You’ve likely heard some horror stories about laser hair removal treatments done on darker skin tones. Everything from pain, to burns, to hyperpigmentation have understandably dissuaded people with darker skin from trying laser hair removal. If you have dark skin, you might be in this boat too, thinking your stuck with shaving or waxing for the rest of your life.

Though there was a time when skincare professionals likely would’ve recommended you avoid laser, technological advancements have now made it possible for people of all skin types to enjoy the results of this time and energy-saving skincare treatment.

The truth about laser hair removal for dark skin is that when performed by an experienced aesthetician, using the proper laser for your skin type, it is perfectly safe and equally effective for all types of skin.

How laser hair removal works

To understand why laser has traditionally been a no no for dark skin, let’s quickly discuss how this technology works. It’s a simple treatment in which a concentrated beam of light works to remove unwanted hair. The laser emits a light that releases energy, which is absorbed by your hair’s pigment—or melanin. This process targets and destroys the hair follicle, greatly reducing and eventually preventing future hair growth.

So why would this be a concern for those with darker skin?

In the early days of laser hair removal, the technology couldn’t distinguish between the epidermal melanin—melanin in the skin—and melanin in hair follicles. Instead, it was best suited for those with fair skin and dark hair. In the best-case scenarios, a person with dark skin would experience no change in the appearance of unwanted hair. But in the worst situations, it could cause blisters, rashes and extreme hyperpigmentation. And that hyperpigmentation could be permanent.

Modern laser technology, designed for all skin types

As with all technology, laser tech didn’t stay exactly the same and call it done right after it’s inception. With such high demand across all demographics, the need for better, more precise technology inevitably gave birth to the laser treatments we have today that are designed to work for people of all skin types, most especially for dark skin.

But the latest laser technologies aren’t just better at differentiating between melanin in the hair verses the skin. The laser wavelength is set to Nd:YAG, which can specifically target the melanin in your hair, bypassing the skin altogether, making it a perfect solution for darker skin types.

Is laser hair removal worth it for dark skin?

Nowadays, laser hair removal is absolutely worth it for darker skin. You’ll want to consult your aesthetician first before jumping in to ensure you not only have a professional and experienced aesthetician, but also because they can help guide you through what would be best for your specific skincare needs.

If you’ve grown tired of shaving, waxing or plucking, then laser hair removal might be the right move for you.