The Fraxel Dual vs the Halo laser – which is better?

What is the difference between the Halo and the Fraxel laser?

Great question. Every year, there’s a new “best thing” that is largely media driven. A lot of what you see on the web and in print, and in some doctor’s offices (since some just buy what the reps are marketing), is largely driven by the size of the companies’ marketing budget. It may or may not actually be an innovation that benefits you! So, here we go: Fraxel Dual vs Halo laser. More broadly, I’ll answer: are the Halo laser’s claimed features better than any of the existing laser services, and why?

What is the Halo laser? It is a hybrid fractional laser that uses a combination of wavelengths. It’s marketing claims to eliminate “years of damage [discoloration, tone]  by precisely targeting the right depth. Halo restores the luminous glow you had when you were younger.”

My Take on The Halo Laser:

If it’s in quotes, I’m quoting the Halo laser’s marketing claims.

1. “Integrated Handpiece” 

I’m not impressed. This refers to cooling and smoke evacuation at the same time. Most offices doing a lot of laser work are already using powerful cooling systems (the Zimmer) and powerful smoke evacuation systems. Don’t see how this benefits you. It might even be worse, since the combined systems are usually not as effective.

2. “DTO technology”

I’m not impressed.  This refers to the potential automatic adjustment of each pulse to your skin temperature, but think about it: Your skin temperature is already fairly steady in a room and then the handpiece itself is constantly cooling you to a lower temperature anyway.   If the system is being used correctly, this seems to not add anything meaningful.

3. “Optical Navigation”

I’m not impressed.  All of the lasers we use, and most currently in use, have some form of this already. It’s a little different for each type of laser. The speed of the hand piece doesn’t really matter for your results or your discomfort, except that higher hand piece speeds can make your discomfort worse.

4. “First Hybrid Fractional Laser”

This means that the two wavelengths are contained in one “head.” The Fraxel Dual does the same thing, only it administers the first wavelength and then administers the second wavelength right after the first, so it has a similar synergistic effect. I don’t see why it benefits you, except to maybe shorten the treatment time a little?

Bottom Line on Halo Laser:

  • Results.  You should be able to get equal, if not better results with the Fraxel Dual. Redness still responds better to IPLs and Vbeams.
  • Comfort. I haven’t compared the two for comfort. If the Halo is more comfortable, that might be an advantage.
  • Cost. Who knows how this will be priced. be skeptical if it’s priced much higher than a Fraxel Dual
  • Downtime This depends on how exactly (energy and depth) each treatment is done. Talk to your provider about this carefully!

If anyone has better science or data that disagrees with this, I’d love to hear it. Write in to my question form to give your opinion. 

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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