2 Why is this more suitable for dark skin hair removal than other light-based options?
Safe and proven laser hair removal in Singapore, including dark skin types.
The Fotona Laser Hair Removal treatment uses an Nd:YAG long-pulse laser – a non-invasive laser treatment that is effective in treating different types of skin conditions. It has the ability to penetrate deeply into the skin to create thermal effects without damaging the skin surface. Its homogeneous absorption in skin and low absorption in melanin allow it to be safely used with all skin types, including darker skin tones.
Fotona, founded just 4 years after the invention of the first laser in 1960, is one of the pioneers in laser technology.
Like sunscreens and foundation shades, laser hair removal for dark skin did not exist for a long time.
However, thanks to increasing focus on inclusivity and technological advancements, many of us who could not have hair removal treatments due to our skin tone are now able to get it done safely and effectively.
Lasers and other light-based treatments work by beaming intense light energy into the follicle, damaging the hair permanently so that it no longer grows.
These traditional laser and light treatments could not be performed on dark skin individuals because they relied on the contrast between the darker hair follicle and lighter skin as sort of a “bullseye” to focus the light energy and target pigments in the hair.
Back then, these devices were not sophisticated enough to distinguish between the pigments in brown or black skin and dark hair. This could potentially damage surrounding skin, resulting in dark and light spots, blisters, or even scarring.
As a high-powered, non-invasive hair removal treatment, the Fotona Nd:YAG long pulse laser offers semi-permanent to permanent hair removal by amplifying light and targeting the pigment in each hair follicle.
What sets it apart from conventional lasers is that the long pulsed laser energy bypasses the melanin pigments in your skin and targets only the hair – leaving your skin unharmed in the process.
Once you’ve been determined to be a suitable candidate by the doctor, you can begin treatment. Before it begins, the treatment area should have been shaved at least 24 hours prior to treatment.
You’ll be given a pair of protective eyewear at the start of the treatment to maximise your comfort.
During treatment, you will feel a slight prickling of your skin as the doctor runs the laser piece over the treatment area(s). At SL Aesthetic Clinic, we use a Zimmer Cooler to quickly cool the treatment area for your added comfort.
When the doctor has completed the treatment, you are then free to leave without the need for the application of recovery creams.
No. Most patients find this tolerable even without topical numbing. Should you require, additional numbing can be applied beforehand.
Yes. The damage that is done to the hair follicles are permanent, and with enough treatments over a period of time, the treated hairs will not grow back.
It is important to note that each hair follicle goes through its own hair growth cycles – even for follicles that are next to each other.
And because hair removal works at a specific stage of the hair growth cycle, treatments are repeated on the same area over an extended period of time to sufficiently target and destroy these hair follicles.
While generally speaking darker skin individuals require more treatments than fair skin ones, everyone’s different. The cost will also vary by the size of the treatment area; the larger the area, the more it costs.
Here’s a cost estimate based on the treat area involved.
|Area||Price per session|
(may vary by the individual)
|Half neck (front or back)||$300|
|Top half legs||$950|
|Bottom half legs||$950|
For most areas, expect to need at least 6 sessions to see good hair removal. Treatment sessions are performed once every 3-4 weeks.
You will see a gradual decrease in hair growth and new hairs that do grow are thinner and finer.
Each Fotona Nd:YAG long pulse hair removal session can take around 10-20 minutes for small areas, and up to an hour or more for larger areas. An optional 30-min numbing can be done prior to the session if desired.
There are no side effects other than a chance of slight redness and mild swelling of the treatment area. These will subside in a matter of hours.
There is virtually no downtime. You are free to return to your daily activities. We recommend that patients avoid prolonged sun exposure for the next few days to let your skin recuperate.
Once a hair follicle is destroyed by the laser, it stays destroyed. With sufficient and frequent treatment, hairs in a treatment area will gradually disappear entirely.
Ensure that you’re in a good state of health and not suffering from any bacterial, fungal or viral infection in the treatment area. Always disclose your full medical history during consultation, including supplements and other medications you may be taking.
Also inform the doctor at least a week before treatment if you have any history of Herpes Simplex (cold sores) in the treatment area so that the appropriate medication can be prescribed to prevent an outbreak.
While pregnant women are free to enjoy this treatment, you must also inform your doctor about your pregnancy, or plan for pregnancy or if you are nursing.
Inform your doctor if you have other skin conditions (e.g., eczema, psoriasis) or have any unusual or allergic reactions to any ingredients or topicals.
And lastly, we encourage you to shave the hairs on treatment area short (~1mm length) at least 24 hours prior to your session – this makes the whole treatment process easier, faster, and safer for you.
Plan ahead; avoid any ablative lasers at least 4 weeks prior, avoid extended periods of sun exposure or at the very least use sun protection, and schedule your treatment at least 1 week ahead of a special event as the skin may take up to a few days to fully heal from the laser.
The Fotona Nd:YAG long pulse laser hair removal may be unsuitable in the following circumstances:
Do not use products that can cause irritation such as alcohol-based products, abrasive scrubs, and toners or products containing glycolic acids or Retin A.
After each treatment session, avoid prolonged sun exposure for the next 7 to 10 days. Also, avoid tanning beds or tanning booths and sunlamps. Continue to wash and moisturise the treatment areas with a gentle cleanser and moisturiser for the next few days and always use sunscreen.
It should be considered as a viable hair removal option especially for dark skin individuals.
Any healthy adult of any skin type or colour looking to remove hair safely, effectively, and semi-permanently or permanently.
[21 Sep 2021] Written by Dr. Charlene Goh
Having obtained her medical degree in Scotland, Dr Charlene Goh returned home to Singapore, where she practised in several major hospitals and in various departments. But her education did not stop there.
From a young age, Charlene has had a strong interest in skincare and beauty trends. Urged by Dr Kelvin Chua to pursue her passion, Charlene went away to study Practical Dermatology at Cardiff University in Wales.
Not one to rest on her laurels, she returned home and picked up certifications from various aesthetic organisations.
Now armed with the proper certifications and experience, Charlene is adept at a wide range of minimally invasive aesthetic procedures such as laser treatments, dermal fillers, botulinum toxin injections, etc.
A firm believer in presenting one’s best self, Charlene hopes to help others achieve confidence through a holistic approach; a wholesome combination of a healthy lifestyle and diet, complemented by clinically proven aesthetic treatments.
Charlene is a self-confessed beauty junkie and fashionista, and will happily discuss the latest trends with friends and patients.
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