Trying to get body hair removed completely is a serious decision to make. Whether you are trying to remove your facial hair, or hoping to smooth out your legs or get rid of unruly chest hair, it's vital to choose an option that will work for your specific needs. It can also be an expensive option, which provides all the more motivation to try to get it right the first time. There are a variety of factors that play into which will work best, from the color of your skin and hair to the area you want treated and your budget.

Skin and Hair Color

With current laser technology, laser treatment isn't available or effective for everyone. Lasers target pigment, which means that you need light skin and dark hair for the treatment to be most effective. Lasers may be damaging for people with dark skin, and may not be effective at removing light hair.

By contrast, electrolysis makes use of tiny needles to go after hair follicles themselves, which means the color of your skin and hair doesn't matter. If you don't have light skin and dark hair, electrolysis will be far more effective. When you are treated with lasers you are typically clean-shaven, whereas you will grow out your hair to be treated with electrolysis.


Laser treatments are typically short and require fewer sessions, whereas electrolysis can take a little longer per session, as well as requiring more sessions. The difference lies in how the procedures are performed. With electrolysis, each hair follicle is dealt with individually, which can slow things down a little. There are also more treatments to deal with any that were missed in prior treatments and the growth of new hair. In both cases, however, sessions rarely last more than half an hour.


Both procedures come with a certain level of discomfort. How much pain you feel during laser treatment can be influenced by your hair color and thickness. Thick, dark, coarse hair is often more painful to treat than light, fine hair. Electrolysis is less likely to vary. With each procedure, the discomfort has been likened to having a rubber band snapped on your skin or a stinging sensation. You may be able to request a numbing cream if you are worried about the pain.


Laser treatments vary depending on the size of the area being treated and the facility you visit. Treatments are typically a few hundred dollars; larger skin areas may put you closer to a thousand dollars per session. By contrast, electrolysis sessions are typically far less expensive, though it also depends on the size of the treatment area. In some cases you can get a number of electrolysis sessions — or even a complete treatment — for the price of a single laser session.


Unfortunately, no method of hair removal is guaranteed to be perfect or permanent. In many cases a more accurate descriptor of both processes is hair reducer. Treatments make it harder for hair to grow, and you may experience far lighter and slower growth, but there is a chance with any treatment that it will not be permanent.

If you're interested in laser hair removal, visit North Dallas Dermatology.