Probably the most ubiquitous long-term hair removal technique, laser works by targeting the pigment at the root. It is highly effective, and with various types of lasers on the market, there is generally a beam to suit every skin type. Below, a dossier of some of the leading lights.
ALEXANDRITE, DIODE: “These are the two gold standards right now for permanent hair removal, but they are only meant for people with light skin and dark hair [the contrast is key so the laser doesn’t accidentally target the skin],” says dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe
YAG: This long-pulsed laser is ideal for darker complexions because its energy levels are deliberately lower. The treatment process will take longer, but the reduced energy ensures the laser is safe and won’t target the pigment in the skin.
MIRASMOOTH: Currently FDA-approved for underarm hair only, this new color-blind laser was originally developed to treat sweating (an added bonus), and its microwave technology has proven particularly powerful. To wit: One hour-long treatment gets rid of 70 percent of hair growth. “In the past we had no way of treating someone who has a dark skin tone or blond, gray, or red hair, so this is very cutting edge,” says Bowe, who adds that the company is currently developing the technology for other areas of the body.