Alexandrite vs. YAG Laser Hair Removal
Alexandrite vs. YAG Laser Hair Removal: Which is Right for You?
Are you tired of dealing with unwanted hair and considering laser hair removal as a solution? If so, you've likely come across the terms "Alexandrite" and "YAG" lasers. But what's the difference, and which one should you rely on for yourself?
In this easy-to-understand guide by our team at Aesthetic Allure, we'll explore the key distinctions between Alexandrite and YAG laser hair removal. We'll dive into the science behind these treatments, their wavelengths, effectiveness, safety, and who they are best suited for.
Understanding Laser Hair Removal
Before we jump into the specifics of Alexandrite and YAG lasers, we always love to start off by understanding the basics of laser hair removal that we use here at our office.
Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure at Aesthetic Allure that uses concentrated light energy to target and remove unwanted hair. Our lasers emit specific wavelengths of light that are absorbed by the melanin (pigment) in your hair follicle. This process damages the follicle and inhibits future hair growth. Pretty convenient right? Now let’s move on and get a little more technical.
Wavelengths and Laser Technology
Specific wavelengths of laser light depend on the properties of the lasing medium and the design of the laser cavity, and so, for the purpose of our lasers used here at Aesthetic Allure, the general principles behind producing those wavelengths used in Alexandrite and YAG lasers are simply this:
Alexandrite Lasers: Utilize a synthetic crystal made from the mineral alexandrite. When this crystal is excited by a flashlamp, it emits light at a wavelength of 755 nanometers (nm).
YAG Lasers: YAG stands for "Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet," and YAG lasers use this crystal as the lasing medium. When excited, they emit light at a wavelength of 1064 nanometers (nm).
Now you might think…why is there a need to have two different wavelengths one clearly higher than the other? That is where we have to go into the science to understand how each wavelength functions in regards to safety and efficacy.
The Science Behind Alexandrite Lasers
Alexandrite lasers are one of the most commonly used types of lasers for hair removal. These lasers emit light at a wavelength of 755 nanometers (nm). This wavelength is highly absorbed by melanin, the pigment responsible for hair color. When the laser is directed at the hair follicle, the melanin in the hair absorbs the energy, which is then converted into heat. This heat damages the hair follicle, inhibiting further hair growth. Alexandrite lasers are particularly effective for individuals with fair to medium skin tones and fine to medium hair.
Key Points for Alexandrite Lasers:
Wavelength: 755 nm
Skin Tone Compatibility: Best for light to medium skin tones
Effectiveness: Highly effective for hair removal on light skin and fine hair
Safety: Safe when used by experienced practitioners with the right technology
The Science Behind YAG Lasers
YAG lasers, on the other hand, with a wavelength of 1064 nanometers (nm), penetrate deeper into the skin. They are also absorbed by melanin but the important key here is that they can bypass the upper layers of the skin, making them suitable for individuals with darker skin tones. YAG lasers generate heat within the hair follicle, damaging it and preventing future hair growth.
Key Points for YAG Lasers:
Wavelength: 1064 nm
Skin Tone Compatibility: Ideal for darker and tan skin tones
Effectiveness: Effective for dark/olive skin and a dark/coarse hair
Safety: Safe when used by skilled professionals and correct technology.
Now that you're well-versed in the differences between Alexandrite and YAG laser hair removal, we’ve come to understand basically that darker skin tones need deeper wavelengths (YAG) to avoid targeting the melanin in the skin and instead target the melanin inside the hair follicle. While lighter skin tones can opt into shorter wavelengths (Alexandrite) as they won’t have any damaging effects on the skin.
The Final Say.
It’s important to understand that, although you may know the difference between Alexandrite and YAG laser wavelengths now, you should never expect to force your choice upon laser technicians. Yes, these two wavelengths exist and you understand them, but it is the laser technician that will ultimately make the final decision on what wavelength and settings to use on your skin for that treatment.
Remember that safety and effectiveness depend on various factors, so consult with our qualified laser technicians to determine the best option as we have the technology to offer both wavelengths for your unique hair removal goals. Our licensed technicians will confidently assess your individual needs and recommend the most suitable treatment.
Say goodbye to unwanted hair and hello to smoother skin with the power of our laser technology at Aesthetic Allure. Book your complimentary consultation and laser patch test to see if laser hair removal is an option for you!