When consider electrolysis vs. laser permanent hair removal methods, there are a few important factors to consider. We put together a side-by-side comparison of electrolysis vs. laser to help you make the best choice for you – whether you are dealing with a few stray hairs or need hair removal for your bikini area, chest, back, legs and more! If you have any questions about permanent hair removal and what may be best for your body, don’t hesitate to contact Alison! With 15+ years of experience working with men and women in Los Angeles, she is an expert when it comes to dealing with unwanted hair – permanently!
How is electrolysis different from laser hair removal? Read up and make an informed choice for your face and body!
Electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal method, as corroborated by the FDA.
It is currently the only method of hair removal that will last for your entire life.
Laser hair removal is a long-term method of hair reduction that lasts for about 2 years. You can expect about 45-90% of hair growth reduction.
Laser can in some cases actually stimulate hair growth, and make the hair coarser and darker, especially on the hormonal areas (face, nipples, stomach).
Everyone can get electrolysis hair removal. It is safe and effective for women and men, all skin tones, and all hair color. It works on all hair types, including straight hair, curly hair, and kinky hair.
Laser hair removal only works on people with light skin and dark hair. The darker the hair, the better. The main people that see results with laser are non-hormonal people, working on non-hormonal areas, with the perfect blend of “light skin, dark hair.” Arms get really bad results from laser.
A metal probe that looks like a tiny needle is inserted into the skin until it reaches the follicle. Electricity is sent into the follicle in order to permanently destroy it. It’s much more precise than the laser. It’s not killing the actual root of the hair. The electricity makes the follicle incapable of producing any more hairs. And that’s why electrolysis is the only permanent method.
Pulses of laser light are sent to the follicle, which should permanently destroy it. However, the follicle is not permanently destroyed unlike electrolysis. The follicle only pauses from producing hairs for a certain amount of time, on average, 2 years. Laser may produce short-term results results faster, and the sessions are shorter, but for the long term electrolysis is more effective.
It can take between 9 months up to 18 months to treat a single area. It depends on the surface of the area you are having treated. The difference is also made by fine hair growth or heavy growth. If instance, if it’s leg hair removal, it will take possibly 2 years of sessions to complete.
Each session lasts from 15 minutes to an hour. You may want to start with weekly sessions then change to monthly sessions.
Often 3 – 6 sessions are needed for reducing hair growth for 2 years, but it may take up to 10 sessions or even 20 sessions depending on your hair. Maintenance is required about every 6 months to 1 year.
Electrolysis is mostly pain-free. Discomfort is felt, like a warming sensation, but not pain.
Laser is known to cause pain. That’s why there’s even a special numbing crème used. It can be really bad for some people, but others describe it as a pinch or rubber band snap.
Laser burns the skin, not the root of the the hair like electrolysis.
The most common side effects after an electrolysis session are redness, mild tenderness and some swelling. These side effects are all normal and temporary.
Laser hair removal on the eyebrows can be dangerous if the laser light comes into contact with the eyes. It is important to wear protective eye shield, and to keep your eyes closed for the entire treatment. Scarring, although rare, is another possible side effect. Laser can also stimulate hidden facial hair to grow in women.
Electrolysis is effective and safe on tattooed skin.
If you have a tattoo on the area you want to be treated for permanent hair removal, then laser hair removal isn’t an option. Lasers look for pigment, so if you are getting laser and have dark pigment from a tattoo, the treatment can result in burns.
Electrolysis is safe and approved for the permanent removal of unsightly hairs growing from healthy moles.
(Note: It is important to have a dermatologist check out your mole prior to starting electrolysis treatment)
Lasers are not suitable for use on hair growing from moles. The dark pigment in the mole can lead to a high risk of burning.