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Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis: Which Is Better?
When it comes to long-lasting hair removal solutions, you have two main options to choose from: laser hair removal vs. electrolysis.
In this post, we’ll explain what laser hair removal and electrolysis are all about. We’ll give you all of the relevant details, so you’ll have an easier time figuring out which will be best for you.
What to Expect From Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is considered a permanent hair reduction method. In practice, this means that laser helps to reduce hair growth for a long long time.
Laser is an incredible technology. The machine emits a beam of light that knows how to differentiate between the hair follicle and the skin around it. It zaps the follicle with light, which then converts into heat and affects the hair follicle’s ability to regrow hair.
A laser hair removal session is incredibly quick (seriously! We can treat both legs in less than 30 minutes). It’s not particularly comfortable, but it’s not too painful, either – we usually compare it to having a tiny elastic snapped against your skin. Afterwards, a bit of redness or stinging is common, but it usually goes away within a few days.
Patients see noticeable hair reduction after every session, but it normally takes 6 to 12 sessions for total smoothness. Thankfully, a series of 6 sessions is quite affordable.
That said, laser doesn’t always get rid of 100% of hair. It’s not suitable for getting rid of very light hair or peach fuzz, for instance. In some cases, there can be some regrowth, especially in cases of hormonal fluctuation. A couple of maintenance sessions a year will usually nip that in the bud.
Here are some of the major reasons why laser hair removal is so great, particularly in comparison to electrolysis.
- It’s extremely fast – the kind of service you can get done during your lunch hour!
- Laser hair removal is quite affordable, with a treatment session costing just a little more than waxing.
- Once you finish your series of sessions, the results are very long-lasting.
- You can shave between appointments.
Laser also has some drawbacks that it’s important to be aware of.
- It’s not effective on very light hair.
- There is a risk of some regrowth, especially in cases of hormonal fluctuation. That’s why it’s considered a hair reduction method rather than total removal.
- Laser hair removal cannot be done around the eyes.
What to Expect From Electrolysis
Giving credit where it’s due – electrolysis is an FDA-approved permanent hair removal method. It’s done with a long, thin probe that zaps the hair follicle with an electric pulse. The electricity damages the very root of the hair, much like laser, to prevent regrowth.
Electrolysis is a little more invasive than laser. The electrologist has to insert the needle through the surface of the skin, directly into the hair follicle. The level of pain depends on the person and the body part being treated, but most find it more painful than laser.
After zapping the follicle with an electric pulse, they pull out the hair itself with tweezers. This means that you have to have some hair growth in order to get the service done. Appointment lengths vary widely from person to person, but they’re generally about 5 to 10time longer than laser for the same body part.
Just like with laser, electrolysis also requires multiple sessions to fully stop hair growth. It can be done safely around once a week, which is more often than laser which can only be done once a month.
The number of sessions needed to see total hairlessness really varies from person to person. Some patients may get the results they want after 6 months, although for others, it may take years.
Finally, electrolysis is usually quite a bit more expensive than laser, especially when taking into account that it’s slower going and often requires more treatment sessions.
These are the main standout benefits of doing electrolysis vs laser.
- Electrolysis provides the most consistent long-term results.
- It can be done on all hair colors.
- It’s safe to do around the eyes.
It’s also important to consider the drawbacks before opting for electrolysis.
- Electrolysis deals with one hair follicle at a time, so it’s very time-consuming.
- Compared to laser, electrolysis is more painful and invasive since it requires inserting the probe directly into the follicle.
- Usually, it takes longer to see results with electrolysis.
- Electrolysis is often more expensive than laser in the long term.
Which Is Best?
Laser hair removal and electrolysis are quite different, but both have their place in the world. It’s not quite right to think of it as laser hair removal vs electrolysis – it might be better to embrace both!
For the average person, laser hair removal is almost always the best option at the start. It’s much faster and more affordable than electrolysis. This is especially true if you’re dealing with large and medium-sized areas like the legs, back, or underarms, but it also applies to small areas like the upper lip.
That said, there are some cases where it’s better to choose electrolysis over laser. The first is if you want to get rid of very light hair. The second is if you’d like to remove hair that grows very close to your eyes, like the eyebrows or upper cheeks.
What ends up being the most effective and convenient option for a lot of people is to start out with a series of laser hair removal treatments. Then, they follow it up with just a few sessions of electrolysis. The laser deals with the bulk of the hair, while the electrolysis addresses the really persistent stragglers.
This way, they can reduce their overall spending on electrolysis. It also saves a lot of time and pain. By doing it this way, you basically get to have your cake and eat it too! If you’d like to get rid of some unwanted hair for the long term, it’s important to start early. Book your laser hair removal appointment, and soon enough, every day will be a hair-free day.