With so many options, it might be challenging to decide which hair removal technique is best for you. Trying a variety of them only to remove your hair after a few days or weekly can also be frustrating. Laser hair removal vs. electrolysis are options if you want something permanent.
If you experience hormonal changes associated with menopause or a medical disease like polycystic ovarian syndrome, then you should try these techniques. On the other hand, try these hair removal techniques (PCOS) if you are suffering from hirsutism. Or you’re sick of shaving, plucking, or waxing and would rather find a longer-term treatment. Finally, as part of the process of changing your gender identity or reassignment, you may be researching hair removal methods.
Regardless of your motivation, keep reading to learn about laser hair removal vs. electrolysis.
What is laser hair removal vs. electrolysis?
A solid and powerful laser is used in the semi-permanent hair removal technique known as laser hair removal to kill hair follicles at their source. As a result, the hair won’t continue to grow as swiftly or thickly as it did in the past using this procedure over time.
There are various kinds of lasers in use. The majority are:
- Neodymium YAG
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), although not a laser, functions similarly. It can swiftly cover wide regions of the skin and works best on people with light skin and black hair.
In order to effectively target the pigment in the hair, lasers are optimal for those with lighter skin and darker hair. As technology has improved, smarter lasers work perfectly on dark skin tones, but adverse effects are more frequent. Therefore, those with white or extremely light hair are the only ones who shouldn’t get laser hair removal.
Will laser hair removal work for me?
Most of the time, dark hair and fair skin tones respond favorably to laser hair removal. However, modern laser technologies can be used on persons with dark skin and hair. Therefore, results will vary depending on the laser’s type, wavelength, facial skin, and hair color.
There are other benefits and drawbacks to weigh before choosing laser hair removal vs. electrolysis, including price, discomfort, and duration.
Advantages of laser hair removal vs. electrolysis
- Hair removal with lasers can be costly, but it’s typically more affordable than electrolysis. The number of sessions you’ll require, and the specific cost of your therapy will determine how much it will cost. Your medical professional will provide the best guidance and tailor a plan to your particular needs. It’s versatile enough to be applied almost anywhere on the body, from the back to the face, with more delicate skin.
- Although some patients report feeling a stinging or tingling sensation during laser treatment, most describe it as comfortable. The part of the body being treated might also affect the degree of discomfort experienced.
- Immediate effects ranging from a 10–25% reduction in hair growth following the first session (depending on a number of factors).
- It’s generally safe — laser hair removal has relatively modest side effects, like pain, irritation, swelling, and redness, that often only last 1–3 days.
Problems associated with laser hair removal
- Laser hair removal vs. electrolysis is not a quick solution, so be patient. Typically between two and six sessions are necessary for noticeable improvement, although more may be necessary in some cases. The treatment may take several months because they are often spaced a few weeks apart.
- It’s not permanent-laser. Hair removal lessens hair growth over time, not all of it at once. Moreover, not all hair will respond, and maintenance treatments will be required to prevent hair from growing back.
- Talk to your doctor before beginning laser hair removal if you are pregnant or attempting to conceive a child, as this may not be safe for you.
What to expect from the treatment and what it entails
- You don’t have to remove all your clothes to receive treatment, but you should ensure the treatment area is visible.
- Your healthcare provider may clean the area and apply medication to call your skin before therapy starts.
- A numbing gel may be used 30-60 minutes before treatment if you have delicate skin and are only letting a smaller section be cleaned.
- You and your therapist should wear protective eyewear before exposing your eyes to the laser.
- Keep your skin taut throughout the therapy.
- As the laser beam travels over the skin, it vaporizes the hair follicles, resulting in the appearance of tiny smoke plumes and the faint odour of burnt hair.
- The session length can vary based on the areas under treatment, from some mins to an hour.
- After the therapy, your physician will apply Aloe Vera gel to calm and soothe your skin.
Before starting therapy
- For the two weeks before your treatment, you should avoid wax, sunbath, sunbeds, plastic surgeries, and chemical peels.
- Avoid perfumes, aromatic items, and whitening creams on the therapy day.
- Make sure the laser can reach the hair follicle by shaving the region one day before your therapy.
- Dress comfortably in roomy, loose-fitting clothing that you don’t mind getting lotions or gels on. The doctor will have easier access to the area, and any discomfort following the procedure will be lessened as a result.
- For the next 48 hours, you should avoid the use of any scented cosmetics, including deodorant, perfume, and whitening cream.
- Aloe vera’s healing and calming effects can be enhanced by applying a small layer of the plant’s gel to the affected area multiple times daily.
- Aspirin, herbal supplements, and anti-inflammatory medicines can cause bleeding during and after therapy.
- You should avoid hot showers, baths, spas, or swimming for the next couple of days.
- For the next week, don’t use any peels or exfoliators.
- To prevent irritation, you should dress loosely for at least a few days.
- Apply a towel-wrapped cold pack on red, irritated skin.
- Avoid rubbing or scratching the treated area.
- Your skin will become more intolerant to sunlight after treatment, so avoid direct sunlight and always wear SPF30.
What is electrolysis?
As a permanent method of hair removal, electrolysis is a great option. The hair follicle is damaged and finally destroyed by an electrical current delivered via a thin needle inserted into the skin. Generally speaking, there are three different modes of electrolysis:
- Galvanic, which employs a chemical reaction to remove hair permanently.
- Thermolysis uses heat to remove hair permanently.
- The Blend combines galvanic and thermolysis.
Should you try electrolysis?
Electrolysis may be successful for you because it may be applied to any skin or hair type and almost anywhere on the body. However, electrolysis demands accuracy and the correct, current intensity and duration.
There are several considerations to make, similar to those for laser hair removal.
- Electrolysis is the only form of hair removal approved by the FDA as a permanent solution.
- Electrolysis is effective on all hair and skin types. It can permanently eliminate hair from almost any part of the body, including the face.
- In addition, as fewer hairs require treatment over time, treatment sessions will become shorter.
Limitations of electrolysis
- The overall price of electrolysis will depend on the number of sessions required and the size of the area being treated. Your doctor or another medical professional can provide you with advice.
- Electrolysis sessions might be longer because the electrologist has to repeat passes around the similar hair follicle. Permanent hair removal can take up to 18 months of therapy. How you’ve previously removed hair, the medications you’re taking, and any underlying hormonal issues can all play a role in the rate at which new hair grows back.
- Skin irritation can manifest as redness, tenderness, or swelling in the treated areas for a time after treatment has ended. Sometimes, the treated region will develop whiteheads or scabs. Alterations in pigmentation and wrinkling are also possible, with the added risk of keloid formation in people with darker skin tones.
- Pain or discomfort – some people report feeling stinging during electrolysis therapy.
- Those with pacemakers should avoid electrolysis since it can disrupt their heart’s natural rhythm.
Details on the procedure and what is expected
- You don’t have to undress completely. Just make sure the region to be treated is exposed and accessible.
- The electrologist administering the treatment should wear a new pair of gloves for each patient.
- The treated region of the skin will be cleansed before any work is done.
- The treatment itself may cause some pain or sting due to the little needle being inserted into the skin. The sensations you experience may vary depending on the section of the body being operated on.
- The electrologist will use an antiseptic after the procedure is complete.
- The time required per session varies considerably from one person to another and from one area to another.
- Warning: shaving or waxing before treatment can reduce its effectiveness.
- Hair should be long enough to be visible to an electrologist.
- If you want to keep your hair follicles from becoming inflamed, you should avoid wearing cosmetics and sweating heavily for the first 24 to 48 hours.
- Please stay away from the sun, and don’t tan until your skin has fully recovered from the treatment.
- Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 should be used while going outside and reapplied every two hours.
- Avoid lotions, sprays, deodorants, and powders for 24 hours unless your electrologist recommends it. Don’t touch or pick at the region, even if crusts form. Leave them alone, and your skin will heal more quickly.
- For a minimum of 48 hours afterward, avoid hot water activities such as swimming, sauna use, and hot showers.
- If the area is still uncomfortable, try soaking in chilly or frozen water.
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