Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal

Hair Removal Process
Electrolysis: A thin metal probe is inserted into a hair follicle without puncturing the skin. A low-level electrical energy pulse is delivered into the follicle, causing the treated hair to fall out. The process is repeated hair by hair on the desired area.

Laser: Pulsating light beams are used to cause localized damage to the melanin in the hair follicle. Heated melanin tends to burn, causing 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.

Uses
Electrolysis: Suitable for anyone despite their skin or hair colour as electrolysis targets the hair follicle, not the pigment in the hair. Electrolysis is best-suited for small areas of hair removal as each individual follicle must be treated.

Laser: Best suited to those with light skin and dark hair as laser targets pigment (melanin) in the hair. Lasers can burn those with dark skin and may not produce optimal results for those with light hair. Lasers can be used to treat both large and small areas of the body.

Sessions
Electrolysis: As each individual hair follicle must be treated, the hair removal process can be lengthy. Usually 15-30 treatments spaced one month apart are required for permanent hair removal. Each session can last between 15 to 60 minutes depending on the area being treated.

Laser: Anywhere from 5-8 treatments spaced 4-8 weeks apart are required for permanent hair reduction. Each session can last anywhere between 15-90 minutes depending on the area being treated.

human-hair-diagram

Cost
Electrolysis: Electrolysis is priced at $1.40 per minute.

Laser: Price per session is determined based on the size of the area being treated but can range from $50 for a small area (such as the upper lip) to $285 for a large area (such as full legs).

Pain
Electrolysis: Some slight discomfort can be expected during treatment. A brief pinch and heat sensation is commonly felt but only lasts for a short time.

Laser: Some low discomfort can be expected during treatment. A mild snap and heat sensation can be felt with each light pulse. The chilled tip of the laser cools the skin before and after each pulse to minimize discomfort.

Effectiveness
Electrolysis: Electrolysis is a permanent method of hair removal. It works on all hair colours and hair types.

Laser: As lasers target pigment (melanin), they only work on brown or black hair. Patients may experience some hair regrowth after treatments, though the hair is generally much finer and lighter than it was originally. Patients may opt for the occasional laser maintenance treatment to maintain their results after their initial set of laser hair removal sessions.

Side Effects
Electrolysis: The side effects of electrolysis can include redness, swelling, dry skin and an increase in ingrown hairs.

Laser: The side effects of laser hair removal can include itching, redness, swelling around the treatment area, a change in skin pigmentation, acne, scabbing and infection.

Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal Comparison Chart

Electrolysis Laser Hair Removal
Hair Removal Process Electricity is applied to an individual hair follicle through a thin metal probe, causing localized damage. Light pulses cause localized damaged to the hair follicle by selectively targeting the melanin in the follicle.
Uses Can be used on any skin colour or hair colour. Only effective on dark hair. Most effective at treating dark hair on light skin.
Sessions Usually 15-30 treatments spaced one month apart. Sessions usually last between 15-60 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area. Usually 5-8 treatments spaced 4-8 weeks apart. Sessions can last between 15-90 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area.
Cost Price is $1.40 per minute. Price ranges from $50-$285 per session depending on the area.
Pain Mild discomfort. A brief pinch and heat sensation during treatment. Low discomfort. A mild snap and heat sensation is felt with each light pulse.
Results and Effectiveness Complete hair removal. Permanent hair reduction in a large percentage of hair follicles. Patients may experience some hair regrowth. Patients may opt for the occasional maintenance treatment to maintain their results after their initial set of laser hair removal sessions.
Possible

Side Effects

Redness, swelling, dry skin and an increase in ingrown hairs. Itching, redness, swelling around the treatment area, a change in skin pigmentation, acne, scabbing and infection.
Conclusion Best-suited for permanent hair removal on small areas of the body. Suited for all skin and hair colours. Longer sessions and longer overall treatment time required for optimal results. Best-suited for permanent hair reduction of dark hair on both small and large areas of the body. Fewer sessions and shorter treatment time required for optimal results.

 

If you are unsure whether electrolysis or laser hair removal is the better choice for you, we would be happy to provide you with further guidance.

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