Laser Hair Removal VS. Electrolysis
If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of women who will consider some form of hair removal this year, there's no doubt that the question of laser hair removal verses electrolysis will come in to play sooner or later. Of course both procedures are beneficial, it simply depends on what you're looking for. Ask yourself a few questions first to evaluate which may be better for you.
- How much money are you willing to spend?
- Are you looking for pain free alternatives only?
- How many visits do you consider to be too many?
- Are you looking for absolute permanent hair removal only?
These are not all of the questions you may have but those are just to give you an idea of where to start, individual questions are expected.
When comparing laser hair removal to electrolysis, one of the biggest differences is just that, the hair removal. Electrolysis can not only be time consuming, because this procedure concentrates usually on only one hair follicle at a time but it can also come with some degree of pain and often even the quickest treatment using electrolysis is still considered to be about ten months. The reason electrolysis is painful is because a tiny, metal probe is inserted into the hair follicle, the tiny probe releases an electronic charge or current which destroys the hair at the root source.
Laser Hair Removal however is much less invasive, the laser uses light that's absorbed through the skin, into the hair follicle and the absorbed light will change to heat, thus affecting the hair follicle. It doesn't require years to complete the treatments and the best thing about it...laser hair removal simultaneously concentrates on removing hundreds of hair follicles. Laser hair removal is ingeniously skillful with the amount of hair this system is able to cover.
One of the pure downfalls in recent years to laser hair removal in general applied mostly to people with light hair. Previously, most patients with white skin and coarse, dark hair benefitted the most. People with dark hair tend to have a pigment called melanin which attracts the laser light. Patients with light or red hair and even those on a high beta carotene diet, the results just weren't comparable. Even patients with naturally dark or suntanned skin saw less dramatic results because the pigment melanin is present in the skin as well as in the hair and can absorb most of the light from the laser. Advancements in pure research and technological tools for laser hair removal have made it much more effective though.
Electrolysis is quite different, considering it may take longer for treatment, opinions vary but there are three main types of electrolysis available.
Thermolysis - This method uses heat, while some say it's a very comfortable treatment, others say they have experienced some brief periods of discomfort. While this form may treat many hair follicles at one time, it may not be as effective as getting rid of many after just one treatment but that doesn't mean it's not a good alternative considering that electrolysis usually does take more time than just laser hair removal.
Galvanic - This method is really completely opposite to thermolysis, it doesn't treat as many hair follicles but it has been shown to eliminate more hair with one treatment than thermolysis.
The Blend - Some people have chosen this option which combines both of those listed above.
Another interesting comparison is in the actual appointment time, how long each treatment takes, side by side is something that can hardly go unnoticed. The times below are pure estimates and ofcourse, each individual taking circumstances, hair type, skin type and etc.. into consideration would vary.
|Laser Hair Removal||VS.||Electrolysis|
|bikini line........8-10 minutes|||||takes 8-16 hours|
|chin..................2-3 minutes|||||takes 2-12 hours|
|upper lip..........0-1 minutes|||||takes 4-10 hours|
|under arms......1-2 minutes|||||takes 4-12 hours|
There's a big difference in the treatment times, so take into consideration which option would fit your lifestyle the best and what kind of results you need.
A conclusion of a study published in "Dermatologic Surgery" in 2000 featured the differences they found between a dozen patients, using laser hair removal and electrolysis in twenty-four areas of the body. The conclusion stated that while laser hair removal may be more expensive than electrolysis, laser hair removal is sixty times faster and less painful in comparison to electrolysis, more patients experienced more favorable results with laser hair removal.
When considering either laser hair removal or electrolysis, gather information accordingly. Ask what type of laser will be used, ask your doctor questions, get referrals, ask your friends, co-workers or anyone if they have heard good or bad things about your doctor and make sure that you are comfortable from start to finish. The best thing about being prepared is that you will know exactly what to expect and you'll enjoy every step of completing your goal when you know that you're in control of your progress, not just your doctor.
This article was written by Lisa Gonzalez.