If you’re still shaving or waxing, you’re doing it wrong. As you probably would have noticed ingrown hairs and stubble from these techniques, which are a nuisance.
These days, there are so many permanent hair removal methods to choose from, why would you want to use those old techniques.
Three of the most popular permanent hair removal methods include laser hair removal, electrolysis, and IPL.
However, with so much choice comes the question: which hair removal method is the best?
This article compares and contrasts the advantages and disadvantages of laser hair removal vs electrolysis vs IPL to help you decide which one is best for you.
How Does Electrolysis Work?
Electrolysis is the oldest of the three permanent hair reduction methods. The process involves using a thin metal probe to send a small electrical current through each individual unwanted hair follicle. This causes the hair to fall out.
Advantages of Electrolysis
Firstly, unlike laser hair removal and IPL, electrolysis doesn’t rely on the pigment of your hair and its effectiveness is not inhibited by your skin colour. Therefore, it can be performed on any type of hair and skin colour. This makes electrolysis one of the only permanent hair removal methods available to those of you who have blonde, grey or red hair... Or if you have dark skin and have previously been turned down for laser hair removal or IPL.
Electrolysis involves removing your hair one-by-one, resulting in extreme precision. Consequently, electrolysis is safe and effective for shaping small or sensitive areas around your face that require extra attention to detail such as your eyebrows, sideburns, hairline and peach fuzz.
Lastly, electrolysis is considered to be the most permanent solution for your unwanted hair. Once your hair is fully gone, it’s gone for good.
Disadvantages of Electrolysis
With such great benefits also comes some disadvantages.
As mentioned, you are treating your individual hairs one-by-one with precision and while this is good for small areas, it significantly increases treatment time. So if you want to treat a large area of your body such as your legs, back or chest, be prepared to clear your schedule and lay on the treatment table for up to an hour or more...
Moreover, electrolysis requires much more appointments than laser and IPL. This is because in order to target and damage your hair follicles, they need to be active. So as dormant follicles become active, you will need to keep coming back for follow up sessions. So that is another hour or more out of your day.
With all of these variables considered, you may need to attend up to 30 electrolysis sessions in order to achieve permanent hair reduction. As you can imagine, electrolysis can become pretty costly. And to make matters worse, these sessions need to be spaced between one to two weeks apart. Do you have that much time available for this? Most likely not.
Technicalities and costs aside, one of the biggest drawbacks that turn people away from electrolysis is the pain and side effects. These include:
- Skin discolouration
So we give Electrolysis a 3/5 star rating
Laser Hair Removal
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
As the name suggests, laser hair removal utilises a monochromatic laser light to target the melanin in your hair, causing damage to your hair follicle. Then over the next couple of weeks, your treated hair will begin to fall out. The method can only be performed by a trained laser technician who uses professional laser hair removal products.
Advantages of Laser Hair Removal
Looking at the benefits of laser hair removal vs electrolysis, laser hair removal is much faster. This is because the laser light is able to target multiple hair follicles at once and therefore, can treat larger areas in minutes. As a result, popular large treatment areas such as your legs, back, chest can be treated in 30 minutes which is half the time of an electrolysis appointment.
With speedier treatment time also comes higher efficacy. You will be able to start seeing full permanent results in eight to twelve sessions. Also, each session is spaced out in four to six week intervals. Therefore, laser hair removal is a better option if you don’t have the time for weekly electrolysis appointments.
Disadvantages of Laser Hair Removal
A downside of laser hair removal is that the damage caused by the laser increases your skin’s photosensitivity. Photosensitivity is when your skin becomes sensitive to the UV rays from sunlight, increasing your chances of sunburn, rashes and skin cancer. If you do choose laser hair removal, ensure that you avoid direct exposure to the sun immediately after your treatment.
Furthermore, the laser light is very powerful and cannot be used around the eyes and eyebrows. This is why you and your laser technician need to wear eye protection during the procedure.
As previously mentioned, laser hair removal requires the presence of melanin and does not work if you have blonde, grey or red hair. And, on the opposite side of that, if you have dark skin, then it can be difficult for tthe laser to specifically target your unwanted hair.
Another drawback of laser hair removal is the potential post-treatment side effects. However, most of these are minor and temporary.
- Temporary redness and irritation
- Crusting which may lead to scabbing and scarring
So we give Laser Hair Removal a 4/5 star rating
How Does IPL Work?
IPL works to permanently remove your unwanted hair in the same way as laser hair removal. However, the main difference between IPL and laser hair removal is the type of light. This light is known as Intense Pulse Light and despite containing the word “intense”, IPL is actually less intense than laser.
Advantages of IPL
IPL shares almost all of the same great benefits over electrolysis as laser hair removal. However, the lower intensity light used in IPL increases safety while delivering results that are just as effective.
To further improve both safety and effectiveness, Zipple’s at home IPL device, the E-Flash 4C features a unique dimension called “regulation”. This ensures that the light output intensity of every flash stays uniform from beginning to end which makes the E-Flash much safer than other IPL devices.
If ranking laser hair removal vs electrolysis vs IPL in terms of affordability, then IPL is your best option. By investing in one E-Flash device that you can use multiple times, you are saving hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Though perhaps the most appealing advantage of IPL is the ability to achieve the same beautiful smooth skin you get with electrolysis or laser in your very own home. This saves you time travelling to and from salon appointments, as well as the added convenience of completing your treatments whenever you want.
Disadvantages of IPL
Just like laser hair removal, intense pulsed light is attracted to and absorbed by melanin. Therefore, IPL only works if you have dark hair and light skin.
So we give IPL a 5/5 star
The Bottom Line
When comparing laser hair removal vs electrolysis vs IPL, the best permanent hair removal method varies depending on the person.
If you have either dark skin, blonde hair, grey hair, or red hair and can handle the time commitment, cost and discomfort that comes with electrolysis, then electrolysis might be the right hair removal method for you.
For those of you who don’t have the time and pain tolerance for hour-long electrolysis appointments, then a good option for you is laser hair removal.
However, if you have light skin and dark hair and love the benefits of laser hair removal but want a more convenient, affordable and safer option, IPL will be your best choice for achieving smooth hairless skin.
So if you want long-lasting hair removal with the safest and most effective at-home IPL device, you can purchase your very own E-Flash right here. They come in five colours; coral, apple green, mint, navy blue and lilac.