Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal and electrolysis are the only two permanent methods for reducing the amount of unwanted hair. Which option is right for you, and how do they compare to each other?


Electrolysis is FDA-approved for the permanent removal of unwanted hair. It works by directing an electrical current directly at the targeted hair follicle to destroy the follicle and prevent hair regrowth. During electrolysis, each follicle needs to be treated individually, so a single treatment session takes an average of 30 minutes. However, there are no restrictions on the hair color or texture that can be effectively treated with electrolysis. Repeated sessions are necessary for best results, usually between 15 and 30 treatments. Many patients complain that electrolysis is very painful, especially when such long sessions are required.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is FDA-approved for permanent hair reduction, and works by directing concentrated light energy at the hair follicle to cause enough damage that regrowth is prevented. Multiple follicles can be treated simultaneously, with about six or seven treatment sessions required to treat all hairs. Laser hair removal works best for patients with darker hair, since the pigment of the hair is what actually absorbs the laser energy. Lighter hair still can be treated, but may not respond as well. The sensation of laser hair removal is equated to snapping a rubber band against the skin, and is not overly uncomfortable for the majority of patients. Also, treatment sessions are generally shorter than those for electrolysis, which helps to further minimize any discomfort.

So which method is right for you? Come in for a consultation with our board-certified laser treatment specialist and we can discuss your options.