- The Three Different Hair Growth Cycles
- Is laser hair removal the same as electrolysis?
- What’s The Conclusion For Both?
- What is the biggest difference between electrolysis and laser hair removal?
- My Recommendation For The Best Electrolysis Machine At Home
- My Recommendation For The Best Laser Hair Removal Machine
- To Sum it all up
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?!
You and I will go on a hunt for the “best permanent hair removal at home” list. Which will be a short one, since there is only ONE permanent option!
So, let’s end the debate of electrolysis vs laser hair removal.
Needless to say, when I first heard about laser hair removal, I had a shocked face, along the lines of this:
Maybe I lived under a rock that I hadn’t come across it. But when a colleague actually showed the results of her (now hairless) armpits, I knew I had to try it out.
It was so expensive that I had to now go and discover if perhaps I have been living under not just one rock, but more like 5 of them – and see if there even exists such a list as “best permanent hair removal at home”
I cannot stress enough how much of a skeptical person I was when searching for this list – think about it, you can potentially get rid of the hair on your body. No more long showers with shaving, then patching up the razor cuts and burns.
Definitely, don’t take my word for it, read this article with the same skeptical view as I did. But do test at least one method! We’re talking about not dealing with unwanted hair on a daily basis!
(Maybe I put too much sugar in my coffee this morning, but am I the only one so excited at just the idea?)
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 I promise you, by the end of this short article you WILL understand the difference between the both of them and know which method is ideal for you!
But before we look into electrolysis vs laser hair removal, you should know and understand this…
The Three Different Hair Growth Cycles
Your hair grows in stages:
(Photo source: Wikipedia)
Anagen is the growth phase, and in this phase, the hair is connected to the root. This is the only phase where hair can get longer, and it is also the longest phase.
Anagen is further divided into early anagen and late anagen stages.
In early anagen, the hair has just sprouted and may be beneath the skin surface, but at this stage, it is easier to kill the hair follicle, because the hair is weaker.
In early anagen, the hair is connected to the dermal papilla or in other words the blood supply of the hair. In this phase, the hair follicle has an abundance of salt and water, two things necessary to conduct electricity and electrocute the follicle.
What is so different about the late anagen phase?
In late anagen, the hair is at its strongest, making it hard to kill. The hair at this point is usually visible and coarse, making it easy to see, but challenging to exterminate. Still, the entire anagen phase is the ideal time to electrocute the hair follicle.
Catagen is a short phase of a week or two, where the hair begins to detach from the blood supply, the dermal papilla. This is not a good time to kill the hair since the hair does not have a good connection to the dermal papilla and the salt and water that was in the follicle begin to dry up.
Telogen is the resting phase. The hair may be sitting in the follicle, but the follicle is simply a coffin for your now dead hair. The hair is not attached to a blood supply.
Is laser hair removal the same as electrolysis?
I don’t want to beat around the bush here, so I’ll just cut to the chase.
Let’s not waste your time.
There is only one best permanent hair removal treatment, which is actually permanent.
I’ll say it again. The only truly best way to remove body hair permanently is with electrolysis. It is also an FDA approved permanent hair removal method.
Laser hair removal is NOT permanent. It may last for a few years, but some hair will start to grow back. But more on that later.
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 hairs 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 or in-home session, 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
- Can be painful, local anesthetic available
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 session’s 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, it will not remove hair forever and always, rather for a long period of time.
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
- Is not permanent, reduces hair re-growth, but eventually, up to 45% 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 types of laser hair removal lasers, as there are some also intended for dark skin and not pale 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, perhaps better to do electrolysis on smaller areas such as armpits and facial area.
What is the biggest difference between electrolysis and laser hair removal?
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.
Which is better, laser hair removal or electrolysis?
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.
So if you want to find out here and now how do you remove unwanted hair permanently at home then keep reading some of the best permanent hair removal products reviews 2019.
My Recommendation For The Best Electrolysis Machine At Home
My Recommendation For The Best Laser Hair Removal Machine
Remember that laser hair removal is not the best permanent hair removal for dark skin at home. 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 a Tria permanent hair removal review.
To Sum it all up
- Electrolysis if you have time and patience and want to guarantee permanent results.
- 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, as well as how to stop hair growth on body permanently, I am confident you will make the best choice. 🙂