The Diode Laser (800nm or 810 nm wavelength)
In my opinion, the Diode laser is the next most useful hair removal light source and the most promising laser for hair removal.
The Diode laser systems include: SLP 1000, F1 Diode, Light Sheer, MeDioStar, LaserLite, Epistar and Apex 800.
These Diode systems deliver a longer wavelength than the Ruby (694 nm wavelength) and the Alexandrite (755 nm wavelength) lasers, but a shorter wavelength than the Nd: Yag (1064 nm wavelength)
laser. This longer wavelength enables the light to penetrate deeper and is theoretically safer than shorter wavelength lasers because it can better avoid the melanin pigment in the skin's epidermis.
The Diode laser's longer wavelength of light thereby penetrates into the hair follicle without causing as much epidermal injury as the Ruby or the Alexandrite. This fact allows the Diode laser to
be used on darker skin colors than the Ruby or Alexandrite.
Because the Diode is the most recently introduced of the hair removal lasers, there is less experience and less long-term data in evaluating the Diode's claims. Newer Diode lasers such as the
SLP 1000 are attempting to deliver longer durations of light (up to 1000 milliseconds) in order to protect the epidermal pigment thereby producing fewer side effects while producing better hair
removal. There is just not enough experience with these newer machines, which have only been on the market since early 2001 (after having been re-modified)! These longer durations are designed to
emulate the longer durations available for five years with the UltimateTM Light treatments. Surprisingly, the pulse durations on the Quantum, Aculight, or Vasculight systems have been made shorter,
while lasers try to lengthen their durations to catch up with the UltimateTM Light pulsed light.
The 800 nm Diode at this time is probably capable of treating skin types 1, 2, 3; possibly 4, 5; and maybe 6. I would personally wait for more information and experience before recommending this
machine. In my opinion, the Ultimate Light pulsed light is the best overall machine for treating all six skin types based on safety and long term use (over nine years).
However, for effective short-term treatment of skin types 1 to 4, I believe that the 800 nm Diode is satisfactory.
- Harvey H. Jay, M.D.