Laser performed epilation, or removal of the hair beneath the skin, was done experimentally for twenty odd years before it officially entered the market in the 1990's. Laser based methods are known as photoepilation or phototricholysis.

Concomitant to lasers, there are hair removal methods using of xenon flash lamp that gives out IPL (Intense pulsed light). However, this is not totally a laser treatment. Selective photothermolysis is the l idea behind laser hair removal. Lasers cause damage by exclusively heating dark matter in areas causing hair growth. Dark matter or chromophore absorbs laser treatment more intensively than light matter.

Laser based treatment target one of the three chromophores: Carbon that is artificially placed in the hair follicle; hemoglobin that gives blood its natural red color, and melanin - a dark pigment found in skin, hair and eyes et al - which is the foremost chromophore for laser-based treatments in America.

Lasers are useful for surface skin procedures like removing birthmarks and tattoos, as the targeted area is even in color and depth in comparison to hair. Also, hairs can vary in diameter, depth and color. This irregularity makes treatment a little more difficult. Hairs with varying widths receive laser treatment differently. It is not possible for laser-based treatment to be efficient foe deep-rooted hairs without overheating the surface skin. The more melanin one has in the hair or the darker the hair, the more effective the laser treatment. For example, a person with colored hair is not considered the ideal candidate for laser treatment.

And, melanin gives the skin a darker look. People with fairer skin characteristically have less skin melanin. Darker skinned people have more. The laser cannot differentiate between the melanin in skin and hair. As a result, in darker skinned people, treatment is generally absorbed by the skin. Lighter skin does not guarantee a better treatment. In fact, for best results the skin tone and hair color should be as different as possible.