Laser Hair Removal in Indian Skin: Many Options in 2023

In the past, laser hair removal was not safe and effective for Indian skin. However, laser device manufacturing technology has advanced tremendously during the past decade and this is no longer true.

As of 2023, laser hair removal can work well in Indian skin, but one has to be selective in the type of laser wavelength used. The treatment pulse duration, power setting and cooling mechanism all impact success and side effect rates in brown skin.

What Lasers are Best for Indian Skin Hair Removal?

A majority of people from India tend to have darker skin types IV-VI on the Fitzpatrick scale. For such highly pigmented skin, Nd:YAG lasers are the most suitable for laser hair removal, although Diode lasers can also be effective.

Among the main laser types, Nd:YAG (1064-nm wavelength) lasers penetrate the deepest into the skin (5-7 mm into the dermis). As a result, they only target the darker pigmented hair, but not the pigment in the skin. This prevents any trauma to the skin that could lead to scars and hyperpigmentation.

One of the most popular options for hair removal in darker South Asian skin is the GentleYAG® and GentleMax® series from Candela. The former is a YAG (1064 nm) laser, but the latter is a combination of the Alexandrite (755nm) and YAG.

The Musk Clinic in Ahmedabad (India) uses the unique Alma Soprano Ice Platinum laser for laser hair reduction. This laser combines all three main wavelengths that you see in lasers (Alexandrite, Diode and Nd:YAG) via one handpiece. The manufacturer calls this the trio clustered diode technology for laser hair removal. This laser targets the hair follicle bulge, bulb and deeper layer dermal papilla cells.

Laser Hair Removal Indian Skin
Laser Hair Removal in Indian Skin with Alma Soprano Ice.

Note that some Indians have fairer skin type III with a bit less melanin. In such cases, even some IPL at-home lasers can be effective for hair removal. Within South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka), residents typically describe themselves as having a fair, wheatish or dark skin tone. A recent 2022 study from India found that an 810 nm diode laser is safe and effective in the reduction of dark, coarse terminal facial and axillary hairs in Fitzpatrick skin types III-V.

Before and After Results

On YouTube, you can find tons of videos of Indian patients discussing their experiences with laser hair removal, including before and after photos. One famous personality recently even discussed her 10 year laser hair removal update. On Reddit, many people also discuss their results in subreddits such as IndianSkincareAddicts. Some people had success with full body hair removal using both the YAG and Diode lasers.

In many cases, people will see major permanent body hair removal success after the recommended 6-10 treatments. However, all the body hair will not go away, hence the alternative term “body hair reduction” that is used by many industry experts.

Best Clinics for Indian Laser Hair Removal

Make sure to read my post on black and brown skin laser resources. In there, I list the names of most top clinics in India that specialize in treating Indian skin with laser. Many of them have numerous before and after photos of their tanned skin South Asian patients on their website.

Make sure to do a patch test before undertaking large scale laser hair reduction treatment. You want to get an idea about how your darker skin reacts to the light energy before opting for regular sessions.

Also make sure to not fall for marketing gimmicks and discount promotional offers. Check all online reviews of the clinic and doctor you select. Pick the best and safest, even if their prices are higher. In the long run, this will increase your overall satisfaction rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about laser hair removal in Indian skin.

Does laser hair removal work on Indian skin?

Yes, laser hair removal does work effectively on Indian skin. However, one must be careful in using an appropriate wavelength laser such as the Nd:YAG that effectively targets the higher melanin content in Indian skin.

What is the best laser for Indian hair removal?

The Nd:YAG and Diode lasers are the most effective and popular lasers for Indian body hair removal. Their wavelengths ensure safe hair removal without damaging darker toned Indian skin.

Is IPL good for Indian skin?

IPL treatments are only safe for Fitzpatrick skin types 1-4. Most Indians have skin types 5 or 6. However, IPL is safe for South Asians with lighter skin tones.

Does laser hair removal cause side effects in Indian skin tone?

New generation lasers are perfectly safe the darker Indian skin tone. Older lasers used to result in side effects burns and skin darkening. But newer lasers that use Nd:YAG and Diode wavelengths are free from such side effects.

Treating Hyperpigmentation on Indian Skin

Indian skin is particularly susceptible to hyperpigmentation. Most people in India have a skin tone ranging from Type III to Type VI on the Fitzpatrick scale, although Type II is also seen in the northernmost regions of the country. The general recommendations on reducing hyperpigmentation in people with darker skin are not alway set in stone when it comes to South Asian skin.

Something that will work in African American skin might not work as well in Indian skin. On a side note, South Asians tend to have substantially more body hair than other ethnicities, so laser hair removal is extremely popular in the subcontinent. Lasers that work well on the fairer skinned Indians (skin Type III or even lighter).

Treating Hyperpigmentation in Indian Skin

If you have Indian skin, you must check out the clinics and doctors that are listed in the India country section in my page on top clinics for dark skin laser treatments. Not only are these clinics experienced at treating darker skin, they almost entirely specialize in treating Indian patients.

Most of them have years of experience in using lasers to treat Indian skin. Whether for hair removal, hyperpigmentation treatment, acne scar revision, moles and skin tag removal and much more. And they all use the latest available technologies that work on South Asian dusky skin tones.

The depth of hyperpigmentation is also an important factor when it comes to treatment strategy. Epidermal hyperpigmentation is on the upper layers of the skin and hence easier to treat. In contrast, dermal pigmentation runs much deeper and requires more intensive treatments.

Vogue India has a good summary of recommendations in treating dark spots in Indian skin. According to Dr. Lara Devgan, if done too agressively, lasers, chemical peels, and microinfusion microneedling for fading darkness can make dark spots worse in peple with olive and darker skin tones.

The Ageless Clinic in India in Mumbai has a useful page that discusses pigmentation issues in Indian skin. Below is an image from the clinic’s instagram that shows a before and after result in removing hyperpigmentation from an Indian person.

Hyperpigmentation Indian Skin
Before and after hyperpigmentation in Indian skin. Treatment from Ageless Clinic.

The clinic’s owner is Dr. Harsha Bijlani. According to her, once the issue causing your pigmentation is under control (whether hormonal, due to injury or excessive sun exposure), peels and lasers are the most common ways to prevent and fight pigmentation. Inititial treatment will usually consist of skin lightening creams that are more suitable for darker skin.

At the Ageless Clinic, hyperpigmentation treatment consists of the following options:

  • PicoSure®.
  • Clear Skin Laser™.
  • Cosmelan™.
  • AgeLess Diamond Skin Resurfacing™.
  • Dermaroller with Lightening Agents.
  • Mesotherpy with Lightening Agents.
  • Skin-brightening Super-Medi Facials.
  • AgeLess Stem Cell Face Treatment™.
  • Chemical Peels.

A Common Skin Concern

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern for individuals with Indian skin tones. It can be caused by various factors, including sun exposure, inflammation, hormonal changes, and genetics. Here are some general recommendations for treating hyperpigmentation on Indian skin:

  1. Sun Protection:
    • Sun exposure can exacerbate hyperpigmentation. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF (at least 30) every day, even on cloudy days. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you are outdoors.
  2. Topical Skin Lightening Agents:
    • Ingredients such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, niacinamide, alpha arbutin, and licorice extract can help lighten hyperpigmented areas. These ingredients may be found in over-the-counter products or prescribed by a dermatologist.
  3. Retinoids:
    • Retinoids, such as retinol or prescription-strength tretinoin, can promote skin cell turnover and help fade hyperpigmentation. Start with a lower concentration to minimize irritation, and gradually increase if tolerated.
  4. Vitamin C:
    • Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help brighten the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. Look for serums containing stabilized vitamin C (ascorbic acid) for maximum effectiveness.
  5. Chemical Peels:
    • Chemical peels, including glycolic acid or salicylic acid peels, can help exfoliate the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. However, these should be done under the supervision of a dermatologist to avoid complications.
  6. Microneedling:
    • Microneedling involves the use of tiny needles to stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture. It can be effective in treating hyperpigmentation when performed by a trained professional.
  7. Prescription Medications:
    • Dermatologists may prescribe stronger medications, such as topical steroids or combination creams, depending on the severity of hyperpigmentation.
  8. Avoid Irritants:
    • Avoid harsh skincare products and treatments that can irritate the skin, as inflammation can worsen hyperpigmentation in individuals with Indian skin tones.
  9. Hydration:
    • Keep your skin well-hydrated. Moisturizing regularly helps maintain the skin barrier and can contribute to an overall healthier complexion.
  10. Consult a Dermatologist:
    • If hyperpigmentation is persistent or severe, it’s essential to consult a dermatologist. They can assess your skin, determine the underlying causes, and recommend a personalized treatment plan.

Remember that consistency is key when treating hyperpigmentation, and results may take time. Additionally, protecting your skin from further sun damage is crucial to preventing the recurrence of hyperpigmented areas. Always patch test new products and introduce them gradually to avoid potential irritation. Individual responses to treatments may vary, so consulting with a dermatologist for personalized advice is recommended.

10 Year Laser Hair Removal Update in Indian Skin

Laser Hair Removal in Indian Skin.

It is not often that someone with Indian skin updates us on their long-term laser hair removal before and after results. Getting someone to do so on a regular basis for 10 years is even rarer. Luckily, “Makeup by Megha” has done just that for us, and it is invaluable. She is of East Indian (or South Asian) ethnicity with a wheatish brown skin tone.

It is almost impossible to get to see results and hear testimonials from people with Indian skin types here in the US. Partly because they make up less than two percent of the population. The vast majority of laser hair removal testimonials come from people of Caucasian origin who have fair skin and dark body hair (the best possible combination to see excellent results). During the past few years, we are also seeing more laser hair removal reviews from African Americans.

Megha got laser hair removal on her whole body! At an unbelievably low cost of just $600 for 6 initial treatments. She went to Skin Matters in Atlanta, where the current full body laser hair removal price is $998 for 8 sessions. Megha advises to check Groupon and Living Social for discount specials.

Great Laser Hair Removal Results in an Indian Female

I am glad to hear that Megha is delighted with her results. It also seems like she did not get any of the dreaded side effects of using lasers on dark skin (e.g., hyperpigmentation).

In Megha’s 10 year results video report below, she even shows us some of her sparse remaining hair on her legs. Very impressive. I am guessing that she must have received treatment from old laser technology when she started 10 plus years ago.

According to her earlier videos, her first treatment involved the Polymer laser. Later ones involved the Candela laser (I assume the Nd:YAG version). I will ask her to elaborate. As is common, the armpits gave the best results in terms of permanency. However, I am also very impressed with the minimal new hair growth on her legs.

10 Year Before and After Results

June 18, 2021:

5 Year Before and After Results

March 11, 2016:

Below are her earlier updates:

Make sure to also see my page on brown and black skin resources.


The following are some tips for choosing a qualified and experienced laser hair removal practitioner for Indian skin:

  • Make sure to check the practitioner’s experience and qualifications. Especially in treating people with Indian skin.
  • Ask about the practitioner’s success rate in treating ethnic skin types. Make sure to check out some before and after photos.
  • Ensure that the technician is adhering to laser device safety protocols.
  • Get an initial consultation before undergoing treatment.