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Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal – Advantages and Disadvantages

Updated on February 16, 2017
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Smcopywrite has been a freelance writer for several years. Owning blogs in more than a few niches makes for a variety of expertise.

There are a variety of factors which effect the cost of the procedure.
There are a variety of factors which effect the cost of the procedure. | Source

How much hair winds up where is a combination of a number of factors. Hormones play a large part, but there is also hereditary influences, medication circumstances and even illness. Some have factored in temporary removal, like shaving as a cause. Regardless of why, how to get rid of it is the question. When home remedies fail, think about electrolysis or laser methods as a final solution to the problem.

The undesirable fuzz or hair is more than a nuisance for certain individuals and some sort of remedy to the issue is sought out. Typically the individual looking into the process laser hair removal or electrolysis is seeking a more permanent form of getting the job done. Unlike other ways to eradicate it like shaving and waxing these are a more long lasting option.

Getting rid of it in nearly all instances recommended by professionals fall under what is known as a cosmetic treatment. Services provided to eliminate are not medically necessary and certainly not life threatening. Looking into the insurance company paying for the services is certainly not an option. If cost is a factor, this is definitely an aspect to consider.

Traditional means of destroying it

Traditional hair removal is usually shaving, creams designed to eject the fuzz from the shaft, shaving, plucking and other painful actions like waxing are familiar. These have proven to be only a temporary solution in nature. In fact, a number of individuals admit when it does return it comes back with more than the area initially was covered with.

Evolution has developed a better answer for a variety of folks interested in getting the job done minus the repeat process. A resource giving a freedom from the routine of home remedies like shaving and waxing. Along comes electrolysis and laser methods.

Which method is better?

One of the most typical questions asked is which method of elimination is better when deciding on a more permanent source, electrolysis or laser technique. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Finding out more about each process is important in making an informed decision or approach to a final solution.

The difference between electrolysis and laser hair removal is electrolysis doesn’t target the hair itself but the hair follicle. A low level of electrical current destroys the root of the hair follicle making it impossible for the hair to grow back.


Electrolysis is the only FDA approved method of permanent hair removal. Actually it has been performed for over 150 years in one form or another. Though it has not always been focused on this specific condition it has been performed for over one hundred years.

With the advancement of technology leading electrolysis centers have the knowledge and expertise to get rid of any and all unwanted hair from any area of the body. It has been proven as a successfully safe and fairly easily process.

The benefit of electrolysis is all areas of the body and all skin types are safe. In fact, it is attractive because of the ability to remove gray, coarse, blond, brunette and any other kind regardless of skin type. This is not true for laser. Not everyone qualifies for laser process.

The approach is to destroy the growth center of a hair. Professionals use heat energy or chemicals. A tiny probe goes into each follicle and the hair is removed one by one with tweezers.

Thighs, stomach, face, eyebrows and legs are generally where most patients want the service performed. Side effects are few and far between. The worst being a temporary redness to the skin surrounding the treatment. Even the bikini line is safe.

Electrolysis is one and done. One visit is generally all that a patient needs to get the outcome desired.

Although the expense is more than laser services, the results are much better overall. Patients with the money generally elect to have this form performed when given a choice.

Laser hair removal

Going this route does not mean it is any more dangerous than electrolysis. It has the biggest advantage of being a fairly inexpensive technique. This fact alone has made millions flock toward laser when given a choice. The price seems right, but look further to make certain this manner of relief works for an individual circumstance.

The apparatus, a unique laser developed for this specific service works by targeting the pigment in hair follicles, specifically the melanin.

Melanin is found in dark colored pigments of hair. Because the laser is targeting melanin in the hair patients with fair hair, which contains less melanin, tend to see less than stellar results from than darker haired patients.

However, the laser used in laser hair removal cannot differentiate between the melanin in hair and the melanin found in the skin beneath. It targets the darker hair as well as the darker skin. A specific type of patient is desired and works best with laser. This is one of the cons.

This is not good and has the tendency to result in possible very painful side effects such as minor burns, minor blistering, scarring and some discoloration in many cases. Therefore, the ideal patient has lighter skin and dark hair. These side effects are not seen with electrolysis. The side effects discussed here also fall under the cons category.

Most significant is the patient seeking permanent removal of the hair will not find this the case with laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is semi-permanent. It will not totally eliminate all unwanted hair. The success rate is reducing hair counts by 40% to 80%, but electrolysis can permanently remove unwanted hair.

Laser hair removal should actually be referred to as hair reduction and not permanent hair removal. It is an option for those with lighter skin and darker hair and not a permanent hair removal treatment.

In addition, a repeat treatment or treatments are necessary to keep the results seen after therapy ends.

Professionals are a necessity

Several things to keep in mind when using both methods; use a licensed professional for the services being provided and remember the price of either type of service is relative to the size of the area being considered for treatment

Both of these are not processes which anyone is capable of performing. Licensed experts are used to conduct safe encounters with a minimum of chance of harm. Additionally, proficiency in the area means a more satisfactory experience overall.

In closing

Most people admit there are some places on the body where a little less hair would not hurt. Believe it or not more than a few see a little fuzz on fingers and toes and dream of them being fuzz free. These are are not the typical patient's for laser or electrolysis, but it is not unheard of.

For any one thinking of getting professional services like laser or electrolysis hair removal, do the homework. Discover the pros and cons of each before choosing the right one for a personal situation.

Forcible hair removal has been a long standing issue in America

There is a legal question before the United States courts of law as to whether or not hair removal is permitted to be forced upon an individual. According to a ruling in 1879 by the Supreme Court it is not legal to do so. However, there are instances where this is still a practice before and after the Justice made the ruling.

The detainees in Guantanomo Bay are a large part of the question concerning a process to compel a person to have hair removed. Some see this as a violation of personal rights or an assault on a individual. Additionally, religion is a concern in these circumstances. Detainees where subjected to it as a way to control or degrade an inmate. The Patriot Act made a lot of the actions performed legal under certain conditions.

People in the Armed Forces are required to get rid of facial hair and women must keep hair on the head at a certain length. Students and other captives have also been subjected to the same requirements.

American Indians were moved to reservations. Those chosen to be educated in American schools or educated by Christian organizations were made to wear short hair. This was the only style acceptable.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1879 (Supreme Court Justice Stephen J Field) it was not legal to force a hair cut. Specifically a person does not have to oblige anyone to remove his hair. This was considered cruel and unusual punishment and in violation of equal protection under the law according to the Constitution. His ruling was in response to Chinese men confined in San Francisco county jails having personal queues cut without permission.

One of the worst examples of coercion was slave trading. Men who were sold were prepared for the event. Faces were shaven and oiled. There were also more forms of degradation in this arena. Older men had grey shaved to appear younger. If a younger man were needed to appear younger removing pubertal growth signs.

There were a number of buyers permitted to lick the face of a prospective slave to determine if there was beard stubble or not.

How about a wax?

Waxing is one approach to the problem. This is a manner which takes a little bit of courage. Having hot wax applied to any part of the body is scary to a variety of individuals.

The average person who takes this journey goes about twice a month. This is an expensive means of taking away hair. The cost is about twenty two thousand over a lifetime.

Not only do women wax, but men are known to use this manner as well according to the NYU Press..

Women seek out these procedures more often than men.

Removing unsightly and unwanted hair is a battle waged for many women every day. Countless are considering having electrolysis or laser hair removal done as an alternative to traditional treatments to take care of the matter.

A recent studies show females, more than 99 percent, remove unwanted hair. The mode varies and is not limited to race, age or regional constraints.

European folks see American disdain for hair on the body as strange and unusual. There is not as much focus on stripping off the fuzz. This is true for men as well as women.

How much time is spent trying to get rid of it shaving?

Imagine how much time is spent eradicating it when permanent methods are not an option. Females characteristically shave to manage the problem.

A study performed in 2008 revealed shaving was extremely time consuming when looked at abstractly over a lifetime. In fact, two entire months are invested in the practice. This is the most inexpensive way to get it done, but these two months account for around ten thousand dollars financially.

NYU Press is the resource used for these numbers

Laser removal of underarm areas is requested more often than most folks imagine.
Laser removal of underarm areas is requested more often than most folks imagine.
Waxing is considered more painful than shaving. Though most folks admit the hair grows back at a much slower rate.
Waxing is considered more painful than shaving. Though most folks admit the hair grows back at a much slower rate.

Men do it almost as much as women

Men are attracted to the idea of removing unwanted hair. The body parts are different for the most part, but the methods are the same.

The preference is waxing versus shaving. This is unusual since the face is shaved on a routine basis A 2005 survey revealed 60 percent of men wanted to find a way to get rid of it in places below the neck.

There are a few out there who do want it taken off the face. This is a small portion of the number looking to get rid of it.

Back hair is a common obstacle for men.
Back hair is a common obstacle for men. | Source
Men still do it the old fashioned way just like women.
Men still do it the old fashioned way just like women.
The lip is another problem location. This is especially true for women around menopause when estrogen decreases. A wax or other chemical form of treatment is typical as a home remedy.
The lip is another problem location. This is especially true for women around menopause when estrogen decreases. A wax or other chemical form of treatment is typical as a home remedy. | Source

This is a wonderful video outlining laser hair removal technique

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    • BDhire profile image

      BDhire 4 years ago

      Nice hub :)

    • SuccessfromHome profile image

      Mariko Lewis-Davis 6 years ago from Bedford, Ohio

      Great Hub! Thanks for the info...