Laser hair removal vs electrolysis is a relevant topic because they are arguably the most advanced hair removal options available today. The world has moved from a time when your hair removal options revolved around the dreaded shaving stick.
Technological advancements in the hair removal industry have birthed non-surgical procedures that can remove unwanted hair with long-lasting results. Laser hair removal and electrolysis are two such treatment options.
When discussing laser hair removal vs electrolysis, it’s important to note that they both offer fantastic results. However, while they may both be effective, it’s essential to discuss them based on certain relevant parameters.
This helps to put your choice of laser hair removal vs electrolysis in a better perspective. In this blog, we will compare and contrast both methods of hair removal. This includes the procedure, benefits, risks, aftercare, and results to expect.
Laser Hair Removal And Electrolysis: What Are They?
Laser hair removal is relatively newer to the scene than electrolysis. It has been in use for just a few decades. However, it has risen very high in terms of effectiveness and practice across different clinics.
The term “laser hair removal” is not exactly a proper name, but one born out of use over time. The FDA says that the method has received approval for reducing hair regrowth. However, the method is mostly in use for complete hair removal.
This hair removal method involves the use of laser beams to remove hair from the target region. A trained aesthetician will direct the laser beams to the region where you have unwanted hair. These laser beams travel down to the hair follicles, damaging them and thereby preventing unwanted hair growth.
On the other hand, electrolysis involves the use of electricity to damage hair follicles. By damaging the hair follicles, there will be a consequent inhibition of future hair growth.
This procedure was used for the first time in 1875 for ingrown eyelashes. Unlike laser hair removal, this method has been in use for more than a century. It is also approved by the FDA for permanent hair removal procedures.
Laser Hair Removal Vs Electrolysis: Procedure
From the previous section, you will notice that both laser hair removal and electrolysis have the same end result — damage to hair follicles. However, the route to this result is different for each hair removal option. And for many patients like yourself, the procedure is the true determinant of which is the best hair removal option.
Procedure for laser hair removal
You already know laser hair removal uses laser beams to destroy hair follicles. But how does that happen? When the practitioner centres the laser beams on the melanin in the treatment area, it will absorb the laser energy.
Consequently, the absorbed energy becomes heat and causes thermal damage to the hair follicles. When this happens to the hair follicle, there’s a reduction in the follicle’s capacity to regrow hair in the future.
Following laser hair removal, most patients experience complete hair removal. However, this is not always the case, as some patients tend to experience hair regrowth but at a slower rate and less densely. Also, if the hair regrows, the strands likely will be lighter in colour.
Some of the things that may prevent permanent hair removal include hormonal changes resulting from menopause, pregnancy, or chemotherapy. But since most patients experience permanent hair removal, laser hair removal has become a household name in the cosmetic industry.
An important advantage of the procedure for laser hair removal is that it’s versatile. It can be used to treat various skin areas, and this is why many patients go for the procedure.
While you may want to remove hair in the bikini area completely, some other person may want to treat their face or leg. With laser hair removal, all of this is possible.
More importantly, to maximize this procedure, patients need to have follow-up sessions. This helps to ensure all boxes are checked, and further instructions can be given where necessary.
What happens during Electrolysis
However, understanding laser hair removal vs electrolysis will not be complete without considering the electrolysis procedure. While laser hair removal works by targeting the hair follicle through melanin, electrolysis can reach the hair follicle directly through the electricity charge it uses.
During electrolysis, the electrologist gets a tiny probe into the hair follicle without compromising the surrounding skin. Following the probe insertion, it will deliver an electric charge to the skin tissue.
This electric charge will destroy the hair follicle irredeemably. Once done, the hair on the follicle will fall out, and the follicle will lose the strength to regrow hair. With electrolysis, you can remove both blonde and white hair effectively.
However, while the procedure is also effective, it takes a lot of time. For an electrologist to effectively remove unwanted hair, they will attend to one hair follicle at a time. So while the electrologist can damage all the hair follicles in the treatment area, it has to be done one after the other for effectiveness.
As such, if you are to remove hair in a large area, it will be highly time-consuming. This is unlike laser hair removal which is a faster yet highly effective option for laser hair removal.
Related Article: Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent and How Many Sessions Needed?
Laser Hair Removal Vs Electrolysis: Benefits
There are many advantages you stand to enjoy when you choose laser hair removal instead of electrolysis. Some of them include:
- Versatility: Laser hair removal works across all parts of the body. The only area it’s not used for is the eye area.
- Minimal recovery time: Another important thing to note about this procedure is that it takes little or no time for you to recover. Some procedures will require you to take some days off before resuming normal activities. This means the procedure may likely affect your job or something that needs you in action. But for laser hair removal, this is not the case.
- Effective Results: Laser hair removal has high efficacy, as most people begin to see results after a few sessions. Two factors contributing to this are the speed and precision during the process.
- No limitation on skin colour: The procedure also works across all hair tones. Initially, this procedure was best for those with dark skin and fair hair. However, due to technological advancements, this is no longer the case. Anyone can use laser hair removal to address their hair removal needs.
Concerning electrolysis, the most important feature of the procedure is permanence. When you use this procedure, the chances are high you’ll enjoy complete hair removal. However, depending on the size of the treatment area, it can take up to 12 months to achieve complete hair removal.
So, if you don’t have the luxury of time but want efficient results, that’s when to use laser hair removal instead of electrolysis.
Aftercare Of Laser Hair Removal Vs Electrolysis
Are you looking for which to choose between laser hair removal and electrolysis? The aftercare for the two procedures is an important consideration point.
For laser hair removal
Before your aesthetician kick-starts your procedure, they will likely apply an analgesic cream for pain reduction. However, you may still experience discomfort even after the procedure. If this is the case, you should consult your doctor for a prescription to manage the discomfort. You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers to treat yourself.
Some other symptoms you may notice include swelling and redness. These can be addressed with ice or a cold compress.
More so, since laser hair removal works to disable hair growth as against reducing it, you will need a maintenance scheme post-treatment. This is to ensure you get the complete and desired results. However, these maintenance sessions are not constant, and well-spaced out.
Follow-up appointments can be as far as every six weeks. This is highly convenient and allows you to continue your daily activities without having to stress about making appointments. The follow-up sessions are important to solidify results following the actual laser hair removal session.
Aftercare for electrolysis
With electrolysis, you may have to deal with the following side effects:
- Pain during the treatment thanks to the flow of electric current
- Tender, swollen skin
- Skin redness
- Possible irritation
These side effects should disappear in 3-7 days after your individual sessions. Remember that electrolysis requires multiple sessions that can be spaced out over a year. As such, you may have to manage these side effects after every session.
With electrolysis, follow-up sessions are non-negotiable, as your electrologist needs to be sure everything is right post-treatment. Unlike laser hair removal, where follow-up can be every six weeks, this needs to be bi-weekly or every week.
Therefore, even the follow-up process will be time-consuming because you’ll be visiting your practitioners very often. This is not the best between laser hair removal and electrolysis if you do not have much time to spare.
Risks Of Laser Hair Removal Vs Electrolysis
With laser hair removal, you may have to deal with:
- Pigmentation changes
However, for effects such as redness and irritation, you will stop experiencing them a few days after the treatment. If any of the above symptoms last longer than 3-7 days, you should consult your doctor.
An effective way to minimize the risk involved is by researching your choice of treatment provider. Ensure you only work with a board-certified practitioner only.
You may get similar side effects from electrolysis. Some severe adverse effects that may result include scars and infections from unsterile needles. It’s possible to sidestep these issues if you get your procedure from a certified electrologist.
You’ll also need to reduce your exposure to sunlight following your procedure. This is to prevent sunburn, which may happen when the sun peaks. To make this effective, endeavour to use sunscreen every day. According to HealthLine, you should also avoid direct sunlight for about six weeks post-procedure.
Laser Hair Removal Vs Electrolysis: What Are The Costs?
The cost of the two procedures depends on several factors. For laser hair removal, pricing can be anywhere between $200 and $400 per session. Thus, the number of sessions you need will determine the overall cost you will incur. You should also know that procedure falls under the cosmetic category, so insurance will not cover it.
Similarly, most of your insurance schemes will not cover electrolysis since it’s a cosmetic procedure. The price also largely depends on the area you want to work on. However, the cost per session can be as low as $100. This doesn’t mean the procedure is cheap. With electrolysis, you may need up to 10 times more sessions when compared with laser hair removal.
This is because the procedure is a slow one that requires the electrologist to work on one follicle at a time. Thus, you should factor in this when considering the better option between laser hair removal and electrolysis.
Notably, a number of factors influence the cost, whether for laser hair removal or electrolysis.
Number of sessions
What determines the primary cost for laser hair removal treatments and electrolysis is the number of sessions. Your treatment care provider will let you know how many sessions you need based on the target area.
The number of sessions you will require for the face is different from that of the bikini area or legs. So, once you know the number, you can calculate the eventual cost based on the cost per session.
One thing to note here is that laser hair removal is a faster procedure. So, while the cost per session may be high, most patients often require few sessions to achieve the best results. However, this is not the case with electrolysis which moves at a slow rate.
As you may already know, the expertise of your treatment care providers will affect the overall cost. While early-stage practitioners will charge at cheaper rates, those that have been operating for a long time will charge high rates. This is because they have the required experience and expertise to deliver excellently.
Also, cosmetic procedures require care. As such, high professionalism during your hair removal treatment is an important feature. Experienced treatment providers can usually guarantee this.
Similarly, if the clinic has been operating for a long time, this will factor into the cost. Most experienced clinics use high-end technology and state-of-the-art facilities for their services.
Choosing the best clinic for laser hair removal and electrolysis
When choosing a clinic for either of the two procedures, consider aftercare services. This is crucial because cosmetic procedures require maintenance and follow-up. So, you will need to factor this in before settling on a choice of treatment care provider.
You should always go to a medical spa that schedules follow-up sessions after your procedure. During this stage, you will get to address any issues that may arise from the procedure. You’ll also get instructions on the best ways to maintain the results post-procedure.
Laser Hair Removal Vs Electrolysis: Making Your Choice
The procedure that will work best for you depends mostly on your circumstances. The time you have and the area you intend to work in both play a huge part in the decision-making process.
However, on average, many patients are going for laser hair removal in this fast-paced world. Patients rarely have much time to spend on recovery post-treatment. So, the treatment that covers that gap is likely the most effective.
More so, both procedures cause a bit of discomfort. However, because laser hair removal is a faster process, everything happens within a short period, and then the discomfort is gone. This means your pain tolerance plays a huge part in making a choice out of the two procedures.
If your pain tolerance is low, you may have to consider the faster process to minimize the pain. There are analgesics and numbing creams you can use as pain relievers.
However, these aren’t the best methods to use, as some of these creams may have adverse effects on your skin. So, it’s better to stay safe with a procedure that requires less of those creams.
Related Article: How Much Does Laser Hair Removal For Women Cost In Toronto?
Choosing between laser hair removal vs electrolysis is where many patients need assistance. No one wants to have to try the two procedures to know which is best. That will be a waste of money and time. More importantly, going for the two procedures can have adverse effects on your skin.
As such, it’s crucial to consider your circumstances before making a choice. Understand that the better of the two will be the one that delivers excellent hair removal and also has minimal recovery time. That way, you can get value while saving time. With laser hair removal, you can enjoy these benefits.
Here at Canada MedLaser, our experts can guide you on which hair removal procedure will work best for you. Book an appointment with us today to discuss your options.