While laser treatments use light to destroy the hair follicle, and they’re most effective for dark hair, electrolysis can be used by a lot more people and delivers more permanent results, but it’s not immune to complications.

Discover the pros and cons of electrolysis hair removal, which can be used safely on plenty of areas, from the face to your thighs. While it doesn’t guarantee 100% efficiency, electrolysis is definitely your best chance of getting rid of unwanted hair.

Pros of Electrolysis Hair Removal

While laser hair removal is temporary, electrolysis can actually be permanent, because the hair growth center in each follicle is destroyed. It’s the only “permanent” hair removal method approved by the FDA, and it has plenty of advantages over every other cosmetic treatment with the same purpose.

Proven Track Record

One of the biggest pros of electrolysis hair removal is the fact that it’s actually permanent, and yields good results for most of those who try it. As long as you make sure that you’re actually getting electrolysis and you’re not being fooled into paying for a treatment with the less permanent electric tweezers, you’ll probably get rid of most or all unwanted hairs.

Works for Most Hair and Skin Types

While laser hair removal doesn’t provide results for fair-skinned people with light hair or for those with dark skin, one of the most important pros of electrolysis hair removal is that it lacks that type of constraints. It can work for any skin or hair color, as long as each hair follicle is penetrated with the electrolysis needle.

More: How Permanent is Laser Hair Removal

It Can Use More Than One Method of Killing the Hair Follicle

There are three main types of electrolysis used in hair removal. Thermolysis uses alternating currents to heat the hair follicle and basically fry it beyond the possibility of healing. Galvanic electrolysis, the oldest method uses a direct current to kill hair growth, and you can also get a mixture of the two techniques for better results.

It’s Performed by a Licensed Professional

It’s up to you to check that you’re being treated by a licensed electrolysis professional, but one of the pros of electrolysis hair removal is that being performed by a specialist greatly reduces the risk of side effects.

Cons of Electrolysis Hair Removal

While this hair removal method does deliver the best results you can expect from any treatment, it does have a few drawbacks as well.

Can Be Painful

The level of pain experienced during the process has been greatly reduced thanks to new technologies, letting you feel no more than a tingling sensation. Even if the process is painful, and takes longer than laser hair removal, you can use topical anesthetic creams to numb the pain.

Takes Time to Achieve the Desired Results

One of the major cons of electrolysis hair removal is that it’s slow. Since each hair follicle needs to be treated independently, you might need between 15 to 30 sessions for a small area to be completely hair free and the electrolysis session length can vary between 15 and 60 minutes.

Can Be Costly

While each treatment session costs much less than laser treatment, you’ll need more sessions for electrolysis hair removal, so expect to pay hundreds of dollars for small areas and thousands for bigger ones.

It Isn’t Complication Free

The hair removal process is usually effective for each follicle, but one of the biggest cons of electrolysis hair removal is that not every follicle is treatable. Some may be bent or misshapen, especially in area when you’ve been removing hair with other methods for a long time.

Can Have Unwanted Side-Effects

While most people react well to electrolysis, when the procedure is performed by anyone else than a licensed practitioner, there’s a risk of skin discoloration, along with burning and irritation. Redness in a treated area is usually temporary.

It’s Not 100% Efficient

One of the biggest cons of electrolysis hair removal is that you only get rid of the treatable hair. That’s why you need many sessions, in order to catch each hair in its growing phase in order to permanently kill its growth. As for the untreatable ones, you may still have to handle a few stray hairs yourself.