Permanent? Really? You’re telling me that there are methods out there that could potentially get rid of the hair I was born with? FOREVER?!
How? Keep reading to end this debate of electrolysis vs laser hair removal.
Let me take a wild guess: You have some unwanted hair that you want to go away now and forever, but you can’t decide which one you should opt for.
I know you don’t have all day to figure out the difference between laser hair removal vs electrolysis, so let’s just get to the point…
Now, that’s surely not enough, so let’s look at this in more detail…
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- Is laser hair removal the same as electrolysis?
- What’s The Conclusion For Both?
- The Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Machines
- To Sum it all up
Is laser hair removal the same as electrolysis?
What Exactly Is Electrolysis?
For electrolysis hair removal, a very fine needle or stylet is inserted into your hair follicle. Don’t worry, the needle does not pierce the skin, it is about the width of a hair shaft.
A small electric current runs through the needle to the root, killing the hair at the root.
When zapped with electricity the hair follicle is destroyed forever. This is how to remove hair follicles permanently, forever and always.
Ok, so let’s all go with electrolysis!
I mean where’s the problem, you may ask?
Well, it is extremely time-consuming. If you don’t want to shave your legs anymore, it may take up to a year or two of appointments just to get them done completely (depending on your hairiness level).
Imagine every single hair is treated individually. And it can’t be rushed, it has to be done correctly, otherwise, there may be scarring.
So, electrolysis is ideal for facial hair – as this is a small part of the body.
Also, electrolysis is perfect for any color and type of hair. So, if you have white, red, blond hair on your face and you wish to say goodbye to them forever, then look into electrolysis.
So, to answer the long asked question of – does electrolysis permanently remove hair?
Yes, but for successful electrolysis, the hair needs to be in the anagen phase, connected to the blood supply, surrounded with ample salt and water to pass the electrical current to the follicle and electrocute it!
And that’s not all!
It is important to understand that on the day of your appointment, only about 20% of your hair is in the correct phase for proper electrolysis.
That is why so many sessions are necessary.
- If the follicle is successfully electrocuted, electrolysis is permanent.
- Can remove ANY color hair on any shade of skin.
- Very time consuming because the electrolysis probe must be inserted into each individual hair follicle.
- It can be painful, but a local anesthetic may help.
- Has to be done at a medical professional’s office or a verified aesthetician who knows how to do it properly.
Ok, let’s continue this electrolysis vs laser hair removal standoff, now from the laser hair removal point of view…
What Exactly Is Laser Hair Removal?
The laser uses infrared radiation that produces pulses or strobes of IR light, searing the hair and ensuring its demise.
You may have heard that you need dark hair and a light shade of skin for a laser to work. The reason this is true has to do with melanin.
Melanin is the dark pigment that gives hair and skin color. The laser used for hair removal targets melanin; therefore, it targets dark-colored hair best. Light-colored hair does not have enough melanin to attract the laser to destroy the hair.
The reason laser hair removal is NOT recommended for folks with a medium to dark shade of skin is that instead of zapping the melanin in hair, it can zap melanin in the skin, burning the skin. Ouch!
More science: The laser focuses on the melanin in the hair and the hair heats up to over 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). The water in the shaft vaporizes, the hair burns and puffs up.
This happens to the hair right down to the root where the heat damages the root sheath and dermal papilla.
The goal with laser hair removal is to damage the root at the dermal papilla to the extent that it will never grow back. This does not always happen for the same reason electrolysis does not kill every hair follicle in one session.
Not all hair is in the proper phase, and connected to the dermal papilla, making multiple sessions necessary.
The reason the laser uses pulses is to ensure only the hair and the cells right next to the hair are burnt. If the laser were left on for longer than a few Nano-seconds, the heat would spread and the skin would burn.
So, to answer the long-awaited question of “Does laser hair removal permanently remove hair?”
No, laser hair removal will not remove hair forever and always, rather for a very long period of time (think – a year or a couple of years).
But you can go over with a laser once you start seeing hairs coming out again – it will be much faster than in the beginning.
- Laser Hair removal is much faster because many hairs are treated at once
- Good for large areas of hair
- Does not work on blonde, white or gray hair
- It is not permanent; it reduces hair re-growth, but eventually, up to 45% of hair grows back.
What’s The Conclusion For Both?
Both laser hair removal and Electrolysis involve some degree of pain, but a topical anesthetic can help.
Both laser hair removal and electrolysis require several sessions before hair stops growing.
But with laser hair removal it will eventually grow back, given enough time, that’s why a yearly or one in two years session might be needed.
Who is Laser Hair Removal Ideal For?
In a word:
Those looking for convenience and speed (and who have dark hair and a light shade of skin).
But if you chose laser hair removal you have to also look into the different laser hair removal types, as there are some also intended for dark skin and not only light skin.
Who is Electrolysis Ideal for?
Anyone looking for Permanent hair removal who is also willing to put in the hours and sessions needed.
Also, electrolysis is more affordable and not so time-consuming on smaller areas such as armpits and the facial area.
So Then, Which is Better – Laser Hair Removal or Electrolysis?
The laser uses an infrared laser and only works on dark hair. A laser is faster but not permanent like electrolysis.
Electrolysis uses electricity, is the only truly permanent solution, can be used on ANY hair and skin type and takes longer to perform than laser hair removal.
Honestly, the best permanent hair removal products are the ones that you can afford.
For me, at this part of my life, it would be laser hair removal.
But… that’s just my subjective opinion…
Electrolysis is better if you are concerned with the results being permanent.
Laser hair removal is better if you have dark hair, light skin, and you want results fast.
Since I previously mentioned that you should go to a professional for electrolysis sessions, here are some good options for laser hair removal (since there are at-home devices).
The Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Machines
Remember that laser hair removal is not the best at-home hair removal way for dark skin.
More for light skin and dark hair. If you have dark skin, please look into electrolysis or one of the latest permanent hair removal technology, the Nd:YAG Laser. (spoiler alert, it is very pricey).
Since I’ve received many questions regarding Tria, then without further ado, let’s start with Tria…
To Sum it all up
- Go for Electrolysis if you have time and patience and want to guarantee permanent results.
- Go for Laser hair removal if you have dark hair, light shade of skin, and want a fast yet semi-permanent mode of hair removal.
Now that you understand the benefits of electrolysis vs laser hair removal, I am confident you will make the best choice. 🙂