John Aker Aesthetics, Carmel IN

Electrolysis versus Laser Hair Removal: Q&A with Jill

Conveniently located to serve Carmel, Indianapolis, and Zionsville.

Electrolysis versus Laser Hair Removal: Q&A with Jill

The question of when to choose electrolysis over laser hair removal is a good one, and we hear this from many of our clients. Here are a few tips…

  • When do I choose electrolysis over laser hair removal?

    Electrolysis treats light colored and finer hairs that will not respond to laser hair removal. It is also great for shaping eyebrows. Laser works well on coarse, dark hair. It will not have an effect on finer textured hairs whether they are light or dark in color.
  • What skin color can be treated with electrolysis? With laser?

    For electrolysis, any skin color, from light to very dark. With laser, light to medium skin types. Persons with dark skin are not candidates for laser hair removal, due to the risk of overtreatment.
  • What hair types can be treated with electrolysis?

    All hair types: fine, coarse, light and dark
  • Can you treat tanned skin?

    The efficacy of electrolysis is not affected by tanned skin. Laser should not be used on tanned skin, or skin recently exposed to UV rays.
  • What does it feel like?

    With electrolysis, you may experience a sensation like a slight sting or feel some heat, but it should not be painful. Intensity settings are customized to your individual sensitivity. With laser, skin may feel anywhere from warm to hot during treatment. Following treatment skin may feel sensitive, similar to having had too much sun. Numbing the area with a numbing agent prior to your laser treatment will help reduce the sting.
  • Will treated hair be visible following a treatment?

    Hair is removed with tweezers immediately following electrolysis. With laser, the area is shaved prior to the treatment, and treated hairs work their way to the surface and shed on their own. This takes anywhere from a few days to 10 days or more.
  • How do I manage hair between treatments?

    You may shave or trim hairs close to the skin. Allow 2 – 3 days of growth prior to each electrolysis treatment. With laser, the treatment area is shaved just prior to treatment.
  • Can I still tweeze or wax?

    Tweezing and waxing must be discontinued with both electrolyis and laser hair removal. Any time a hair is removed by tweezing or waxing there is a delay in treatment of that hair follicle. If hair is not visible above the skin it cannot be treated with electrolysis.
  • How long will a treatment take?

    Each hair is treated individually with electrolysis. Electrolysis is a slower, more meticulous process than laser hair removal. With laser, a 1/2″ x 1/2″ area is treated with each pulse of light. The bikini area can typically be treated in 30-40 minutes.
  • How many treatments will be needed?

    Hairs have different growth cycles. The average hair can take 3 to 12 weeks to complete just one cycle. You can’t tell if a hair is in its active growth phase from the surface, and some hairs take more than one treatment with electrolysis. Because of varying stages of hair growth there are no average treatment guidelines for electrolysis as there are with laser hair removal, though treatment intervals are generally one to two weeks apart. With laser, standard treatment protocol is every 4 -6 weeks for an average of 5 treatments.
  • What will skin look like after electrolysis?

    The area may be pink immediately following electrolysis. This normally fades in 1-2 hours. If there is lingering pinkness or swelling, the patient may apply ice. Areas treated with laser may feel warm to hot during treatment. Afterward, skin may feel sensitive, similar to an area that has had too much sun exposure.
  • Is it safe?

    Probes used for electrolysis are pre-sterilized and disposable. Tweezers are sterilized so no chance of cross-contamination exists. Risks associated with laser treatments are minimized by choosing a qualified technician who is trained in laser hair removal, and completely familiar with the equipment used in treatment.