Choosing to remove your hair is a big decision. It’s something that you need to be really sure about, because it will affect your appearance for a long time.
When you have red hair, though, choosing to get laser hair removal can be especially difficult. After all, redheads have very distinct hair color, which means their hair growth is also distinct from other colors—and that can make it harder for laser technology to target the follicles without affecting surrounding skin.
Right here on Cosmeticsurgerytips, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on diode laser for red hair, home laser hair removal red hair, best ipl for red hair, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.
Hair Removal Laser For Red Hair
For a long time, laser hair removal only worked on people with dark hair and light skin. Indeed, the procedure needed a sharp hair to skin contrast to be efficient. And safe. However, new laser technology have changed that.
There is no longer a perfect candidate for laser treatments. Laser procedures work on people with dark skin and dark hair as well as light hair and light skin. To a certain extent however. What about people with ginger hair?
After all, ginger hair is on the blonde spectrum. Even though laser hair removal works on light hair, it does not work on all light hair. Is permanent hair removal an option for redheads? Is permanent ginger hair removal even possible?
Women and men alike are interested in a permanent form of hair reduction to relieve the time and hassle dedicated to their often daily ritual. As a redhead, you may also be seeking a more permanent method of removing body hair.
How does laser hair removal treatment work?
Laser hair removal is a fairly new hair removal option. While shaving pre-dates cavemen, laser treatments really started in the 70s. It is a hair growth-reduction treatment and will remove 95% of unwanted hair permanently.
Approved by the FDA, it does not classify as a permanent hair removal method yet. However, a lot of patients do indeed experience permanent hair reduction. The concept behind the treatment is selective photothermolysis.
A laser beam is used to target a specific object without damaging surrounding tissues. In the context of a laser treatment procedure, that target is the pigment in the hair. Surrounding tissues are the skin. The light energy produced by the laser targets color pigments in the hair.
Once the melanin has absorbed the energy, the latter travels down to the hair follicle where it turns into thermal energy. The heat damages the hair follicle and stop hair growth permanently. However, the treatment only works on body hair that is in the anagen phase of growth.
Indeed, it is the only time the hair is connected to the follicle. Each hair has a unique growth cycle. Thus, only 20% of all body hair will be in the anagen phase at any point in time. Thus, one laser session can only target 10% to 20% of hair at once.
This explains why patients needs multiple laser hair removal. The cumulative effect of each session will lead to permanent hair removal. Each session must be six weeks apart so that the hair can move into the right phase of growth.
Is laser hair removal permanent? When patients ask, does laser hair removal last forever, the answer is yes! After between 5 and 6 treatments, depending on the treatment area, you will be hair-free in that area from then on. Laser hair removal works by destroying the hair follicle when it is in its growth phase.
Why laser treatment may not work on red hair.
Laser hair removal machines look for contrast, and ignore pale areas while focusing their light on areas without pigmentation. Of course, this perfectly benefits people with fair skin and dark body hair. But it means that the procedure is generally not recommended for people with dark skin since there is a chance that the surrounding skin can be damaged by inadvertently being targeted by the laser.
Laser hair removal treatment is at its most effective when two conditions meet. First, there must be a color contrast between the hair and the skin. Second, the right machine must be used during the session. Each skin tone and hair color will require a different type of laser or wavelength. Laser hair removal works by destroying the hair follicle when it is in its growth phase. In the treatment area, not all hair follicles will be in the growth phase at the same moment, which is why you will need multiple treatments in order to receive permanent smoothness and hairlessness on your skin.
To recap, laser hair removal needs hair, pigments and hair follicles. The first one is used as a conduit. The second one is the target and the last one is the final destination. If there is pigment, aka no target, the procedure will not be effective.
It happens often that natural redheads have really light blonde or ginger hair. Thus, it becomes more difficult for the laser to pick up the hair against the skin. This can ruin the precision capabilities of the laser.
The laser may not always be able to pick up the hair with very few color pigments. In addition, the melanin may not be able to absorb the energy. Fortunately, that does not mean that light hair removal is not possible.
Laser hair removal machines work best with thick, coarse hair, which is a mark in favour of many redheads. With many redheads naturally having thick hair, this can make it easier for laser hair removal procedures to work. Similarly, body areas with thicker skin (such as the chin and back) tend to respond better to laser hair removal than areas with thinner, more sensitive skin (such as the bikini area and armpits).
We have indeed proved that laser treatments work on blonde hair.
Laser hair removal for ginger hair.
“Laser hair removal only works on people with dark hair and light skin”.
This is a myth that used to be true but no longer is. Why? Simply because for a long time, the right technology to treat fair hair or people of color did not exist.
Why Laser Hair Removal May Not Work For Red Hair Laser hair removal is the gold standard for people who want to achieve a permanent reduction in their unwanted hair. Unfortunately, laser hair removal is unintentionally discriminatory towards people who have dark skin or very light-coloured hair. This is because the process works by locating and targeting pigment at the hair follicle base.
After all, ginger hair holds very little pigment and is not strong in melanin. Just like blonde hair, ginger hair is more difficult to treat. Not only that but the procedure could also not be efficient at all. We’ve got good news for redheads: laser hair removal works on ginger hair. It just takes a bit longer.
This is no longer the case and therefore a lot of obstacles are gone.Many hair removal options are designed for people with fair skin and dark hair and are simply not suitable for redheads. ND: YAG and diode lasers have changed the game. The treatment is now efficient on all skin tones and hair colors. What matters is that the right one is used for each patient.
Thus, the secret to using laser hair removal on ginger hair is the wavelength. ND: YAG lasers and diode lasers can both use the 755nm wavelength. It does not rely on melanin too much to get to the follicle. As the energy bypasses melanin to reach its destination, a sharp hair to skin contrast is no longer needed.
It is possible that some hair remains too light to be targeted. However, keep in mind that hair on different parts of the body will have different colors. People with red hair may actually have hair in different shades of red.
Indeed, they even have dark blonde hair or light brown hair. Or dark red hair like cherry red or red brown. Regardless, modern laser hair removal devices are now able to pick up light hair. It just needs to hold a few pigments.
Note that intense pulsed light IPL will not work and will not be efficient at removing hair in this context.
What to expect from a laser treatment?
Ginger hair is not a barrier to laser hair removal treatments. Laser hair removal devices work better with thick or coarse hair. Natural redheads have thicker hair usually, so that works in their favor. Laser procedures may be more efficient than on blonde hair.
Furthermore, people with ginger may exhibit different hair color on different parts of their body. Hair on the bikini area and underarms tend to be darker. Thus, they will definitely be treated by the laser in a very effective way.
The only thing to keep in mind is that red hair is still light hair. Therefore, the laser may still find it more difficult to pick up the hair. The treatment is indeed not as straightforward as with dark hair on light skin.
Thus, you may need additional laser sessions. Infinity Laser Spa always advises a minimum of 6 to 8 sessions to achieve good results. However, you may need up to 12 if you have light hair. We also recommend that you schedule a free consultation to discuss your treatment with a technician.
Laser hair removal is not a painful procedure. It feels like pinching. The sensation is also akin to rubber band snapping very fast at the skin. While it is not the most comfortable, it is tolerable and nothing compared to waxing.
How to prepare for your session.
Laser hair removal is a very straightforward procedure. Session length varies based on the area you treat. Having ginger hair will not have an impact on the duration of each appointment. What you need to pay attention to however, is preparation ahead of a session.
Find the doctor who will work for you!, Because red hair has less pigment, it will absorb less energy, producing less follicular damage. Redheads will likely need more treatments than someone who has darker hair in order to permanently reduce unwanted hair. If you’re a natural redhead who has a darker tone of red hair or has thicker hair, then the laser hair removal will work.
Make sure to avoid sun exposure during the ten days before your session. If being in the sun is unavoidable, apply a physical sunblock with a SPF 50. Artificial tanning puts the skin in an excited state that can interfere with the treatment.
Be very careful so that you avoid sunburns. Sun damaged skin is burnt skin. Patients with sunburns cannot in any circumstance undergo laser hair removal on the damaged area. It may lead to irreversible damage.
Sun exposure should be avoided both before laser hair removal and immediately after your treatment.
Shave the night before your appointment so that the skin is not rough and can recover. Clean your skin off any lotion, creams or moisturizers. If you treat your underarms, do not put deodorant. Wear clothes that will cover the treated area whenever possible, i.e. the legs.
After your session is over, stay away from the sun for at least ten days. Always apply sunscreen when you are out and about. Avoid any sweat inducing activity such working out, saunas and hot showers.
Home Laser Hair Removal Red Hair
If you’re sick of shaving, tweezing, or waxing, you might consider more permanent methods of hair removal. Laser hair removal offers the longest-lasting results. Though not completely permanent, you might go weeks without having to redo your treatment.
Laser hair removal works with the help of high-heat lasers or intense pulsed lights (IPLs) that dissolve hair and temporarily disable hair follicles. That way, the follicles won’t be able to produce new hairs for up to several weeks.
You used to have to visit a dermatologist for laser hair removal. While our experts still recommend seeing a professional, you might consider advanced at-home laser hair removal devices you can use at your own convenience.
How we chose
We reviewed these devices based on their safety, efficacy, and price. While only two are true laser hair removal devices, the rest are IPL devices that work in a similar way.
- $ = under $200
- $$ = $200–$400
- $$$ = over $400
Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser
- Price: $$$
Pros: People say it really works.
Cons: Some people report that it hurts to use the device, and it takes a while to see results. Others weren’t happy with the limited battery capacity and the fact that the laser targets a very small area.
Details: The Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser is one of two devices for laser hair removal cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This laser claims to have three times the hair-eliminating energy than other devices.
Best for coarse hair
MiSMON Laser Hair Removal
- Price: $$
Pros: Users report that the device is effective, particularly on thicker, coarse hair.
Cons: The downside to this device is that it’s only suitable for dark hair and fair-to-olive skin tones. You also can’t use it on the lip area.
Details: This device uses IPL technology for hair removal, which is said to be gentler and more effective than other methods. The MiSMON offers a one- to five-level range and 300,000 flashes. It also received an FDA safety certificate.
Best for precise treatment
Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser Precision
- Price: $$
Pros: It delivers the same power and efficacy as the larger Tria laser hair removal device.
Cons: As with the original Tria, the treatments can be painful, and it may take time to see results.
Details: This device has the same technology and FDA clearance as the original Tria laser, but it’s designed for targeting smaller areas such as the upper lip.
Best for sensitive skin
- Price: $$
Pros: A skin tone sensor can automatically adjust the light intensity suited to your skin. The majority of user reviews report that the device reduces unwanted hair with consistent use.
Cons: Some people have commented that they see no change using this device and that the battery life isn’t ideal.
Details: The COSBEAUTY IPL is an FDA-cleared device that claims to treat a leg or arm in only 8 minutes.
Best for small areas
Gillette Venus Silk-Expert
- Price: $
Pros: The size makes it ideal for smaller areas such as the face, underarms, and bikini area.
Cons: The biggest downside to this product is the higher price tag. Customers have also complained that it’s ineffective for dark skin and that it takes a long time to see results.
Details: As a well-known brand of razors, Gillette also has its own product in the growing laser hair removal niche. The Venus Silk-Expert uses IPL technology and is smaller in size compared with other at-home laser devices. It also comes with a face cleansing brush to exfoliate the skin beforehand for more effective results.
Best for efficient treatments
Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 IPL
- Price: $$
Pros: The Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 IPL is equipped with a feature that’s said to naturally adapt to your skin tone, so you’ll see fewer side effects. It should also take less time to see results than other devices.
Cons: This device has a higher price tag, and it doesn’t come with an LED display like some of its competitors do.
Details: If you’re looking for slightly faster results in an at-home hair removal device, consider the Braun Silk-Expert 5 IPL. The brand promises full results at just 4 weeks, which is less than half the time of most other brands.
mē Smooth Permanent Hair Reduction Device
- Price: $$
Pros: Users say this device is small, convenient, and easy to use. Most report significant hair reduction with consistent use.
Cons: Users say it takes many treatments and a lot of time to see results, and others report not seeing results at all.
Details: This FDA-cleared device claims to work on any skin tone and on a broad array of hair colors.
Best for painless laser hair removal
BoSidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal Device
- Price: $$
Pros: Users report 90 percent reduction in hair growth in just 3 weeks and healthier looking skin after 8 weeks. The device also includes a cooling technology to help reduce pain.
Cons: Device may not work well for blonde, gray, or red hairs. Some users report poor customer service.
Details: This BioSidin device uses optimal pulse technology (OPT) plus red light therapy to target hair and boost skin rejuvenation after treatments.
At-home laser hair removal device comparison
|Device||Price||Areas treated||Hair/skin colors treated|
|Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser||$499||All over||Black to light brown hair.|
Light brown to white skin tones.
|MiSMON Laser Hair Removal||$239||Not suitable for lip area||Black to brown hair.|
Olive to fair skin tones.
|Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser Precision||$329||All over||Black to light brown hair.|
Light brown to white skin tones.
|COSBEAUTY IPL||$219||All over||Black to light brown hair.|
White to beige skin tones.
|Gillette Venus Silk-Expert||$150||All over||Black to light brown hair.|
Light brown to fair skin tones.
|Braun Silk-Expert 5 IPL||$329||All over||Black to light brown hair.|
Light brown to fair skin tones.
|mē Smooth Permanent Hair Reduction||$269||All over||All hair colors and skin tones.|
|BoSidin Painless Hair Removal||$339||All over||Black to light hair.|
Brown to fair skin tones.
How to choose
Shopping for the right laser hair removal device goes beyond simply looking for the best reviews. You’ll want to make sure that a prospective device has the following:
- a guideline for hair color and skin tone: The device should match your own.
- flash capacity: This refers to the capacity of IPL or laser wavelength. The higher the number, the longer the device is expected to last.
- varying intensity levels
- an electric cord for longer usage or is battery-powered for ease of use
- different attachments for varying body parts: This may include attachments for the bikini area, underarm, face, and more.
Your budget is another consideration, but you may not want to be too frugal or else you’ll miss out on important features. A good at-home laser device usually costs $100 or more.
How to use
Now that you have your preferred laser hair removal device, you’ll want to do the necessary preparation before use. Make sure the device is fully charged and read the safety instructions. Clean and dry the desired area of skin before use.
To keep the device in tip-top condition, store it in its original box or in a safe place, such as your bathroom cabinet.
The number of treatments you need depends on the device and your individual hair growth. The key is to be consistent about your use to see results.
While laser hair removal is often touted as permanent, the reality is that your hair follicles will heal and produce new hairs at some point.
It can also take a few sessions to see results. But you don’t want to overuse the device, as it can lead to skin irritation and hyperpigmentation.
Laser hair removal results are more predictable when done by a dermatologist. The FDA doesn’t regulate at-home laser hair removal devices, so the results and safety aren’t guaranteed.
There also aren’t enough clinical studies available to prove that at-home lasers are more effective than hair removal at a dermatologist’s office.
Other safety considerations involve your natural skin tone and hair color. Laser hair removal tends to work best on people with light skin tones and dark hair.
Hyperpigmentation, blistering, and irritation are possible side effects in all users. Make sure you follow all instructions included with your device.
While no downtime is required with this procedure, you’ll want to avoid direct sunlight for several days after using a laser hair removal device. Doing so will help reduce the risk of side effects.
With any at-home hair removal device or laser hair removal procedure in a dermatologist’s office, it’s important to avoid waxing or tweezing between treatments. Rather, shave only to preserve the hair follicle so that the laser or IPL device has something to target during your next treatment.
When to see a doctor
Not all devices are safe and effective for all skin tones or hair colors. Talk with a dermatologist to make sure the product is safe for you. They can provide tips for using the device and safety tips to prevent scarring.
Frequently asked questions
Is home laser hair removal safe for the pubic area?
Many at-home laser hair removal devices are safe to use around the bikini area. Avoid using them directly on the genitals.
What are the negatives of laser hair removal?
When used correctly, there are usually minimal side effects to laser hair removal treatments. However, sometimes you can experience blistering, scarring, scabbing, or other changes in skin.
Is at-home IPL safe?
When used correctly, at-home IPL devices can be safe and effective. At-home devices are created with a lower strength than the devices used in doctor’s offices.
If used incorrectly, at-home IPL devices can cause blistering and burns if used on the wrong skin type, so it’s important to be careful with these devices.
Does hair grow back after at-home laser hair removal?
The hair follicles that have been treated should stop growing hair. You should notice fewer hair follicles growing hair. The hair that does grow back will likely be thinner and more fine.
While laser hair removal is traditionally done at a dermatologist’s office, you may still be able to mimic some of the benefits at home. Take the time to compare available features, using this guide as a starting point.
Talk with your dermatologist for further advice on selecting the best hair removal methods for you.