Understanding Skin Type for Laser Hair Removal

Understanding Skin Type for Laser Hair Removal

There is a direct effect on which type of laser hair removal treatments you can have based upon your skin type. Skin types are categorized by the Fitzpatrick scale on a sliding scale between 1 and 6. In its simplest form, the Fitzpatrick scale is a way to classify how easily someone can get sunburn.

There are two leading edge laser machines, called the Alexandrite and the Yag, that are used in laser hair removal. Where you fall on the scale determines which laser you can safely and effectively be treated with. It is important to keep in mind thatboth lasers look for pigment in the skin. The darkest pigment in the skin is where all the energy from the laser light is transferred. These lasers operate at different wavelengths and penetrate the skin.

The Alexandrite laser penetrates the skin 755nm (nanometers) deep and is suitable for skin types 1 through 4 The Yag, on the other hand, penetrates the skin at 1064nm. Since these lasers target pigment, some skin type 4s and all skin types 5 and 6 would be treated with a yag laser. The Yag penetrates past the skin’s pigment and targets the follicle. An Alexandrite laser would very likely burn skin types 5 and 6. In retrospect,a yag laser on lighter skin types will not be as effective as an alexandrite. Below is a list of the skin types with descriptions. Always speak with your certified laser hair removal professional when determining your skin type and make sure the correct laser is being used for your circumstance.

Type 1

Type 1 is the most susceptible to sunburns. Type 1’s are usually very pale and white in skin color. They typically are either blond or redheaded, and may have freckles. Type 1’s never get tanned as well. People of Northern European countries are a good example

Type 2

Type 2’s typically burn with very a low ability to tan. Their skin tones are white and they look fair. A Type 2’s may be of Asian heritage, such as koreans or the Japanese. They may also be of European Heritage with a fair complexion and blue eyes.

Type 3

A type 3 is more resilient to sunburn. They may get a mild burn at times, but they tan uniformly. A type 3 might be someone of latin or mediterranean heritage. Greek, Armenian, Spanish, and Mexican are good examples of typical type 3 skin tone.

Type 4

Type 4’s are naturally moderately brown in skin tone. They do burn, but minimally. Usually brown eyed with dark hair, a person of Indian American descent or those from India are good examples.

Type 5

Type 5’s very rarely burn and tan very easily. They have a dark brown skin tone and may have African or Central/South American Ancestry.

Type 6

Typ 6 Never burns. Their skin tone is very dark and they never tan. Most type 6’s have an African American descendancy. A person of Nigerian descent is a perfect example.

Skin Types



At Ivy Laser Salon, we specialize in mapping your skin to the right laser to get you the best results. We have been serving  the Henderson Area and Greater Las Vegas area for years, and will do right by you. Contact us today and schedule your complimentary evaluation for laser hair removal.