If you’ve ever considered a more permanent hair removal solution than shaving or waxing, likely the terms laser hair removal and electrolysis came to mind. We’ve all heard of these methods but what exactly are they? Are they the same thing? If not what’s the difference between the two? How do you know which one you should choose? First off, what is laser and what is electrolysis? Laser hair removal and electrolysis are not the same thing though the results can be similar. With electrolysis, your hair removal professional inserts a small needle into an individual hair follicle and kills the follicle either with radio frequency or with an electrical current that creates a chemical reaction. Because the practitioner has to work one hair at a time, this can be an extremely lengthy procedure, often requiring multiple visits to cover larger sections. In Laser hair removal an amplified and focused beam of light (or laser) is aimed at hair. The pigment in the hair absorbs the laser and this causes enough damage to the hair follicle to retard or prevent future regrowth. Since broader areas can be covered with a laser, it will take less time to treat the same sized area. Which is less painful, laser or electrolysis? While both treatments can cause some discomfort, it’s generally agreed that electrolysis is the more painful of the two. The treatment will sting and produce a heat sensation. Laser hair removal on the other hand is reported to be a much more manageable discomfort. Patients have commented that it feels like the snap of a hot rubber band against the skin. Your skin will probably feel tender for a few hours to a few days after laser treatment. Are either laser or electrolysis permanent? A single hair follicle treated with electrolysis will not grow hair again. Electrolysis is considered a permanent hair removal solution. Laser hair removal can cause permanent reduction in total number of hairs but long term results tend to vary based on the individual. Coarse dark hair responds very well to laser treatment and bikini lines treated with laser epilation often require very little upkeep even years after treatment. However, because laser hair removal does not result in the permanent removal of all hair, it is still not considered a permanent solution for complete hair removal. I heard that laser doesn’t work on light hairs or dark skin. Is that true? Laser targets the melanin or pigment within the hair shaft so fine light hair doesn’t respond well to this treatment. Great advancements have been made in laser technology over the past few years however and it is now safe and effective to treat dark hair on dark skin using a long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser with a cooling tip. Should I choose electrolysis or laser epilation? This depends on what exactly you need from a hair removal treatment. Laser tends to be a far more affordable and physically comfortable option than electrolysis and while it’s true that it cannot permanently remove all hair, the hair that remains is typically very fine, very light, and downy. But if it’s important to you that every last hair be vanquished for good especially if it’s just for a small area, then electrolysis may be your answer. If you’re considering a long term hair removal treatment, it’s a good idea to talk to a hair removal specialist before making a decision about which treatment is right for you. Drop by and talk to us about your options for permanent hair removal at Advanced Skin Fitness 2928 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219 Phone: (214) 521-5277.