Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal
Two popular forms of hair removal are electrolysis hair removal and laser hair removal. They are the two methods that provide lasting long-term results, but what's the difference between the two procedures?
We've put together this table to help you understand the similiarities and differences between electrolysis hair removal and laser hair removal:-
|Electrolysis hair removal is permanent. Only electrolysis hair removal has been approved as being "permanent" by the FDA.||Laser hair removal isn't permanent - you can expect to see a 70% reduction in hair after around 6 - 7 sessions of laser treatment.|
|Electrolysis works by permanently disfiguring the hair follicle. A probe is placed at the root of the hair follicle and either electricity (galvanic electrolysis) or high frequency radio energy (thermolysis) is applied.
If the patient receives the galvanic electrolysis then the electricity splits the salt and water that is present in the hair follicle which subsequently causes a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction is what disfigures the hair follicle.
If the patient receives thermolysis then the high frequency radio waves heat up the cells which has the same effect: permanent disfiguration of the hair follicle.
|Laser hair removal works by using non invasive beams of light to damage the cells that are responsible for hair growth.
The length of the laser wave (wavelength) determines the colour, type and strength of the laser, is measured in nanometers, and should be picked to match the hair and skin type of the patient.
Laser treatment isn't permanent and requires repeat visits for best results. The usual recommended course of laser treatment is 6 sessions.
|Electrolysis works by treating each hair individually and therefore it is unfortunately not suitable for large areas of the body such as the back or the chest due to the sheer number of hairs.
Instead electrolysis can be used for under arm hair, eyebrows and other areas of the body that require permanent hair loss but cover only a small surface area.
|Laser hair removal is perfect for large areas of the body and it is common for both men and women to have laser hair removal for larger body parts.
In comparison with electrolysis hair removal - laser hair removal is a fairly quick process and so the chest, back and legs can all be treated (and are often treated) successfully on the patient.
|Electrolysis hair removal is cheaper than laser hair removal. A typical session will cost around £15 ($25) per ten minutes with a blended electrolysis machine.||Laser hair removal is a fairly expensive procedure - mainly because you'll need around 5 - 6 sessions for best results.
Whilst prices vary from one place to the next, typically you'd expect to pay £1750 ($2889.59) for 6 sessions of laser hair removal on the chest for a male.
|The type of electrolysis used (there are 3 types) should be a good match for the person receiving the treatment.
Due to the fact that electrolysis treats the root of each individual hair and permanently disfigures the hair follicle for regrowth - the method can be used on all types of skin and hair.
|Laser hair removal works by firing pulses of light that pass through the skin and are absorbed by melalin, which heats up and thermally destroys the cells that are responsible for hair growth.
Because of this method, laser hair removal is best for people with dark hair and light skin.
Those with silver and blonde hair won't experience excellent results due to the lack of melalin conatined in the hair. Similarly very tanned or dark skin will also not work very well since the laser light will be absorbed by the melalin in the skin.
|Temporary side effects may include redness, swelling, dryness and ingrown hairs. Patients are advised to stay clear of sunlight in the days following electrolysis and to avoid applying chemical substances to the site of hair removal.
Generally speaking, side effects are mild - the only time a more serious side effect (such as infection) may occur is when the electrolysis operator is incompetent.
|Usually none, however in some instances the surface of the skin may have small blisters similar to staying out in the sun for too long.
These side effects usually disappear either within a few hours or at most within a few days. Most patients don't suffer any side effects at all.
|Whether you hare having electrolysis hair removal or laser hair removal, I highly recommend that you go and see a fully qualified professional who can make sure your hair removal occurs in a safe environment.
There are numerous laser and electrolysis home kits on the marketplace - generally speaking these products don't give great results and they also require some level of judgment (ie. what current to use, or what light intensity to use). I always recommend that people see a fully qualified professional to minimise the chance of unwanted side effects.
Both electrolysis hair removal and laser hair removal have their place. As a general rule of thumb, if you have a small surface area of hair that you wish to remove (such as hair in your eyebrow) then electrolysis is your best bet. The results will be permanent and the procedure is quick and inexpensive.
However, for larger parts of the body, electrolysis is out of the question. For parts of the body such as the chest or back then your only semi-permanent option that's currently available on the market is laser hair removal. Typically it will take 6 sessions under the laser (to accommodate for the various growth cycles that your hair goes through) and you'll experience a 70% reduction in hair on the treated areas.