How Does Laser Hair Removal Differ From Electrolysis?

Over the years, less people are relying on temporary solutions to unwanted hair such as tweezing, waxing and shaving. As people are becoming more familiar with the advantages of the latest and most effective hair removal methods today, the results they are seeing far outweigh the benefits of traditional, temporary methods. For those who are ready to take hair removal seriously, laser hair removal and electrolysis are the two options that will give permanent results. Read on to learn more about laser hair removal and electrolysis.

The Laser Hair Removal Method

Laser hair removal utilizes special laser technology where the light penetrates below the skin to reach the hair follicles. Once the light reaches the follicle, the laser’s energy is transformed into heat which destroys the follicle and leaves the surrounding skin intact. The laser targets the pigment of the hair follicle and not the skin. For this reason, laser hair removal generally works best on individuals with dark hair and lighter skin. Using a laser, many hairs are treated at a time, and the treatment is quicker and less painful than electrolysis. This treatment is usually the best choice for treating large areas such as the back, arms, underarms and bikini area, and is also commonly used for the face as well.

The Electrolysis Hair Removal Method

With electrolysis, a very fine needle is used instead of a laser. The needle is tediously inserted at each and every hair follicle to be treated. Once inserted, a low electrical current is applied to the follicle, which is raised just a bit, until the hair comes loose and falls out without plucking. Hair and skin color are not a factor for treatment efficacy. However, electrolysis is slightly more invasive than laser hair removal and is a much more painful procedure. Electrolysis is also much more time consuming and does not work well for larger treatment areas. Additionally, under the hands of an unskilled technician, there is a risk of scarring and infection.

Both Treatment Methods Require Multiple Visits

When pursuing permanent hair removal treatments such as laser hair removal or electrolysis, it is important for the patient to understand the hairs growth cycle. There are 3 phases in a hair’s growth cycle: The anagen, categen and telogen phases. In the anagen phase, hair is being nourished and is actively growing. In the catagen and telogen phases, the hair stops receiving nourishment and becomes dormant just before falling out. When using either hair removal method, hairs that are in the active anagen phase fully respond to the treatment, while hairs in the catagen or telogen phases are not responsive. Multiple treatments will eventually reach the remaining hairs whilst in the anagen phase, and eventually, there is a dramatic reduction in hair re-growth.

As there are pros and cons to both hair removal methods, patients are encouraged to consult with one of our staff to determine the best solution for their individual needs.