One of the questions electrologists are asked most frequently is, “what is the difference between electrolysis and laser hair removal?”
When it comes to the end goal of hair removal, the main difference is that electrolysis achieves permanent results after completion. Laser is expected to produce semi-permanent results with a touch up needed yearly.
Both techniques aim to disable hair follicles from producing hair over the long term. The dermal papilla, which is responsible for the growth and nourishment for hair, is targeted in both techniques.
Laser targets the papilla using a concentrated beam of light that is absorbed by melanin in the hair structure. Melanin is a dark brown to black pigment present in the hair, eyes, and skin. The darker one’s skin color, the more melanin is present in the skin. Because the laser is attracted to melanin, the best results are achieved when there is high contrast between hair color and skin color.
Electrolysis targets the papilla via an electrical current delivered through a tiny probe inserted in the follicle. The current is adjusted to cause precise injury to the papilla either by heat, a chemical reaction, or a blend of both. Hair type, skin reaction, and pain tolerance are factors in determining which kind of current will be used.
Generally, laser hair removal takes anywhere between 6-8 treatment sessions to complete. Laser targets whole areas of the body, which allows treatments in large areas completed in one session.
Completion time for electrolysis differs greatly from person to person. The amount of time needed to clear an area will vary according to the amount of hair present. Electrolysis targets individual hairs one by one, so it may be five minutes or several hours for a session depending on the person’s needs. In general, it takes anywhere between 6-24 months of treatments to complete.
Factors that influence treatment times in both techniques include the type of hair present, skill of the operator, and adherence to a schedule that fits within proper growth cycle times.
Combining both laser hair removal and electrolysis treatments into one, utilizes the benefits of both technologies. For larger, more dense areas laser hair removal may be a great starting point. After completing the needed treatments, electrolysis can permanently remove the few hairs remaining. In addition as some of the hair returns the next few years, the hair will be lighter and quicker to remove permanently. For many people, the hair they want removed varies in color ranging from black to gray. While laser hair removal only can be effective on dark hair, electrolysis is able to successfully treat all types and colors of hair making combination treatments more desirable.
Call 801-782-5868 to schedule a consultation and see which treatment or combination is right for you.