Unwanted hair can be a source of social angst. But now we have great options for permanent hair removal. Both electrolysis and laser hair removal are excellent options to achieve long term hair reduction. Although electrolysis has been available for many years, laser hair removal has really gained popularity in the last 5 years.
There are two methods available for permanent hair removal: Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal. But which one to choose?
Electrolysis is performed by a licensed electrologist. In this method, a small filament is inserted into the hair follicle alongside the hair shaft. A current of energy is then sent to the hair’s growth center and the hair is destroyed. The individual hair is then removed from the follicle at the time of treatment but will grow back in about 1-2 weeks. Depending on what temporary methods have been used in the past, multiple treatments over months to even years may be needed to fully destroy the hair follicle. Electrolysis can be performed on any hair color including gray, blonde and red, on any hair type and any skin type. We generally recommend electrolysis for those who are not good candidates for laser hair removal or for small areas where there are only a few hairs. Electrolysis is also a great way to rid yourself of ingrown hairs.
LASER HAIR REMOVAL
Laser hair removal also uses energy but in the form of a laser beam. There are no filaments involved like in electrolysis. The laser beam passes through the skin and targets the melanin (color) in the hair follicle. The heat energy destroys the hair at its growth center. Laser treatments have an advantage because it can destroy many hairs at once. Unlike electrolysis which is one hair at a time. Treatments with laser are thus quicker, covering larger areas with ease. Depending upon the laser, treatments can be performed on all skin types (we use the GentleMax® Pro which is not only safe but comfortable). However, laser hair removal is not effective at destroying red, blonde, or gray hair. In general, plan on receiving 6-8 treatments about 4-6 weeks apart depending on the area being treated. During the treatment process, you will notice the hair becomes finer and growth slows. However, unlike electrolysis, some of the treated hairs will remain in the follicle and will fall out over the next several days to about a week after treatment. Laser hair removal is also great at treating ingrown hairs.
So which one is right for you? It mostly depends on 3 things:
- Color of your hair
- Size of the area
Each year, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on temporary methods of hair removal. You spend all this time and money to get rid of the hair only to have it re-grow. Whether you choose electrolysis or laser hair removal, both are great options and at least you will be investing your money in a permanent solution.
When seeking electrolysis or laser hair removal, I strongly advise you to do your research. Don’t choose a place based on the best deal. Both methods are safe and effective only when performed by licensed, experienced individuals which due to their expertise, are not necessarily the cheapest. Finally, when considering laser hair removal, make sure a physician is providing oversight.