Dark and matte skin depilation

Dark and matte skin laser depilation: Effectively Treating Hairs

Dull, dark skin also has the right to permanent laser hair removal. For more than ten years now, it has been possible to remove hair from dark, matt skin without the risk of burns or scars. Nevertheless, they require a lot of precautions to be taken and certain constraints to be respected.

Dark and matte skin laser depilation: What is it?

Laser hair removal is a technique that removes more or less dark hair in a long-lasting way. Initially, laser hair removal was only effective on light skins with dark hair. Today, with advances in technology, it is possible for people with matt or dark skin to use laser hair removal to permanently get rid of their hair.

Among the different skin colours, there is a very wide variety of shades. Rather than an abrupt dichotomy between white and black skin, there is a colour continuum from the lightest to the most pigmented skins.

There are thus several skin types classified according to their reaction to the sun’s rays, but also according to the pigmentation and melanin they contain. There are thus 6 phototypes that allow the doctor to adapt the laser treatment:

  • Phototype 1: very light skin, possibly composed of freckles, very sensitive to the sun’s rays;
  • Phototype 2: very fair skin, prone to sunburn and able to tan slightly;
  • Phototype 3: fair skins of people who usually have blond or even brown hair;
  • Phototype 4: skins that are slightly matt and not very prone to sunburn;
  • Phototype 5: dark skins, they tan easily, without sunburn;
  • Phototype 6: black skins that do not get sunburned.

In order to best adapt the treatment, the doctor examines both the person’s skin tone and the colour of the hair to set the laser power. The principle is simple: the darker the skin, the weaker the laser shot and vice versa: the lighter the skin, the more powerful the laser shot.

People with dark, mixed race or black skin generally have very dark hair, with a lot of melanin, which perfectly captures the laser wavelength even when it is emitted at low power. The laser knows the difference between the melanin in the hair and in the skin. It destroys the hair without raising the skin temperature, thus preserving the epidermis. The main risk of laser hair removal on coloured skin is a slight first and second degree burn. They lead to hyperpigmentation which can take several months to disappear. In some rare cases, the burn can even leave permanent depigmentation. It is therefore imperative to avoid overheating of the skin.

To perform hair removal on coloured skin, the doctor has two lasers at his disposal:

  • The Alexandrite laser for slightly matt skin.
  • The Nd Yag laser for very matt, Asian and African skins.

To avoid any disappointment and believe that hair removal is ineffective, it is important to know that after a Nd Yag laser session, the hair takes between three and twenty days to fall out, depending on the person.

Épilation peau matte et foncé | Dark and matte skin depilation

Dark and matte skin depilation: for whom?

Laser hair removal is suitable for both men and women with dark, matte skin. Several skin types are therefore eligible for laser hair removal sessions:

Mediterranean skins

It is a matt skin with generally dark hair. The doctor uses the Alexandrite laser when the skin is fairly fair and the Nd Yag laser when the skin is more colored. People of Kabyle origin may have light hair (blond, red). In this case, laser hair removal may not be possible because the hair does not contain enough melanin. The consultation with the doctor will determine whether or not it is feasible.

Mediterranean women often have more facial hair and it is not uncommon to have to treat the sideburns or even the entire oval.

Black skin

In all cases, the doctor uses the Nd Yag laser. In the West Indies, which have a very wide range of shades, the power of the laser shot will be stronger than in Africans with very dark skin.

In people with black skin, the laser is very effective in avoiding ingrown hairs that are very common on the bikini line and legs in women and on the beard and neck in men.

Asian skins

It is a dark matte skin with black hairs. The doctor uses the Nd Yag laser. Asians are generally not very hairy and in practice they are rarely seen in hair removal sessions, except for women for bikini line.

Dark and matte skin depilation: contra-indications

Laser depilation of dark and matt skin can be avoided in some cases:

  • When taking photo-sensitizing drugs, for example, which make the skin more sensitive to light.
  • If the patient has a deficiency of the immune system or if he or she has coagulation or scarring problems.
  • Certain hormonal treatments can also make laser hair removal ineffective.
  • As a matter of principle, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid laser hair removal.
  • If the patient is suffering from a dermatological condition or even a skin tumour.
  • If the patient has white, blond or very red hair, laser treatment will not be effective due to the low melanin content of the hair.
  • When the patient has had waxing or hair removal before the session. The laser will then not be able to destroy the bulb by targeting the hair and will therefore not be effective.

Dark and matte skin depilation: procedure of the session

Before the session

When a man or woman wishes to use laser hair removal for dark, matt skin, it is necessary to make an initial consultation with the doctor. 

He or she will carry out an examination of the skin and hair. He then performs a laser test in order to adapt the intensity of the laser to the skin and avoid the risks associated with the procedure.

Before the first laser hair removal session, the patient must avoid using wax, electric depilators and other depilatory products for about 30 days. However, he or she may shave the area to be depilated, especially on the legs and armpits, three days before the session. To disappear completely, the hair must be destroyed at its root, at the level of the bulb. It must therefore be in the growth phase to be depilated, as the contact between the bulb and the hair follicle only occurs at that time.

During the session

During the procedure, the doctor gives the patient protective glasses and checks for short, dark hairs. He then sets the laser parameters according to skin type, hair colour and the area to be treated.

After cleaning and removing make-up, if necessary, from the area to be treated, the doctor applies the tip of the laser handpiece to the area. A jet of cold air is then blown in to reduce pain, providing real comfort to the patient during the procedure. The laser is then turned on and a laser shot is used to fry the hair. Each shot will thus cover about 2 cm², corresponding to about ten hairs.

After the session

It is necessary to plan between 5 to 10 sessions of hair removal spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart, until hair regrowth is visible.

It is possible to notice some redness, tingling and itching after laser hair removal. It is therefore necessary to moisturize the skin by applying a repairing cream to alleviate them. Thus, after hair removal, the practitioner applies a repairing cream that helps to calm burning sensations.

Similarly, some superficial burns may be observed, the crusts of which will disappear after 3 to 5 days.

You should also avoid prolonged sun exposure of the treated area for about two weeks.

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