Unwanted body hair is the leading culprit causing irritation for adults of both genders. Fortunately, electrolysis and laser hair removal are two popular, affordable and effective solutions for getting rid of unwanted body hair. The two treatment methods work by targeting hair follicles beneath the skin’s surface to permanently hinder hair growth.
So, what’s the difference between Electrolysis Hair Removal and Laser Hair Removal? That’s exactly what we’re aiming to demystify right here today. We will also explore electrolysis vs. laser hair removal to help you determine which option would suit you best.
In electrolysis, an electrologist inserts an ultra-thin metal probe known as an epilator into each hair follicle. This device delivers shortwave radio frequencies to cause localized damage to the area responsible for hair regeneration.
In laser hair removal, a specialized laser practitioner targets the melanin in the follicle using mild radiation emitted via high-heat lasers. This selective photothermolysis causes localized damage to the hair cells, significantly slowing down their ability to regrow.
Electrolysis treats each individual hair follicle one at a time. As such, the process can be lengthy, often requiring about 15-30 minute sessions spaced one month apart for permanent results. An average treatment takes around 2 years.
Laser hair removal treats several follicles at once in an average session of 15-30 minutes. Therefore, the treatment takes a very short time span. Most patients need approximately 3-7 treatment sessions spaced 3-8 weeks apart for longer-lasting results.
Electrolysis is the only FDA-approved procedure for permanent hair removal today. An electrical current passes through the hair follicle to destroy it and prevent new hair growth.
After multiple follow-up appointments, electrolysis should cause all existing hairs to fall out and permanently prevent new ones from regenerating.
Laser hair removal significantly diminishes hair growth by disabling the follicles as the pigment absorbs laser energy. However, it doesn’t guarantee permanent results as new hairs will eventually grow back in the follicle. The good news is that your new hair will become lighter and finer than previously.
The American Electrology Association suggests electrolysis is effective for everyone no matter the hair type, hair color, skin type, and skin color. It can also be used on all areas of the body – even the eyebrows!
Laser hair removal is much more effective on people with dark hair and light skin as lasers target a contrast between the color of the pigment and the skin tone. While hairs treated with LHR will eventually regrow, the new hairs will be less dense than before, and will also have lighter shades than the previous hair.
Electrolysis requires minimal preparation. For optimal results, you’re advised to trim or shave between sessions. At the time of your procedure, never wear makeup and make sure your hair is about ¼-inch long.
Avoid tan or self-tanning products at least four weeks to your laser appointment. Also, steer clear of any treatments that cause skin irritation (such as depilatories and waxing) at least 1-2 weeks before your appointment. On the day of your treatment, make sure your hair is shaved and avoid makeup.
Pain tolerance in electrolysis hair removal treatment varies from patient to patient. Most people commonly feel a mild pinch and pricking sensation that
lasts for a short time. Patients might also experience swelling and redness after 1-2 treatment sessions, but this should resolve after a few days. Minor discomfort can be experienced during laser hair treatment. Patients might feel a slight heat sensation or a mild snap like that of a rubber band. The tip of the laser device consists of a cooling gel that cools the skin before and after each light pulse to reduce discomfort and minimize side effects.