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Laser Hair Removal Vs Electrolysis: What’s the Difference?

what is electrolysis

Shave, wax, tweeze, repeat. Ridding your body of unwanted hair is a never-ending task. You get rid of the hair, but it keeps coming back. But you don’t have to keep waging a battle to keep your skin smooth and hair-free. There are two options for permanent hair removal: electrolysis and laser hair removal. But what is the difference between these two methods? And how do you know when to use electrolysis vs laser hair removal to remove unwanted hair? In this post, we’ll cover electrolysis hair removal and laser hair removal treatment to answer these questions for you.

If you’re weary of the constant chore of shaving your legs or ridding other body parts of hair, contact The Plastic Surgery Center in Shreveport today.  Our MediSpa has trained and licensed hair removal specialists who help you toss your razor in the trash for good. 

In addition to the laser hair removal in Shreveport we offer at our MediSpa, we also offer other aesthetic treatments, including Botox injections Shreveport, stretch mark reduction Shreveport, and varicose and spider vein treatment Shreveport.

What Is Electrolysis?

Electrolysis is a treatment that uses a thin needle called a probe to send an electric current into a hair shaft. The probe is inserted into the individual hair follicle, causing damage that prevents new hair growth.  

All skin types and colors and any hair type or color are candidates for the procedure, according to the American Electrology Association. This hair removal technique can be used anywhere on the body – even the eyebrows. Electrolysis is a great way to eliminate unwanted hair forever. 

How Many Sessions Does Electrolysis Take?

Human skin contains multiple follicles for each hair. So in between follow-up sessions, dormant hair follicles often grow. That’s because our hair grows in cycles. As a result, most people need several electrolysis sessions for complete and permanent hair removal. 

The hair removal location determines the number of sessions required. It takes many longer treatments for larger areas like the legs. In addition, more sessions are needed for removing coarse hair, such as the bikini line. 

However, once the hair is gone, it isn’t coming back. You can enjoy your smooth results with no future upkeep necessary. 

Does Electrolysis Hurt?

Electrolysis hair removal isn’t necessarily a pleasant sensation. Nevertheless, most people say it is a stinging or pricking sensation similar to getting a tattoo. Taking a pain reliever an hour before treatment and applying ice afterward reduces any discomfort you may feel.

Electrolysis Aftercare

Touching or scratching the treatment area in the days following electrolysis should be avoided. You should also avoid participating in any activities that cause excessive perspiration. To aid in healing, apply an antibacterial cream to the treated areas after electrolysis.

Electrolysis Side Effects 

In most cases, swelling and redness occur in the hours following treatment. Tiny scabs may form on the skin, but they’ll shed. 

It is rare, but unsterilized needles have caused infection or scarring in some people. The electrolysis method can also cause inflammation and damage the follicle if not performed correctly. That’s why it’s critical to get treatment from a licensed professional or board-certified dermatologist to reduce the risks. 

What Is Laser Hair Removal? 

The laser hair removal method is another type of cosmetic procedure that targets unwanted hair growth, sending a pulse of light into the skin’s pores. The light energy traveling through the skin targets the melanin in the hair follicle. This increases the follicle’s temperature to destroy hair follicles and limit future hair growth. 

The laser targets only hair with dark-colored roots, so blonde or gray hair cannot be removed. It also works best on clients with a lot of contrast between their skin color and hair color. Ideal candidates have light skin tones and dark hair. As such, it is not as effective on those with darker, tanned skin tones and dark hair. 

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How Many Treatments Does Laser Hair Removal Take?

Laser treatment takes four to eight sessions scheduled about a month apart. Once you’re satisfied with your slower hair growth, once or twice yearly maintenance sessions may be needed for new hair growth. 

Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

You may be wondering if laser hair removal hurts. Most who undergo the procedure say the laser feels like a rubber band snapping against the skin. It tends to be more uncomfortable for those with dark or coarse hair. 

Overall, laser hair removal hurts far less than electrolysis. That’s because it’s a faster process, and laser hair removal addresses sections of hair rather than individual hair shafts. 

Numbing creams are not recommended for this treatment. Clients can use ice packs or an over-the-counter pain reliever or steroid cream to decrease discomfort for a few hours following the treatment.  

Laser Hair Removal Aftercare

Following an aftercare regimen provides the best results. Wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid hot tubs, swimming pools, steam rooms, and physical exercise for several days after treatment. It is also recommended that you avoid sun exposure for several weeks, as lasers increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.  

Laser Removal Side Effects

Laser hair removal treatment comes with more potential side effects than electrolysis. Swelling, inflammation, blisters, and irritation of the surrounding skin are among the adverse effects. Pigmentation changes are another possible but temporary side effect. Avoiding sunlight for six weeks before treatment is recommended to prevent discoloration. 

If you undergo eyebrow laser hair removal, you’ll wear protective eye shields during the procedure and keep your eyes closed. This protects your eyes from contact with the laser light.  

Securing the services of a certified laser technician working under a board-certified healthcare provider reduces these any risks associated with laser treatment.

laser hair removal vs electrolysis

Laser Hair Removal vs Electrolysis

The main difference between laser hair removal and electrolysis is essentially the techniques and instruments used to perform each treatment. Also, as we mentioned before, laser hair removal targets multiple sections of hair follicles at once, while electrolysis targets individual hair shafts. 

Hair grows in three stages. These are anagen (growing phase), catagen (regressing phase), and telogen (resting phase). The only time either hair removal method works is during the anagen phase. Eliminating every hair in this phase takes multiple sessions. As a result, both methods require several sessions to reach maximum hair removal. However, laser hair removal sessions are shorter, and fewer are needed. Since the laser contacts multiple hairs, laser hair removal treatments last only a few minutes. Four to eight sessions are typically needed for laser hair removal, depending on the size of the treatment area, the color of the hair, skin type, and pigmentation. 

Meanwhile, electrolysis takes up to 30 sessions to achieve permanent hair removal and the sessions last much longer. These sessions are typically scheduled a week or two apart. Finally, follow-up maintenance sessions are needed once or twice a year with the laser method, while electrolysis doesn’t require touch-up treatments. 

Both permanent hair removal processes are FDA-approved and work effectively to remove hair virtually anywhere, from under the arms to the upper lip, ears, nose, and bikini line. They also eliminate hair from large areas like the legs, back, and arms. In both treatments, the need to wax or shave is eliminated, along with stubborn ingrown hairs. 

Electrolysis Hair Removal Cost

The length of a treatment dictates how much electrolysis costs, but it typically costs less per session than laser therapy. The price can range from $30 to $100 per treatment. However, remember that permanent body hair removal with electrolysis requires many more sessions. Smaller body sections may only take a few treatments, while large areas can become pretty expensive. 

Laser Hair Removal Cost

The price of laser treatments also depends on the areas you are treating and how many sessions are required. You may spend anywhere from $50 for small areas to $500 for multiple larger areas per session. Laser hair removal treatments cost more per session than electrolysis, but require fewer treatments to notice results. Typically, four to six sessions are required. 

You’ll need to contact your plastic surgeon’s office for a final cost, as the actual price depends on the number of treatments, the size of the treatment area, and who performs the treatment. Different providers classify body areas differently but typically price them according to small regions, medium areas, and large areas. 

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Electrolysis Hair Removal Near Me

Waxing, tweezing, and cutting yourself while shaving is a never-ending process. If you’re tired of these redundant hair removal methods, then a more permanent treatment may be ideal for you. Permanent hair removal may be the solution for you if you’re ready to have maintenance-free, silky smooth skin. The long-lasting results make permanent removal the best way and most cost-effective way to keep your body free of hair. 

A consultation with a hair removal technician at The Plastic Surgery Center in Shreveport helps you determine which option to choose – electrolysis vs laser hair removal.  In addition to permanent hair removal Shreveport solutions and other treatments offered at our MediSpa, we provide other beauty enhancing procedures such as breast lift Shreveport, Shreveport mommy makeover, and rhinoplasty Shreveport.

Call us today at 318-221-1629 for more questions or to schedule your hair removal treatment. You may also fill out our online contact form and we’ll reach out to you as soon as possible.