Want to get rid of that body hair for good? Join the club. Current beauty trends emphasize the importance of beautiful skin that is clear, smooth and hairless. If hair removal is a part of your beauty regimen, you have over a dozen options to choose. For short term results, you might consider shaving, tweezing, threading, epilating, or waxing. If you opt for achieving permanent results, some of the best methods of hair removal are laser hair removal and electrolysis.
Both electrolysis and laser hair removal proved to be effective in permanent reduction of hair. However, each method has its advantages, disadvantages, and unique specifications. Let us discuss each approach and compare electrolysis vs laser hair removal.
Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal Comparison Chart:
Electrolysis is a hair removal technique that is done by a professional electrologist. It is a technique of removing individual hairs from the face or body. Electrolysis is a process of passing an electrical current through a hair follicle, which damages the follicle and prevents new hair growth.
During the procedure, the electrologist inserts a tiny probe into each hair follicle. Then she releases a controlled amount of heat using appropriate settings of the device. The heat detaches the hair and its root from the follicle. Also, it conducts shortwave radio frequencies into hair follicles to stop new hair from growing. As a result, the damage to hair follicles causes existing hairs to fall out and prevents the growth of new hair.
For the best results, multiple sessions of follow-up treatments are necessary.
Advantages of electrolysis
Besides being an FDA approved method of permanent hair removal, electrolysis has the following advantages:
- Adaptability: electrolysis works on people with any skin color, hair color, and type of hair. Additionally, it is suitable to treat both small and large areas of the body. It is used to treat hair on body, face, around the eyes and other sensitive areas of the body.
- Recovery: Although the procedure may leave the skin slightly irritated and red, these symptoms disappear within a couple of hours. After electrolysis treatment, no aftercare is necessary.
- Low-maintenance: Once the hair follicles of all hair get destroyed and the hair falls out, no more treatments are required.
Disadvantages of electrolysis
Although there are several benefits to electrolysis, there are some shortcomings and complications to consider:
- Multiple sessions: If you choose electrolysis for treating larger areas of the body such as the legs, it can take more than a few long sessions to get permanent results. Moreover, coarse hair requires more sessions. Depending on the area of the treatment and the type of hair, it may need over 20 treatment sessions to get the best results.
- Discomfort: One of the most annoying factors people experience undergoing electrolysis hair removal is pain. Every single current directed to each hair follicle causes discomfort. Taking a painkiller before treatment or applying ice after the procedure may help with irritation and tenderness.
- Possible side effects: In rare cases, due to un-sterilized needles infection and scaring are possible. Therefore, it is important to undergo an electrolysis treatment with a board-certified professional.
Laser Hair Removal
As the name suggests, laser hair removal uses laser beams to injure hair follicles, preventing or slowing future growth. The procedure permanently diminishes the growth of hair. However, it does not eliminate unwanted hair forever. Eventually, the hair grows back slower and weaker.
Before the procedure, the hair of the treatment area needs to be carefully trimmed or shaved. Depending on the color of the skin of a client and the thickness of the hair, the technician adjusts the laser device’s settings.
The technician then applies a protective gel to the skin. Depending on the treatment area, some people may ask for topical anesthetic or take a pain reliever to minimize discomfort. (Necessary for the bikini area!) Also, wearing eye protection during the treatment is necessary for both the client and the practitioner.
Following the procedure, applying cooling gel or calming cream may be necessary to ease discomfort. Up to 10 follow-up sessions may be required to achieve the best results. Treatment sessions are scheduled 4 to 6 weeks apart. When the hair growth is significantly reduced, a client may need maintenance sessions every six to ten months.
Advantages of laser hair removal
A few of the benefits of laser hair removal include:
- Speed: In just milliseconds, laser beams treat the targeted area, which includes several hairs. This means that laser hair removal is one of the most time efficient methods of permanent hair reduction.
- Slow growth: After each session of laser hair removal, new hair grows more deliberate and much weaker. Also, laser beams affect the density and the color of the hair. It grows back less dense and a few shades lighter than before.
- Efficacy: Although laser hair removal does not claim to remove the hair permanently, many people see a permanent reduction of hair in just 3 to 6 sessions.
- Convenience: Laser hair removal can be done at home with new at-home IPL devices. Having an at-home IPL device enables you to perform treatments on your schedule. This makes for a much more private and pleasant experience. Privacy is especially important when treating intimate areas such as the bikini area.
Disadvantages of laser hair removal
Laser hair removal may not suit every person. Main disadvantages and risks of laser hair removal include:
- Not ideal for all coloring: The lasers work best on people with light to medium skin and dark hair. The laser targets dark pigments and may cause burns on dark skin. Read more about laser hair removal for darker skin.
- Risk of adverse reactions: It is very rare but possible to get side effects of laser hair removal, which include discoloration, skin redness, swelling, blisters, and scarring. These symptoms, however, resolve within a few hours of the treatment.
- Photo-sensitivity: Laser procedures may increase photo-sensitivity in people. Therefore, it is suggested to avoid direct sun exposure right after the procedure or apply an adequate amount of sun protection.
Which hair removal method is best – electrolysis vs laser hair removal?
When comparing electrolysis vs laser hair removal, both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Both of the techniques provide a long-term solution to unwanted hair growth. However, considering the discomfort and the length of the procedure associated with electrolysis, laser hair removal stands as a winner method of permanent hair reduction.
If you prefer to get your hands on an IPL device, make sure to do good research on best IPL devices for home use. We’ve reviewed all the top models and shared our top picks over here.