The types of Laser devices used in Permanent Hair Reduction

Lasers are determined by their wavelengths so when going to get hair removal you’d want a longer wavelength so that the laser beam can reach all the hair roots. Depending on where you’re going to get treated on your body, there are different types of hair which can grow anywhere from 1mm to 5mm deep.

Wavelength determines the depth of penetration

 

Diode Laser (wavelength of 800 – 810nm)

 

In the last few years, the diode laser has become the social celebrity of the laser hair removal world. It’s the best overall machine for treating all six skin types, especially based on safety and long term use for skin types I through to III.
With the exception of Nd:Yag, diode lasers have a longer wavelength than other lasers which allows the light deeper penetration and is theoretically safer than shorter wavelength lasers as it’s able to better avoid causing damage to the surrounding skin tissue as the Ruby or Alexandrite.

While it’s able to be treat all skin types, including darker complexions, the best results are achieved with those who are skin types I to III characterised by white skin that doesn’t tan well. Naturally dark skinned people or those with deep tans will still need to have multiple careful sessions to achieve their desired results. As light coloured hair contains very little melanin it won’t work as well as it also won’t work well on finer hair.

The fast repetition rates allows for fast treatment of larger body areas and recovery is faster with the side effects being minimal such as redness on the treated area which will disappear within a couple of days.

Advantages

  • Has a longer wavelength.
  • Provides deeper and safer penetration into the skin providing better results for darker skinned people.
  • Thick or coarse hair will see a delay in hair growth and some people will see a permanent reduction in hair growth
  • Larger areas of the body such as legs, are able to be treated faster.
  • Fast recovery
  • Reduced risk of pigmentation.

Disadvantages

  • Not effective on fine hair
  • Some people a condition called urticaria can set in.

Side effects

  • Temporary
    • Reddening of the area after treatment.
    • Swelling of the treated area.
    • Hypo-pigmentation
  • Serious
    • Scarring
    • Hyper-pigmentation
    • Burns
    • Eye injuries
    • Infections of wounds

Nd:Yag Laser (wavelength 1064nm)

 

Nd:Yag lasers don’t affect the outer most layer of the skin and are thus know as non-ablative lasers. The “Nd” stands for Neodymium, and “Yag” stands for yttrium aluminium garnet.

Nd:Yag lasers have a wavelength of 1064nm which is within the infrared area of the light spectrum and treats the deeper hair follicles. They not only work at this wavelength, but can also work in a double frequency mode which creates green light at 532nm for follicles nearer to the skin’s surface.

Carbon lotion is used on the skin which penetrates the hair follicle as Carbon is what’s used as the target chromophore in Nd:Yag lasers. The laser targets the carbon because at 1065nm, carbon is a better target and because of its safety and strong absorptive properties the carbon is absorbed by the follicle for which the laser then targets.

Advantages

  • Is potentially safe on a wide range of skin types from I to VI
  • Is effective on darker or tanned skins.
  • Larger body areas can be treated very rapidly.
  • The laser is minimally absorbed by the skin’s melanin.
  • Is least likely to cause skin discolouration.
  • One of the few lasers unable by dark-skinned people that other lasers cannot always do.

Disadvantages

  • People have reported the Yag laser to be painful.
  • Not an ideal solution for light, white or fine hair.
  • Getting the carbon to penetrate the skin deep enough to get into the hair follicles.
  • Has not been proven to be effective in achieving long-term results.

Side effects

  • Temporary
    • Reddening of the area after treatment.
    • Swelling of the treated area.
    • Hypo-pigmentation
    • Painful
  • Serious
    • Scarring
    • Hyper-pigmentation
    • Burns
    • Eye injuries
    • Infections of wounds

Alexandrite laser (755nm)

 

The alexandrite laser produces reddish light with its large spot size and high repetition rate and is the fastest of all the laser types. It has a shorter wavelength with a specific light energy of 755nm which allows the beam to penetrate as deep as hairs can grow at around 5mm and is recommended for very white skin types I and II.

 

Advantages

  • Very effective on finer, thinner hairs unlike most other lasers simply cannot touch.
  • Fastest of all laser types so larger body areas can be treated in quickly, a back can be treated in less than 30 minutes.
  • One of the most widely used hair removal lasers.
  • Has a very good skin penetration rate.
  • Very effective for white skin tones.

 

Disadvantages

  • Not recommended to be used on any skin type other than very white.
  • Blonde and grey hairs are more resistant.
  • Frequently produces pigmentary changes, lightening or darkening of the skin.

Side effects

  • Temporary
    • Reddening of the area after treatment.
    • Swelling of the treated area.
    • Hypo-pigmentation
  • Serious
    • Scarring
    • Hyper-pigmentation
    • Burns
    • Eye injuries
    • Infections of wounds

 

Ruby laser (694nm)

 

Ruby laser is the oldest type of laser used, it’s the original and first system of laser hair removal having been invented in 1960 but because of its older technology it’s also gradually becoming less popular as a choice of laser.

Ruby laser at 694nm is highly absorbed by melanin of hair but skin also has melanin which absorbs the ruby laser very effectively as well ! The laser is suitable for skin types I and II or for people that have dark hair and fair skin it’s ideal.

Advantages

      • Excellent choice for fine and light hair because of the melanin’s high absorption.
    • Long term hair reduction can be achieved.
  • Has cooling equipment built in.
  • Reasonably pain free compared to others because of the slow repetition rate.

Disadvantages

  • High risk of burns.
  • High risk of pigmentary changes.
  • Slow repetition rate.
  • Treats a smaller area due to the relatively small spot size.
  • Older technology making it less popular.
  • Can’t be used on tanned or dark skin.

Side effects

  • Temporary
    • Reddening of the area after treatment.
    • Swelling of the treated area.
    • Hypo-pigmentation
  • Serious
    • Scarring
    • Hyper-pigmentation
    • Burns
    • Eye injuries
    • Infections of wounds

IPL (420-1200nm)

 

One thing that IPL is NOT and that is a laser. Yes, IPL is light therapy and uses the same concept of selective photothermolysis to get rid of hair, but there are significant differences between laser and IPL technology.

With each burst of light, IPL can deliver a broadband of incoherent light within the range of 420 to 1200nm so it can’t isolate the exact wavelength of light that laser can and some would argue that they’re not as good as laser with destroying the hair follicle. Not that I’m being biased here.

One of the biggest reasons why IPL is so popular is that it’s a cheaper option for people to get. The industry is also unregulated so any man and their dog in China can put an IPL machine together and you can also buy them at places like the shaver shop or online from the shopping channels.

Advantages

  • IPL can handle almost all skin types.
  • Has a wide range of applications.
    • Hair reduction.
    • Vascular therapy.
    • Skin rejuvenation.
    • Acne treatment.
    • Pigmentation therapy.
  • Larger head makes treatments faster.
  • Treatments are more affordable and cost effective than laser ones.

Disadvantages

  • Not as effective for people with white, blonde or red hair.
  • Can involve many more sessions than laser.
  • Sometimes the pigment cells can be damaged leaving darker or paler patches of skin.
  • Broadband of incoherent light needs to be managed well to get best results.

Side effects

  • Temporary
    • Reddening of the area after treatment.
    • Swelling of the treated area.
    • Hypo-pigmentation
  • Serious
    • Scarring
    • Hyper-pigmentation
    • Burns
    • Eye injuries
    • Infections of wounds

Link to "differences between LASER and IPL"

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Buffed Body Hair Management Melbourne, Australia

 
 
 

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Site Last Updated: 19/04/2016

     

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