Laser Hair Removal Centurion: Exploring Different Lasers, Skin, And Hair Types


Laser hair removal has become increasingly popular in modern times and this trend is no surprise. The quick treatment is effective, affordable, and has long-lasting results. When treatments were first introduced to the market, laser hair removal worked best on light skin and dark hair which severely limited the market size, making it a very niche treatment option. Now that laser for hair removal have been around for some time, technology has advanced to a point where these treatments can be used effectively on a wide variety of skin and hair types. Read further to explore how laser removal works with different skin and hair types.


Laser Hair Removal Centurion: Why Is Light Skin And Dark Hair Preferable For Laser?


In the early stages of laser hair removal, technology was not as advanced as it is now, so laser treatments were not as effective. Laser hair removal targets the melanin pigment in hair follicles. The melanin absorbs the laser light and converts it to heat. This heat then damages the hair follicle and prevents it from growing as it normally would, reducing the hair growth. The reason why laser works so well on light skin and dark, thick hair is due to contrast. Because the laser can easily target the melanin present in the darker hair, while not damaging the light skin surrounding the hair follicle.


The effectiveness of laser hair removal treatment is based on the difference between a person’s skin colour and hair colour in the area being treated. Because lighter skin has less melanin, compared to darker skin tones, it is less absorbent of the laser light rays. When the colour of the skin and the hair being treated are very similar and have low contrast, the laser light can be absorbed by the surrounding skin area, increasing the patient’s risk of potential burns, hyperpigmentation, and other side effects.


When laser hair removal first began, the laser devices had limitations on the wavelength and settings. The level of efficiency and safety of the first laser hair removal devices were not suitable for darker skin tones, and individuals with lighter skin tones found the treatment more effective. The first trials of laser hair removal focused on treating individuals with lighter skin and darker hair colours, so changes in the laser technology and the recommendations given were based on the limited test population.




Laser Hair Removal Centurion: How Laser Hair Removal Has Advanced


Advancements in technology and research have allowed modern laser hair removal technology to target a broader range of skin and hair types and colours. Some modern advancements include:


  • A variety of wavelengths: One of the most prominent advances in beauty laser technology is the ability to switch wavelengths while using the same machine. This allows beauty technicians to help patients more easily with varied skin conditions and skin pigmentations.
  • Settings: Newer laser machines like those used at NuSkinnovation, have the ability to be customised further than just the changing of wavelengths. Newer machines come with a whole host of other settings that when adjusted by a professional can make the treatments more effective.
  • Cooling systems: One of the biggest issues with older hair removal laser machines, was that using the machine for an extended duration would lead to heating and could even lead to burns if not handled correctly. However newer machines have built in cooling systems that help keep the outermost layer of skin cool, preventing burns and keeping customers safer.


Laser Hair Removal Centurion: Different Laser Devices


When discussing modern laser options that are specifically used for beauty treatments like hair removal or healing skin blemishes there are five types that are used by the majority of beauticians and laser technicians. These include:


  • Diode lasers
  • Ruby lasers
  • Alexandrite lasers
  • Intense Pulsing Light (IPL) lasers
  • Nd: YAG lasers


Of these, NuSkinnovation only offers treatment with IPL and N:YAG lasers.


In this section let us review these laser options in greater detail.


Laser Hair Removal Centurion: Ruby Laser


One of the first lasers developed specifically for beauty treatments, the ruby laser is ineffective when compared to more modern iterations. It is more effective for skin types one to three on the Fitzpatrick scale. It is not a popular option in South Africa and is generally unused due to the fact that it is ineffective on those with darker skin tones. The ruby laser, therefore, is not very useful for a large proportion of the South African clientele.


Laser Hair Removal Centurion: Alexandrite Laser


Unlike the older ruby laser, the Alexandrite laser is utilised regularly in modern hair removal treatments today. This type of laser offers many advantages including the fact that treatment sessions can be done faster, and it also works on a large range of different skin and hair types. Although this type of laser is highly-effective and quicker than other options, historically the drawback was that it was also more likely to cause skin redness, burns and even pigment changes for those with darker skin tones. However, with the development of more robust cooling systems in our modern era the Alexandrite laser has become a more viable option.


Laser Hair Removal Centurion: Diode Laser


The Diode laser is known for its longer wavelength of 800-810nm which allows deep penetration into the hair follicle. The laser’s energy source consists of semiconductors, known as diodes, which are grouped to create a laser beam with a strong wavelength. Diode laser is very common and can be used to treat both large and small areas. It is effective for various Fitzpatrick skin types (I-V), including darker skin tones. The laser is quick, speeding up the treatment process, however, discomfort may be experienced as well as some side effects of redness. Despite the risk, the Diode laser is extremely common and used by the majority of skin specialists.


Laser Hair Removal Centurion: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Laser


IPL laser hair removal doesn’t use a true laser but instead uses the equivalent form of intense pulsed light sources that emit a range of wavelengths from 500 to 1200nm. The advantage of an IPL laser device is that the wavelength, energy level, and pulse duration are customisable and can be adjusted to perfectly suit the patient’s skin and hair tone. This means almost all Fitzpatrick skin types (I- IV) can be treated with an IPL laser.


IPL devices are also used for various other skin treatments, such as vascular lesions, rosacea, and skin rejuvenation. The downside of IPL lasers is that there is a higher risk for epidermal damage for darker skin types (V and VI) and the results of the hair removal treatment are not as effective as some other lasers, requiring more sessions of treatment.


Laser Hair Removal Centurion: Nd: YAG Laser


Nd: YAG laser systems are one of the most modern lasers in aesthetic technology. The device offers several other treatments besides hair removal, including laser skin resurfacing, tattoo removal, treating onychomycosis, and much more. A Nd: YAG laser is different from an IPL laser in that its treatments penetrate the skin deeper. A Nd: YAG laser is best suited to Fitzpatrick skin types (I-IV) but can be used on skin type V as well. Operating at a wavelength of 1064nm, the Nd: YAG laser can target coarse hair effectively. The limitation of this laser, however, is that more sessions of treatments may be required compared to other lasers as it is less effective on fine or light-coloured hair.




Laser Hair Removal Centurion: Different Skin Types


Developed in 1975, the Fitzpatrick Scale is a classification system that categorises skin types based on their reaction, in terms of burning or tanning, to sun exposure. The scale is commonly used in the beauty aesthetic and dermatology industry to understand the various skin types and their effective treatments. Read further to learn about the different skin types.


Type I:


People in this category usually have red and blond hair, blue or green eyes, freckles, and an MC1R gene risk. These individuals have very fair or pale skin and don’t usually tan, but rather burn when exposed to the sun. Albinos and redheads are usually in this category of skin type.


Type II:


Individuals in this category usually have fair and sandy blond hair, green or blue eyes, some freckles, and may have an MC1R gene risk. These people have fair skin that burns easily and rarely tans. This group of individuals mainly consists of Caucasians with blond hair and blue eyes.


Type III:


People in this category usually have either light brown or sandy blond hair, and green, hazel, brown, or blue eyes are common. This skin type will tan to a light brown but usually only after being a bit sunburnt. This skin tone is medium, and many people tend to fit into this category, including Caucasians, Asians, Mediterranean’s, and Middle Eastern people.


Type IV:


Individuals in this category tend to have naturally light brown/ olive skin tones. Brown hair and brown eyes are common, but individuals with green or hazel eyes can also fit into this category. Skin type IV rarely burns and tans with ease. Individuals from East Asia are usually found in this group.


Type V:


In this group are people with a lot of melanin so brown skin, dark brown hair or black hair, and brown eyes are common. These individuals rarely burn and can tan dark if they stay in the sun. Many people from Africa, Southeast Asia, and darker Latinos are in this category of skin type.


Type VI:


The final group of skin types is skin type VI. Those in this category are likely to have dark brown to black skin, as well as dark brown to black coloured eyes. There is a significant amount of melanin in this skin type. These individuals just about never burn when exposed to the sun and tan very easily. People in this group are usually African, Indigenous tribe members, and very dark-skinned Asians.




Laser Hair Removal Centurion: NuSkinnovation


NuSkinnovation offers the best laser hair removal Centurion has seen. We use several types of lasers, depending on what treatment you are receiving, ensuring you receive the best possible results. We use Nordlys Candela IPL laser for hair removal, Fotona Starwalker MAQX, Fotona TimeWalker 4D, Fotona StarFormer, and more, for different treatments.


At NuSkinnovation we cater to all six skin types, using the highest-quality laser systems available. While laser hair removal does work best on thick, black hair, we can also treat lighter colours. Unfortunately, laser hair removal is not effective for red, grey, and white hair, however, various shades of hair tend to be present in each person.


Book an appointment or call us now to find out more information about laser hair removal and whether you qualify for it. Check out our website for more information or contact us with any queries.


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