How Painful Is Electrolysis Versus Laser Hair Removal? Hair is a natural part of our bodies, but sometimes it grows in unwanted places. Shaving is a quick and easy solution, but it comes with the pitfalls of ingrown hairs, redness, irritation, and the fact that all that hair is back in just a few days.
Thankfully, there are permanent hair removal options, like electrolysis hair removal and laser hair removal. These procedures solve the issue of unwanted hair, but they involve very fine probes and high-heat lasers, which can hurt. How painful is electrolysis compared to laser hair removal?
How Electrolysis Works
Electrolysis works by inserting a very fine probe into the hair follicle without piercing the skin. Once the probe is inserted, a tiny amount of electrical current is delivered to the hair papilla. This cuts off the blood supply to the hair follicle and inhibits future growth. There are three methods of electrolysis for permanent hair removal:
- Thermolysis is the most commonly used method. It involves using an alternating current to probe the base of the hair to create heat and destroy the hair follicle. This procedure is fast and effective.
- The blend uses a combination of heat and current to accelerate the galvanic chemical hair reaction to eradicate the hair follicle. It is slower than thermolysis. However, it is very effective on areas that are more difficult to treat.
- Galvanic is the first form of electrolysis. It works by using a direct current to create a chemical reaction within the body to destroy the hair follicle. This method is not often used because it takes a significantly longer amount of time to work.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
Laser hair removal works by using high-heat lasers. The laser emits light that is absorbed by the pigment in the hair. When the light energy is converted into heat, it damages the hair follicles. Laser hair removal face can target hair just about anywhere on the face and body, except the eye area, which makes it a versatile procedure.
The bigger the area that is being treated, the longer the procedure takes. Small areas can be as quick as a few minutes while large areas can take an hour or more. While the procedure itself is quick, it will take a few sessions to see the results you want. Also, there is little-to-no recovery time involved, which means you can go back into your regular routine almost right away.
There are three main laser types:
- Diode, which is very effective for light and dark skin.
- Alexandrite is the fastest of the three laser types and works best for targeting larger body areas for patients who have light-to-olive skin complexions.
- Nd:YAG is a long pulse laser that can be used safely on all skin types, including tanned skin. However, it is less effective for light or fine hair compared to other types of lasers.
Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal
Both permanent hair removal methods work by destroying the hair follicles to stop the growth of hair on unwanted areas. So, how painful is electrolysis compared to laser hair removal? When it comes to electrolysis, yes, it is painful because of how the procedure works. Exactly how painful it is depends on your tolerance to pain. Some people compare it to nothing more than a mosquito bite whereas others say it feels like getting a tattoo.
As for laser hair removal, people compare it to a quick, sharp pain similar to being snapped with a rubber band. Some people might be a little more sensitive around certain areas with thinner skin, such as the arms and underarms. If it is too uncomfortable, your provider may use a numbing cream prior to the procedure.
Which Method is Right for You?
After understanding how electrolysis and laser hair removal works, you might have an idea of which procedure you want to use to permanently remove body hair. However, there are a few things to consider when choosing between electrolysis and laser hair removal.
If you have thick, coarse, and dark hair, laser hair removal might be your best bet since the laser targets the pigment. However, the best candidate for laser hair removal are those who have pale skin and dark hair. This is because the contrast between the skin and the hair makes it easy for the laser to target the melanin. Fine, light hairs cannot be targeted by lasers, and therefore, this method would not be an option.
On the other hand, electrolysis is less dependent on the contrast of the hair color and surrounding skin. This makes electrolysis an option for someone with light hair on light skin or dark hair on dark skin. If you have thick, thin, or even a combination of thick and thin hairs, electrolysis might be the option for you.
To find the method that works best for you, it’s best to speak with a professional who can create the ideal hair removal plan for you.
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How Painful Is Electrolysis Versus Laser Hair Removal?
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