Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis

Know About Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis

There is little doubt that facial hair is the most annoying of all unnecessary hair. This is especially true for women as there is no way to hide these hairs.

Thankfully, there are quite a few options for getting rid of facial hair, though electrolysis and laser are the two techniques most widely used now.

Of these, electrolysis is the older technique but with the introduction of laser technique, it started losing popularity.

Nevertheless, it is gaining popularity once again after the FDA categorized electrolysis as a permanent way of removing hair.

So, you may be wondering which the most appropriate method is for you. The information that follows will help you decide that.

Let’s first understand the two techniques.

Slide One - copy
Slide One
Slide Two - copy
Slide One - copy
Slide Two
Slide Two - copy
previous arrow
next arrow
Slide One - copy
Slide One
Slide Two - copy
Slide One - copy
Slide Two
Slide Two - copy
previous arrow
next arrow

Chapter 1

Introduce Electrolysis

Introduced towards the end of 19th century, electrolysis is proven to remove hair permanently.

This technique involves insertion of a needle into the hair follicle, which is subsequently destroyed by chemical treatment or electrically produced heat.

When performed by competent hands, the results are similar to those of laser hair removal and are known to offer more permanent results for those who are not fir for laser treatment, including people having very dark skin or having red, gray or blond hair.

Electrolysis uses various methods:

Galvanic Electrolysis – This is the oldest technique that employs a chemical reaction for destroying hair follicles.

Thermolysis Electrolysis – In this case radio frequencies are used to produce heat that destroys the follicles.

Basically, it damages the cells that cause hair growth.

Blend Electrolysis – It uses a combination of both the above techniques to make certain that all hair follicles are satisfactorily destroyed.

Electrolysis is a highly skilled job. Though electrolysis machines for use at home are available, it is recommended to patronize a licensed, trained professional.

The reason is electrolysis can be a tiresome and somewhat uncomfortable and intricate process. Some patients may need anesthesia for comfort but most don’t require it really.

For these reasons, it is generally not recommended for larger areas like the back, legs or bikini. The electrolysis treatment is considered most effective for facial areas like the chin, upper lip, and cheeks. No, it can’t be used for removing hair from within the nose.

The most important factor for a safe and effective treatment is choosing the right professional.


Side Effects of Electrolysis

If electrolysis is not performed properly you can expect full or part of hairs to grow again. It may also cause permanent skin damages and can spread infections.

Therefore, it is vital to ensure that all the tools used are appropriately sterilized. Usual side effects are mild and may include swelling, redness, which disappears in a couple of days.

Scabs indicate healing but severe scabbing could cause permanent scarring or pigmentation changes, once again emphasizing the need to be treated by experienced professional.

Chapter 2

Laser Hair Removal

Use of laser for removal of hair is the latest available technique for the purpose. Though the technique has been here for quite a few years, it continues to undergo technological developments and modern tools ensure effective removal of hair.

This technique uses a long pulse laser to remove hair and is performed by a laser specialist, specially trained for the job.

Lasers emit wavelengths of light that get absorbed by the pigment in hair (melanin). When the skin surrounding the hair is lighter in color than the color of the hair, the laser gets focused in the hair shaft, successfully destroying it without affecting the skin or the follicle.


Since hair grows in cycles, different hairs enter their growth cycle at different times, meaning you would necessarily require six to eight treatments spread over a period of two to three months to disable all the follicles in any area. One treatment may last from a couple of minutes to one hour or even more


Usually, hair removal through this technique is not more painful than waxing but the sensation is dissimilar. Each pulse from the laser gives a sensation of a rubber band snapping against the skin for a fraction of a second. You realize pain only when the laser hits the skin but it doesn’t last.

Most people do not need an anesthetic cream but very sensitive patients may be prescribed one.

One limitation, if it may be called so, is that laser treatment doesn’t work equally well on all types of skins. Since laser technology targets dark pigment, it is most suitable for pale skin with dark coarse hair.

The lighter the color of skin and the darker and coarser are hair, the better are the results.

This treatment doesn’t work very well for people having light brown, blonde or light red hair.

This treatment is used for hair removal for both, males and females. Hair removal is usually done on legs, abdomen, underarm, pubic area, buttocks, thighs, back, chin, lip, neck, face, arms, toes and chest. It is ideal for treating areas having dark, dense, coarse hair growth.

Chapter 3

Selecting The Right Technique

You’ll need to consider the following important factors when zeroing in on the hair removal technique that is most appropriate for you:

Hair color: Since lasers focus on the pigment in hair, this technique naturally doesn’t very well suit blonde, white, light brown or light red hair. Those with light colored hair would do well to consider electrolysis for hair removal.

Skin type: As already pointed out laser hair removal usually works better for people having fair skin. Though the treatment can be applied to skins having darker tones, people having darker complexion are likely to get better results on opting for electrolysis.

Size of the area to be treated: The size of the area needing hair removal is an important factor. Though both the techniques are good for most parts of the body, when the amount of hair to be removed is considerable, laser hair removal delivers better results.

Expense: Both the options are moderately expensive and expense also varies with the body part needing hair removal. Knowing that laser hair removal certainly needs to be repeated at periodic intervals, it would work out to be more expensive when you want the results to remain effective for long.

Chapter 4

Risks or Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal

Some people may temporarily experience these effects:

  • Itching
  • Swelling around mouth of follicle for up to 3 days
  • Redness that may last up to 3 days
  • Tingling or feeling of numbness

Using an inappropriate laser or setting can cause:

  • Bruising
  • Crusting/scab formation
  • Temporary pigment change
  • Purpura (purple coloring of the skin)