The colour of the hair

There must be a concentration of colour in the hair to absorb the laser light. The treatment does not work on grey or blonde hair.

The skin colour

Skin type is determined genetically and is one of the many aspects of your overall appearance, which also includes colour of eyes, hair etc. The way your skin reacts to sun exposure is another important factor in correctly assessing your skin type. Recent tanning (sun bathing, artificial tanning or tanning creams) has a major impact on the evaluation of your skin colour and it is vital that this is discussed with the therapist before testing the skin.

There needs to be a minimum of colour in the skin. Asian Skin Types are fine for treatments but Afro-Caribbean coloured skin contains so much pigment that the laser/VPL light is absorbed in the skin and not the hair and is difficult to successfully treat.

The hair

The hair needs to be just visible on the surface of the skin in order to indicate the position of the follicle. The shorter and more coarse the hair the better the treatment results.

Growth cycle

Any method of laser hair removal relies up on the hair growth cycle as the germinal matrix of the follicle can only be affected by treatment when in the ‘Anagen’ or growing phase of the cycle. Treatment schedules need to take this process into account, accordingly the timing of appointments is crucial to the success of treatment.


Some medications can cause photosensitivity of the skin. These include some antibiotics and blood pressure/heart tablets. These medications do not exclude clients from treatments but a full list of medication should be asked for and disclosed by the patient to the treating clinician. Test shots are always advisable in order to gauge individual skin reaction.