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IPL & Laser Treatments > Best Option for Hair Removal in Dark Skin Types (Types V and VI)

Looking for info on which laser would you recommend for patients with dark skin types?

07.10 | Unregistered Commenternathan r.

Safest would be a long pulse yag . The candela gentle yag may be your best bet with cryogen cooling.

07.10 | Unregistered Commentergm

However make sure you get good quality training and understand the physics and physiology of LHR before seeing patient one.

07.10 | Unregistered Commentergm

We have had trouble getting results without hypopigmentation on the darkest skin types (V and VI) using the diode laser. Has anyone had better results with these skin types using the 1064 yag laser? What settings are you using? How good are your results?

04.23 | Unregistered Commentermike

Hello Mike,

When considering which laser is optimal for darker skin types you have to take into consideration a few things- how the wavelength interacts with melanin, how the wavelength interacts with the hair follicle, and how hot the tissue around the follicle is getting per pulse (there are technical terms for all of this, but I prefer to speak in laymen's terms so everyone understands).

Long pulsed Yag is considered optimal because of the combination of penetration, wavelength interactivity, and heat dissipation- but some Alexandrite lasers are also optimized for all skin types.

When dealing with IPL's, and diode IPL's (like the Lightsheer, which is NOT a diode laser despite marketing, and brainwashing the public into believing so) you are dealing with broadband light attempting to mimic the physical properties of light amplified through stimulated emission of radiation (LASER). IPL- no matter which make or model- is always technically inferior to laser in the same wavelength.

Currently using Lightsheer laser with starting energies as low as 10J/30ms. You would have to be extremely cautious in the summer season when patients can be subtly darker and therefore be at risk of burning.

05.17 | Unregistered Commenterchristina

I wouldn't say Lightsheer (800nm nominal wavelength) at 10/30 is even a considerable choice for darker skin types. This would not be effective at all in most cases.

Shorter wavelengths at low fluences in darker skin types are documented to show paradoxical hypertrichosis. Every single case of paradoxical hypertrichosis I have investigated involves skin types IV or higher, and very weak treatment parameters using short wavelength IPL's, or 755nm Alexandrite lasers.

When using Alexandrite, or other short wavelengths on darker skin types, the goal is high fluence and long pulse width. 10J/cm2 is ridiculously low, and with a combination of 30ms, you will likely burn dark patients and not remove any hair successfully.

Our clinic is using Syneron's emax system and the hair removal hand piece is a 810 diode. I treat skin types V & VI with lowest(sometimes higher) optical recommended settings but highest RF. I set the optical higher with each treatment depending on skin reaction & results of last treatment.I set hair reduction expectations at 50% and 10-12 sessions minimum. Almost all my clients have had approx 70%-80% and very satisfied. I always take before and after pictures. Regardless of percentages of hair reduction there are other factors that make this treatment worth the money,such as reduction of ingrown hairs, smoother skin and less time devoted to their hair maintenance routine. Good results are what your clients have been told to expect.

06.2 | Unregistered CommenterBarb Z

We use Cutera's ND Yag for hair removal and I can honestly tell you that I don't have any unhappy clients. I usually test shoot at 30jls and 30mls and go from there. My general rule of thumb is if it's working then don't increase the fluence until the client advises that they didn't see as much difference and then raise it by one to two jl's. There is a unique pulsing system that is proprietary to Cutera and that's its "flat top" pulse which makes every shot an equal energy without any spikes thus lowering the risk of burns. To date I haven't had one client with hyperpigmentation due to laser, in fact if they suffer with burbrae or other scarring in the area to be lasered their pigmentation slowly disappears.

06.11 | Unregistered Commentersharon

I have a GentleMax from Candela. I love the results on all skin and Fitz IV-V.

08.13 | Unregistered CommenterRobin P

I have an Candela Mini GentleLase. I am having issue with efficacy removing and even sometimes stimulating hair growth in particular areas. Men's backs is the major one, and also females faces. This predominantly occurs with High Fitz III to Fitz IV clients. Anyone had a similar problem with the darker skin types and stimulation of hair growth? Also in treating men's backs I am finding that about 30% of my male clients are resistive to treatment on their back areas. Chest is usually ok.

08.13 | Unregistered Commenterhappypappy

I am using Sciton's Clearscan Nd:Yag, brilliant on FP V!

08.22 | Unregistered CommenterEVG

You should look at Alma's Soprano XL or XLi with the SHR option which is both PainFree and effective for Fitz 1-6.

11.1 | Unregistered CommenterKindred

I own the Apogee Elite and have no problems at all with the 1064/yag, It's wonderful!

11.28 | Unregistered CommenterTracy R

I have been using the Cutera 1064 Yag for 8 years now with excellent results with darker skin types

12.18 | Unregistered Commenterboyd

If you are not familiar with Sciton lasers, it would be worth your time to talk to your local representative. The Sciton laser 1064yag is fantastic for hair removal on darker skin types with no consumables and can do much more than just hair removal.

01.9 | Unregistered Commentermarlo

1064 long pulsed YAG is the safest option. I also use Cutera.

There are several reasons why Yag is thought to be good for Fitz 4-6. Mainly, Yag is far less absorbed by melanin (as it is most preferentially absorbed by hemoglobin which is why it is preferred for veins) and it has an approximately 6mm depth of penetration, meaning less energy density than shallower penetrating Light Sources or Laser. That said, Alma's AFT IPL (Harmony) & Diode (Soprano) cannot be lumped into the old group of lasers that aren't good for Fitz 4-6. Our SHR modality has been widely accepted by the medical community as the new Gold Standard for treating ethnic skin. Lastly, the efficacy and "no pain" delivery system make is preferred for all skin types.

04.4 | Unregistered CommenterD.M.

I have the Gentle yag 1064 Candela and I love it, it's great for 4-6 and I have never had a problem and great results.

04.8 | Unregistered CommenterNat O.

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