Head-to-Head Comparison of Electrolysis and IPL Hair Removal Treatments
Let’s face it, hair removal gets very tiresome. After years of waxing, shaving, and tweezing, enough is enough! We just want that hair to be gone, and stay gone. That’s why so many people find permanent hair removal to be so appealing. It saves time and a lot of hassle from our everyday routines. But are all permanent hair removal methods equal? Definitely not, and today, you’ll discover exactly why.
While we’ve covered this in a previous post about electrolysis, this time we wanted to focus on how the two treatments work, and of course how they compare.
Each method of permanent hair removal is different, and as such will be more suited to some people than others. Such is the case with electrolysis. It’s a popular method of permanent hair removal that’s been around for a very long time. However, the advantage electrolysis has of being a permanent solution also comes with certain drawbacks, especially when compared intense pulsed light - IPL hair removal technology.
Now, it’s important to understand the specifics of how each of these methods work, and how they are used to permanently remove hair to understand and compare how the treatments differ. Let’s start with electrolysis.
What is electrolysis & how does it work?
Electrolysis treatments involve the process of using an electric current to kill the cells within a hair follicle that are responsible for hair growth. This is done by a professional electrologist, who will use a special machine that has a very fine needle on the end of it. This needle is inserted in to the opening of the follicle, and a pulse of electric current is delivered directly in to the hair root, killing the cells that grow the hair. This process is repeated for each individual hair to be treated, and takes multiple sessions before permanent results are achieved.
The electric current used in electrolysis destroys the cells inside the follicle using one of three different modalities. These modalities are:
Galvanic electrolysis – the electric current creates a chemical reaction within the follicle itself, which affects the hair growth cells
Thermolysis – this modality uses short-wave radio frequencies to generate heat within the follicle, and can be adjusted to higher or lower intensity
Combination – using both galvanic electrolysis and thermolysis in combination, the effects are accelerated as the heat is added to the chemical reaction within the follicle
The modality used in each persons’ electrolysis treatments is chosen by the professional electrologist based on which is determined to be the most effective or appropriate modality for that particular individual.
What are the benefits of electrolysis?
The most significant benefit of electrolysis is that the results are indeed permanent once all the treatments have been successfully completed. Electrolysis is also effective on all types of hair, regardless of its tone, thickness, or location on the body, and is suitable for people of all skin tones. Some other methods, such as laser hair removal, are not as effective at treating patients who do not have a distinct contrast between hair and skin tone.
Electrolysis is also extremely effective at targeting very precise areas and patterns for permanent removal because it relies on treating each hair individually. Other treatment methods that target an area or group of hairs simultaneously may not provide as precise a hair removal pattern if the patient desires it.
What are the disadvantages of electrolysis?
As appealing as the benefits of electrolysis may be, it’s also important to understand the shortcomings of this hair removal method, and why it may not be an ideal solution for all people.
For example, for best results with electrolysis, it’s essential to have the treatments done by a professional. These appointments are time consuming, as it takes time to treat each individual hair. Professional electrolysis can also be very costly, with the total cost of achieving permanent results rising to $2000 or more, depending on the scope and frequency of their hair removal treatments.
The length of the treatment cycle for electrolysis can also be a major issue for many patients who consider this method. Certain types of hair, specifically those types that are thicker or darker, may take several more treatments than hair that is thinner and lighter. For some patients, this could mean as many as 30 treatments or more to achieve the desired results.
It’s also common for electrolysis patients to report experiencing discomfort or pain during or following a treatment session. This is simply due to the nature of how electrolysis works, and the pain normally subsides over a short period of time. Nevertheless, if the costs weren’t enough, the notion of multiple sessions and recurring pain is enough to turn many people off the process.
In some rare cases, there have been instances of infections or adverse health effects caused by improperly cleaned electrolysis equipment or unsterilized needles. This emphasizes the critical importance of choosing a reputable and certified clinic when opting for electrolysis treatments. The cost may be higher, but your health and safety should never be compromised.
How does Intense Pulsed Light hair removal compare to electrolysis?
As an alternative, IPL hair removal devices offer many of the same benefits and advantages of electrolysis, but do not carry the same list of disadvantages. Let’s explore some of the ways that IPL hair removal devices compare to electrolysis.
Many advocates of electrolysis highlight the fact that true laser hair removal is only suitable for individuals with light skin and dark hair in order for it to work properly, the same cannot be said for IPL devices. Quality intense pulsed light hair removal devices address this shortcoming of laser hair removal by delivering a much broader spectrum of light, this means a wider range of skin and hair tones that can be effectively treated. This brings IPL devices much more in-line with electrolysis in terms of the variety of hair types and skin tones that can be treated.
IPL hair removal devices are far more cost-effective as well, starting around $200 for a device that can be used in the comfort of your own home. This is incredibly affordable when compared to the potential of spending thousands on electrolysis treatments over the course of your entire treatment.
When it comes to time commitment, there’s simply no comparison between IPL and electrolysis. If you stack up the hours needed for all the electrolysis treatments, and the need to coordinate treatments around a busy work/life schedule, you’d be amazed at the time cost associated with electrolysis. IPL hair removal can be done at home, whenever you like, making it a far more appealing option for those of us who never seem to have an opening on our calendars.
So, What’s the Best Choice?
As with many other choices we make throughout so many aspects of our lives, the answer as to which is the best option always comes down to the two words; “it depends”. If you have a very dark skin tone or an extremely light hair tone, then light-based hair removal may not deliver the results you’re hoping for. In that case, electrolysis may be a good option for permanent hair removal, as long as you are ok with the cost, time commitment, and potential for discomfort.
For those individuals who want a more convenient, comfortable, and affordable option, then IPL could be the best choice for your permanent hair removal goals. It does provide a much wider range of skin and hair tone combinations when compared to laser hair removal methods, and is easy to do in the comfort of your own home. For these reasons and more, IPL is quickly becoming the preferred hair removal method for many people around the world.
Watch this video depicting testimonial of three women and their experiences with Silk’n IPL hair removal devices.
IPL Hair Removal Treatments
If you’ve been shaving, waxing, or tweezing to achieve your preferred look and are ready to try a better option, Silk’n has the technology to make your permanent hair removal goals a reality.
Experience the difference that intense pulsed light hair removal offers. Explore the many models of IPL hair removal devices that Silk’n has to offer. Choose from compact, travel-ready devices such as the Silk’n Flash&Go Compact, or the Silk’n Infinity, the most advanced home IPL device for optimum results.
We’re confident that once you try a Silk’n IPL hair removal device, you’ll be amazed at the results and will wonder why you’d waited so long to try it. The time is now, and smooth, hair-free skin can be yours!