Laser hair removal vs Electrolysis: what's better?

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It’s that time of year again when we’re wondering the best way to de-fuzz all our extremities. These days, many people are moving away from shaving and waxing and more towards solutions that are more permanent.

But when it comes to those permanent solutions, there are a couple to choose from.

We spoke to Rochelle Collis, spokesperson for Laser Clinics Australia, about the pros and cons of Laser hair removal versus Electrolysis.

What is the difference between Laser hair removal and Electrolysis?

Both treatments offer permanent results – with the main different being only one hair follicle at a time can be treated with Electrolysis and with Laser Hair Removal multiple hair follicles can be treated with one zap.

Does laser hair removal work on darker skin?

  • Laser Hair Removal is a fast and gentle way to remove unwanted hair with permanent results. Lasers emit a specific wavelength of light to target the hair follicle at the root
  • Electrolysis An electric current is applied with a very fine needle-shaped electrode, or metal probe into each hair follicle to destroy the root.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Laser Hair Removal


  • One of the biggest advantages of laser hair removal is the speed of the treatment in comparison electrolysis, which is much more time consuming.
  • The technique is considered to be safe if performed properly.
  • It is considered to be less painful than other methods (particularly electrolysis).
  • The process works – most people experience long-lasting hair removal or even permanent hair reduction.
  • The method is effective for removing hair from large areas such as backs or legs.


  • Laser treatments are only approved by the FDA for “permanent hair reduction” NOT “permanent hair removal”. This simply means that some regrowth is to be expected and a couple of “maintain touch up” treatments per year will be required.
  • There can be side effects that can range from itching or swelling (which will disappear after a few days) to more serious (but rare) side effects like, follicle infection.
  • Since the laser targets melanin (pigment that gives skin and hair colour), people with dark hair (more melanin) have more success with this treatment than people with light hair.
  • Laser will not work on grey hair.
  • The time each session takes will depend on how big the hair removal area is.



  • It has a great track record. Electrolysis is very effective way of ridding unwanted hair.
  • Many different hair and skin types can benefit. Because it doesn’t target hair pigment (colour) like laser, but attacks the follicle itself. People that aren’t good candidates for laser(grey hair, white blonde hair) can still get electrolysis.


  • Bent follicles can make electrolysis hair removal harder. Previous waxing or tweezing can make hair follicles bent or misshapen, and getting the needle to the root more difficult to destroy the follicle.
  • Multiple treatments are needed. You have to truly be committed to electrolysis because you will need anywhere from 15 – 30 sessions, which will take up a considerable amount of your time.
  • Skin can get discoloured. This is most likely to occur if it’s improperly done.
  • It’s can be pricey, in comparison to Laser Hair Removal.

How much does each treatment cost?

Laser Hair Removal

Lip and Chin $19.00 per treatment, treatment time is 5 minutes. Click here for more information.

Could this be the ultimate hair removal method?


30 minute session costs $95.00 in which up to 50 hair follicles can be treated.

How many sessions do you need?

Laser Hair Removal : Most people obtain significant results within six to eight treatments.

Electrolysis: Generally ten plus treatments are needed.

If you’re not willing to try either, check out these other ways to de-fuzz this summer.

What’s your preferred method of hair removal?