Laser hair removal vs Electrolysis: Which is best?

Laser hair removal and electrolysis are two types of hair removal techniques. They are well-known for long-term hair removal solutions. Both procedures target the hair follicles that are located beneath the surface of the skin and curb hair growth from its root. Let’s take a look at both the procedures and decide which one is the best!

What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a process of removing hairs from the face or other parts of the body. It involves the use of a laser that destroys hair follicles adequately and reduces hair growth. This method uses mild radiation through high-heat lasers. Some of the areas of our body which can be treated with laser are underarms, legs, nose, bikini line, ears, breasts, upper lips, etc. Although the effects of laser therapy last longer than other home hair removal methods, it doesn’t eliminate unwanted hair permanently. After some time, the hair will grow back.

Benefits of laser hair removal

  • The laser hair removal technique is apt for people who have light skin and dark hair.
  • The laser hair removal technique can treat several hairs within a matter of a few minutes.
  • Long-term results are seen after four to eight sessions.
  • After laser treatment, new hair growth is seen to be less dense and the new hair is lighter than the original hair.

Side effects and risks of laser hair removal

The laser hair removal technique might lead to some minor side effects like irritation, swelling, redness, blisters, and pigmentation changes. However, these symptomssubside after a few hours of the session. If it lasts longer than that then you must consult the dermatologist.

Is it painful?

Laser hair removal is considered less painful than electrolysis because it does not require much follow-up session as well this procedure does not address each hair follicle individually. However, individuals with coarse and dark hair tend to feel a burning sensation during this process.

Aftercare and follow-up sessions

Laser hair removal does not require much recovery time. However, after each session, it might be necessary to apply ice packs to alleviate symptoms like redness and swelling. Your dermatologist might also prescribe steroid cream or over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers if you experience severe pain.

The laser hair removal technique reduces hair growth but does not remove hair permanently. Hence, you will need follow-up sessions to get effective results. Usually, four to eight treatments are required that can be scheduled 4 to 6 weeks apart. Once you are satisfied with slower hair growth, you might want to go in once or twice for a yearly maintenance session.

Costs of laser hair removal

Since it is an optional cosmetic procedure, laser hair removal is not covered by most insurance companies. The cost varies, depending upon the area of the body being treated and the number of follow-up sessions you require. The cost can range between $200 and $400 per session. The amount you pay also depends upon the geographic location of the laser treatment center. You can also avail of laser hair treatment at home but it is considered to be risky.

What is Electrolysis?

Electrolysis is another process of removing hairs from the face or body. The process involves inserting a fine probe into the skin. This probesendsan electric currentthat heats the tissue near the hair follicles and prevents new hair from growing further. Electrolysis hair removal method not only prevents new hair growth but the existing hair also falls out.Some of the areas of our body which can be treated with electrolysis include the underarms, nose, bikini line, ears, breasts,legs, eyebrows, upper lips, and so on.Once your treatment is complete, you will be free from all unwanted hairs in your body.

Benefits of Electrolysis

Some of the benefits of electrolysis hair removal treatment are listed below:

  • Electrolysis can permanently remove hair from your body and as per the reports of the American Academy of Dermatology,it has a success rate of about 93%.
  • There is no need for scheduling a yearly electrolysis session like laser treatment. After all the hair has been removed, you don’t need to visit the clinic.
  • Recovery time is not needed. You can resume your daily activities after the treatment is over.
  • The electrolysis hair removal technique is suitable for people with any skin type, skin color, hair type, and hair color.
  • Electrolysis does not use harmful chemicals on the skin.

Side effects and risks of Electrolysis

The electrolysis hair removal treatment might lead to minor side effects such asskin irritation, slight redness, and some swelling. However, these symptoms are common and subside within a few hours. Grievous side effects include scars and infection from unsterile needles used during the treatment procedure. It is recommended to see a licensed dermatologist if you want to minimize the chances of risks.

Is it painful?

Although electrolysis does not cause much pain, it can hurt you. Pain is subjective and the sensation varies from one person to another. Your doctor will give you an anesthetic cream if you feel uncomfortable with the process. Also, don’t forget to apply ice after each session to get rid of the pain.

Aftercare and follow-upsessions

Aftercare is not necessary. Symptoms like skin irritation and redness might appear but it willsubside after some hours.

The results of the electrolysis hair removal technique are permanent because of hair follicle destruction. But in order to permanently remove hair from your body, you will need to attend multiple sessions. The total number of sessions that are required to remove hair permanently via electrolysis varies from individual to another. You have to visit the clinic for follow-up sessions once or twice a week until the hairs are permanently removed from your body.

Costs of Electrolysis

Most insurance does not cover electrolysis hair removal treatment.The amount you pay depends on the area, the type of hair being treated, and the number of follow-upsessions you require.For example, a 30-minute session that aimsto remove hair from a small area can cost around 45 dollars. Some dermatologists also charge at an hourly rate. However, electrolysis costs less with each visit and is less expensive than laser hair removal.

Which is Best- Electrolysis or Laser Hair Removal?

Although both laser hair removal and electrolysis treatments provide a long-lasting effect, electrolysis seems to be the best option because the results are more permanent. The risks and side effects associated with electrolysis are low and you won’t have to visit the clinic for yearly maintenance treatments like laser hair removal. However, electrolysis does not cover large areas at once like laser treatment. It is best to consult a dermatologist before you select the treatment that suits your needs.


Both electrolysis and laser hair removal treatments have their own merits and demerits. Do a thorough research work and consult with a licensed dermatologist before you opt for one.

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