What Is the Difference Between Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal?

According to WebMD, electrolysis is a hair removal method that destroys the growth center of the hair by inserting a very fine probe into the hair follicle and removing the embedded hair with tweezers. Laser hair removal is a procedure in which a laser, or a pulsating beam of light, is passed over the skin to remove unwanted hair.

Electrolysis is a hair removal method that can be used on virtually any area of the body, although it is commonly used to remove hair in small areas, such as the eyebrows, chin, cheeks, upper lip and lower lip. According to WebMD, the procedure should be performed by a licensed electrologist, and it generally has no permanent side effects, although slight reddening might occur after treatments. Several electrolysis visits are required for permanent hair removal, and the exact number of treatments required varies from person to person.

Laser hair removal is a long-lasting hair removal method that also requires multiple visits to a licensed technician's office. Treatments are generally performed four to six weeks apart, and according to WebMD, these treatments are most effective on individuals with dark hair. The laser works by destroying the hair bulb in order to drastically slow down hair growth. This treatment can be slightly painful. Laser hair removal is not considered to be a permanent hair removal treatment, and maintenance treatments are required to prevent regrowth, notes the Mayo Clinic.