What is the difference between Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal?
Many first time clients often ask me how electrolysis is different from laser hair removal. In this article I will elaborate about the difference between the two treatments as well as the benefits and disadvantages of each method.
How to choose between Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal treatments
When it comes to permanent hair removal there are two choices: laser hair removal and electrolysis. Laser hair removal has certainly overtaken electrolysis in terms of demand and popularity, but there will always be a place for electrolysis because not everyone is a candidate for laser hair removal. Also, at the end of laser hair removal there may be grey or blonde hair that was not treated with the laser so electrolysis is a great option for that remaining hair.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser is a relatively new technique for hair removal, beginning in the mid 1990’s. Laser uses selective photothermolysis to cause localised damage to the hair follicle. The laser targets melanin (color) in the hair (hair must have color with laser). When the laser detects the color in the hair, the follicle is heated and the blood supply is cut off. When this happens the hair will no longer grow. The best candidates for laser have very little color in their skin and color in their hair. Laser hair removal is permanent hair reduction. Laser hair removal is “unregulated” meaning anyone can perform the treatment without any training or certification.
Electrolysis is long standing form of hair removal; first being used in 1875. Electrolysis uses electrical epilation to permanently remove hair. This method delivers electricity directly to each individual hair follicle. Electricity is delivered directly to the hair follicle by sliding a solid – thin metal probe into each individual hair follicle. Any skin color and hair color is suitable for electrolysis. Peach fuzz can also be treated with electrolysis. In many places this treatment is “regulated” meaning you need training and certification to perform the treatment.
Advantages and Disadvantages
|ELECTROLYSIS||LASER HAIR REMOVAL|
|Works on any color of hair||Only works on hair with color (not blonde, grey, red)|
|More discomfort||Less discomfort|
|Very time consuming on large sites||Can treat large sites time effectively|
|Works on all skin types||Not possible on skin with a lot of color|
|Permanent hair removal||Permanent hair reduction|
|More time consuming||Less time consuming|
|Possible to treat around the eyes||Not possible to treat the around the eyes|
|One individual follicle at a time||Treats hundreds of follicles at a time|
|Regulated (in many places), need licence||Unregulated (anyone can perform treatment)|
|Mature technology (over 100 years old)||Newer technique (mid 1990’s)|
|Can take years (depending on the site)||4 to 6 sessions (average)|
I hope you found the article on the difference between electrolysis and laser hair removal valuable.
In the next article, we will debunk 7 common laser hair removal myths.
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