Good news ladies!! Laser hair removal now works well for people with dark skin color. Laser hair removal technology now works well for african american, asian, and even latino women. No more painful waxing, plucking and shaving for this Urban Gyal!

As women, we spend an incredible amount of time on maintaining our body hair.  If you shave, stats have shown that over a woman’s lifetime you will spend approx 58.4 days shaving!!  Not only that, the average reported cost of hair removal across your lifetime is estimated to be up to $10,000.  Shit girl.

So with this in mind I had tested laser hair removal myself, and yes, I did buy a Groupon that worked awesome!

When laser hair removal first became mainstream, the rule of thumb was the hair should be darker than the skin color for the best results.  This affected the results of both dark skin and people with white hairs. That is because there needs to be pigment to the hair that is being treated.   White hairs, as of today, are still not possible with laser hair removal but instead can be removed with electrolysis.

There are 2 new laser hair removal for dark skin machines that make hair removal possible.  Make sure to ask specifically the type of laser and treatment they use to ensure it will work for you prior to starting. Before considering laser, get educated on all the hair removal options available here.

Keep reading for my laser hair removal for dark skin experience:

Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin Tones

Why is Laser Hair Removal Different for Dark Skin?

About 10 years ago when I first started considering laser hair removal, the day I heard they would not take dark skinned patients I almost showed up at their door with a few dozen eggs.  After deciding to remain calm, I decided to give my business elsewhere to someone who deserved it.

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This is when I learned that in fact laser hair removal did not work well for people of dark skin because of our skin complexation, nothing personal. The inner entrepreneur started thinking that this was a huge opportunity if I could find out a solution to this problem. I started to google the reasons for it and learned it is because of the darker skin pigmentation.

People with darker skin are at higher risk of side effects for laser hair removal due to a higher concentration of melanin in the skin. The effects of the laser treatment can be compromised due to it being absorbed by the melanin in the skin. Not only could the laser hair removal be less effective, but it can also lead to hyperpigmentation, burning, and scarring of the skin.

Over the last 10 years laser hair removal technology has drastically improved leading to new systems lasers to limit the side effects.

Best Laser Hair Removal System for Dark Skin

The many advances in laser technology have now made it possible to treat most skin colors and all types of hairs.   The laser hair removal machines that are now been used on dark skin colors are the Diode Laser, Gentlemax Pro with YAG technology. The most popular is YAG. As professionals quoted, YAG laser is color blind, however it does hurt a little bit more.  These lasers are highly sensitive to all color and melanin, have longer wave links, and use epidermal cooling.  They are more accurate at penetrating the hair follicles without damaging surrounding tissue.

I would never recommend something to my Urban Gyals that I would not do myself!  After I had done my research got my laser hair removal treatments with the YAG laser.  My technician recommended it as the best machine. In every other article and study, I read the side effects were minimal and temporary if any.

Here’s a video to see the YAG in action:

How to limit the risk of Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin

Most women who have been annoyed with waxing, sugaring, shaving, and hair removal creams at some point and considered laser hair removal.  Laser Hair Removal is a permanent solutions, but does have its risk of side effects.  To limit these potential side effects, here’s some considerations.

5 questions ask your Laser Hair Removal Technician:

  1. What type of technology do they use?  Use a longer wavelength. No IPL [Intense Pulsed Light] for dark skin. IPL as are only for pale skin. The YAG laser is preferred over other types of laser because it uses a longer wavelength.
  2. Use epidermal cooling. Almost all modern lasers often come with a skin cooling device and is crucial for darker skin and has been shown to minimize pain and side effects.
  3. Use longer pulse durations. The longer pulse durations have been shown to be safer for patients with darker skin color.
  4. Try a Batch Test First.  Before tackling a large area and spending the investment of time, health, and money request a small patch test first. Determine how effective it is on a small area and see how effective it is without burning your skin.
  5. Do you numb the area?  Laser hair removal for dark skins can be a bit more painful and numb the area prior to treatment by some is recommended.
  6. Asking questions and check online reviews. As a consumer it is your job to understand the process of the laser hair removal to make an informed decision. Ask specifically about what type of laser, how the process works, results for laser hair removal for dark skin and who is doing the treatment.

Summary for Dark Skin Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a permanent, and not too painful laser hair removal treatment if done correctly. For complete hair removal, you receive a treatment every 4 to 6 weeks for a consecutive 4 to 6 treatments.  The number of treatments vary depending on your hair.

We highly recommend speaking to your doctor first an making sure you are being treated by an experienced and trained laser hair technician.  If you are treated with the wrong setting or machine, you will not get the same results. You may even end up with hyper-pigmentation, burns, miscoloring, or it being ineffective.

Would I get laser hair removal again?  Absolutely! First, I went with a smaller batch areas (armpits), and have since done bikini and upper lip. It is addictive, permanent, and rather painless.  If laser is not for you, here is a list of some hair removal creams and 10 other hair removal methods.

Comment below if you used YAG or Diode laser for your hair removal and how it worked for you.

Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin Women


Laser hair removal works for dark skin types works but is more complicated. For black, Asian, Latino, or white hair women make sure to only this laser treatment.

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