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Laser hair removal versus electrolysis

Laser hair removal versus electrolysis
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Long-term hair-removal solutions are still centred around laser hair removal and electrolysis, but which is better and how do they work?

Both hair-removal treatments damage hair follicles so that they are unable to grow a hair, one using a laser beam and the other using an electrified needle.

Fast facts on laser hair removal and electrolysis

  • Laser hair removal uses heat to cause thermal damage to a hair follicle
  • Electrolysis uses a probe that holds an electric current to apply thermal energy to a hair follicle and the hair root
  • Electrolysis is longer-lasting than laser hair removal
  • Laser hair removal is easier than electrolysis

Laser hair removal

Laser hair removal isn’t really forever, despite the hype. The laser damages the hair follicle to reduce hair growth and sometimes stop the follicle ever growing a hair again, though hair may grow from other follicles that weren’t treated or a treated follicle that springs back to life after a while.

The laser hair removal treatment itself is performed using a laser specially calibrated based on hair colour and thickness, and the skin colour in the area. This is to avoid burns, and to ensure greatest effect.

Hair will be cut short, usually shaved, close to the skin so that the hair outside the skin doesn’t absorb the heat (and therefore waste it). You may be asked to shave the day before your appointment. This ensures that the heat energy goes down the hair shaft and into the follicle.

A cold gel will be applied, much like ultrasound gel, to offer some (clear) protection for the skin, since the laser is hot. Special protective eye glasses are required. You’ll need about eight or 10 treatments, with each laser hair removal treatment being in one active hair growth phase. You may need touch ups every so often in the future.


Electrolysis damages your hair roots one by one using an electrified ultra-thin needle to prevent new hair growth. Your skin may feel irritated afterwards, however this will resolve in a few hours. You will need several treatments to completely remove the hair, because like laser hair removal, you can only see a hair follicle when it is growing; hair follicles may be dormant.

The pros and cons of laser hair removal and electrolysis – Melbourne clinic

  • Electrolysis works on any hair type or colour, on any skin tone, and any area of the body, while laser hair removal has limitations due to the way lasers work.
  • Electrolysis and laser both have no recovery period – you can get back to your day immediately.
  • Electrolysis is forever, while laser hair removal will need top-up treatments every so often after the initial set of treatments.
  • Both treatments are chemical-free.
  • Laser hair removal is much faster than electrolysis and requires fewer treatments.
  • Laser hair removal is very comfortable compared to electrolysis.
  • There are greater risks of infection with electrolysis compared with laser hair removal.
  • Price may vary – hunt for examples at local clinics to see the variation
  • Laser hair removal may not be suitable for everyone

We are experienced laser hair removal practitioners.
Contact our Melbourne clinic

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