Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Differences Worth Knowing

There are many ways like shaving, tweezing, and waxing, which can remove unwanted hair. However, many people look for more long-term solutions. The two most commonly used methods for achieving this includes the Electrolysis and Laser hair removal. Both these procedures target follicles under the skin surface to curb or prevent their growth. However; these two methods are different from each other in several ways. In order to know about the differences between electrolysis and laser hair removal, read the following array of the article.

Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Differences Worth Knowing

Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Basic Differences

In case of Electrolysis, electricity is applied to an individual hair follicle via a thin metal probe, causing localized damage. A low level of electrical energy pulse is delivered into the follicle, that causes the treated hair to fall out. This process is repeated hair by hair, on the desired area.

However, in case of laser hair removal, light pulses cause the localized damaged to the hair follicle, by selectively targeting the melanin present in the follicle. Here, the heated melanin tends to burn, that causes the hair follicle to stop producing hair. The size of the treatment window, on the laser allows it to target many hair follicles in a single pulse.

Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Differences Based On The Procedure

Before the electrolysis procedure, a person will have to typically consult with an electrologist and discuss their health and medical history. The procedure itself involves the technician placing an ultra-thin needle into the hair follicles that are targeted for. An electric current is then passed through the probe, thus killing the hair root.

For laser hair removal, the technician performing the surgery will trim the hair that is being treated close to the skin. Then the technician will adjust the settings of the laser, based on the color and thickness of the hair being removed, and also the area being treated. The person’s skin color will also be taken into account here. A cold gel will then be applied to the skin for protecting it. Some people may be given a topical anesthetic so as to minimize discomfort due to the procedure. Anyone having their hair removed with this procedure, will require to wear eye protection during the treatment.

Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Differences Based On The Sessions

In case of electrolysis, the hair removal procedure could be lengthy, as each individual hair follicle must be treated in this case. Usually 15-30 treatments spaced one month apart, are needed for permanent hair removal with electrolysis. Each session can last between 15 -60 minutes, depending on the area being treated.

Laser hair removal consists of 5-8 treatments, spaced 4-8 weeks apart for permanent hair removal. Depending on the area being treated, each session here can last anywhere between 15-90 minutes.

Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Differences Based On Their Benefits

Electrolysis is suitable for anyone, despite of their skin or hair color. This is because this procedure targets the hair follicle, not the pigment in the hair. This process is best suited for small areas of hair removal, as each individual follicle requires to be treated here.

However, laser hair removal is best suited for those who have light skin and dark hair. This is because, this procedure targets the melanin pigment in the hair. Lasers can burn those with dark skin and also may not produce optimal results in those with light hair. But the best thing with laser hair removal is that, it can be used to treat, both large as well as small areas of the body.

Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Differences Based On Their Risks And Side Effects

Some of the risks and side effects of electrolysis include, redness, dry skin, swelling, and an increase in ingrown hairs.

Some of the risks and side effects of laser hair removal are, itching, redness, swelling around the treatment area, a change in skin pigmentation, scabbing and infection and acne.

Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Differences Based On The Pain

With electrolysis, there is a stinging and pricking sensation, and each follicle has to go through it. However, with laser removal, it feels like a rubber band “Snapping” against your skin, and there is also a heat sensation. Everyone has their own tolerance for pain and discomfort, however, coarse and dark hair feels more of the burn. Generally, a man’s laser hair removal in the beard and mustache area, will feel more painful than a woman’s cheeks, chin or lip.

Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Differences Based On Aftercare

In case of electrolysis, very little aftercare is required. Although the skin may feel irritated and appear slightly reddish, these symptoms tend to resolve within a few hours. A person will require several treatments, for permanent hair removal. This is because, the skin has multiple follicles for each hair, and so dormant follicles may begin to grow hair between sessions. The follow-up session treats these newly active follicles. The majority of people will need follow-up sessions every week or every alternate week, for several weeks so as to eliminate hair on the target area.

In case of laser hair removal, it may be necessary to apply ice packs after the procedure, so as to alleviate discomfort. In case of severe pain, a doctor may recommend OTC pain relievers or a steroid cream. Most people undergoing this procedure will require up to 8 follow-up treatments so as to get the absolute results, which can be scheduled 4 to 6 weeks apart. Once hair growth has been sufficiently restrained, the patient may require a once-or-twice-yearly maintenance session.

Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Differences Based On The Results And Effectiveness

Electrolysis procedure is a permanent method of hair removal that works on all hair colors and hair types. However, laser hair removal procedure works only on black or brown hair. Moreover, patients undergoing laser hair removal may experience some hair regrowth after treatments, though the hair is generally much lighter and finer than it was originally. Patients, if required, may opt for the occasional laser maintenance treatment for maintaining their results after their initial set of laser hair removal session.

Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Differences Based On Their Costs

Electrolysis costs $1.40 per minute. However, in case of laser hair removal, the price per session is determined based on the size of the area in the body being treated. But again, it can range from $50 for a small area(such as the upper lip) to $285 for a larger area in the body (Such as full legs)


So, from the above differentiating point between electrolysis and laser hair removal, it is known that electrolysis is best suited for permanent hair removal of small parts of the body and it is suited for all skin and hair colors. However, laser hair removal is best suited for permanent hair reduction of dark hair on both, small as well as large areas of the body.

Now, if you are willing to go for a long-term solution to unwanted hair growth in your body, and if you are unsure whether electrolysis or laser hair removal is better for you; then it is better to consult with your skin specialist and take the expert advice before undergoing any procedure.

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