Which laser for black hair, but darker skin?

I am mixed and a medium skin tone like the girl on SNL (maya rudolf), is there any laser that could be used on me with hopes of some permanent removal? I understand best candidates are lighter skinned people, is there any laser for me? thanks.

If you have freckles like Maya Rudolph, laser may have an effect on their color. And if your hair has a lot of red in it like hers, laser will probably be less effective than if your hair is black. The closer your skin and hair color, the worse a laser candidate you are.

I always caution anyone with even a medium skin tone to seek a very experienced laser practitioner to minimize the risk of discoloration. You’ve posted a couple of times about armpits, which tend to be lighter in color, so it may be an acceptable option there for you. Armpits also can be covered if needed, where face should be done with extra caution.

so far from what ive been reading on the palomar slp1000, its particularly useful for darker skin types…

I have relatively dark skin, but it is much darker in summer than winter. I never totally lose my color though. I prefer the diode lasers. I have been treated with the Iridex Apex 800 which is very good and the Lightsheer ET which has been excellent. I have had less post treatment redness and scabbing with the diode lasers than with the Apogee (alex.). Then Lightsheer has also been the most effective too. My skin is too dark to get treated at the 60 Joule max. I have had very god results at 45 Joules though. My practititoner has been excellent and knows when to be aggressive with treatment and when not to be.

If you have really dark skin the Nd:YAG like the Sciton or Coolglide may be the way to go. They tell me it takes more treatments compared to the diode laser though.

Hope this helps.


Thanks! Wow, you guys know alot. It might take me sometime to learn what all that means. I get the feeling i am too dark (might be darker than Maya Roudolf). I am thinking about stomach hair and it’s a bit lighter, and for some reason the colours don’t seem far enough apart. Of course, they certainly do when i lift my shirt up. Then they’re night and day. ugh.

[ July 13, 2002, 12:41 AM: Message edited by: Ginx ]

How could i find out which laser is for me (want permenant or possibility of perm) without trying all these procedures? I get the feeling if i go to a consultation, they will just say whatever in order for me to start treatment, you know how people/businesses are.

A good practitioner should not recommend laser if you are not a suitable candidate.

You may have to visit more than one practitioner. If you are that dark you should look for a practitioner that has more than one type of laser, including the Nd:YAG long pulse like the Sciton or Coolglide. A diodle laser may be worth considering.


You might also look for people who use super-long pulse lasers, which may be safer for darker skin.

Hi…I’ve posted before; i’m in the midst of a 5-session, (3-week-intervals) treatment of my upper lip (this is my 4th session coming up). We’re using the Lightsheer laser, which seems to have worked well, very little (if any) discoloration, and the redness goes away quickly. Too soon to tell how effective it is, but we’ll see! My question is, is it safe to go to the beach the next day, if i use sunscreen (what if my upper lip attracts some sun…?) Or, should i have it done a few days after the beach, when i may be a bit darker…? Though, how dark does one’s upper lip get? (I tan pretty well, and fairly dark for a jewish, olive-y yet fair-ish skin tone)? Thanks for any advice…! :grin:

I’d avoid the beach for at least a week or two after laser, but if that’s not possible, you should use a sunBLOCK (not a sunscreen) with very high SPF.

Some consumers who take sun right after laser or electrolysis can get significant discoloration. In the case of lasers, it can look like someone held you down and burned your upper lip with a cigarette a bunch of times. Not pretty.

Avoiding sun a couple of weeks before and after laser is always a good precaution.