Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal: Which is Better?

If you are tired of shaving, plucking, and waxing unwanted hair, you may benefit from longer lasting hair reduction services. In particular, you may be torn between electrolysis vs. laser hair removal. While each technique does remove undesired hair from various locations on the body, the benefits of laser hair removal make it a more attractive method than electrolysis for many people. Learning more about both methods can help you decide which treatment is best for you.

All About Electrolysis

Electrolysis relies on an electrical current to destroy hair follicles in various locations across the body including the face, arms, legs, and back. Small, thin needles are inserted into the follicle and are then heated up to burn the follicle. The technician removes any individual hairs that remain after their roots and follicles have been destroyed using tweezers. This process is meant to completely eradicate the follicle, so there can be no future growth.

How Long Does Electrolysis Take?

This method of hair removal can take a very long time, requiring several sessions before the target area is hair-free. Electrolysis takes such a long time because the process must destroy each individual follicle; it cannot terminate multiple ones at once. For example, using electrolysis to remove hair on the back can take up to four hours. Each session can also be quite lengthy, too.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Electrolysis does have a few benefits. This technique has been around since the 1800s, which means that the medical field has had plenty of time to perfect it. Since this process burns the hair follicles, the results last for a long time. In most cases, electrolysis is permanent.

However, there are also quite a few drawbacks to this procedure. To begin with, the permanent nature of the hair removal can be an issue for many people. In addition, there are several complications that can happen after an electrolysis session:

  • Ingrown hairs have been known to occur after just one session
  • Electrolysis is painful, and can result in burns, redness, bruises, scars, and scabs
  • In some patients, this procedure can discolor the skin
  • Patients have also reported developing skin issues, such as eczema, following these treatments

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

When thinking about hair reduction services, you may have the same questions as most first-time patients: how does laser hair removal work? This procedure uses infrared light instead of electrical current to target the pigment that exists in hair follicles. The light also acts as a heat source, destroying the follicle. Initially, laser hair removal was only recommended for people who have fair skin and dark hair, as the technique targets pigments, not follicles. However, there have been many improvements made to this technology, and almost anyone is an ideal candidate.

How Long Does Laser Removal Take?

Laser hair removal can be incredibly fast. For example, removing back hair can sometimes take less than 20 minutes. When compared to the four hours required by electrolysis, it’s no wonder people prefer laser hair treatments. These treatments target multiple follicles at once, burning hundreds of follicles in approximately a millisecond. This means that fewer sessions are needed, and that each session is much shorter in duration.

Benefits and Drawbacks

One of the biggest benefits to laser hair removal is that it is much less painful than electrolysis. The procedure itself is not nearly as painful, and since sessions are shorter, the patient does not need to experience repeated and continued discomfort. Laser hair removal is often less costly than electrolysis as well.

There are a few drawbacks to laser treatments, but as long as you use an experienced provider and attend a clean clinic, you can dramatically reduce the risk of them occurring. Some of these potential side effects include minor discomfort and pain during or following the treatment, redness, and skin irritation. Doctors frequently recommend that their patients take a pain killer shortly before the session, and that they purchase aloe or another soothing cream to apply following treatments.

Which is Best: Electrolysis or Laser Hair Removal?

If you want fast hair removal services without the risk of pain, scarring, or discoloration, laser treatments are the ideal approach. They are fast, effective, and do not carry the same potential serious side effects as electrolysis.

If you are looking for hair removal for men and women in St. Louis, MO, contact us at the Sheen Vein and Cosmetics. We work with each of our patients to come up with a customized laser treatment plan, giving you an alternative to shaving, plucking, and waxing. Get in touch with us today to find out more about your options.

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