Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal: Which Is Right for You?

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Shaving, waxing, and tweezing may have worked their magic in the past, but now they have more trouble than relief. Lack of time and too many things demanding your attention at once make it difficult for you to spend hours shaving, waxing and tweezing, not to forget the amount of money you have to spend. You get rid of a hair one day, but it is back a few days later, and you need to remove it again.

If you are tired of waxing, shaving, plucking your hair, and dealing with unwanted hair every few days, it is time to consider permanent hair removal. Electrolysis and laser hair removal are the two options when it comes to getting long-term relief from the irritating hair that seems to pop up on the skin after every few days. They work by targeting hair follicles located under the skin’s surface and eliminating hair growth in their unique way. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks and offers you a chance to enjoy hair-free and smooth skin for good without suffering from recurring hair growth.

To decide which one to choose or which is better than the other, check out benefits, drawbacks, and side effects of these methods to know which would work best.

Read on to know the comparison between electrolysis and laser hair removal and learn which one seems to offer optimal benefits and which one you should choose, keeping in mind your personal needs.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a permanent method of getting rid of unwanted hair on the body, even though it takes several sessions to achieve the desired long-term results. During the procedure, a high heat laser beam is focused on the hair follicles. The heat damages the follicle and inhibits further growth, leading to smooth and silky skin. The good thing about laser is that it does not damage the surrounding skin.

As laser finds its target by looking for contrast, laser hair removal has proven more successful for people with dark hair and light skin. With technological advancements and revolutionary breakthroughs, laser has turned out to be more effective for all skin types, including dark skin tones.

Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

Laser offers long-lasting hair removal almost anywhere on the face, body, and even ears. The relatively quick and painless procedure requires little to no recovery time.

Top benefits include:

  • Permanent hair removal
  • Elimination of hair from face and body
  • Little or no recovery time
  • Minimal side effects
  • Quick and easy procedures

Aftercare for Laser Hair Removal

Specialists recommend an aftercare treatment routine to help you enjoy the effectiveness of the procedure. It includes:

  • Limited or no sun exposure for several weeks
  • Wearing loose clothing for at least two days after the treatment
  • Avoiding swimming pools, hot tubs, steam rooms
  • Staying away from physical exertion for 48 hours
  • Avoiding any activities that make you sweat, as it may irritate the treated areas

Drawbacks of Laser Hair Removal

Even though they are few, laser hair removal is not without drawbacks. They include:

  • A stinging or burning sensation during the procedure
  • It delivers better results for people with dark hair and light skin which means it may not work on all skin colors
  • It requires multiple sessions before you can enjoy the full impact of the treatment as hair grows in phases, and to target each hair, multiple sessions are essential
  • Even after the treatment, you may notice new hair growth, although they will be finer and lighter than before

Laser treatment is not painful. Most people have compared the pain or discomfort to snapping a rubber band against the skin or splashed with hot oil.

Side Effects of Laser Removal

Side effects of laser hair removal may include redness, swelling, pigmentation, or irritation on the treated area. However, these side effects usually go away on their own within a few hours without any medication. You can soothe the skin with the help of Aloe Vera gel or a soothing lotion. Consulting a laser specialist is essential to learn more about side effects or complications resulting from laser and to deal with them.

What Is Electrolysis?

Electrolysis is a hair removal technique that uses an electric current to destroy hair follicles. The procedure starts with a small needle inserted into an individual hair follicle. The needle delivers heat energy to terminate the follicle. The hair is then removed or plucked out using tweezers.

As the follicle is destroyed, the hair cannot regrow. The process of electrolysis is relatively slow as the treatment focuses on individual follicles. It may require several treatment sessions to fully destroy unwanted hair.

Electrolysis is the only FDA-approved method of permanent hair removal. It is performed by a board-certified dermatologist or electrologist who knows how to operate the equipment efficiently and helps you attain desired results.

Electrolysis Hair Removal
Electrolysis Hair Removal

Benefits of Electrolysis

Electrolysis can remove hair from anywhere on the face or body and works well on small as well as large areas.
The good thing about electrolysis is that it works similarly on all skin types as the follicles are selected and treated by hand.

Drawbacks of Electrolysis

It requires multiple treatments as the hair is only treated when it is in the growth stage. As each follicle naturally has its own cycle and growth rate, catching each strand is not easy, and for this, multiple sessions are essential.
Side effects of electrolysis main include pain from the electrical current, redness, swelling, scabbing, scarring, or changes to the skin color.

Side Effects and Complications That Can Result from Electrolysis

Sometimes people undergoing electrolysis can face side effects and complications that may need medical assistance. They include:

  • Skin discoloration – Electrolysis can make some areas of skin change their pigmentation, creating patch areas of discoloration. People with darker skin tones or sensitive skin are at a higher risk of discoloration.
  • Pain and discomfort – Electrolysis can be a painful process, as individual hair follicles need up to 20 seconds of electrical current to react to the treatment. The level of pain varies depending on your tolerance levels and pain threshold.
  • Scabs – Many people develop swelling, redness, and scabs along the treatment skin after the procedure. These scabs are not dangerous and fall off on their own, but they can lead to serious infections if they are not treated properly.
  • Ingrown hairs – There are times when a single electrolysis treatment may damage the hair follicles but does not remove or destroy them completely. These damaged follicles often become clogged, causing ingrown hairs that can turn into painful bumps or sores.
  • Bruises – Bruises may also develop along the skin, particularly in cases, when the needle is inserted too deeply into the skin or incorrectly.
  • Scarring – You may notice scarring of the skin or skin damage if the treatment is not performed by an experienced technician or a trained specialist.
  • Skin issues – Some electrolysis patients have reported several issues like dry skin, dullness, and reduction in elasticity, which mostly result from skin interactions with the electrical current.

Electrolysis or Laser Hair Removal – Which One Should Be Preferred

Electrolysis stops hair growth completely, while laser can slow down things and thin hair over the long run. Electrolysis can work on any hair or skin type, but laser usually works best on people with light skin and dark hair.

Laser hair removal treatment is a far better option, as compared to electrolysis in most cases due to its shorter duration and less pain. Laser is safer and has a higher efficiency rate which is why it has become popular, and so many people are turning to it for long-term smooth and hair-free skin.

Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal Which is Right For You
Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal Which is Right For You

Similarities Between Electrolysis and Laser

Electrolysis and laser hair removal are similar in several ways.

Both Can Remove Hair from Any Part of the Body

Both the treatments are effective for every part of the body, including the face, underarms, legs, chest, back, and even the bikini line. Anyone can go for them, but it is essential to consult a specialist to learn about the procedure and the aftercare guidance.

Both Require Multiple Sessions

Hair growth involves three stages. Both the hair removal methods work when the hair follicle is in the anagen, or growth phase. For this reason, multiple sessions are necessary to capture every hair in that specific phase.

Both Are Safe and Effective

Both these methods are completely safe and deliver amazing results for permanent hair removal. They eliminate the need to shave and wax for a lifetime and prevent ingrown hair. Electrolysis is also approved by FDA. However, it is essential to understand that to get desired outcomes without any complications, a hair removal procedure must be performed by a licensed professional.

Differences Between Laser and Electrolysis

Understanding the differences between laser hair removal and electrolysis can help you determine what type of results and effects to expect and which one seems to be the better choice.

Treatment Duration

Laser hair removal sessions do not last for long, and you will be done in a few minutes, even for larger body areas, as compared to electrolysis. It is because electrolysis treats only one hair at a time while laser targets a section of follicles at once.

Laser uses infrared light to target pigment in the hair follicles that converts the light into heat and destroys the follicles while electrolysis targets one follicle at a time, which is time-consuming when performed on large body parts. The computer-guided system used by laser gently disables hundreds of hair follicles in less than one second. It amazingly cuts down the total treatment time and reduces discomfort for the patient.

Number of Sessions

You may have to go for electrolysis sessions after every two weeks. Most people require up to 30 sessions to get rid of body hair. As compared to this, laser hair removal treatment can be completed in just 4 to 8 sessions, spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart. Touch-up to maintain the effects may be needed for laser hair removal after a few months or a year, but it is less time-consuming than electrolysis.

Level of Pain

Both hair removal approaches cause a certain level of pain and discomfort, but as electrolysis takes longer, you will experience discomfort for a longer time while laser gets done quickly.


Electrolysis sessions are not very expensive as compared to laser, but you will need far more sessions before you could see the results. With electrolysis treating larger areas of the body, it can become very expensive as compared to laser, which is expensive, but more effective and offers quick results in a few sessions. Laser hair removal proves to be more cost-effective in the long run.


Both treatment methods offer long-lasting relief from unwanted hair growth. Which one you should go for depends on your budget, skin type, as well as your ability to bear the discomfort, and availability for the number of sessions required for each?

Lower Risk of Side Effects

Laser hair removal has very few or no side effects in comparison to electrolysis which can cause pigmentation and scarring if things do not go well. It is a simple treatment that does not keep you from returning to your normal activities and produces incredible results within the initial sessions.

If you are ready to take the first step toward a smooth and hair-free skin but still have some questions in mind regarding the choice of treatment, visit Exhale Laser to meet a specialist for satisfactory answers. The experienced specialist answers all your questions regarding the efficiency of the results and guides you in the right direction to help you achieve your skin and aesthetic needs.

As the leading hair removal destination in New York, Exhale Laser provides non-invasive services that are designed to make you look and feel good. With state-of-the-art equipment and personalized treatment plans that focus on your health and natural beauty, you can look forward to getting the best results and feeling confident in your looks.