Electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal method that is FDA-approved. At the moment, it’s the only path to take if you want hair gone for a lifetime.
Laser hair removal is a long-term hair reduction method that lasts for about 2 years on average. Although up to 90% hair growth reduction is possible, it could also be low as 45%.
These are the main differences when comparing electrolysis vs laser hair removal. Even so, there’s still more to know about these two amazing methods.
How Electrolysis Works
A metal probe is inserted into the skin until it reaches the follicle. Through this metal probe that looks like a tiny needle, electricity/heat is sent into the follicle in order to permanently destroy it. The electricity/heat makes the follicle incapable of producing any more hairs, that’s why electrolysis is the only permanent method.
You’ve probably already guessed that it can be a slow process. It’s a demanding procedure. There is only one metal probe so the electrolysis/heat must be sent through it to each individual follicle.
Consistency and following the treatment plan are vital when it comes to overall treatment time. There are many variables involved like what area are we treating; is it your chin, eyebrows, bikini line or your back? Is the skin dry, infected, dehydrated or mature? Is the hair fine, course, curly or white? Do you have heavy growth or is it just a few hairs? Have you plucked for a year or has it been 20? Of course there are other factors to consider but as you can see, every person's electrolysis treatment will be specifically tailored to them. With that being said, cases typically fall into a 9-18 month range however could last up to a few years.
Each session lasts from 15 to 75 minutes. In the beginning the sessions tend to be longer and more frequent, as there is more hair to be removed. Over time as your hair starts to disappear, your appointments will decrease; either in the duration of your appointment time or the frequency of your sessions.
Once these sessions are done, that’s it! There’s no need for shaving, waxing, laser hair removal, epilation or hair removal creams.
Most importantly, everyone can benefit from the awesome results of electrolysis. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone is or the color of your hair. The same cannot be said about laser hair removal.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
This method favors people with lighter skin tones and dark hair. The darker the hair, the better the result. If you don’t fit into this category, don’t do it. Serious burns can be caused to your skin by the laser light.
It's quite simple to describe how it works. Pulses of laser light are sent through the skin in search of the pigment to inhibit or delay future hair growth.
However, the follicle is not permanently destroyed and that’s the main difference between electrolysis vs laser hair removal. The follicle becomes dormant from producing hairs for a certain period of time. While still having reduction, the average person will start to see regrowth in about 2 years time.
The sessions are short because multiple hairs at a time are being attacked by the laser light each time a pulse/flash is sent.
You might have the impression only 3-6 sessions are needed for reducing hair growth, but that’s not always the case. If you're lucky, you may only need 6 sessions; however you can end up doing 20. In addition after your full initial round of laser treatments, you may need 1-2 maintenance sessions yearly.
Be careful not to over treat with laser, as it is known to stimulate hair growth in some cases.