Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis: What’s the Difference?

Know your choices

Laser hair removing and electrolysis are two widespread forms of long-term hair removing strategies. Each work by focusing on hair follicles situated underneath the pores and skin’s floor.

In keeping with the American Society for Dermatologic Surgical procedure, laser hair removing is on the rise, with a rise of almost 30 p.c from 2013. Although electrolysis can be growing in reputation, it’s not as frequent as laser remedy.

Hold studying to study the advantages, dangers, and different tips for every process.

Laser hair removing makes use of gentle radiation through high-heat lasers. The aim is to wreck hair follicles sufficient to considerably decelerate hair progress. Though the consequences last more than dwelling hair removing strategies, comparable to shaving, laser remedy doesn’t create everlasting outcomes. You’ll must obtain a number of therapies for long-term hair removing.


Laser hair removing could also be completed nearly anyplace on the face and physique, besides your eye space. This makes the process versatile in its makes use of.

There’s additionally little-to-no restoration time concerned. You may resume your regular actions after every process.

Though new hairs should develop, you’ll discover that they develop in finer and lighter in coloration than earlier than. Which means when there’s regrowth it gained’t look as heavy as earlier than.

This process tends to work greatest in case you have each honest pores and skin and darkish hair.

Uncomfortable side effects and dangers

Uncomfortable side effects of laser hair removing could embrace:

  • blisters
  • irritation
  • swelling
  • irritation
  • pigmentation adjustments (normally gentle patches on darker pores and skin)
  • redness
  • swelling

Minor negative effects like irritation and redness are likely to go away inside a number of hours of the process. Any signs that last more than that should be addressed along with your physician.

Scars and adjustments to pores and skin texture are uncommon negative effects.

You may decrease the danger of negative effects and everlasting pores and skin injury by ensuring you search therapy from a board-certified dermatologist solely. Salons and at-home laser removing aren’t really helpful.

Aftercare and follow-up

Earlier than the process, your dermatologist could apply an analgesic ointment to reduce ache. In case you nonetheless expertise ache, speak to your physician about taking over-the-counter (OTC) ache relievers. You physician can also prescribe a steroid cream for extreme ache.

Frequent signs, comparable to redness and swelling, could also be relieved by making use of ice or a chilly compress to the affected space.

Laser hair removing disables hair progress — somewhat than eradicating hairs — so that you’ll want follow-up therapies. Common upkeep therapies may even prolong the outcomes.

You’ll additionally need to decrease your solar publicity after every laser hair removing, particularly throughout peak sunlight hours. Elevated solar sensitivity from the process places you susceptible to sunburn. Be sure to put on sunscreen daily. The Mayo Clinic additionally recommends staying out of direct daylight for six weeks earlier than laser hair removing to stop pigmentation disruptions on tanned pores and skin.

Comply with-up appointments are important to one of these therapy. In keeping with the Mayo Clinic, most individuals want a follow-up therapy each six weeks, as much as six instances. This helps to cease hair progress after the preliminary laser hair removing session. After this level, you’ll additionally must see your dermatologist for a upkeep appointment. You could possibly do that a few times a 12 months relying in your wants. And you may shave in between appointments.


Laser hair removing is taken into account an elective beauty process, so it isn’t lined by insurance coverage. The general value varies based mostly on what number of periods you want. You may as well speak to your dermatologist a few fee plan.

Though at-home laser hair therapy may be interesting by way of value, it’s not confirmed to be protected or efficient.

Electrolysis is one other sort of hair removing method that’s completed by a dermatologist. It additionally disrupts hair progress. The method works by inserting an epilator system into the pores and skin. It makes use of shortwave radio frequencies in hair follicles to cease new hair from rising. This damages your hair follicles to stop progress and causes current hairs to fall out. Nevertheless, you’ll nonetheless want a number of follow-up appointments for one of the best outcomes.

Not like laser hair removing, electrolysis is backed by the U. S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) as a everlasting answer.


Along with producing extra everlasting outcomes, electrolysis is extraordinarily versatile. It may well assist inhibit new hair progress for all pores and skin and hair varieties. Electrolysis can also be used anyplace on the physique, together with the eyebrows.

Uncomfortable side effects and dangers

Minor negative effects are frequent, however they have an inclination to go away inside a day. The commonest symptom is slight redness from pores and skin irritation. Ache and swelling are uncommon.

Potential extreme negative effects embrace an infection from unsterile needles used in the course of the process, in addition to scars. Seeing a board-certified dermatologist can decrease the dangers.

Aftercare and follow-up

The outcomes of electrolysis are touted as being everlasting due to hair follicle destruction. In idea, having broken hair follicles signifies that no new hairs are capable of develop.

These outcomes aren’t achieved in only one session. That is particularly the case for those who’re having the process completed on a big space like your again, or on an space of thicker hair progress just like the pubic area.

In keeping with the Cleveland Clinic, most individuals want follow-up periods each week or bi-weekly to realize optimum outcomes. As soon as the hair is gone, you gained’t want any extra therapies. No upkeep is required with electrolysis.

Take a look at: The right way to deal with and stop ingrown pubic hair »


Like laser hair removing, electrolysis isn’t lined by insurance coverage. The quantity you pay depends upon the dimensions of the realm being handled and the variety of follow-ups required. Some docs cost an hourly price. Electrolysis prices much less with every go to, however you might find yourself having extra periods than with laser remedy.

At-home epilators can be found on the market, however these aren’t as efficient as skilled units. Plus, these machines aren’t regulated by the FDA for security.

Laser remedy and electrolysis each produce longer-lasting results in comparison with shaving. However electrolysis appears to work one of the best. The outcomes are extra everlasting. Electrolysis additionally carries fewer dangers and negative effects, and also you don’t want the upkeep therapies required for laser hair removing.

The draw back is that electrolysis should be unfold out over extra periods. It may well’t cowl massive areas without delay like laser hair removing can. Your selection could rely upon how rapidly you need to obtain short-term hair removing.

Additionally, doing one process after which the opposite isn’t a good suggestion. For instance, getting electrolysis completed after laser hair removing disrupts the consequences of the primary process. Do your homework forward of time and speak to your dermatologist about the best choice. In case you resolve to change hair removing procedures, you might want to attend a number of months earlier than starting.

Hold studying: The right way to establish, deal with, and stop contaminated ingrown hairs »

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