Almost Everyone a Candidate
The best candidate for laser hair removal would be someone with very light skin and dark hair. That’s because we want the laser to “see” the hair without “seeing” the skin because we want the hair, not the skin, to absorb the laser light. Having said that, basically anyone who has some pigmentation to their hair is a good candidate for laser hair removal. This is as long as the hair is not around the eyes. So that means that almost everyone is a good candidate as long as their hair has some pigment.
Who is NOT a Candidate
It’s an easier question to answer who is NOT a good candidate for laser hair removal, which would be people with white or blonde hair, or people with hair between or around the eyes such as a “unibrow”. For these people I usually would recommend electrolysis or waxing and would never recommend laser hair removal.
The other person who is a good candidate for laser hair removal is someone with realistic expectations. You should understand that it takes multiple treatments to remove hair. If you treat one leg and not the other, there will be less hair and thinner hair for a very long time. But this doesn’t mean there will NEVER be any hair on that leg again. You will need maintenance treatment. So what I usually do initially is 3 to 6 treatments at 4 week intervals, followed by a maintenance treatment. This maintenance treatment may be at 2 to 3 months, or 6 months to a year, one year, or a few years, depending on the patient. Generally speaking though, the interval gets longer and longer for maintenance treatments.
For Black and Darker Skin
For laser hair removal there are really three types of lasers that we use today, the Alexandrite laser, the Diode laser and the Nd:YAG laser. In the early days of laser hair removal the ruby laser was one of the first lasers that was ever produced, that had the shortest wavelength of all, at 694nm. The Alexandrite laser emits light at 755nm, the diode laser emits light at 810nm, and the Nd:YAG has the longest wavelength at 1064nm. Having someone with different lasers who is highly experienced is a must if you have darker skin. Darker skin patients often need to be treated with a special laser such as the Nd:YAG laser because that laser can “see” the skin less, but still see the hair.