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what is the difference between laser hair removal and electrolysis

What to expect from laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal uses mild radiation via high-heat lasers. The purpose is to damage hair follicles enough to significantly slow down hair growth. Although the effects last longer than home hair removal methods, such as shaving, laser therapy doesn’t create permanent results. You’ll have to receive multiple treatments for long-term hair removal.With the LASER Hair removal method, the client will experience permanent hair reduction of about 90%.The process involves local selective absorption of intense light pulse at wavelengths that are absorbed by hair follicles but not by the surrounding tissue.There are individuals that are not candidates for LASER. Individuals that are currently taking Accutane or have a history or at risk of melanoma, individuals who are pregnant are taking antibiotics or are on Retin-A will need to delay treatment.We offer the GentleMax, Candela’s newest LASER hair removal system. The GentleMax LASER allows us to work on all skin types. We also offer the Serenity System which allows for a more “pain-less” treatment.

How does the laser hair removal work?

The laser creates a beam of high-intensity light that penetrates deep into skin where it delivers a controlled amount of targeted therapeutic heat. The wavelength, energy and size of aperture used determines the depth the heat is concentrated. We will be concentrating on your hair follicles, ending further hair growth from that active follicle.

 Is it true that a successful Laser treatment would depend on my skin and hair color?

Unfortunately, individuals with blonde, white, gray hair and most red heads are not good candidates for laser since these hair colors either don’t have much or any pigment in them, which doesn’t allow them to absorb the light as well.  GentleMax, Candela’s newest hair removal system works on all skin types.  This system contains both the YAG Laser for tanned and dark skin and the Alexandrite Laser for the lighter skin.

 How does the LASER work and how effective is it?

All lasers have an energized substance that will increase the power or intensity of the light that passes through it.  Inside the laser cavity, the laser light is bouncing back and forth when it builds to the desired intensity the amplified energy escapes.  This light is the laser beam.  Most individuals will experience an 80-90% reduction in the amount of hair in a given area.  The FDA states “Permanent Hair Reduction – Long –term stable reduction in the number of hairs regrowing after a treatment regime.”

 Are there any risks that I should be aware of?

As with any other treatment of this nature, there will be potential side effects.  Risks of these side effects are minimized if treatment instructions are followed.  Individuals should inform their operator of any changes to their medication.  If you are pregnant, are taking antibiotics or are on Retin-A, you will need to delay treatments.


Benefits-Laser hair removal may be done just about anywhere on the face and body, except your eye area. This makes the procedure versatile in its uses.There is also little-to-no recovery time involved. You can resume your normal activities after each procedure.Although new hairs may still grow, you’ll notice that they grow in finer and lighter in color than before. This means that when there is regrowth it won’t look as heavy as before.This procedure tends to work best if you have both fair skin and dark hair.
Side effects and risks.

Advantages of Laser:

• Fast
• Less painful than electrolysis
• Cost effective
• Can treat ingrown hairs
• No noticeable redness or swelling within 10 minutes for most clients
• Permanent hair reduction
• Normal shaving is permissible between sessions

Disadvantages of Laser:

• Not suitable for blond or gray hair
• Not suitable for small areas such as eyebrows
• No tanning for two weeks before therapy
• No tanning for one month after therapy

Side effects of laser hair removal may include:

pigmentation changes (usually light patches on darker skin)

Minor side effects like irritation and redness tend to go away within a few hours of the procedure. Any symptoms that last longer than that ought to be addressed with your doctor.Scars and changes to skin texture are rare side effects.You can minimize the risk of side effects and permanent skin damage by making sure you seek treatment from a board-certified dermatologist only. Salons and at-home laser removal aren’t recommended.
Aftercare and follow-upBefore the procedure, your dermatologist may apply an analgesic ointment to minimize pain. If you still experience pain, talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. You doctor may also prescribe a steroid cream for severe pain.Common symptoms, such as redness and swelling, may be relieved by applying ice or a cold compress to the affected area.Laser hair removal disables hair growth — rather than removing hairs — so you’ll need follow-up treatments. Regular maintenance treatments will also extend the results.You’ll also want to minimize your sun exposure after each laser hair removal, especially during peak daylight hours. Increased sun sensitivity from the procedure puts you at risk of sunburn. Make sure you wear sunscreen every day. The Mayo Clinic also recommends staying out of direct sunlight for six weeks before laser hair removal to prevent pigmentation disruptions on tanned skin.Follow-up appointments are essential to this type of treatment. According to the Mayo Clinic, most people need a follow-up treatment every six weeks, up to six times. This helps to stop hair growth after the initial laser hair removal session. After this point, you’ll also need to see your dermatologist for a maintenance appointment. You could do this once or twice a year depending on your needs. And you can shave in between appointments.

Costs-Laser hair removal is considered an optional cosmetic procedure, so it isn’t covered by insurance. The overall cost varies based on how many sessions you need. You can also talk to your dermatologist about a payment plan.Although at-home laser hair treatment might be appealing in terms of cost, it’s not proven to be safe or effective.


What to expect from electrolysis?

Electrolysis is another type of hair removal technique that is done by a dermatologist. It also disrupts hair growth. The process works by inserting an epilator device into the skin. It uses shortwave radio frequencies in hair follicles to stop new hair from growing. This damages your hair follicles to prevent growth and causes existing hairs to fall out. However, you’ll still need multiple follow-up appointments for the best results.Unlike laser hair removal, electrolysis is backed by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a permanent solution.


Benefits-In addition to producing more permanent results, electrolysis is extremely versatile. It can help inhibit new hair growth for all skin and hair types. Electrolysis may also be used anywhere on the body, including the eyebrows.Side effects and risks,Minor side effects are common, but they tend to go away within a day. The most common symptom is slight redness from skin irritation. Pain and swelling are rare.Possible severe side effects include infection from unsterile needles used during the procedure, as well as scars. Seeing a board-certified dermatologist can minimize the risks.Aftercare and follow-up,The results of electrolysis are touted as being permanent because of hair follicle destruction. In theory, having damaged hair follicles means that no new hairs are able to grow.These results aren’t achieved in just one session. This is especially the case if you’re having the procedure done on a large area like your back, or on an area of thicker hair growth like the pubic region.According to the Cleveland Clinic, most people need follow-up sessions every week or bi-weekly to achieve optimal results. Once the hair is gone, you won’t need any more treatments. No maintenance is required with electrolysis.

 Is Electrolysis safe?
When performed by a Certified Professional Electrologist, it is safe. Our office is governed by the Board of Medicine for the State of Florida; therefore, we follow the latest infection control standards for the practice of Electrology. Here at Lana Gray International, the electrologists always wear gloves and strict sterilization methods are practiced.

Does Electrolysis cause scarring?
An unskilled operator can damage the skin. Make sure that you check out the reputation of your electrologist; don’t just choose based on convenience and cost. Schedule a consultation so you can evaluate the operator. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, such as which type of needle is used. There is one method of electrolysis that insures minimal discomfort. It is called the Insulated Bulbous Probe method.

Can Electrolysis be done on any part of the body?
Yes, except inside of the nose and ears. Unwanted hair problems can be a source of embarrassment anywhere on the body. Some of the most common areas treated include the lip, chin, brows, chest, breast, underarms, stomach, and swimsuit line. Don’t let excess hair detract from your looks and self-confidence. You can have treatments that will remove unwanted hair forever. With all the advantages of electrolysis, why not start now!

 Is Electrolysis expensive?
Not really. Of course the initial time and cost is more, but remember that this is the only permanent method of hair removal and it will save you both hours and expense in the long run.

Advantages of Electrolysis:

Mature Technology – over 100 years old
Can treat “peach fuzz”
Can treat very light blond or gray hair
Permanent hair removal

Disadvantages of Electrolysis:

Slow for large areas
Mild pain
Redness and mild swelling at treated area for 1-3 hours after

Costs-Like laser hair removal, electrolysis isn’t covered by insurance. The amount you pay depends on the size of the area being treated and the number of follow-ups required. Some doctors charge an hourly rate. Electrolysis costs less with each visit, but you may end up having more sessions than with laser therapy.At-home epilators are available for sale, but these aren’t as effective as professional devices. Plus, these machines aren’t regulated by the FDA for safety.

Which is best?

Laser therapy and electrolysis both produce longer-lasting effects compared to shaving. But electrolysis seems to work the best. The results are more permanent. Electrolysis also carries fewer risks and side effects, and you don’t need the maintenance treatments required for laser hair removal.

The downside is that electrolysis must be spread out over more sessions. It can’t cover large areas at once like laser hair removal can. Your choice may depend on how quickly you want to achieve short-term hair removal.

Also, doing one procedure and then the other isn’t a good idea. For example, getting electrolysis done after laser hair removal disrupts the effects of the first procedure. Do your homework ahead of time and talk to your dermatologist about the best option. If you decide to switch hair removal procedures, you may need to wait several months before beginning.

Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis: What’s the Difference?


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