How Dark Does Hair Have to be for Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is one of the most effective methods of getting rid of unwanted body or facial hair over the long-term, and is very popular choice amongst patients due to the low level of risk that comes with it.

But is laser hair removal for everyone? Unfortunately, not just yet!

To be eligible for laser hair removal, you need to have a contrast between your skin tone and your hair colour. This is important if you want laser hair removal to be effective at removing your hair, and if you want to avoid any potential negative side effects of treatment.

Read on for more information about why the colour of your hair is important if you want to be treated by our laser hair removal service.

Why does hair colour matter?

Hair colour is important for laser hair removal because the laser targets pigment that is found within hair, and it is this pigment that dictates the colour of hair.

The pigment within our hair that gives it colour is called melanin. When there is a lot of melanin, our hair is darker. When there is less melanin, our hair is lighter.

Therefore, it is not the colour of hair that directly impacts eligibility for laser hair removal, but the amount of pigment found within hair instead. It just so happens that the amount of pigment within our hair directly correlates to how dark our hair and our skin is.


Which hair colours will laser hair removal not work on?

Laser hair removal will work best on brunette and black hairs because these have a sufficient amount of pigment to be targeted by a laser.

There will also need to be a contrast between skin tone and hair colour, with the most effective combination being lighter skin and darker hair.

The reason that this is the most effective combination of skin and hair colour is because the pigment melanin also dictates the colour of our skin. People with darker skin have more melanin in their body than people with lighter skin.

In the past, people with darker skin could not receive effective laser hair removal. But now the technology has improved and now individuals with darker skin can receive some forms of laser hair removal depending on the equipment that a clinic has available.

However, there still needs to be an improvement in laser hair removal technology to treat people with lighter hair colours.

Does laser hair removal work on blonde hair?

Laser hair removal is not as effective at removing blonde hair when compared to removing dark hair.

While there have been some improvements in technology when it comes to lasers for fair hair, and in fact some patients can now receive laser hair removal for their blonde hairs using certain types of lasers, it is still not efficient enough to be comparable with laser hair removal for dark hair.

If you want to get rid of lighter or blonde hairs, you will need to attend more sessions. Even then your results may not be as good as people with thicker hairs.

It will also be more effective if your hair is thick and coarse, which unfortunately blonde body hair does not tend to be. For this reason, you may find it impossible at the moment to receive adequate laser hair removal for blonde facial hair.


Why can’t redheads have laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal for red hair, especially lighter red hair, can be hard to achieve due to the lack of pigment within the hair.

Because the level of pigment within red hair is so low, it can take much longer for laser hair removal devices to heat up the hair follicles and subsequently destroy them. This means that if you have red hair and are eligible for laser hair removal treatments, then you can expect to have many more appointments than another person with darker hair would have.

What’s more, when the laser cannot differentiate between the pigment in hair and the pigment in skin, it can be potentially painful and dangerous, leading to damages on your skin such as burns and blisters.

Laser hair removal at Beauty Barn Clinic and Spa

If you have any more questions about hair removal, such as is pregnant laser hair removal safe or what you should do about moisturising after laser hair removal, please see our other blogs on the subject.

Or, book in through our website and you can have a consultation with one of our experts who will be able to let you know whether laser hair removal is right for you.

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