All Lasers are Not Created Equal

Featured in The Magazine of Santa Clarita. June 2007

One of the most requested non-surgical procedures in the United States right now is laser hair removal. But like so many cosmetic procedures, the quality of the provider is influenced by the tools that they use. Lasers may all seem the same, but they are not!

Recent research has proven that the “810 Diode” type of laser is more effective for laser hair removal than the widely used “1064 Yag” or an “IPL”. The “Yag” laser method is a cheaper, faster laser, so sessions go quickly. Though it is good for work on blood vessels and skin rejuvenation, use of Yag laser for hair removal is a more economically-driven decision by spas, than for the unique needs of their customers. Both the Yag and IPL classification of lasers can be used for multiple cosmetic procedures, therefore providing greater savings for the provider. However, the results can be less effective than could be achieved with an 810 Diode laser.

There are even differences in quality between 810 Diode types of lasers! Some have a wide variety of pulse widths to accommodate different hair thickness, hair color and skin color. The pulse width is the length of time the laser hits the skin. Allowing a laser physician to choose the pulse width is important because thick hair in white skin requires short durations and darker skin requires longer durations. As a result, the provider is able to remove hair in fewer sessions and minimize the occurrence of burning the skin, which happens when the skin is improperly exposed to the laser.

So, what should you look for when selecting a laser hair removal provider? One of the most important things to gauge is the variety of laser equipment used by the facility. Different types of lasers work better for different procedures. The 810 Diode laser method may be a more expensive and slower solution for laser hair removal, but it is not nearly as uncomfortable for the patient and, because it works better, fewer sessions are required.

For more information about laser technology and cosmetic surgery, please contact Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic care at 661.254.3686, or visit our Web site at