Electrolysis Hair Removal

Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal

Electrolysis and lasers are popular hair removal methods that can remove hair on most areas of the body. Though they have some similarities, these two methods come with different requirements, different results -- and different price tags.

During electrolysis, a tiny needle is inserted into the skin. The needle is placed deep into an individual hair follicle that holds one hair. Then, a low-level electrical energy pulse is sent into the follicle to destroy it. The existing hair falls out, and the process is repeated hair by hair [source: American Electrology Association]. Those who opt for electrolysis may need to return for treatment between 10 and 25 times to destroy all the unwanted hair. The method can cost up to $90 per treatment [source: Bouchez].

Unlike electrolysis, which uses electric energy to destroy follicles, laser hair removal employs pulsating light beams. The light is aimed at the hair follicle where it heats the melanin in the hair. When melanin is heated, it tends to burn; this causes the hair follicle to temporarily stop producing hair. However, laser hair removal doesn't work for lighter hair colors. If your hair is a good candidate for the procedure, be aware that you may need five to eight treatments, and you'll have to wait six to eight weeks between treatments [source: Mayo Clinic]. What's more, the procedure can cost up to $500 per treatment [source: Bouchez].

With either method, you risk inflammation, scarring and changes in pigmentation, so it's important to see a licensed or certified technician who is trained to perform these procedures and can ensure your safety [source: Mayo Clinic]. If you think electrolysis is the right choice for you, keep reading to find out what types of electrolysis are available.