Since laser hair removal first hit the market in 1998, it has become one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the United States, according to WebMD. The wish to permanently remove unwanted hair is prevalent, but shaving and waxing can be time consuming or costly. While technology has improved in just a few decades, not everyone is a perfect candidate for laser hair removal. Here we detail who makes an excellent candidate for laser hair removal and who should consider other methods for hair removal.

laser-legWho is a good candidate for laser hair removal?

Several factors go into making someone a good candidate for laser hair removal. To understand these factors, it’s important to understand how lasers work when targeting hair. Lasers are a type of pulsing light that is very intense. This light targets the melanin in the hair, which is what gives the hair its color. By targeting the melanin, the laser is able to break down the hair follicle at the end of the hair under the skin without damaging the skin. With that in mind, your specific hair and skin types make a difference in the effectiveness of laser hair removal.

Hair and Skin Type – The ideal hair type for laser hair removal is dark and coarse. However, with the changes in technology, laser hair removal can work on some types of lighter hairs. The best candidates for this type of hair removal are those who have pale skin and dark hair. The contrast between light skin and dark hair allows the melanin to be easily targeted. Blond, fine hairs cannot be targeted by the lasers and therefore, cannot be removed with this method. Waxing is a better choice for light colored hair. Individuals with darker skin tones or who tan easily, may have a harder time getting results from laser hair removal. This does not mean there aren’t options. More recent laser hair removal technology can target lower contrast hair to skin tone types. The Fitzpatrick table is used when evaluating hair and skin types for laser hair removal.

Treatment Area– When deciding if laser hair removal is right for you, consider the treatment area. Laser hair removal is excellent for larger areas of skin such as underarms, legs, arms, and back. This does not, however, rule out facial hair such as the upper lip and chin or the bikini area, all of which see good results from lasers. Laser hair removal is best for groupings of hair that need to be permanently removed over the occasional hair here and there.

Who is NOT a good candidate for laser hair removal?

This leaves us with questions about who is not a good candidate for laser hair removal. As we mentioned, light, fine hair does not respond well to laser treatments. Also, areas close to the eyes should be avoided, such as between the eyebrows, as even with protection there is an added risk of the lasers damaging your eyes. Lastly, just as a precaution pregnant or nursing women should forgo laser hair removal to not cause harm to their child. Even though there is no evidence to substantiate any harm would happen, it’s better to be cautious.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into laser hair treatments, contact Allura for a free consultation to see if you’re a good candidate and create the ideal hair removal plan for you!