Electrolysis or Laser Hair Removal: Which is Better?

As summer approaches, you are probably thinking of swimsuit and short shorts season – and the best and easiest ways to remove unwanted hair. If you haven’t tried methods other than shaving, waxing, and creams, there are more effective ways that will prolong the time between hair removal treatments. The two most popular treatments are electrolysis and laser hair removal. It’s good to make an informed decision when it comes to any service that affects your skin, so let’s go over each treatment and make some comparisons.

What is Electrolysis?

Electrolysis is a method that delivers a low-level electrical pulse to the hair follicle root in order to destroy it. This method of hair removal is usually performed by a dermatologist or electrologist who uses a probe to place a needle into each hair follicle. An electric current then passes through the probe and damages the root to prevent new growth.

Pros: Electrolysis does not use melanin to transmit energy and therefore can be used on gray, white, and blonde hair.

Cons: Each individual hair has to be targeted with electrolysis. This can take a tremendous amount of time and money to make sure that each hair is treated. The effectiveness of the procedure is only as effective as the accuracy of the person performing it. Therefore, if the person does not insert the needle to the root, it will not destroy it and will regrow. 

What is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal uses specific wavelengths of light to target the melanin in dark hair follicles in the desired area. It does not target individual hair follicles with electricity as electrolysis does. Instead, it uses light energy.

Pros: Laser hair removal treatments only require six to eight sessions. Each session is typically more effective because the laser shines under the skin and uses the melanin in the follicle to travel to the root as opposed to being precisely placed in the root. Because of this, laser hair removal is much less tedious and time-consuming than electrolysis. For most clients, laser hair treatments are less painful.

Cons: Laser hair treatment is only effective on hair with melanin in it and therefore is typically not effective on gray, white, and blonde hair.

Which is better?

Because of the need for less precision and a faster treatment time, laser hair removal has become the preferred treatment for hair reduction. However, deciding on laser hair removal or electrolysis depends on your skin and hair type. It is important to discuss the best option for your skin type. There may even be a time when both are recommended if you have a few gray, white, and blonde hairs.