Laser hair removal is big business. It’s a beauty technique that is booming and one of the biggest advancements in the game would be at home hair removal beauty tools. While we all love beauty tools that make life easier, not all tools are made equally or even made for everyone.
What do I mean? Well for one thing, laser hair removal is fickle and the better way to explain is to define what it is, why it is so expensive and why many black girls or black women have been slighted in this beauty arena.
What is laser hair removal and how does it work
I love giving you accurate information so we head over to the experts at the Mayo Clinic for a clear definition:
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light (laser) to remove unwanted hair.
During laser hair removal, a laser emits a light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the tube-shaped sacs within the skin (hair follicles) that produce hairs. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.
In a nutshell this is another way to remove unwanted hair on the body. While it seems like a great alternative to waxing, sugaring or shaving, there are drawbacks like price and who it works better on.
The basic principle is that the pigment of the hair, but not the pigment of the skin, should absorb the light. The laser should damage only the hair follicle while avoiding damage to the skin. Therefore, a contrast between hair and skin color — dark hair and light skin — results in the best outcomes.
What does that mean? Well, the darker the skin, the harder for the device to see the hairs. Also, the device is unable to see grey or white hairs. So when these devices first came out they were geared towards — you guessed it — white women.
Does this mean laser hair removal is not for black women?
No, not at all! Modern advances in laser technology have made laser hair removal an option for people who have darker skin and while for most treatments were for spas only, the technology has advanced even further for at-home beauty tools. It took a while for those at-home tools to catch up for the darker hues but they have now taken it up a notch and many of the most popular at-home tools will work on darker skin.
Now, let’s discuss price. Yes, these treatments can be terribly expensive and even the at-home devices can be in the low hundreds, but as this continues to be a viable way to remove unwanted hair, I have seen the prices go down drastically and well worth it.
Now, that you have all the deets on what it is, how it works and maybe you want to give it a try? Great! Here’s a list of the best and yes, I have tried a few and very happy with the one I have been using for two years now. Know that they all will tell you just how well they work on your skin tone. Make sure to check before you buy since it depends on the device on whether you will Let’s get into it!
I love this tool and have been using it for two years+ with great results. I have been using it on my upper lip, underarms, bikini area and legs and with great results. Some areas are completely hair-free like my lip while others I still need to use whenever needed like my underarms and bikini area. They have an easy to follow system on when and how to start and for how long.
Silk’n Infinity hair removal device uses a technology which uses pulses of light to permanently remove undesired hair growth without stubble, ingrown hairs, redness or other irritation.
Now, I know the most about this device because I have been using it and it works for me well. I also love this line as I have tried a few of their beauty products and know them to be a solid brand that works and their devices can be found at Nordstrom, Walmart and even Amazon.
Braun IPL Hair Removal for Women Silk Expert Pro 5
While I have not tried this one, I have been hearing some amazing things about it. This laser hair removal tool has SMART IPL with SensoAdaptTM skin sensor (with UV protection): the only IPL technology that automatically and continuously adapts to your skin tone. Safe for use on your legs, arms, underarms, bikini area, & on the face below the cheekbone and recommended by the Skin Health Alliance & cleared by the FDA.
New compact design, 15% smaller and 25% lighter, for easy handling and effortless treatment. 400,000 flashes, 30% more than previous Silk·expert 5. The biggest flaw seems to be that darker skin tones will not be able to use this device but wanted to add it since it can work on some brown skin tones.
Philips Lumea Prestige IPL BRI953 Device
The Philips Lumea has a few different devices, but the BRI1953 seems to accommodate more skin tones and that’s what we look for. Philips Lumea devices use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to treat the hair.
IPL breaks the hair growth cycle by sending gentle pulses of light to the root of the hair. After a few treatments, it prevents the hair from growing back.
By following the recommended treatment plan, you can enjoy hair-free skin in as little as 8 weeks.
Its 5 energy settings adjust to your skin type and the Skin Tone Sensor detects your skin tone to ensure that you get the right amount of light energy for your skin tone.
Philips Lumea Prestige BR1953 comes with 3 different attachments, which means that you can wave goodbye to all your hair removal salon appointments as you’ve got a solution for everything.
Not only that, you can expect to see results in as little as 8 weeks too.
I cannot stress this enough to make sure you get the right one as Philips has a few different ones but the BRI1953 has a bigger range in skin tones and hair colors than other models.
SmoothSkin Bare+ Ultrafast IPL Hair Removal Device
The SmoothSkin Bare+ works by transferring light energy through the skin’s surface with 100 flashes per minute. The melanin in the hair shaft absorbs the light energy, and this same light energy converts to heat energy below the skin’s surface. This stops hairs from growing back.
Operating at 100 flashes per minute, SmoothSkin Bare will treat your whole body in less than 10 minutes! Use it on your face, legs, bikini line, underarms, and more. With weekly treatments, you’ll see up to 97% hair reduction after 4 weeks. SAFE & FDA CLEARED – SmoothSkin Bare has a Skin Sensor that checks your skin tone before each flash and only activates if it’s safe.
I really wish I had more tools to share with you that not only worked on all skin tones but mostly worked on some darker skin tones. This is a big list compared to only five years ago and I know these brands are hard at working to be more inclusive with darker skin tones and with grey and red hair. I will make sure to update this post with more brands and or devices when I find more to share and make sure to only share ones that truly will aid in laser hair removal for darker skin tones.