Electrolysis vs Laser/IPL

There are differences between ELECTROLYSIS vs LASER/IPL Technology. Electrolysis has been in operation for over 135 years with safe, and permanent results. Laser/IPL has only been around since 1996. This technology is currently unregulated in Canada and the USA. The ONLY method approved as permanent hair removal is electrolysis.

The Major Differences

Technology has been around for over 135 years and has excellent track record Technology has been around for about 25 years and is a completely unregulated field in Canada
Is the ONLY method approved by the FDA for complete permanent hair removal Only approved by the FDA for Permanent Reduction (most common results 40% to 80%)
Targets one hair at a time, ensuring accuracy and high kill rate Targets melanin(pigment colour in the skin) with the BEST results only on dark hair and light skin
Electrolysis can treat ALL hair types on ALL skin types Not effective in treating blond, grey, red or hairs that are dark but thin. Also not safe on tanned skin or dark pigmented skin (with the exception of ND YAG laser)
Can be done anywhere on the body(except inside nose and ears) Hairs treated take from 3-21 days to falls out
No stimulation of more hair production Can induce hair growth in areas where hair is not dark enough
Electrolysis permanent hair removal works in all hair cycles. It destroys the bulb and germinative cells in the hair follicle. Requires anagen hair(growing hair) to be present for hair destruction
Permanent scarring from repetitive under or over treatment of follicles and skin can happen and is localized to actual mistreated follicles. Permanent scarring from burns can be wide spread on treated area and permanent hyperpigmentation can occur.
Some insurance companies will cover electrolysis for medical/psychological reasons No insurance companies will cover laser hair removal for medical or cosmetic reasons.


Written by Veronica Allenger copyright 2017
Veronica Allenger is a Certified Professional Electrologist in Ottawa, Canada.
This article’s content is based on fact, research and experience in the field.

2011 – Susan Hersh demystifies the differences between electrolysis and laser hair removal. View
2012 – W5 Investigation: The painful side to laser skin treatments. CTV-W5 Investigated Laser Hair Removal (and lasers used for other cosmetic purposes) in the Toronto area. A must see to understand the risks that are involved with the technique. View
2012 – Answer from the Canadian Dermatology association (in response to W5 investigation). View
2016 – Alberta woman scarred by laser hair removal calls for regulation. View
2016 – Going Undercover for Laser Hair Removal. View