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Electrolysis Vs Laser Hair Removal: Advantages, Disadvantages and Costs

laser hair removal or electrolysis

When it comes to electrolysis vs laser hair removal, the latter is definitely more popular of the two even though electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal method.

At the moment, electrolysis it’s the only path to take, if you want all your unwanted hair gone forever.

But laser hair removal is definitely better marketed, we all have heard of it even though we’re not exactly sure what laser hair removal does to our unwanted hairs and how much it impacts hair regrowth.

Laser hair removal is a long-term hair reduction method that lasts for about 2 years on average.

The hair is not gone permanently but for a couple of years you can enjoy a considerable percentage of smooth skin.

Up to 90% hair growth reduction can be expected.

The downside is that there can also be a rate as low as 45% growth reduction.

In this short introduction, we’ve actually covered the main aspect that matters when talking about electrolysis vs laser hair removal: one is about hair growth reduction, the other is about hair gone for good, follicles that can no longer produce hair growth.

Even so,

There’s more to know about these two amazing methods. Let’s dig deeper into the differences and common points of electrolysis vs laser hair removal.

Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal: How Electrolysis Works

A metal probe is inserted into the skin until it reaches the follicle.

Through this metal probe that looks like a tiny tiny needle, electricity is sent into the follicle in order to permanently destroy it.

The electricity makes the follicle incapable of producing any more hairs.

And that’s why electrolysis is the only permanent method.

But I’m sure that you’ve already guessed that it’s also a really slow process.

Some patients have sessions for years.

It’s a demanding procedure because each follicle must be treated individually.

There is only one metal probe and electricity must be sent through it on individual follicles.

It can take between 9 months up to 18 months to treat a single area.

First of all,

It depends on the surface of the treated area.


The difference is also made by fine hair growth or heavy growth.

If you’re treating your legs then it’s definitely going to take almost two years.

But after that,

You’re going to have a lifetime of silky smooth skin. It can be totally worth it if you have the time, patience, a good professional near you, and a substantial budget.

Each session lasts between 15 minutes up to an hour.

In the beginning, the sessions might be weekly, gradually advancing to monthly sessions.

But once these sessions are done, that’s it. There’s no more need for shaving, waxing, laser hair removal, epilation or hair removal creams. Nothing but smooth skin.

Another really important thing to mention:

Everyone can benefit from the awesome results that this method brings. It doesn’t matter what color your skin or your hairs are.

The same cannot be said about laser hair removal.

Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal: How Laser Hair Removal Works

First of all, this method primarily works for people with light skin and dark hair. They register the best results.

The darker the hair the better.

If you don’t fit into this category, consult a specialist and see what it says about your chances. Serious burns can be caused to your skin by the laser light.

It’s quite simple to describe how it works.


The name says it all: pulses of laser light are sent to the follicle, which should permanently destroy it.


The follicle is not permanently destroyed and that’s the main difference in the electrolysis vs laser hair removal battle.

The follicle is only stopped from producing hairs for a certain amount of time, the average period being 2 years.

The sessions last a lot less because multiple hairs are attacked by the laser light every time a pulse/flash is sent.

The average time is up to 30 minutes per leg, 10 minutes for the underarms and around 8 minutes for the bikini area.


You might have the impression that only between 3 and 6 sessions are needed for reducing hair growth for 2 years but that’s not always the case.

You can be lucky and only end up needing 6 sessions or you can end up doing 10 sessions or even 20.

It depends.

Also, you should do a maintenance session once every 6 months or once a year.

Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal: Which Method Hurts

When taking the pain factor into consideration in the electrolysis vs laser hair removal comparison, electrolysis wins.

Laser is known to cause pain.

For some patients, the pain can be quite bad.

Others describe the sensation as pinches or as rubber band snaps.

So, obviously, it depends from person to person.

Electrolysis is widely described as being pain-free. A discomfort is felt, like a warming sensation.

Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal: Costs

With laser, if you choose a beauty salon, then the average cost is estimated to be around $235 per session.

Depending on where you live, you might get a higher cost or a lower one for each session.

Considering that you need at least 6 sessions for each treated area of your body, when you sum it all up, it turns out to be a pretty expensive method.


There are devices that can be used at home and can be really effective.

The at-home systems cost are definitely much cheaper.

After buying the device you will further need replacement cartridges.

One cartridge can even last for 2-3 treatments.

When talking about electrolysis vs laser hair removal, the latter is more convenient and definitely the least expensive.

The cost per session for electrolysis can be all over the place.

For treating a big part of your body, the total cost can even reach $8,000.

If you only want to treat a small area, like the upper lip or the chin, the price for all the needed sessions can be on average $600.

At-Home IPL Systems

Laser hair removal systems for at-home usage have become increasingly popular and they’re getting better and better.

The results for these at home IPL systems can sometimes be wonderful, while for others they don’t do much.

They’re becoming better and better but in no way can their performance be at the same level to what a specialist can do.

If you decide to choose electrolysis, I recommend finding a specialist, a very good electrologist is a must and they are not that easy to find.

Choose a very good professional with solid recommendations. Electrolysis is not as popular as laser hair removal so, specialists in the field are harder to find.

If we were to choose a clear winner in the electrolysis vs laser hair removal method, I would say that laser hair removal wins because it’s much more accessible, a bit more affordable, and much faster, even though it doesn’t offer permanent hair removal but hair growth reduction, it’s still a nice deal.