Permanent Hair Removal Vs. Laser Hair Reduction: Having Realistic Expectations

30 November 2017
 Categories: , Blog


At-home hair removal methods, such as shaving, waxing, and plucking require constant upkeep to keep your skin looking smooth and feeling silky. If you find yourself annoyed with the regular maintenance of hair removal, consider permanent hair removal or reduction. 


If you're looking for complete permanent hair removal, electrolysis is a better option than laser treatments since most lasers reduce unwanted hair rather than completely eradicate it. Electrolysis works by completely destroying each individual hair at the root with a needle-like electrode that is inserted into each hair follicle. Once the root is completely destroyed, that particular hair follicle won't grow hairs anymore.

Electrolysis treatments require more sessions than most laser procedures aimed at hair reduction, however. You may need as many as 20 sessions before you achieve your desired results, which requires large investments of money and time.

Undergoing electrolysis isn't a guarantee that you'll never see another hair in the treated area. Some follicles and hairs don't respond well to treatment with the electrode because the follicle is bent or altered in shape from previous waxing or tweezing.

Intense Pulsed Light and Laser Hair Reduction

Laser hair removal techniques typically use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and laser to achieve hair removal and reduction. While laser hair removal isn't FDA-approved as a permanent hair removal solution, it can be very effective at reducing unwanted hair, making maintenance much easier and allowing you to go weeks or even months between shaving, waxing or other methods of complete hair removal.

Laser hair removal methods focus on larger areas than a single follicle at a time. Laser technicians will pass the laser over areas of your skin, making contact between the laser and several hair follicles at once. The follicles absorb the light and heat of the laser, which inhibits hair growth.

Though most laser hair reduction sessions cost more than a single electrolysis session, most people need fewer sessions, with many seeing satisfactory results after just six sessions. This is because lasers only treat hair that is actively growing in the anagen phase. It won't work on hairs in the catagen and telogen phases. You'll see fewer and fewer hairs after each session is complete since only some of your hairs are in the anagen phase at any given time.

Permanent hair removal and reduction procedures are an investment, and it's important to have realistic expectations about the treatment method you choose. Ask your esthetician or an associate at a laser hair removal clinic any questions you have regarding the cost, methods and how many sessions you'll need to achieve your desired results.