Laser Hair Removal Dark Skin What type of skin and hair is best for laser hair removal?

The laser’s energy is attracted to the pigment of hair the way sunlight is attracted to darker clothing. For this reason, laser hair removal works best on those with dark, coarse hair and a light complexion. However, people without this combination can still get good results. If you are tanned, for the optimal result, we generally recommend you protect your skin and let it lighten before being treated.

Skin colour classification

Skin is classified by phototype (from I to VI) on the Fitzpatrick Scale developed in 1973 based on pigmentation and reaction to sun exposure. There are also other factors, such as hair colour, eye colour and the presence or appearance of freckles.

Outline of the Fitzpatrick Scale

Phototype Ivery fair skin; always burns, never tans
Phototype IIfair skin; always burns
Phototype IIIfair to slightly olive skin; burns mildly
Phototype IVolive skin; rarely burns, tans easily
Phototype Vbrown to very dark skin; very rarely burns
Phototype VIblack skin; never burns


Intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal: Professionals agree that the IPL method should never be used for hair removal for darker skin. It involves much too high a risk of burns, since the devices involved are not precise enough. Unlike lasers, IPL devices emit non‑coherent polychromatic light between 500 and 1,200 nm. Although the wavelength can be adjusted with filters, the spectrum is too broad and the devices definitely do not offer the same precision as laser systems. The warnings and operating instructions for such devices clearly indicate that they must be used only for very pale, pale or olive skin and not for brown, very dark or black skin. The side effects of IPL on darker skin may be serious and permanent (burns if the light is too strong; risk of permanent white lines and excessive hair growth if too weak).

Laser hair removal: Laser hair removal is the right method for darker skin. The primary principle behind laser hair removal is “selective photothermolysis” through a device that makes light converge into a narrow, coherent optical beam with a single wavelength, with all particles moving in the same direction. The effect of these beams is therefore stable and measured, and the energy emitted remains constant.

However, not all laser devices are equally suitable for hair removal for darker skin.


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Kate Webb Brown Medical Aesthetician

Kate Webb-Brown, Medical Aesthetician

Madelaine Caissie General Manager

Madelaine Caissie, General Manager

Dr Tina Comeau Medical Director

Dr Tina Comeau, Medical Director

Estelle Hache Patient Service Coordinator

Estelle Haché, Patient Service Coordinator


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Sparkle House

Laser Hair Removal and Facial Room

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