14. electrolysis vs laser hair removal1

Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis: Difference Between Them

Knowing which hair removal technique is best for you can be challenging because there are so many options available. Additionally, trying a variety of them and then having to keep shaving your head every few days or weeks can be frustrating. Laser hair removal or electrolysis are options if you’re looking for something permanent.

If you have hirsutism, which can be brought on by hormonal changes during menopause or by a medical condition like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you might want to try these hair removal techniques. Alternatively, you might want a more long-term fix because you’re sick of shaving, plucking, or waxing. The process of changing your gender presentation or reassignment may have you researching hair removal methods.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

A strong laser is used in laser hair removal, a type of semi-permanent hair removal, to kill hair follicles at their source. This technique eventually slows or stops hair growth from what it once was.

There are various kinds of lasers in use. The most common are:

  • Alexandrite
  • Diode
  • Neodymium YAG
  • Ruby
  • Despite not being a laser, intense pulsed light (IPL) accomplishes the same goals. It works best on light skin and dark hair, and can cover large areas of skin quickly

Since all lasers target the pigment in the hair, lighter skin and darker hair produce the best results. With the development of technology, more intelligent lasers are now available that can treat those with darker skin tones, but side effects are still possible. The only people who shouldn’t use laser hair removal are those who have very light or grey hair.

Pros Of Laser Hair Removal

  • the cost – although laser hair removal can be expensive, it often costs less than electrolysis. Depending on the area(s) you’re having treated and how many sessions you’ll need, the exact cost of your treatment will vary. Your practitioner will be able to advise on this and can work out a package for you
  • can be used on most areas of the body – including large areas of skin, like the back and more sensitive areas like the face
  • there can be minimal pain – some people say that laser treatment feels like a slight stinging or tingling feeling but generally it isn’t painful. Levels of pain can also depend on which area you’re having treated
  • instant results – this depends on a few different things, but you could see a 10 to 25% decrease in hair after your first session
  • it’s usually safe – laser hair removal is safe and generally only causes mild side effects that only last 1 to 3 days, like mild pain, discomfort, swelling and redness

Cons Of Laser Hair Removal

  • it takes time – lasers aren’t a quick fix. You’ll likely need a number of treatment sessions for it to be effective, typically 2 to 6 but possibly more. These are usually a number of weeks apart so treatment from beginning to end may take a few months
  • it’s not permanent – laser hair removal reduces the amount of hair you have over time, rather than removing it completely. There’s also no guarantee it will work on all your hair and you’ll need top up sessions to stop the hair regrowing
  • it may not be suitable during pregnancy – laser hair removal may not be suitable if you’re pregnant or trying for a baby, so speak to your clinician before starting treatment

What Is Electrolysis?

A method of permanent hair removal is electrolysis. A tiny electrical current is delivered through the skin by a fine needle, harming and ultimately killing the hair follicle.

There are 3 types (modalities) of electrolysis used:

  • galvanic – which destroys the hairs using a chemical reaction
  • thermolysis (short-wave) – which destroys the hairs using heat
  • the blend – a combination of galvanic and thermolysis

Pros Of Electrolysis

  • it’s permanent – electrolysis is the only hair removal method recognised as permanent by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration)
  • treatable areas – as well as working on all types of hair and skin, electrolysis can be used to remove hair from most body parts, including the face
  • treatment times – sessions will get shorter as you go, as fewer hairs need to be treated over time

Cons Of Electrolysis

  • the cost – electrolysis is one of the more expensive types of hair removal, and the full cost depends on how many sessions you need and the area treated. Your clinician can advise you on what you need
  • it takes a long time – electrolysis sessions can be slow, as the electrologist often has to go back over the same hair follicle a few times. It can take up to 18 months to complete a full treatment regimen to permanently remove hair. This all depends on factors that can affect hair growth such as how you’ve removed hair previously, any medications you’re on and any hormonal problems you have
  • skin irritation – your skin might feel red, tender or swollen for a few hours after treatment. Additionally, the treated area may develop tiny whiteheads or scabs. Pigmentation changes and scarring are also potential side effects, and if you have darker skin, you could develop a keloid scar
  • discomfort – electrolysis can be uncomfortable or painful, with people saying treatment can sting
  • not suitable for everyone – electrolysis is safe for most but can’t be used by people with pacemakers, as it can cause abnormal heart rhythm

What Is The Most Effective Method Of Hair Removal?

A permanent cure for unwelcome hair growth is offered by both electrolysis and laser hair removal procedures.

Overall, electrolysis is more adaptable and removes hair permanently, despite being a slower method of hair removal. Additionally, it typically results in fewer negative reactions.

The best options for their needs should be discussed with a skincare expert by anyone thinking about long-term hair removal procedures.

14. electrolysis vs laser hair removal2

Treatment Duration

Sessions for laser hair removal last much less time than those for electrolysis. Electrolysis takes much longer because it only treats one hair at a time. Infrared light is used in laser hair removal to target pigment in the hair follicles, turning the light into heat to destroy the follicles. Contrary to electrolysis, which treats each hair follicle individually, laser hair removal procedures can quickly treat large areas of skin. In less than a second, the computer-assisted system gently disables hundreds of hair follicles. In addition to easing the patient’s discomfort, this significantly cuts down on the length of the entire treatment.

Number of Sessions

Up to 30 treatments may be necessary for electrolysis, with sessions typically occurring two weeks apart. Only 4 to 8 sessions, separated by 4-6 weeks, are necessary for laser hair removal. Although laser hair removal requires annual touch-ups, it takes much less time than electrolysis.


Both procedures can be uncomfortable, but because electrolysis takes longer, you’ll feel the discomfort for a longer time.


Although electrolysis costs less per session, you’ll need a lot more of them to see results. Large body areas can become very expensive to treat with electrolysis. Long-term cost savings from laser hair removal may be greater.


The effects of electrolysis and laser hair removal are both long-lasting. Which is best for you ultimately depends on your tolerance for pain, your patience, and whether you can commit to multiple sessions.

Lower Risk of Side Effects

Additionally, compared to electrolysis, laser hair removal has a significantly lower risk of adverse effects like pigmentation and scarring. It’s a simple treatment that requires no “downtime” but produces an excellent result.

Seeing a board-certified dermatologist will lower your risk of side effects and improve the efficacy of your results, regardless of the permanent hair removal procedure you select.


The cost and convenience of home electrolysis and laser hair removal kits can often be superior to in-clinic visits. However, if at all possible, seek out a trained specialist who can create a treatment plan specifically for you and use high-grade, secure tools.

As a result of their lower power compared to those used in clinics, the small hand-held devices you can purchase may not be as effective, especially on larger areas. Always pay attention to your device’s instructions because there may be situations or circumstances where you shouldn’t use it.

13. what is laser lipo1 Previous post What is Laser Lipo – Does It Really Work?
11. How To Use Laser Level Outdoors In Simple Ways1 Next post How To Use Laser Level Outdoors In Simple Ways