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Ask DAA: How Does my Skin Tone and Hair Color Affect my Hair Removal Treatments

The battle to control our bodies’ hair is not a new one, and for many of us, it’s a daily fight. Between shaving, waxing, threading, plucking, and other methods, removing unwanted hair can be time-consuming, pricey, inconvenient, and painful. That’s why longer-lasting hair removal treatments are so popular. Unfortunately, people all over the country stop themselves from seeking the procedure because they think it won’t work for their skin tone or hair color. So, at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta (DAA), we’re taking this opportunity to set the record straight by explaining how the color of your skin and hair affects long-term hair removal and how you can get that perpetually smooth skin regardless of your coloration.

hair loss experts atlanta ga (1)One of the most well-known ways to achieve lasting hair removal is with laser treatments, and yes, this procedure is affected by the color of your hair. The laser light is attracted to and absorbed by the pigment in your hair, which allows the laser’s energy to travel down the hair and into the follicle. That energy damages the targeted follicle, making future hair growth difficult or impossible. Traditionally, laser hair removal has been most successful for those with light skin and dark hair – there’s more pigment to attract the laser to the hair, and the lack of pigment in the skin means less of the laser’s energy will be diverted to the skin. While this is still the case, advances in technology have made the treatment progressively safer and more effective for those with darker skin. As one of the few practices who participated in the trial testing for the first laser hair removal method and one of the most experienced laser centers in Georgia, DAA uses a specific type of laser with a longer wavelength for our darker-skinned patients.

With the appropriate group of lasers, all skin colors can be safely and effectively treated with laser hair removal, but hair color can be a different story. For patients with hair that has too little pigment to absorb the laser’s energy (like gray, white, or light blond hair), electrolysis can be an ideal option. Instead of using the hair to transport the laser’s energy into your skin, electrolysis uses a tiny metal applicator to deliver electrical impulses directly into the follicle. By destroying the individual hair follicles, electrolysis can permanently prevent hair growth.

While your hair color and skin tone are a few factors that affect your long-lasting hair removal treatments, there are a number of other aspects to consider as well. That’s why our first step for every hair removal patient is a consultation with one of our specialists to discuss treatment options and to design the best plan for their individual needs. To get started on the road toward smoother skin, schedule a consultation at DAA. Or, for more tips and helpful information about other cosmetic treatments, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.