2013, pp 237-246

Laser Hair Removal for Darker Skin Types

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Removing unwanted hair has been an accepted procedure since the beginning of civilized time. Prior to the onset of laser hair removal, popular procedures ranged from abrasion, threading, plucking, waxing, chemical depilatories, and shaving. These conventional procedures had different levels of effectiveness and were used mainly for hair growth delay and temporary hair removal. Permanent depilation became possible with the onset of electrolysis; however, the procedure was tedious and time consuming and led to a high incidence of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring in patients with curly hair and darker skin types (phototypes IV–VI). The safest and most effective hair removal lasers to treat darker skin types are the long-pulsed diode and the long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser systems. Conservative fluences and longer pulse durations are necessary in order to provide safe and effective treatments to patients with darker skin types.