Types of Laser Hair Removal Machines: Which Is Best? | SEV (2024)

Trying to understand all of the different types of laser hair removal machines can make your head spin. You’ve probably heard of a few key technologies, like diode, ruby, and alexandrite – but what do those terms mean, and how will they impact your laser hair removal experience and results? That’s what we’ll explain in this guide.

Laser Hair Removal Machine Technology Comparison

A laser is a device that emits amplified, concentrated light at a very specific wavelength, which is how it’s able to reach the hair follicle and inhibit hair growth.

The exact wavelength of the laser largely depends on the type of laser hair removal machine and the kind of crystal it utilizes to amplify light. This has a major impact on how the laser will work for hair removal, and whether it’ll be safe for different kinds of clients.

Here are the main types of laser hair removal machines, and how they fare against one another.

Alexandrite

When it comes to efficacy, alexandrite lasers beat all of the other laser technologies. Studies consistently show that alexandrite laser devices can eliminate a greater percentage of hairs compared to other machines.

Alexandrite is proven safe and highly effective for Fitzpatrick skin types 1-3, but those with deeper skin tones will do better with a different laser, such as the Nd:YAG. If the alexandrite pulse is slowed down, it can be safe for those with deeper skin tones – however, the use of lasers with longer wavelengths is better established.

Nd:YAG

Nd:YAG stands for neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet. Try to say that five times fast! This oddly-named crystal was developed specifically for laser, emitting light at a 1064 nm wavelength. The higher wavelength means that it bypasses the skin completely when penetrating the hair follicle, making it the safest option for laser hair removal on darker skin tones.

Ruby

We always appreciate a ruby when it comes to our jewelry, but as a laser hair removal technology, it’s old news. The first laser device ever created used a ruby crystal to amplify light, and it paved the way for more laser innovations.

However, ruby lasers have a wavelength of 694 nm, which means they struggle to penetrate past the skin into the hair follicle without significant color contrast. As such, they carry a notable risk of side effects such as blistering, hyperpigmentation, and hypopigmentation, especially for patients with darker skin tones.

Diode

Next up is the diode laser, which is the most popular type of laser hair removal machine on the market. It’s the technology you’re most likely to encounter at your local salon for two simple reasons: Diode lasers are cheap and versatile. Unfortunately, diode laser machines aren’t the most effective option.

Diode lasers have a wavelength between 800 and 810 nm, so they can work on a broad range of skin tones, but with slightly less impressive results. For patients with darker skin, there’s also a slightly higher risk of side effects, especially if the practitioner isn’t experienced enough.

It’s also worth adding that while diode laser machines can be purchased for relatively small investment, those savings are rarely passed on to the client. Most salons and med spas charge similar rates for laser hair removal, regardless of the type of laser hair removal machine they use.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Lastly, there is intense pulsed light (IPL). Technically, IPL isn’t a type of laser hair removal machine, since it emits light on a broad spectrum. Compared to laser devices, IPL is weaker and gentler, so it’s popular for home-use devices. While it depends on the specific machine, IPL generally works on a more limited range of skin tones and often requires a greater number of treatments compared to lasers.

Types of Laser Hair Removal Machines: Which Is Best? | SEV (1)

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Laser Hair Removal Machine

These are the factors that’ll help you determine if a salon or clinic has the right equipment for your needs.

Your skin tone: We use the Fitzpatrick scale to determine the safest way to treat each patient. Early laser technologies only worked on those with lighter skin tones and had the potential to burn or cause adverse side effects in patients with deeper skin tones.

If your skin type is a 4 or above on the Fitzpatrick scale, a med spa that uses Nd:YAG lasers is your safest bet. If you have a lighter skin tone, most laser devices will work, but you’ll likely see the best results with alexandrite laser machines.

Costs: The majority of med spas charge the same for laser hair removal treatments, regardless of what kinds of machines they use. This is despite the fact that alexandrite and Nd:YAG laser machines are often significantly costlier than diode or IPL machines. For that reason, pay attention to pricing and inquire about the type of machine your med spa uses.

Provider: Finally, choosing an experienced laser hair removal provider is just as important as paying attention to the technology they use. Your provider is responsible for choosing the best treatment settings for your skin type and treating you in a comprehensive manner, to guarantee the best results with minimal side effects.

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Laser Machines at SEV

Across all SEV locations, we treat our clients with the best types of laser hair removal machines available on the market. All of our med spas use machines that combine alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers. This allows us to treat a diverse range of skin tones to the highest level of efficacy and safety.

We only use equipment from reputable medical aesthetic companies like Cynosure and Candela, which are also equipped with cooling gust mechanisms, to soothe the skin and reduce pain levels during treatments.

Just as importantly, our registered nurses and laser technicians have the expertise needed to choose the correct treatment settings for each patient. With SEV, you’re always in good hands. If you’d like to start your journey to hair-free skin, go ahead and book an appointment at your nearest SEV!

Types of Laser Hair Removal Machines: Which Is Best? | SEV (2024)

FAQs

Types of Laser Hair Removal Machines: Which Is Best? | SEV? ›

Studies consistently show that alexandrite laser devices can eliminate a greater percentage of hairs compared to other machines. Alexandrite is proven safe and highly effective for Fitzpatrick skin

Fitzpatrick skin
The Fitzpatrick scale (also Fitzpatrick skin typing test; or Fitzpatrick phototyping scale) is a numerical classification schema for human skin color. It was developed in 1975 by American dermatologist Thomas B. Fitzpatrick as a way to estimate the response of different types of skin to ultraviolet (UV) light.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Fitzpatrick_scale
types 1-3, but those with deeper skin tones will do better with a different laser, such as the Nd:YAG.

What to look for when buying a laser hair removal machine? ›

A machine with an appropriate window size will let you treat the area quickly. Operational power (in Watts): The more power the machines use, the more effective they are. If the power is lower, then the treatment will take longer. A device with 2000 Watts or higher would be a good choice.

Which laser treatment is better for hair removal? ›

The Alexandrite is the best laser for light skin and light brown or dark hair on light skin. And the Nd:YAG laser is the optimal choice for dark skin. The delivery of powerful pulses gives a quick effect, even for large areas such as a back or entire legs.

Are all laser hair removal machines the same? ›

There are a variety of laser hair removal machines available on the market, but not all of them work the same or have the same efficacy. Some laser hair removal machines are safe for tanned skin and darker skin tones, while others are not.

What is the most powerful laser hair removal machine? ›

The Primelase HR by Cocoon Medical is considered the all round best and most powerful machine yet FDA cleared, safe and NO counterfeit machines anywhere on the internet.

Which type of laser has highest efficiency? ›

Diode Laser

Only in Diode lasers, where electrical energy is directly transformed into laser radiation, it is possible to achieve high efficiency. Such high efficiency is the reason why not much energy is wasted in Diode lasers, and they can operate without special cooling mechanisms.

How do I choose a laser machine? ›

The power of the laser

For example, if you're working with thin materials like paper or cardboard, a lower-wattage laser tube around 40 watts would be a great choice. However, if you want to cut through thicker materials like 2mm - 6mm wood or acrylics, we recommend a higher-wattage laser tube around 60w - 100w.

What type of laser is most effective? ›

When it comes to efficacy, alexandrite lasers beat all of the other laser technologies. Studies consistently show that alexandrite laser devices can eliminate a greater percentage of hairs compared to other machines.

What is the best laser hair removal machine in clinic? ›

The fastest laser hair removal technology is Alexandrite, and the Medi-Diode which works best for larger body areas among patients who have light-to-olive complexions. Additionally, the Romeo & Juliette Synchro REPLAY dual-wavelength laser machine is one of the fastest and most powerful lasers available.

What is the best laser for pubic hair removal? ›

JOVS Venus Pro™ II IPL Hair Removal Device

Whether you're looking to remove hair on your face, arms, legs, or bikini area, this at-home laser can get the job done. This device uses Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT)—an advancement in IPL technology—which emits higher intensity light to speed up the hair removal process.

Which laser is better, diode or alexandrite? ›

Diode lasers are typically more effective for individuals with darker hair and fair skin, while alexandrite lasers are more versatile and can be used on a wider range of skin types and hair colors. Another factor to consider is the treatment area.

What is the latest technology for hair removal? ›

The state-of-the-art DiolazeXL laser is a safe, effective solution that gets to the root of unwanted hair. Most patients notice a significant reduction in hair growth after a few sessions. With a series of treatments, DiolazeXL achieves long-lasting results which are permanent in many cases.

What is the most effective form of laser hair removal? ›

Alexandrite. When it comes to efficacy, alexandrite lasers beat all of the other laser technologies. Studies consistently show that alexandrite laser devices can eliminate a greater percentage of hairs compared to other machines.

What is the most effective permanent laser hair removal? ›

IPL stands for intense pulsed light. IPL laser hair removal is arguably the most effective hair removal technique around (even more so than your epilator) – namely because it's a permanent hair removal system for both legs and hard-to-reach areas.

Which is better IPL or diode laser machine? ›

Diode laser hair removal is more comfortable because of the integrated cooling and treats more hair and skin types, whereas IPL is best suited for those with darker hair and lighter skin.

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