Electrolysis or laser? that is a question I get asked frequently both are popular and which is best. Laser hair removal and electrolysis are the two most popular methods of getting rid of unwanted hair permanently. Both treatments target the hair follicles beneath the surface of the skin to prevent the growth of hair.

Laser hair removal a uses a beam of light to delivers radiation to target the hair follicles while in electrolysis a  metal probe is inserted into the follicle and an electrical current used to destroy the hair follicle.

Considering the popularity of both methods let’s see how they each compare in different areas

Target Audience

Laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment in the hair follicle so can remove hairs on the people with light skin and dark hair. It doesn’t work on light coloured hair or dark skin.  While electrolysis can be used on anyone irrespective of their skin or hair colour because it targets the hair follicles and not only the hair pigment.

Electrolysis 1, Laser 0

The time it takes for each session

Laser hair removal is able to target several sections of hair at the same time so a small area like your upper lip will take about 15-20 minutes. Electrolysis, on the other hand, takes much longer since each induvial hair is treated so the same area can take up to an hour or more

Electrolysis 0, Laser1

Number of sessions required

For a significant reduction in the hairs in the target area, you need at least 5-10 laser sessions and follow up visits within 6 months. Electrolysis requires   a similar number of sessions but require zero follow up once completed

Electrolysis 1, Laser 0

Side effects

Both Laser and electrolysis have different side effects. The side effects from Laser include damage to your eyes, stimulation of new hair in that area, burns and changes in pigmentation in the treatment area. While with electrolysis redness, swelling, dry skin, discolouration and an increase in ingrown hairs may be the result.

Cost Comparison

When it comes to comparison of laser hair removal vs. electrolysis in terms of cost, there is no price difference in the cost per session. In Nigeria the cost of laser and electrolysis is about the same depending on the target area and roughly the same number of sessions is required. However, with the laser, there is a need for follow up treatments unlike electrolysis which does not make laser slightly more expensive

Electrolysis 1, Laser 0

Pain levels

Electrolysis: Some slight discomfort can be expected during treatment. A brief pinch and heat sensation is commonly felt but only lasts for a short time.

Laser: Some low discomfort can be expected during treatment. A mild snap and heat sensation can be felt with each light pulse. The chilled tip of the laser cools the skin before and after each pulse to minimize discomfort.

Electrolysis 1, Laser 1

Size of the area covered

Electrolysis is best-suited for small areas of hair removal because each individual follicle must be treated making it extremely time-consuming. Lasers on the other hand and be used for large and small areas of the body

Electrolysis 0, Laser 1


Electrolysis removes hairs permanently while laser leads to a significant reduction on the hairs in the target area.

Electrolysis 1, Laser 0.

Electrolysis vs laser which is best?

So what does this mean for you and which should you choose, well if you are very dark or have blonde hair then the laser is out. If the area to be covered is large then using a laser is the better method because it is less time-intensive and can target multiple hairs at the same time. Likewise, if the area is small like your chin and jawline and you want to get rid of ingrown hairs then electrolysis is the best choice. So sadly the answer to the question is it depends.

If you would like to get either you can check out Skin101 in Abuja or Belfiore medical in Lagos

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  1. 2020-11-19 / 3:04 am

    Unwanted hair removal process which is the best, can you imagine? Both electronical and laser hair removal products are useful for doing unwanted hair removal. But you can use laser hair removal.

  2. 2022-02-16 / 1:29 pm

    Nice comparing electrolysis vs laser hair removal!

    When people get fed up with shaving, waxing, and using depilatory creams to fight an ongoing battle against unwanted facial and body hair, they often begin to explore electrolysis and laser hair removal options.

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