Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin

Read our article about laser hair removal for dark skin. If interested you can contact us or book a free patch test in one of our London clinics.

Which laser hair removal system is best for dark skin?

When considering the best laser hair removal system for darker skin tones, it is important to consider the different types of laser available and how effective they will be for you. 

The most effective and safest lasers for Skin Type IV to VI clients are systems utilizing the Diode or Yag laser wavelengths which have the ability to bypass the melanin in the surface of the skin and target the root structures of the hair. Systems that use multiple wavelengths at the same time tend to be more effective as they will target fine hair, thick hair, also deeply and shallowly set hairs.

Some finer hair may have a better effect with the Alex wavelength for darker hair and skin types. Different IPL and laser models from a variety of manufacturers offer a variety of laser wavelengths suitable for different skin types and hair colours.

Laser Wavelengths

  • IPL– (Not laser) Not as effective as a diode in head to head studies and not good for darker skin types. May require more treatments. Typically more painful treatment than a diode.
  • Alex 755nm Best for lighter skin types, paler hair colours and fine hair.
  • Diode 810nm Good for all skin types.
  • ND: YAG 1064nm – A good selection for darker skin types and darker haired patients.

Cooling System

It is also important to consider the cooling method employed by the laser system as these factors greatly in treatment comfort and safety for Fitzpatrick Skin Types IV – VI. Typically 1 of 3 different cooling methods are built into modern laser hair removal systems.

  • Contact cooling – through a window cooled by circulating water or other internal coolants. This type of cooling is by far the most efficient method of keeping the epidermis protected since it provides a constant heat sink at the skin surface. Sapphire windows are much more conductive than quartz.
  • Cryogen spray – sprayed directly onto the skin immediately before and/or after the laser pulse
  • Air cooling – forced cold air at -34 degrees C

Treatment Technique

There are 2 different treatment techniques available on different laser models.

  • Shots – The body area that is being treated is divided up into grids with a white pencil. The laser energy is then delivered in single shots where all the energy for a small area is delivered at once and then moved to the next small area adjacent. This can be more painful with a higher risk of side effects, especially for darker skin types.
  • SHR – The body area that is being treated is divided up into grids with a white pencil. The treatment applicator is then passed back and forth over the area while the laser flashes on 10 times a second at a lower intensity, allowing energy and heat to build up gradually rather than instant painful ‘shots’ as delivered by traditional laser systems.

Most Popular Laser Models in the UK

SystemWavelength(s)Cooling Systems Shots or SHR
CandelaAlex + YagCryo SprayShots
MagmaIPL or Diode or YagContact coolingShots
CynosureAlex + YagCold AirShots
Soprano IceAlex or DiodeContact Cooling (Sapphire)SHR
Soprano Ice PlatinumAlex + Diode + YagContact Cooling (Sapphire)SHR


While the Candela, Magma and Cynosure lasers all provide duo wavelength hair removal, the Soprano Ice will only employ a single wavelength. The Soprano Ice Platinum system is the only model to emit all 3 laser wavelengths for the most effective treatment.

Cooling System
The Soprano Ice models employ the most effective sapphire contact cooling system, beating the other models in this category for the most pain free and safe method.

Shots or SHR
The Soprano Ice models again win out in this category for the innovative SHR treatment method.

Overall Best Laser Hair Removal System for Darker Skin

Soprano Ice Platinum/Titanium – The only laser hair removal system to simultaneously employ 3 laser wavelengths, sapphire contact cooling and the innovative SHR treatment method for a safe, painless and incredibly effective solution to the problem of unwanted hair.

To book a complimentary patch test and consultation using the new Soprano Ice Platinum system at Mayfair Aesthetics London, please click here or call 020 7834 6896

Here is a preview of what the free consultation looks like:

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