Which one is best?
Which is best for you? What advantages does one have over the other? These are some of the questions I will answer in this article so you can decide which is best for you.
Hopefully I have fully answered the question what is laser hair removal on this site already. But for those of you who don’t fully know it can be described as this: Laser hair removal devices identify a hair in the skin by targeting the dark hair pigments and then destroy / damage the hair follicle with intense heat so it won’t produce hair.
It can do this to an area or section of skin therefore targeting several follicles at one time. This involves a moderate to small amount of pain. Electrolysis on the other hand works by putting an electronic current directly into the hair follicle via a needle which completely destroys the hair follicle. Electrolysis is completely permanent as opposed to laser hair removal which, given enough time, may grow back.
For more information on that point see my is laser hair removal permanent article. Since electrolysis can only treat one follicle at a time and requires a needle, it’s quite a lengthy and painful treatment process. See what Columbia University think about laser hair removal for a reliable and authoritative opinion.
Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal – Advantages & Disadvantages
I think it’s going to be best if I list some of the advantages and disadvantages of laser hair removal and electrolysis so you can make a quick comparison:
Laser Hair Removal
- Convenient – you can have short sessions at clinics (under an hour) or even buy an at home laser hair removal device so you can treat yourself whenever you want.
- Treats a relatively large area – a laser hair removal device can treat quite a few hair follicles in one go, so doing an area like your legs won’t take forever.
- Not too painful – laser hair removal doesn’t hurt too much, most people say it hurts as much as an elastic band flicking against your skin. Also most devices have intensity settings, so you can turn the device down if it does hurt.
- Good results – laser hair removal does damage the hair follicles a lot, so it will take ages (many years) for them to repair themselves and start producing hair again (if they repair at all).
- Cost – Laser hair removal can be very expensive in clinics. Up to $200 per session. However if you buy an at home laser hair removal device you could cut back on costs.
- Number of treatments required – On average you will need 3-4 hair removal treatments because of the stages of growth hair goes through.
- Semi permanent - unlike electrolysis laser hair removal isn’t guaranteed to remove your hair forever meaning you may need more treatments.
- Only works on on light skin with dark hair.
- Completely permanent – since electrolysis completely destroys each hair follicles it won’t grow back.
- Cheap sessions – each session won’t cost much, even though you will need quite a few of them. This means you can have manageable sessions for as cheap as $30
- Works on all – electrolysis will work on everyone regardless of skin or hair color since it directly target the follicle.
- Painful – since the needle is going into your skin, then gives you a shock, it hurts quite a bit!
- Take a while to do – although you only need to treat each follicle once, only one can be done at a time. It will take ages to treat every single hair follicle on your body!
- Still can be expensive in the long run – even though one session doesn’t cost much, you will need loads of them, which will add up to quite a lot of money.
When thinking about both options it’s safe to say that laser hair removal will be the more comfortable experience; it’s a much more modern and convenient treatment. But not everyone can have it done.
So in conclusion answering the question which is better; electrolysis or laser hair removal, it can be quite hard. But I would say laser hair removal is better if you have dark hair and light skin, and electrolysis is the default winner if you don’t have a suitable hair / skin type but you want 100% permanent hair removal.