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Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal: What’s the Difference?

Starting the process of getting rid of unwanted hair for good is an exciting prospect. However, it requires a lot of research and decision-making. After all, it is a fairly big investment to make—especially if you’re wanting full-body hair removal.

When considering long-term hair removal options, you’ve likely come across both laser hair removal and electrolysis as popular solutions. Knowing the difference between the two can help you determine which is going to work best for you.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve provided an overview of electrolysis vs. laser hair removal. Learn more about these treatment options and take the next step toward being hair-free and feeling more confident.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser removal is the process of using lasers that are focused on the hair follicle to destroy hair at the root and prevent it from growing back. Laser hair removal is considered a permanent solution to help remove unwanted body and facial hair. This treatment can be performed on any skin color or type.

Laser hair removal is highly effective and is considered safe when performed by an experienced provider.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal works by using an advanced laser that destroys the hair follicle below the surface of the skin. This process is something that does have to be performed by a professional that has been trained in this procedure. This procedure works on all skin types but cannot be used to treat white, grey, light blonde, very light red, or peach fuzz hair.

The procedure does take several sessions to ensure that the hair follicles are fully destroyed, and hair growth is halted in that area. Typically, laser hair removal sessions only take a few minutes each but are spread out several weeks apart. Smaller areas like the armpit or the bikini line can take as little as five minutes to complete. In comparison, larger areas like the legs can take up to half an hour. 

Depending on the hair type and skin type that you have, you may require more treatments to help ensure the desired results are achieved. Safe laser hair removal is essential, which is why it is important to find an experienced provider who can administer your treatment.

What Is Electrolysis Hair Removal? 

Electrolysis also targets the individual hair follicle to delay or prevent hair growth, but it is accomplished in a slightly different manner. Electrolysis relies on either an electric current, a chemical reaction, or both to damage the hair follicle. 

This procedure was first designed to help fight ingrown hairs and to destroy the follicle to keep the ingrown hair from growing back.

How Does Electrolysis Hair Removal Work?

Instead of a laser being used to remove the hair follicle, your electrologist will typically use an electric current to destroy the hair follicle with this procedure. This is accomplished with a very small probe that is inserted into your pore. 

An electric current is then sent through it, targeting and damaging the hair follicle. Treatment is administered using a device known as an epilator. Each hair is then removed.

Generally, several treatments are required for effective hair removal. How many treatments are required will depend on your hair type and the size of the area being treated.

Key Differences Between Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal

There are a few key differences that can help you determine what is going to work best for you and what might not be the best option overall. Both laser removal and electrolysis can help you remove unwanted hair, but who might benefit most from each procedure may vary. 

Here are some important differences to consider when comparing the two hair removal options:


When comparing electrolysis vs. laser hair removal cost, laser hair removal is often more expensive than electrolysis per session. The main difference is that you are likely going to need fewer laser hair removal sessions to get rid of the hair. For example, what might take three sessions with electrolysis might only take one session with laser hair removal. Generally speaking, fewer sessions will likely cost you less and are going to take up less of your time.

Some laser hair removal providers, like LivSmooth, also offer specials to help you save on your treatments.


Another thing to consider is that there are different technologies being used for both. With electrolysis, a probe or wire is inserted into the opening of the hair follicle. The technology that is used for electrolysis is not much different than the first technology that was developed. That is to say that the technology has not really advanced all that much since it was first developed.

Laser technology has come so far since it was first invented in 1963. Laser technology advancements have come far in recent years, improving in accuracy and effectiveness. The process used to be rather painful, but now painless laser hair removal is possible.


Though they both have similar outcomes, the processes differ significantly. With electrolysis, you are going to have the wire of the machine inserted into the opening of the hair follicle to destroy the follicle. This process can take a great deal of time in total. Instead of being able to pass the machine over the targeted area, it does require that each follicle be treated one at a time.

With laser hair removal, the laser is able to target several follicles at the same time. It makes it much faster and does allow the laser to target more than one follicle at a time so that you can get larger areas treated in less time than with electrolysis. Both procedures require a highly trained professional to be able to use the technology that is needed and to be able to finish the procedures safely.


Both electrolysis and laser hair removal can provide long-term results and can be applied to large or small treatment areas. However, you can achieve your desired results sooner with laser hair removal.

Safety and Risks

Both procedures are incredibly safe as they have been perfected over the years. There are some potential minor risks associated with laser removal, including blisters, inflammation of treated areas, redness, swelling, and irritation.

There are also risks that are associated with electrolysis, including irritation and redness, swelling, pain, and even potential infection if the needle that was used is not clean. You may also experience scars if it is not done properly.

With both of these hair removal methods, it’s essential to research where you are going to undergo treatment and ensure the provider is highly qualified.

Which Treatment Is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing something as important as laser hair removal, taking the time to go through the benefits and drawbacks of both laser hair removal and electrolysis can help you figure out what is going to work best for you and for your particular skin and hair type. As you can see, there are a lot of factors that vary between the two treatments. 

While both achieve hair removal, the right treatment may depend on your pain tolerance, desired timeline, budget, and other factors.

In general, laser hair removal is faster, less expensive overall, and highly effective for permanent hair removal. And at LivSmooth, you can expect to receive treatment from our extensively experienced nurse practitioners, who are able to provide safe treatments and excellent results.

Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis Key Takeaways

Let’s wrap up some key points for you to consider:

  • Both treatments get rid of unwanted body hair.
  • Both treatments require a series of sessions to remove hair.
  • Laser hair removal is generally considered less painful or even pain free.
  • Electrolysis does have the risk of causing scarring.
  • Laser hair removal is typically less expensive when you look at overall cost.
  • Electrolysis may cost less per session, but requires more sessions.
  • Both treatments are considered permanent hair removal methods.
  • Both of these treatments can be performed for men and women.

Every individual is different and the right hair removal method will vary depending on your preferences and main concerns about treatment.

Enjoy Living Hair-Free

You have options for getting rid of unwanted hair that makes you feel self-conscious. And now that you’ve done a bit more research, hopefully, you have a better idea of which hair removal method sounds like the better fit.

If you think laser hair removal may be the right solution for you, contact LivSmooth to schedule your consultation today. We look forward to helping you achieve the hair-free, smooth skin you’ve been dreaming of.


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