Hair doesn’t always grow where we want it to. If unwanted hair growth happens to you, two popular long-term hair removal solutions are laser hair removal and electrolysis.
Both of them are similar insofar as they target the hair follicles underneath your skin.
However, laser hair removal is becoming the more popular method of the two with an almost 30% increase in laser hair removal procedures since 2013, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
Electrolysis is also becoming more common, albeit less so than laser hair removal.
With that in mind, you might be wondering which procedure you should undergo to remove pesky, unwanted hairs.
Read on to learn the benefits, drawbacks, risks, and guidelines for each hair removal procedure.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal damages the hair follicles underneath in order to slow down hair growth by mildly irradiating them using high-heat lasers.
Laser hair removal can be used anywhere on your body except near the eyes (as the lasers can damage the eyes), making it a very versatile procedure.
In addition, recovery time is quite short. You can resume your normal activities immediately after each treatment.
Laser hair removal isn’t permanent. You will need multiple treatments to keep the hairs at bay. However, the hairs will grow back thinner and lighter, making this work well enough for people with fair skin and dark hair.
Laser hair removal side effects include
Most of these side effects should be quite minor and disappear within a few hours.
Symptoms lasting longer should be addressed with your doctor.
Laser hair removal isn’t covered by insurance as it’s considered an optional cosmetic procedure.
Since it requires multiple sessions, your total cost with varies depending on how many you need. Ask your dermatologist about a payment plan if you need to do so.
Before and After the Procedure
Before starting, your dermatologist may apply analgesic ointment to the area. Those who still experience pain should discuss over-the-counter pain relievers with their doctor.
After the procedure, you can alleviate some of the side effects by icing the affected area.
In addition, reduce your sun exposure after each session and always wear sunscreen, as you’re more vulnerable to sunburn after laser hair removal.
Electrolysis involves inserting a small epilator device into the skin. This device gives off short radio waves to disrupt hair growth, ceasing new hair from growing. Electrolysis requires several sessions for permanent results.
Electrolysis’s results are more permanent than laser hair removal. It works for basically all types of skin and hair.
It can be used on any part of the body like laser hair removal, but it can also be used on the eyebrows.
Lastly, electrolysis is the only FDA-approved hair removal method.
Despite being more permanent than laser hair removal, electrolysis requires several sessions to work permanently.
Some people may experience pain during the procedure. People who have a fear of needles may also find electrolysis more difficult, as a needle is used.
Minor side effects include redness and skin irritation. In rare cases, severe side effects can occur due to unsterile needles but visiting a board-certified dermatologist minimizes this risk.
Electrolysis isn’t covered by health insurance either. Your payment will vary depending on the size of the area needing treatment as well as how many total sessions are required. However, some doctors charge by the hour rather than by the area.
That being said, the cost will go down with each visit.
Before and After the Procedure
Like we said, electrolysis requires several sessions. After your first, you typically schedule a new session weekly or biweekly until the hair is gone. When it’s gone, you’ll no longer need any treatment.
If you’re looking for hair removal services in the Philadelphia Area, Absolute Smile is here to help. We offer both laser hair removal and electrolysis. Our trained professionals can help you determine which one works best for your hair situation and your budget.