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Comparing Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal

Written by prositesdentalMay 25 • 3 minute read

Short-term hair removal techniques like waxing, tweezing, and shaving may seem like losing battles for many people. You eliminate your hair one day; a few days later, it has grown back and needs to be addressed again. If you are tired of constantly having to deal with unwanted hair growth, it might be time to consider permanent hair removal methods. The two popular long-term hair removal techniques are electrolysis and laser hair removal. They both target the hair follicles under the skin’s surface to prevent hair growth. Here is what you should know about laser hair removal and electrolysis to help you make an informed choice.

How the Procedures Work

During the electrolysis procedure, an ultra-thin probe is inserted into individual hair follicles. The probe sends shortwave radio frequencies or direct current into the follicle, damaging it and preventing future hair growth. In electrolysis, individual hair follicles are targeted at a time.

During laser hair removal, a technician will apply a laser onto the skin. Light energy travels through the skin and targets melanin in the hair follicle. The increasing temperature in the follicle destroys the root hair, minimizing hair growth in the future.


Electrolysis provides complete and permanent hair removal. The procedure works on all hair types and skin colors. However, since it targets individual hair follicles, it can be a time-consuming process when removing hair from large body areas. In contrast, laser hair removal is most effective on black and brown hair, as hair grows back thinner and lighter in color. With laser hair removal, regrowth of hair after treatment is common and may take multiple visits before you achieve your desired results.

Time Taken

Laser hair removal treatments can last for only a few minutes or up to an hour for larger areas, such as legs. A benefit of laser hair removal is that the laser affects multiple hair follicles simultaneously. Depending on the part of the body, you may require multiple sessions within a single month. However, electrolysis sessions are much longer because each hair strand must be treated individually. You may require 15 to 30 treatment sessions to get everything done, which varies based on the part of the body.

Side Effects

For electrolysis, people may experience redness, swelling, and minor pain for a few hours after treatment. In rare cases, small scabs, ingrown hairs, and blisters can occur. There may be discomfort during electrolysis sessions, and most people describe it as a feeling of heat sensation followed by a slight pinch whenever the probe attacks a new hair follicle.

The side effects of laser hair removal treatment are limited. Some patients may experience swelling and redness that subside after a few hours. Minimal pain may also be experienced during treatment, which many patients compare to the sensation of a rubber band snapping against your skin.

Aftercare Treatment

To achieve the best results after electrolysis, you must apply an antibacterial cream to all treated areas. You should also avoid activities that may cause excessive sweating and avoid scratching or touching the treated area for a few days after treatment.

For laser hair removal, you should wear loose clothing for a few days and limit sun exposure for weeks after treatment. In addition, you should avoid steam rooms, hot tubs, swimming pools, and physical exercise for at least 48 hours.

Which Hair Removal Treatment Is Right for You?

Electrolysis and laser skin removal are both effective ways to remove hair. Regardless of the hair treatment technique you choose, you should consult a board-certified dermatologist before undergoing treatment. This will help boost your confidence and help you determine which procedure is right for you.

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