How is Laser Hair Removal Different From Electrolysis
If you are considering a source of permanent hair removal, it may be difficult at first to differentiate from laser hair removal and electrolysis. Specifically, laser hair removal is designed for darker hair to target the hair follicle with heat energy and kill it permanently. Laser hair removal does need to be done over a series of around six treatments, which will effectively target each different hair cycle to kill the hair as it grows.
Unfortunately, laser hair removal cannot target lighter hairs, like blonde, red, or grey hair. In this instance, you would be an eligible candidate for electrolysis, which offers a form of hair removal for lighter hair on the body. Other than that, laser hair removal is a preferable alternative for darker hair on light or dark skin tones. There are separate lasers for light skin tones and light hair to provide safe results in permanent hair removal, and there are also separate wavelengths of lasers used for darker skin tones and darker hair. The reason that this is necessary is because the laser will target melanin and pigment underneath the surface of the skin. If a darker skin tone uses a laser intended for lighter skin, the heat energy could be too severe and cause them to burn.
For many people, laser hair removal is a quicker and more affordable option to electrolysis. In electrolysis, a needle will be inserted into each individual hair follicle using an electrical current to kill the hair at the root. This can be incredibly tedious if you are considering a larger area of the body, so it is more ideal for smaller areas, like the upper lip, eyebrows, and chin. One more thing to keep in mind is that laser hair removal is not safe to be used to treat the eyebrow area because it cannot penetrate anywhere around the eye socket. These precautions are taken to prevent damage to the eye, including blindness, so if you do want your eyebrows treated, electrolysis would be the option for you, regardless of your hair color.
One thing to take into consideration is that electrolysis is much more painful than laser hair removal. Laser hair removal can often be likened to a rubber band snapping on the surface of the skin, while electrolysis feels like an even greater prick of a needle everywhere that your skin is treated. For a single session, electrolysis may seem affordable, but you do need to keep in mind that it can take up to 30 visits to see the results that you are looking for! On the flip side, laser hair removal offers an affordable price for a single treatment, and you normally need an estimated 5 to 7 treatments to see results in permanent hair removal.
Overall, laser hair removal is a very quick treatment, especially on smaller areas of the body. The laser technician can work at a quick speed to treat larger areas of the body as well, only stopping if it is uncomfortable or if the patient needs a break. As an example, a laser treatment for the upper lip can take around five minutes, while electrolysis takes much longer. Since each hair follicle is being targeted individually, they need to be treated for one minute apiece. This means that a very small treatment like the upper lip can take up to 30 minutes, which is six times what a laser hair removal treatment would take!
The most important thing to consider is what type of hair color you have as to whether or not you would need electrolysis or laser hair removal. Electrolysis is only recommended for hair types that are not picked up by the laser, like blonde, grey, or red hair. Otherwise, it is time-consuming, expensive, and incredibly painful to opt for electrolysis over laser hair removal, especially if you are getting larger sites on the body treated. Laser hair removal technologies have advanced greatly, and there are many choices and affordable options available for any area on the body that you would like to treat, with the exception of the eyebrows.
To conclude, laser hair removal does have minimal side effects, such as swelling, redness, and the sensitivity of the skin. However, if electrolysis is administered improperly, it can cause permanent skin discoloration. If you are hoping for permanent hair reduction on any area of your body that has dark colored hair, laser hair removal is the best alternative for the safe and permanent treatment of unwanted hair!
This article was written by Bethany North. Bethany is a licensed esthetician with experience in hands-on experience in chemical peels, microdermabrasion, facials, laser hair removal, makeup applications, skin analysis, waxing, spray tanning, and product ingredient assessment. She has also worked as a salon sales and training consultant, as well as a consultant for beauty and hair care product lines in branding and marketing.