Summer will be here before you know it and that means we’ll soon be showing more skin. If you’re like us, you can’t wait to ditch the long pants and sweaters for shorts and t-shirts! We’re ready for summer hikes, outdoor sports, poolside fun and all other ways we enjoy summer here in Colorado. So, is your skin and hair growth as presentable as you want it to be? This is no time for unwanted hair. Smooth skin not only looks healthy and attractive, it can make you more comfortable (and even more competitive in certain types of sports).
But should you choose laser hair removal or electrolysis to get rid of that hair? Let’s compare the two methods.
Who is a Good Candidate?
Any man or woman who has unwanted or excessive hair somewhere on their body is a good candidate for hair removal. However, lasers require contrast so they are most effective for those with lighter skin and dark hair. Electrolysis works effectively on all skin and hair colors.
Electrolysis can be used to treat most areas of the body, such as:
- Face, including lip, chin and eyebrows
- Breasts and abdomen
- Bikini line
Lasers can treat virtually any place:
- Bikini/pubic area
- Back (and backside)
- Small areas such as the inside edge of your nostrils, ear hairs, the backs of your hands and the tops of your feet and toes
How Does Each Method Work?
Electrolysis uses a very tiny probe to deliver electric or chemical heat directly to each hair follicle beneath the skin’s surface. This kills the hair root so that it cannot regrow. Laser hair removal uses an intense beam of heat or light energy to target the pigment in hair follicles, effectively destroying them so hair does not regrow. Both treatment methods require multiple sessions and maintenance for hair reduction to be effective. Because the hair grows in stages, all hair removal methods will only be effective at removing the hair when in the anagen or growth phase/stage.
The Treatment Experience
Electrolysis can be quite painful and that’s why numbing cream is always used for this treatment. Most patients report the sensation of a sharp pinch or even heat at the treatment site. This is why electrolysis is typically not preferred over what is now the industry standard: laser hair removal. This treatment is virtually pain-free and can feel like a light rubber band snap.
Duration of Treatment Plan
Hair removal requires multiple treatment sessions because hair grows in phases and both lasers and electrolysis target only actively growing hairs. The number of treatments you need depends on the size of the area(s) being treated, among other factors, so it varies from one person to another.
Typically laser hair removal takes about six sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart. We can treat any size area (including full legs or full back) in a single session.
Electrolysis requires more frequent sessions – weekly or bi-weekly – and may take a year or longer to achieve maximum results. In addition, electrolysis cannot treat larger areas (the chest or back, for example) in a single session.
Downtime After Treatments
Treatment sessions for both laser hair removal and electrolysis are usually short enough to fit conveniently into a lunch hour. Neither requires any downtime, so you can go right back to your normal routine. The only thing to avoid is heat and sweating in the treatment area for 48 hours (so no working out) and it is best to avoid the sun for about a week post laser hair removal)
Temporary after-effects for both treatments are similar – a slight sunburned feeling or redness in the treated area. Because Electrolysis uses a needle, there is a slightly greater risk of infection.
Both laser hair removal and electrolysis offer a dramatic improvement over ongoing shaving, waxing, plucking, etc. Although we often say laser hair removal is permanent once the initial treatment series is completed, it is possible for hairs to grow back eventually. Typically they are finer and lighter in color, and they can be easily treated if they do appear.
Here at Raval Facial Aesthetics, we offer laser hair removal but not electrolysis. Our laser hair removal system is able to treat all skin tones including darker skin tones and is able to treat multiple areas in one lunchtime session. The only thing our laser hair removal does not treat is blonde or gray hair. Because of this, our patients are happy to have a pain free hair removal experience. Right now is the time to get started so you can achieve maximum results in time for summer skin exposure.
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