There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet about which is the more permanent choice for hair removal. Electrolysis and laser are both effective, but you need to pick the right procedure for your hair and skin color. Both procedures are done in a series of treatments and there are no shortcuts. Here’s an overview of electrolysis vs. laser hair removal when you are considering your options.
Electrolysis is FDA approved for permanent hair removal and has been around since the early 1900’s. Not much has changed since then, except for the disposable probes and automated equipment. Electrolysis treats each hair individually and is time-consuming. A probe is inserted into the hair follicle and electrical current is used to kill the reproductive hair cell. If this is done with the right insertion, the right current and intensity, the hair will not grow back. Some hairs need to be treated more than one time, along with different hair growth cycles.
If you have been tweezing, waxing or threading, you will need to stop and clip the hairs. Three days of growth is needed to be able to see the hair to treat effectively and the treatment plan depends on how quickly you want results. For facial hair, appointments are usually every 2 weeks for 8-12 times, then decreasing as the hair goes away.
Electrolysis removes all hair colors and makes it the preferred choice for the face and brows. It is also used after a series of laser treatments to “finish the job” if the remaining hairs are light and laser is no longer working. Electrolysis is not recommended for large areas where there is dark hair: underarm, bikini, legs on women or back, chest for men.
Laser hair removal treats one large area at one time and there are 4-6 weeks in between appointments. Laser energy is pulled in to the hair follicle by the dark pigment in the hair, killing the reproductive hair cell. Laser does not work on red, gray, blonde or light fuzz. The darker the hair, the better it works and the hair usually sheds 2 weeks after each treatment. We recommend a treatment every 4-6 weeks on each body part and expect about 75% permanent reduction after 5 sessions (some areas you will get more!). Underarms can be treated in 20 minutes, bikini in 30 minutes, both legs in 90.
At Alternative Health Associates, we have state of the art Candela lasers that treat all skin tones. The Alexandrite is the preferred choice for light skin and the YAG is an excellent choice for dark skin tones, specifically African-Americans. We offer a free consultation for each of these services and are committed to making sure you make the best choice for reaching your hair removal goals.
Still wondering if electrolysis or laser hair removal is right for you? Give us a call today to learn more: 703.683.5736.