.

Read More: Things You Need to Know About Laser Hair Removal

In conclusion, you can see yourself that laser hair removal for dark skin is possible. Those are very exciting news for both me and you probably! I simply love how technology advances and makes our lives easier. In case you want to find out more about other permanent hair removal methods, you’re more than welcome to read about that on our website. However, don’t forget that epilation is not the only one hair removal method. You can also epilate your hair or wax. In case you have any questions, please comment below. I’ll try to answer all of them. In addition to that, if you have any ideas or suggestions, contact me or just write in the comment section. We’re looking forward to improving this website and getting the best possible information to put on here.

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