What is classified as dark skin?
The industry uses a scale called the fitzpatrick skin scale, which is used to identify six different skin tones ranging from skin tone I to VI as illustrated below. Skin type V & VI is known to be dark skin, where more melanin (colour) is present in the skin than in the other skin tones.
Why do we have colour in our skin? And why do some people have more than others? The purpose of melanin is to protect the skin & everything within from the suns harmful UV rays.
Some people have more melanin in their skin due to the climate of the geographic area they originally come from. Skin adapted in correlation to the sun exposure & heat the people lived in, in order to keep them safe from the sun. Theoretically, people with dark skin would live in tropical & warm areas whereas people with light skin lived in cooler areas. Nowadays, people of all skin tones live everywhere in the world. (Yay to international travels).
Why didn’t laser work on dark skin?
Laser hair removal works by being absorbed by the melanin (colour) in the hair follicle. Thus, the smaller the difference between the hair colour vs the skin, the more risky the treatment. In saying so, in the past lasers could not distinguish the difference between melanin in the hair follicles vs the melanin in the skin. Thus treating dark skin with laser ran the risk of severe burns, scarring, discolouration, and more due to the energy being absorbed by the skin and not the hair follicle.
How laser hair removal works for dark skin at The Laser Bar
At The Laser Bar, we use Diode technology, as well as an in-motion treatment technique.
Our diode technology and treatment technique allows us to gradually build energy up within a confined area. This gradual heat build up gives us space & time to heat the follicle up gradually instead of sending a pulse of light with little control and more shock to the skin. With our amazing machine, we control the level of Fluence & Energy output as well as how quick the two work in correlation to one another.
Thus we treat dark skin using the diode laser by delivering energy in a slower manner per pulse. This allows for more time for skin to cool throughout the treatment session. Resulting in an effective & painless hair removal treatment.