Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis : Which is Better for You?

Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis : Which is Better for You?

The Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis Debate

We all want the highest quality and best service when we go to a doctor, lawyer, choose schools for our kids, or pick a new restaurant. However, often if you are just starting out, you don’t know where to turn to get the best return on your dollar. You want to avoid rookie hair removal mistakes.


So let me give you some advice if you are considering removing unwanted hair. For most people it boils down to two alternatives if you want long lasting results. Tweezing, plucking, waxing, and shaving are only temporary measures.

So what will it be?

Laser hair removal or electrolysis?

Hundreds of thousands of men and women are in the same boat. You need to know where to turn. In this blog article, I will break it down for you to make your final decision easier to make. Your decision is a very personal one that may not be right for your friends or family members.

What are your goals? Do you want your hair removed over a large area quickly? Then laser fits the bill. Are your hairs blond gray or red? Then electrolysis is the best way to go. In addition, you need something that will outlast trends.

A True Story about a Previous Client

A young woman in her early 20’s came to us who had been extremely embarrassed about her heavy facial hair. She carried a razor in her purse for years to keep up with the constant hair growth during the day so no one would detect a five o’clock shadow. She had been to the cosmetic department at Macy’s for more help on the best make up to hide her stubble after she shaved.

After a consultation at our medical office, I determined that she probably had polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is not rare. After consultation with an endocrinologist, her diagnosis was confirmed and hormonal treatment was begun. She started laser hair removal treatments.

Knowing her diagnosis ahead of time allowed us to set realistic expectations and design a treatment plan that would have likely failed if she had gone to a spa or a chain laser office where doctors do not set foot.

She is extremely happy with her results and sends her friends to us. To me, it’s so weird that people go to spas for medical treatments like laser. Electrologists and others argue that laser treatments are not “serious” procedures because they are cosmetic.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Seriously.


The number of lawsuits from laser hair removal is increasing rapidly. State laws regulate the industry. Regulations are ambiguous and vary from state to state. Too many untrained and inexperienced non-medical personnel are involved. Complications and inadequate treatments result.

Pros and Cons: Laser vs. Electrolysis

Pros and Cons for Laser:

  • Much faster (60 times)
  • Less invasive
  • Does not break the skin
  • Ideal when treating large areas like legs, back or chest
  • Works best with dark hair and light skin
  • Less painful than electrolysis
  • Less expensive in the long run because…
  • Fewer treatments are needed

Pros and Cons for Electrolysis:

  • Permanent Hair removal is more complete
  • Can treat gray, blond or red hair
  • Very time consuming requiring many more trips to the facility
  • Only one hair at a time can be treated
  • Tedious
  • Tiny needles are used which break the skin
  • Potential for infection and communicating blood borne diseases
  • Average time to treat a small area like chin is about ten months
  • Doctors are not involved overseeing your care

Here is an example of the time involved for laser hair removal vs. electrolysis:

For example, one treatment on the eyebrows with electrolysis can take 15- 30 minutes. About 15 – 30 sessions are needed to get the best results.

Laser hair removal on a lip or face takes 10-15 minutes or less. There are less treatments required and there are faster results.

What is the Opinion from the Medical Community on Which Method is Best for Hair Removal?

If you want some medical doctor’s opinions about which is better, look for unfiltered opinions from over a dozen physicians on the subject on the internet. The consensus is that after considering the pros and cons for most people, laser hair removal wins out.

The answer is pretty conclusive.

How is that for a transition?


You can’t argue the fact that laser hair removal’s popularity is growing a great deal faster than electrolysis.

The pros and cons comparing laser hair removal vs. electrolysis are critical in making your personal decision on which to choose. Since everyone’s hair and skin are different, you have to choose which method is best for you. Some people may need a combination of these two methods of hair removal to achieve their goals.

The most important thing that I have learned in practicing medicine for over thirty years is that you must keep your promises to earn your patient’s trust. I believe that you will be more than satisfied if you are a candidate for laser hair removal and receive our services.

People say that having laser hair removal at our doctor’s office is the best thing that they have ever done for themselves. You can take my word on that.

If you are interested in learning more, give us a call at 724-969-0600 or contact us here.

About The Author

Dr. John Happel

Dr. John Happel has been in practice as a surgeon since 1986 in the Pittsburgh region. He specializes in vascular surgery and has subspecialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1999. Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and recertified in vascular surgery in 2012. He was chosen in 1985 to fulfill the position for the vascular surgical fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.

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