Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For Dark Skin? | Best At Home Laser For Dark Skin


Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For Dark Skin

Yes the research is clear, Laser hair removal is in fact safe for dark skin tones when done properly. But not all lasers are created equal when it comes to dark skin. There are 5 different types of laser primarily used for laser hair removal, and not all give the best results and some have increased risk if used on individuals with dark skin. 

Do you have dark skin and are you thinking about getting laser hair removal? If yes, read this article to find out what's the safest and best laser for hair removal both at home and in a clinic for darker skin tones. Because If you choose the wrong type or have laser done by an inexperienced person you could suffer severe complications.

Does Laser Hair Removal Work On Dark Skin; Is It Safe?

There are 5 types of laser used for hair removal; ruby laser, diode laser, alexandrite laser, Nd YAG laser, and IPL(intense pulsed light). Research suggest that Nd YAG laser hair removal is best and safest for dark skin(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). The other laser types can also be used on dark skin, however risk of complications increase especially when administered by an inexperienced person. Potential complications from laser hair removal include excessive pain, burning, scarring, redness, and hyperpigmentation.

Why Is Nd YAG Laser The Best Laser Hair Removal For Dark Skin

Of all the professional lasers, Nd YAG Laser is the best laser for dark skin, because it has the longest wavelength and can penetrate better into darker skin tones. Research(1) suggest that longer wavelength lasers with longer pulse duration are better for dark skin because they are able to penetrate the skin deeper directing the lasers energy more towards the hair follicles limiting potential damage to the skin layers. Nd YAG Laser is better at differentiating between skin tone and hair color than other laser types. With dark skin, the hair color is often similar in color to the skin tone. When the laser cannot differentiate skin from hair, it directs it's energy at both the skin and hair causing burning and other severe complications. This is why laser hair removal is more risky on dark skin than fair skin. Thus, its important to use the best laser type for dark skin.

So if you are considering going to a professional instead of doing Home Laser Removal, it's important to find a professional who uses Nd YAG Laser or the second best option with the next longest wavelength is Diode Laser. Before booking a laser hair removal session, ask what type of Laser do they use. If its not one of these 2 options Nd YAG or Diode Laser than you should think about just buying a Home Laser Device and do it yourself.

Are Home Lasers Safe On Dark Skin: Best At Home Laser Removal Device For Dark Skin

From my research there are few home laser devices that are actually safe for dark skin. However, research [2] shows home laser devices can be safe and effective at removing hair on dark skin at lower intensities. Most home laser devices use what is called  IPL (intense pulse light). According to dermatologist Dr Simi IPL is actually not a laser but like a large flash lamp that emits scattered wavelengths to the skin. This is why IPL takes longer to permanently remove hair from the skin than ND YAG laser. Although it may take you longer to achieve permanent hair removal with a home IPL device it is much more affordable than laser hair removal treatments in clinics. Laser hair removal can cost anywhere from $100-$500 per treatment and you typically will be set up with 6-15 sessions up front. Thats anywhere from $600-$7500. A one time purchase of a home laser device is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper.

There is really only one IPL home laser readily available and sold in the United States that is clinically proven and FDA cleared for use on the darkest skin tones. That laser is the Silk'n Infinity Laser.

Silk'n Home Laser For Dark Skin
I personally reviewed the product pages of the first 15 lasers Amazon showed to me when I searched "laser for dark skin," and only the Silk'n Infinity Laser clearly states that it is safe for dark skin. Silk'n even gives instructions on how to safely use the laser for dark skin. All other brands on amazon either clearly state they are NOT safe for dark skin or don't even mention anything about skin tone. 

Unlike most other home laser device brands, its clear that Silk'n took the time to research laser hair removal on dark skin and considered the increased risk. The Silk'n Infinity Laser was made with a built in skin tone sensor to detect skin tone and limit laser intensity on darker skin. It also comes with a skin color chart showing that the darker skin tones should only be used on the lowest levels of intensity not to exceed energy level 2. 

Silk’n Infinity Laser - How To Use Safely For Dark Skin

Silk'n Home Laser for Dark Skin

Keys for Success using the Silk'n Laser

1 Be consistent: The Users guide says to use twice a week. So try not to miss a session until you see your desired results
2. Be patient: It can take up to 18 months for permanent hair removal with this device so be patient
3. Follow intensity guidelines based on skin color to prevent burns and other skin complications, and do a test area before doing a large area.


If you can't find any professionals trained in Nd YAG laser or diode laser near you and/or you just want to save money, you can safely do laser hair removal at home using the Silk'n Infinity Laser Device. Doing the laser hair removal treatments at home, may take more time and patience than treatment by a professional, but it can safely be done and will save you money. So if you want to be silky smooth, no pun intended, by next summer, Right now is the best time to purchase a Silk'n Infinity Laser Device.

If you want more information about the safety of laser hair removal on dark skin, watch the video below from  dermatologist Dr Simi. She goes into great detail about laser hair removal for dark skin. 

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