There are various different types of laser hair removal systems today; from those large, bulky high-tech machines we see in medispas to portable, at home laser hair removal devices.
The lasers used in dermatology clinics are vastly different from the ones that are used in over the counter ones.
Some lasers are specific and limited to certain skin types, hair colors, and body areas.
In this article, we’re going to discuss several of the most popular technologies in laser hair removal today.
IPL or Intense Pulsed Light
This is a very old and widely used laser hair removal technique. This is also the technology in 95% of at-home laser hair removal devices.
Instead of an actual “laser”, it uses light to gently and safely remove hair on the legs, back, face, and bikini areas. These pulses of light penetrate the skin and damages the hair follicles without burning the skin. This process is quick and relatively painless. If used in the right setting, it should prevent any potential side effects like swelling or redness.
Candidates for IPL are combinations of light skin and dark hair. The IPL targets the pigment of the hair so it’s going to be ineffective on light blonde, white, and red hairs.
Once the hair grows back, it will be finer and sparse than before. A number of people have reported to have permanent results with this, but this is not usually the norm.
One of the most popular types of laser hair removal technologies used in clinics worldwide.
This laser involves shooting an 810 nm laser beam of concentrated heat and light to the hair follicles. The pigment in the hair absorbs the lights and gets stunted or destroyed in the process. The skin surrounding the hair is protected, resulting in little to no side effects.
This is one of the latest forms of laser hair removal. This is made ideally for darker skin types that are usually not catered to by other lasers.
The “Nd” means Neodymium, and “YAG” stands for yttrium aluminum garnet. Its laser beam reaches 1064 nm.
This is the most popular laser used for hyperpigmentation and tattoo removal, aside from laser hair removal.
In order for the hair follicle to be penetrated, a carbon lotion is applied to the skin.
Unlike IPL, this laser is effective on all skin types (Fitzpatrick I-VI). Larger areas of the body can also be treated faster with this machine.
This is the first and original laser hair removal system. It has a well-established record of hair reduction. This is the preferred choice for light and fine hairs, as well as fair and white skin (Fitzpatrick I-II).
The area of coverage is relatively smaller compared to other lasers at just 3-10 mm. It is pain-free and provides minimal chances of burns because of its built-in cooling equipment. It also has a slow rate of reloading so treatments are much longer than average. The Ruby laser is not used on darker skin, or skin that has been tanned.
The most popular Ruby lasers are EpiPulse Ruby, RubyStar, and Palomar E2000.
One of the fastest treatments in this list. This is also safe and effective on all skin types (Fitzpatrick I-VI). This is best used on light skin and proven to be effective on thin hairs as well.
The laser is emitted through an alexandrite crystal and fired at rapid speed. This may be a little disquieting to the patient but also results in a faster treatment.
This is also used to treat spider veins, age spots, birthmarks, and tattoos.