WHY not Nd:YAG fair skin? Reason????

I have looked on this and many other hair removal forums. Everyone seems to say that the Cutera Coolglide is not a good option for removing the coarse black underarm and leg hair that I am having done (my skin is type I almost certainly, maybe type II, but I am seriously Snow White… Snow White crossed with a wookie)

Why is this exactly? People seem to state it as a fact that everyone should know without reasons…

I ask because I have had two appointments and the progress seems to be as should be expected:

appt 1: hurt quite a bit, fluence setting was 49 (don’t know pulse setting), red and splotchy skin for a few hours and dry/sensitive for a couple of days, hair shed 2-3 weeks later, “no” hair for a couple of weeks (a few here and there were missed; I have very dense hair for a woman), waited a week after hair started coming back in and…

appt 2: just yesterday; 49 seemed to hurt alot more (again, maybe pulse setting was different?), so tech dropped it to 46. Same reactions. Need to wait and see about the shedding obviously, but some singed hair is already “loose”.

QUESTION: what is the reason behind people saying that this laser (or any Nd:YAG) is not good for fair skin/dark hair? I understand the whole melanin absoprtion curve thing, but all this tells me is that if proper settings are used it should still work well as it has such a deep penetration (depth of focus) even if absorption is 10X less.

There very well might be a good reason. Does it result in less permanent hair reduction? Or hurt more than other lasers (which I would believe!). Nobody seems to state reasons, just that fair skinned people should use another laser…


I’d like to know that myself. After finding a clinic that carries a YAG laser, I booked an appointment, since lightsheer has been unsuccessful with my face.

Well, I got there and it turns out they carry a YAG laser, and a lightsheer one. The practitioner told me she’ll have to use the lightsheer laser. I explained to her that 8+ treatments with the lightsheer and my upper lip grew all back, and my chin did not even shed, not even once in those 8+ treatments. She told me they may have used incorrect settings at the other clinic I’ve tried.

It’s been one week since my recent lightsheer treatment and I’ve not hopeful. I feel I’ve been cheated. I’m going to have a word with the dermatologist in charge of the clinic.

Nd:Yag lasers were made to cater to darker skin types, so they use lower settings in general and have more adjustment options for practitioners in order to help them avoid burning darker skinned patients. These lasers would work on someone with light skin as well, but it would most likely take more treatments and would treat more of the coarse hairs and less of the fine hairs. If you have light skin and dark hair, you would get better and faster results with an alex or a diode, so basically it’s more cost-effective.

Okay… that makes sense. I also got another explanation from another forum basically saying the same thing: it doesn’t work so well on finer hairs.

Thank you very much!

Okay… that makes sense. I also got another explanation from another forum basically saying the same thing: it doesn’t work so well on finer hairs.

Thank you very much!

My practitioner has used all 3 lasers and I have tried each of them. The diode is more efficient for light skin and dark hair because the 810nm wavelength has higher absorption by melanin. The 1064nm Nd:YAG has lower melanin absorption, but it does penetrate deeper into the follices.
The diode can be used on type III and IV, but it takes a lot of practitioner skill and sometimes lower fluences have to be used. I did have quite a bit of success with the Lightsheer diode laser on finer hair at longer pules widths (100ms).

Male beard hair is so dense that the Nd:YAG is often preferred because it is less likely to blister and scab. I had virtually no post treatment redness with the Sciton and Lyra-i lasers. The beard treatments were painful, but I believe no pain, no gain for laser. But it had a high pain to redness ratio. A lot of pain so I know we hit the roots of the hair follicle, but virtually no redness afterwards.


THE YAG HURTS LIKE HELL!!! I tried not to use it on fairer people for this reason. If you read the reports comparing, say, an alexandrite and a Yag, the Yag users reported pain 100% of the time. This is in comparison to alex users reporting it only 68%. So, the other reasons are absolutely correct, but here’s my common sense answer. I personally have had treatments with both alex and Yag on my legs, and the pain thing was not enough to make up for the slightly better results with the Yag.