What is an Nd:Yag and why is it needed to treat dark skin
Laser Hair Removal | 11 February 2021

Why is an Nd:Yag laser used for hair removal?

An Nd:Yag is used for hair removal because it safely removes hair without damaging the surrounding skin. An Nd:Yag laser is a laser that is specially designed to remove hair for darker skin types. This laser is configured to a specific wavelength of invisible light. This wavelength is called Nd:Yag and is set to 1064nm. This penetrates deep into the skin to target the blood supply that is connected to your hair. When energy is delivered into the skin it absorbs into this blood supply. This results in damage to the interconnecting cells between the hair root and the blood supply that nourishes it. This wavelength has other uses and can also be used to treat broken veins . So, why is an Nd:Yag laser used for hair removal? is a really important question you need to know if you have dark skin.


How Nd:Yag works for dark skin types?

Laser hair removal works differently for dark, medium and pale skin types. Different lasers are used for each skin type. Darker skin types must be treated with an Nd:Yag for safety reasons. When this laser is pulsed over the skin energy is delivered into the skin to target the blood supply at the base of the hair follicle. This wavelength has poor absorption into melanin (dark pigment) and will leave the surrounding skin and tissue unaffected.  

How Nd YAG works on Dark skin for laser hair removal

The Nd:Yag will also penetrate the skin deeper, nearly 4-5nm. Hair follicles are found at a depth of around 3-4nm. Because the base of the hair follicle is deeper in the skin this is the ideal depth of penetration in order to target the blood supply. 


Why is an Alexandrite not suitable for dark skin?

An Alexandrite works on a different wavelength. 755nm penetrates slightly higher meaning it will target the base of the hair where it is needed. On lighter skin laser hair removal works by absorbing into dark hairs containing melanin. Because the contrast between hair and skin is defined, the laser absorbs into the hair. There is less melanin in the skin so less absorption occurs. An Alexandrite would deliver the heat and energy too rapidly into darker skin. Because it is focused on absorbing into melanin too much absorption would take place. This would result in skin damage if the incorrect setting was used. 

Depth of penetration of laser for dark skin types


Laser is completely safe for all skin types 

Laser hair removal is safe for all  skin types. As with all skin types care and attention must be taken to insure the correct settings are chosen. Staff here at Urbana are dedicated to hair removal, they have one focus, removing hair. Staff are trained to the highest standard and are confident in using the full range of settings on our lasers. Proper treatment times are allocated to each one of our treatments. This is to ensure your safety, comfort and results. Continuous patch testing is also performed so we can increase your settings safely as you move through your course.

More sessions may be required for darker skin types as the Nd:Yag works slightly differently. Nonetheless results are well worth the extra sessions that may be needed. It is important to be fully aware of what to expect before your treatment course. 

How laser hair removal works for different skin types

Why do I need a Consultation? 

A consultation appointment is vital to the success of your treatment course.

Your hair colour and hair density needs to be checked before you start to make sure they are suitable. If these are not checked there is a chance that your hair may not be dark enough or thick enough for treatment. If you start laser and your hair is not suitable you could be wasting your time and money.  

In order to establish how many sessions you will need for laser hair removal we will need to see you for this assessment. Any underlying health/hormonal issues discussed so you fully understand how your results may vary. Due to these issues it’s important to give you realistic expectations so you know what to expect. Every aspect of laser is explained in detail so you understand what’s involved before you start. Why is an Nd:Yag laser used for hair removal is one of the most important questions you need answered during your consultation. The safety of your skin relies on this laser being used correctly. 


Why is a patch test important before you start on the Nd:Yag?

A patch test is also essential. For the safety of your skin this must be performed before you start. Laser can cause pigmentation if the wrong setting is selected so it is vital that you have a patch test. A patch test allows us to configure a setting that is tailored to your skin and hair type.  It also allows for a higher setting to be used at the start of your course. Starting laser hair removal without a patch test is extremely risky for your skin. If a patch test is not performed before you start chances are that a very low setting is being used. If settings are kept low during your course this will affect your results. By doing a patch test first we can use much more effective settings from the start of your course. You will achieve better results by having a patch test first. 

In addition to this a patch test allows you to feel the sensation of the laser before you start. As a result you are much more at-ease coming in for your first treatment as you know how laser feels. So now you know why is an Nd:Yag laser is used for hair removal, your skin will be safe with us. 

Don’t delay, start laser with us today

Being a dedicated hair removal clinic, we treat all skin types daily. Our staff are fully trained hair removal experts and know how to keep your skin safe. Results are super important to us, we work hard to ensure you see them fast. We don’t rush treatments, we take our time to make sure all areas are covered. It’s important to us that if you are putting your trust in us to do your treatments that they are 100% perfect for you.


At any stage during your course you can request a review if you are concerned about your progress. We also try to keep you with the same therapist so that your results can be monitored the whole way through. Book a consultation and chat to our friendly team.