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6 Types of Laser Hair Removal Machines | Which is Best for You?

By Viktoria
May 11, 2023
6 minutes

Do you think you know all about professional and at-home laser machines after your extensive research? What if I tell you all you know is the basics and there is much more to such permanent hair-removing machinery? There are no 1 or 2 types of hair removal machines. Rather it is the 6 major types of lasers.

These lasers differ with respect to the wavelength of light, effectiveness, level of pain, skin tone compatibility, and systems used in the machine. So, one type of laser might be more suitable for you than the other.

To help you decide which laser you should choose and talk to your doctor like a pro, we have arranged all the information you need to know about the 6 types of laser hair removal machines.

Major Types of Laser Hair Removal

1. Intense Pulse Light Device

Example of Machine:

Ulike Sapphire Air3

Hair Removal IPL Handset

The wavelength of Light:

500-200 nm

Basic Systems with IPL:

  • Aculight

  • Photoderm

  • Epilight

  • Vasculight

  • Quantum

Pros:

  • Little to no damage to the surrounding areas

  • At-home hair removal treatments while maintaining privacy

  • Cost-effective

  • Quick and efficient treatments

  • Intensity and modes can be adjusted easily

Cons:

  • Does not work for all skin tones and types

  • Is not absorbed by hair having no pigment

Suitable Skin Types:

All fair to medium color skin tones except medium brown to dark brown and black skin colors.

Compatible Hair Colors:

All naturally pigmented hair colors other than grey, white, red, or blonde hair.

IPL hair removal machines use an intense pulse light that is equivalent to laser light but not a laser. This light is absorbed into the pigment of hair and travels to hair follicles where it is converted to heat and burns the hair follicles in a process called thermophotolysis.

As a result, hair cannot regrow. However, the intensity of IPL is not as strong as that of the laser. So, it takes a greater number of sessions to achieve desired results.

As you can use IPL at home, the greater number of sessions is no big deal and 2-3 sessions can be performed every week allowing you to go hairless in 1-2 months.

2. Ruby Hair Removal Laser Machine

Example of Machine:

Ruby Palomar E2000

The wavelength of Light:

694 nm

Basic Systems with Ruby Laser:

  • Ruby Star

  • Epi Pulse Ruby

Pros:

  • Ruby machines have an integrated cooling system to prevent heating or burning of the skin

  • It is great for fine hair

  • Less pain as compared to other lasers

  • Results last for a longer time after the completion of treatment

Cons:

  • Does not work on large skin areas

  • Each treatment session takes a long time because it needs to be repeated

  • Is absorbed into the skin pigment. So, it can cause pigmentation, scaring, or swelling in people with dark skin tone

Suitable Skin Types:

Fair skin tones as there is increased absorption in melanin of dark skin colors

Compatible Hair Colors:

Black and brown hair colors

Laser hair removal machines came into being with the invention of Ruby Laser decades ago. This laser is also absorbed by melanin in the hair and also the skin. So, it works perfectly for dark hair but not for dark skin tones.

Additionally, Ruby laser machines have a built-in sapphire cooling system to keep the skin cool during the procedure. There is also a pause of 2 seconds in subsequent pulses. While this pause prevents the constant application of laser to the skin, it elongates treatment time.

Regardless of its painlessness, Ruby lasers are rarely used these days because of the availability of better machines.

3. Quanta Light Evo Machine

Example of Machine:

Q Plus Quanta Light Machine

The wavelength of Light:

532-1320 nm

Basic Systems with Quanta Light:

Q Plus Evo Series has wavelengths of 532 nm, 755 nm, 1064 nm, and 1320 nm

Pros:

  • It is suitable for a wide range of hair and skin colors

  • Can be used to treat several skin conditions in addition to treating unwanted hair

  • Longterm hair reduction in few treatments

Cons:

  • It can rarely cause skin redness, swelling, blisters, and scarring.

Suitable Skin Types:

All skin tones but needs more treatments on dark skin colors

Compatible Hair Colors:

Almost all hair colors other than lighter ones

Quanta Laser is actually a combination of several types of lasers like Alexandrite and Nd; Yag laser or IPL or Ebrium Yag laser. Most quanta laser machines use a combination of Alexandrite and Nd; Yag lasers in different wavelengths.

Although the Quanta laser helps with hair regrowth reduction, it is mostly used to treat active acne, angiomas, tattoos, skin surfacing, age spots, and more.

4. Alexandrite Laser Machine

Example of Machine:

Candela Alexandrite Laser

The wavelength of Light:

755 nm

Basic Systems with Alexandrite Laser:

  • Candela

  • Cynosure apogee

  • Gentle lase

  • Epitouch plus

Pros:

  • Fastest machine because of its fast repetitions and increased spot size

  • Better penetration into the hair

  • Can be used on all skin tones from white to olive colors

  • Works from thick and thin hair

Cons:

  • The treatment is painful

  • Does not work on very dark skin tones

  • Can cause hypo or hyperpigmentation of the skin

Suitable Skin Types:

All from white to olive

Compatible Hair Colors:

Only dark hair colors. No effect on light hair shades.

Alexandrite Laser hair removal machines are the most commonly used lasers at professional levels because of their fast treatment time. Just like other laser lights, its radiation is absorbed into the hair pigment and it destroys the hair follicle.

It is distinguished from other lasers because it is suitable for albinos and people having freckles. However, the treatment is painful and often requires anesthetic gels to go through your session. Also, aftercare after your Alexandrite session is a must.

Additionally, treatment with Alaxdrite laser can take up to a year with sessions scheduled over a span of 1 month.

5. Nd: Yag Laser Machine

Example of Machine:

Lyra Yag Laser Machine

The wavelength of Light:

532-1064 nm

Basic Systems with Yag Laser:

  • Cool Glide

  • Image

  • Lyra

  • Sciton

  • Cutera

  • Gentle Yag

  • Candela

  • Athos

  • Varia

Pros:

  • Suitable for medium and dark skin tones

  • Destroys hair at papilla and Offers long-lasting results as compared to other lasers

Cons:

  • Not much effective for light skin tones

  • Poor absorption into melanin. So, it requires a greater number of sessions for effective results

Suitable Skin Types:

All skin tones from light to dark

Compatible Hair Colors:

Black, brown, or dark blonde hair colors. No effect of light or white hair

Nd; Yag laser machines either work at 1064 nm wavelength or use a dual frequency of 532 nm. This laser does not act efficiently on melanin in the hair, rather it is absorbed into carbon chromophobes.

So, a carbon lotion is applied over the skin that penetrated hair follicles followed by absorption of yag laser. This makes Yag one of the safest lasers.

However, carbon can also color the skin in some cases. Yag laser also has a speedy repetition rate and you can get done with the treatment quickly. Additionally, it works well on thick hair.

6. Diode Hair Removal Laser

Example of Machine:

Epi Star Diode Laser Machine

The wavelength of Light:

810 nm

Basic Systems with Diode Laser:

  • Apex 800

  • F1 Diode

  • Laser Light

  • SLP 100

  • Me Dio Star

  • Light Sheer

  • Sopra Noxl

Pros:

  • Safe and effective laser penetration into the skin

  • Adjustable intensity of light

  • Suitable for dark hair colors

  • Does not damage the skin

  • Treats coarse hair effectively

Cons:

  • More sessions are required for people with dark skin

  • May cause skin discoloration

  • May cause urticaria

  • Most advanced laser with little research available on it

Suitable Skin Types:

Fair, light, medium, and dark skin tones

Compatible Hair Colors:

Can be used on black, brown, red, or dark blonde hair colors. Does not work on white, grey, or light blonde hair

Diode hair removal lasers use laser light emitted from a combination of diodes or semiconductors. So, its wavelength can be changed according to the requirement. The process of treatment with diode is similar to Alexandrite. But it is associated with relatively less pain and fewer sessions.

It works best for thick, dense, and coarse hair. So, permanent hair removal in men is often done by the diode. Additionally, it is the best laser to remove hair from the back and chest. However, as there is not much research on the diode, the long-term benefits of this laser in hair removal are undefined.

Conclusion

Hair removal laser machines have come a long way starting with the Ruby laser which is no longer used and advancing to the Diode laser with little research on it. In between them lies Alexandrite, Ng; Yag, and IPL laser machines.

Most of them only work for light skin tones and dark hair colors. But Yag and Diode are compatible with dark skin as well. Regardless of the compatibility, they are expensive. Out of all these lasers, the IPL device is the only one which can be used at home safely.

Lastly, we leave deciding the best one for yourself up to you.

Viktoria
Viktoria
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