The Best Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin

Laser hair removal has long been an issue for people with dark skin tones. That’s because laser treatments work by treating the natural melanin within the hair. During the early years of laser hair removal, the lasers had difficulty differentiating between the melanin on this skin and the melanin on the hair. With people with both dark hair and skin, it could lead to severe laser burns.

Today, laser hair removal has become much more advanced. As a result, many laser treatments can differentiate between melanin on your hair and body, meaning you don’t get those nasty burns. Nevertheless, some lasers are better for dark skin than others. If you want to use laser hair removal for dark skin, read on to find out which laser you should be using.

The Nd: YAG Laser

To date, the best laser for hair removal on those with dark complexions is the Nd: YAG laser. This name stands for neodymium-dopes yttrium aluminum garnet. What a mouthful! No wonder they simplified it to Nd: YAG!

This laser is ideal for those with dark skin because it has a weaker melanin absorption. This simply means that the melanin absorbs the heat and light slower. Although it may be tempting to assume this product is not very powerful because it has a weaker melanin absorption, this could not be further from the truth.

This laser is potent, and it comes with less risk than other lasers for hair removal. It has a wavelength of 1064 nanometers. This wavelength allows the laser to only look for color underneath the skin. Hence, it targets hair follicles, never touching the melanin on the skin.

Interestingly, this laser is also best for people with light skin and blonde hair for the same reason: their skin and hair color look very similar, making it difficult for other lasers to distinguish between the two.

What to Expect

Unlike other hair removal options, the Nd: YAG laser is very time effective. You will cover a lot of area at one time, and it should not severely agitate any skin, no matter the shade.


Even though the Nd: YAG laser is best for darker complexions, it still comes with a few risks. Mainly when the person applying the laser is inexperienced with the apparatus. For this reason, it is essential to get a laser technician who is fully experienced and qualified with the Nd: YAG laser.

You may notice a little bit of burning or skin discoloration after the treatment, somewhat similar to a sunburn. With a little bit of aloe vera gel and a cold compress, this side effect should go away quickly and cause no need for concern.

Laser Hair Removal At Home

Because of how powerful Nd: YAG lasers are, they are not available over the counter for home use; instead, you will need to buy a different device. Once again, many home treatments are not suitable for dark skin complexions either.

Look for products that have been clinically proven to be safe and effective on dark complexions. These products will typically have a low energy IPL setting, wavelength filters, and unique dark skin configurations. This allows the product to be safe on your beautiful skin yet powerful on your unwanted hair.


If you have a dark complexion and want to get rid of hair through laser treatment, the Nd: YAG laser is the best. It will bypass your skin’s pigment and go straight to the hair underneath the skin. This leaves you with silky smooth skin that isn’t harmed in the slightest by the laser.