Almost everyone can enjoy the benefits of laser hair removal. Males, females, swimmers, bodybuilders, dancers, cheerleaders, athletes, nudists, volleyball players, runners, gymnasts, students, brides, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and hirsutism patients to name a few. However several factors and characteristics will determine the results for each individual.
At Laser Affair we are proud to safely treat all skin types while achieving optimal results.
In the past, those with Fitzpatrick skin types I-IV were generally the best candidates for laser hair removal. These were patients with light to medium pigmented skin with medium to dark-colored hair. Those with Fitzpatrick skin types V-VI, patients with darker or tanned skin tones, experienced less than optimal results, and were at higher risk for adverse reactions. This was due to the laser energy being attracted to and absorbed by the melanin in the skin as opposed to the intended absorption to the hair shaft. Today, when treated by a skilled professional on the appropriate laser, all skin types can benefit from laser hair removal and obtain optimal, yet safe results.
What Do You Mean by Fitzpatrick Skin Type?
The Fitzpatrick Scale (aka Fitzpatrick skin typing test or Fitzpatrick photo-typing scale) is a numerical classification for the color of skin. It was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist, as a way to classify the response of different types of skin to UV light. It remains a recognized tool for dermatologic research into the color of skin. Skin type is race dependent and does not change. A suntan alters the degree of pigmentation, not the skin type.
Why Does My Fitzpatrick Skin Type And Hair Color Matter?
Your Fitzpatrick Skin Type is the most important factor when determining which laser will give you optimal, yet safe, results. The wavelength of a laser determines the chromophore (target) for that particular laser. Melanin (color) in the hair shaft is the natural chromophore for targeting, and damaging, hair follicles. Since melanin (color) is also present in the epidermis (skin), increased levels can compete for the laser’s energy posing a risk for decreased efficacy, and increased risk of epidermal damage such as hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. The appropriate laser wavelength, fluence, and pulse width for your skin and hair type will sufficiently damage the hair follicle while protecting the epidermis. The laser’s epidermal cooling mechanism is another key factor when determining the appropriate laser for your skin type.
Generally, but not always…Fitzpatrick skin types I-IV should be treated on the Alexandrite 755nm laser. Fitzpatrick skin types V-VI should be treated on the 1064 ND:Yag laser.
OK. So How Is My Fitzpatrick Skin Type Determined?
Fill out our Fitzpatrick skin typing form to obtain a basic idea of how you might be classified. Keep in mind this is only a tool for determining your skin type. Other factors will be taken into consideration.
Who Would Not Be a Candidate For Laser Hair Removal?
- Although it is entirely safe, we ask pregnant women or those attempting pregnancy to wait until after their first postpartum checkup to proceed.
- Those with a tendency toward severe keloid scarring.
- Clients under 14 years old. (Just a Laser Affair rule). Keep in mind hormonal changes can affect hair growth and regrowth.
- Laser hair removal may not be performed over tattoos or permanent make-up.
- Laser hair removal will not remove white, light gray, blond or vellus hairs, and may be less effective on some red hairs. Electrolysis is a safe and effective alternative for these hairs.
- Those with recent skin cancers and some other medical considerations.
All areas of concern will be addressed by our Medical Director
What Type of Equipment Is Utilized At Laser Affair?
We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” laser and are extremely proud of our multiple, state-of–the-art Candela Laser platforms. Candela is a leading US-based global medical aesthetic device company. Our coveted 755nm Alexandrite GentleLASE and 1064 ND:Yag were designed specifically for hair removal and are known to be the most effective hair removal lasers throughout the industry. These Class IV medical devices must be registered with the Department of Health and the Board of Medicine and may only be operated by specific licensed Practitioners. We are proud to safely treat all skin types while achieving optimal results.
Only a professional should determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure and which laser would be appropriate.