This is about products such as:

  1. The "Theradome" laser helmet (this claims to stimulate hair growth through lasers)

Theradome™, a biomedical engineering company based in the Silicon Valley, is the proud designer, developer and manufacturer of the Theradome™ LH80 PRO, the first and most powerful FDA cleared OTC wearable laser hair helmet for laser hair growth treatment. At last, millions of people suffering hair loss can enjoy clinically effective laser hair restoration treatments at home, at an affordable price, with a simple push of a button.

  1. Silk'n Flash&Go Hair Removal Device (claims to remove hair using lasers)

Silk'n Flash&Go™ is a revolutionary light-based system for permanent results at home. Now you can remove unwanted hair forever on your body and face – all with gentle pulses of light that disable hair growth. It's the safe way to get smooth, beautiful skin.

From the information on the website, it would appear that the products are safe for all; however, both products seem to be not recommended for the two darkest skin colors on the Fitzpatrick Skin Tone Classification Scale on a variety of different product feedback websites. What is the reasoning behind this?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's considered a requisite on biology.se that at least some research (reading, searching for related information) is carried out and presented with your question. (For example, have you googled "is laser hair removal in dark skin harmful"? What did you find? What confuses you?) Otherwise it will be closed as homework. The site tour and the help center provide guidance on how to use this site. $\endgroup$ Jan 23 '15 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ For those who voted to close on the grounds of personal medical advice, I hope you will read my post here on meta. $\endgroup$
    – dustin
    Jan 23 '15 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ @dustin - your beliefs about this question are better addressed in meta than here. $\endgroup$ Jan 23 '15 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse I did address it their. I wanted the people who made that close reason to see. This would be similar to downvoting without commenting if I didn't inform them. $\endgroup$
    – dustin
    Jan 23 '15 at 18:45

The reason for laser hair removal/growth products not being safe for darker skin tones is the ability for darker skin tones to absorb more light from the laser than lighter skin does BEFORE the light is able to reach the depth at which the hair follicle is located. Light from lasers must pass through the epidermis where melanocytes are located before they reach the hair follicle.

enter image description here

More melanin means increased ability to absorb wavelengths as seen in the curve below. Laser products such as Theradome (678nm) and Silk'N (475-1200 nm) have shorter wavelengths, which are highly absorbed by melanin, and therefore can damage skin in darker skin tone patients. Safer products like Nd:YAG are those that have higher wavelengths at 1064nm and can penetrate the skin without over-absorption by melanin.

enter image description here

Disclosures: I own no stock in any of these companies.



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