Are you unsure about who wins in the battle of laser vs. electrolysis? Well, don’t worry as we were in the same boat as you before this article!
If we have to talk about the two hair removal methods that are the most popular among the new generation (no, it’s not waxing and shaving), then laser and electrolysis will surely take the lead.
I mean, who wouldn’t love saying goodbye to the pain of waxing, post-shaving bumps and switching to a painless hair removal method? But what adds further to the hype of these new-era methods is that they help you get rid of unwanted hair permanently.
This means you can flaunt your hairless skin in your favorite dresses without having to worry about any hair sneaking from underneath!
Now, before we decide which hair removal method is suitable for you, let’s have an overview of how both laser and electrolysis work on your hair.
Laser Vs. Electrolysis: How do they work?
Laser hair removal
Here particularly, we are going to focus on IPL, which is one of the most well-known sub-categories of laser these days. Due to the introduction of at-home IPL laser devices like SkinGen, there is more inclination of people towards this (more on this later).
But how exactly does IPL laser work? Intense Pulsed Light is a broad spectrum that the device scatters across your skin through the device to help in reducing hair growth permanently.
The device directs the light at the melanin (the pigment that gives your skin or hair its color), damaging the root and breaking the hair regrowth cycle.
You should not expect results overnight, but it will help prevent hair from growing back with frequent use.
Most IPL devices are safe to use on your body and face. The device stamps or glides on your skin by emitting light in parallel. For areas of the body with large surfaces like legs, gliding is convenient. Pressing onto the skin or stamping is better for smaller surfaces where you require precision.
The speed of results and intensity varies for each individual, considering how IPL works on your skin.
As the name suggests with the word “electro”, this hair removal method works with the use of a very small amount of electricity. Well, it might sound scary to some of you, but it’s nothing quite like an electric shock, as you might be thinking!
Instead, the intensity of electricity is low to a point where you can barely feel it. A solution of sodium hydroxide seeps through the hair follicles in your skin to destroy the hair from the roots.
The hair removal expert inserts a thin probe to your hair follicles which is even finer than your hair and doesn’t pierce your skin. After it is inserted, sodium hydroxide or electricity then starts doing their magic by terminating the blood supply to the follicles. This helps in stopping the hair growth permanently, so bye-bye hair!
Just like a laser, there are also different sub-categories of electrolysis, and after identifying your particular hair removal needs, the consultant will prescribe the method best suited for you:
The blend method uses a blend of current and heat to speed up the chemical reaction that is working below your skin to destroy the hair follicle. It is slower than the other methods but is highly effective in treating hard-to-reach areas of the skin.
Due to its efficiency and speed, thermolysis is the most commonly used electrolysis method these days. It supplies alternating current to the probe that is in contact with your hair. The current generates heat and destroys the hair follicles.
If you ask your mother or their mothers about electrolysis hair removal methods, then they will most likely tell you about galvanic hair. Galvanic was the first method of electrolysis ever introduced and is so old that you will rarely find anyone using it (just like those old keypad phones).
The method worked by using a direct current to initiate a chemical reaction within the body that would then destroy the hair follicles. However, since galvanic was quite slow and we are now living in a fast-paced world, it has fallen out of favor.
Laser Vs. Electrolysis: Treatment Areas
Now that we have a clear idea about how both of these permanent hair removal methods work, let us look into which body parts are suitable for treatment by laser and electrolysis.
Body parts suitable for laser
- Upper lips
- Arms and hands
- Bikini area
In addition, laser hair removal also works well for people who have stubborn hair in what might be “unusual” places for others, like toes or buttocks. But don’t worry, as with an at-home hair removal device like SkinGen, you won’t feel any discomfort in treating these areas as you will be doing it yourself!
Body parts suitable for electrolysis
- Bikini Line
Electrolysis can nearly treat the same areas as laser hair removal. However, you need to remember that you will need professional assistance here since it can’t be done at home. This is one of the many things that sets laser and electrolysis apart.
Drawbacks of Laser Vs Electrolysis Hair Removal
Just as ingrown hair and strawberry skin is one of the many miseries of waxing/shaving, these methods have a few drawbacks too:
Doesn’t work on all skin tone
Although lasers work for a large population, they are still not suitable for everyone. There are some limitations to the methods, like the skin-to-hair color difference.
People with dark skin tone aren’t considered the ideal candidate for the method. This is because the light can’t easily target melanin in hair with a dark skin tone. Nonetheless, there are still some laser hair removal devices that work well for all skin tones, so you would have to do a bit of research for that.
Risk of reaction
If not done properly, laser hair removal can pose some adverse reactions to your skin like swelling, discoloration, scarring or redness. But the good thing is that these are very unlikely to happen and can be treated easily.
Exposure to sunlight
After the laser hair removal session, you can’t go out in bright sunlight as the laser makes your skin sensitive to UV rays. Therefore, you might have to turn down a few beach vacation offers if your laser session is in the process!
Since the laser works by targeting a small area of the ski, the session can take up to several hours before you can get permanent results. Moreover, if you are getting treatment for coarse hair around the bikini line or other areas, it can take even longer.
Risk of reaction
If done by an unprofessional who is not well-trained in the area, electrolysis can cause serious health problems. For example, you can get scarring or, in rare cases, an infection if there is the use of unsterilized needles. For that reason, it is best to get electrolysis done by a professional who is credible and has experience.
Irritation or discomfort
As we mentioned above, electrolysis works by piercing through your skin to target the hair. The process might not be a great experience for everyone as some people undergo pain and discomfort. Taking a painkiller before or applying ice on the target area after electrolysis might help.
Laser Vs. Electrolysis: Similarities
Besides being permanent, there are some places where both laser and electrolysis hair removal have common grounds like:
Both need multiple sessions
Our hair has three different stages, which we have covered in detail here. Both these hair removal methods target our hair follicles when it is the Anagen phase, which is the growth stage.
Therefore, to work on hair in that particular phase, a series of sessions is required before you can get rid of hair permanently. For laser hair removal devices like SkinGen, this can last for four months. But it also depends on your hair’s thickness and growth.
Both work on different body parts
You can use both electrolysis and laser hair removal on nearly any body part. Whether it is your legs, arms or bikini line, both of them work effectively well to remove hair from these areas.
However, it is necessary to know whether the particular method you opt for is safe for your skin and hair type or not.
Safe, effective and permanent!
The major reason for the popularity of electrolysis and laser is that both methods are FDA certified. Also, they are clinically safe, so there is nothing to worry about when you are planning to book a session!
And of course, how can we forget the cherry on top: you can get rid of unwanted hair permanently with these hair removal methods. This means you no longer have to worry about hair growing back in a week right after shaving/waxing!
Laser Vs. Electrolysis: Differences
Now it’s time to explore the differences between these two, which will also help you decide which method is suitable for you.
Number of sessions
Being patient with hair removal takes a lot, and we know it! I mean, what is the point if you still have to sit for long hours when you could just wax or shave?
Both laser and electrolysis require multiple sessions before you can say goodbye to hair forever. Nonetheless, the number of sessions varies as laser requires comparatively fewer sessions.
It takes about five to eight sessions if you get the laser done professionally. While with an at-home device (link), the sessions can last over four months. We can’t give an exact number because it depends on your hair/skin color, pigmentation and the areas you wish to treat.
Electrolysis, on the other hand, can go up to 25-30 sessions which again can extend if you have coarse hair. In addition, electrolysis sessions are much longer, which might not be a pleasant experience for everyone.
Duration of each sitting
The time that it takes for your laser hair removal depends on the body part. For example, it might take longer to treat large areas like legs. Whereas, you will be done with your upper lips or face in under 5 minutes as laser targets multiple hairs in one go.
In contrast, electrolysis sessions take longer because they target a single hair strand at a time. You might need to visit the salon in a week or two, which also makes the process both time and effort-consuming.
The cost of laser vs. electrolysis is probably what stops most people from getting permanent hair removal. Undoubtedly, electrolysis does cost a pretty penny as it is a lengthy process. Moreover, it’s not easy to find an at-home electrolysis device.
But for laser hair removal, you don’t have to make a hefty investment. By getting an at-home IPL device like SkinGen, you can get it done at nearly half the price!
Not only this but also, in the long run, at-home laser devices also turn out to be cheaper than waxing and shaving. All you need to do is get your device, and voila, you are good to go!
Laser Vs. Electrolysis: Which is better?
What you want to achieve will help you decide which hair removal method is better for you. If you are looking for a budget-friendly method that can be easily done within the comfort of your home and doesn’t require long sessions, then laser hair removal is our suggestion.