Laser, pulsed light, electrolysis: what choice for permanent hair removal? We wanted to compare these methods to find the one that meets your specific needs.

Laser, pulsed light (IPL), and electrolysis are some of the numerous methods for permanent hair removal available on the market. Therefore, it may seem complicated to choose one of them for many out there. But it is actually easy to find the method that suits your needs as they all have different advantages.

Laser and pulsed light: What is the difference?
Although permanent laser hair removal is different in some respects from pulsed light (IPL), the two techniques have many similarities. So, the principle both use to remove hair is the same: light waves which, once absorbed by the skin, are converted into heat to destroy the hair follicles permanently.

Also, these two techniques:

  • Treat all areas except the brow bone.
  • Requires an average of 10 treatments for complete hair removal (12 to 14 treatments may be necessary for heavier hair growth or for men).
  • Require a 5-6 week break between each session.
  • Work optimally on pale skin and dark hair.
  • Cannot treat blonde, red and white hair.
  • Both have the same restrictions and contraindications, especially regarding sun exposure, to avoid for the entire duration of treatment.

Although they are very similar, there are still specific differences between these two techniques, which may tip your decision towards a particular method depending on your preferences and needs. 

  • The laser emits a single wavelength in a straight line using a narrow tip while pulsed light emits different wavelengths using a much wider tip.
  • Due to the very concentrated appearance of the waves emitted by the laser, the pinch felt is more painful than that felt during pulsed light treatment.
  • Given the wider tip used during pulsed light treatment, the duration of a session is shorter than a laser session.
  • Pulsed light is a technology also used for photorejuvenation, meaning improving the appearance of the skin (spots, rosacea, texture, etc.)

Despite these few differences, you can see that laser hair removal and pulsed light (IPL) are very similar, with a few exceptions. Since both are very effective and virtually identical, choosing based on the clinic offering the service may be wise rather than the device used. For example, you may favor a medical-aesthetic clinic that you already go to, where you feel good, where the staff is qualified, courteous or which offers a range of different services that you wish to access in the future.

What about electrolysis?
Electrolysis is the oldest method of permanent hair removal used. Practiced for over a century, it consists of introducing a fine needle into the hair follicle and applying an ultra-rapid electric current to eliminate the bulb. This method is known for its great effectiveness and safety.


Who is electrolysis for?
Since electrolysis requires treating hairs individually, which is time-consuming, you may wonder why someone would choose this method over laser or pulsed light hair removal. It’s quite simple…

As mentioned earlier, not all types of hair can be treated with laser or pulsed light. Indeed, when blond, white or red hairs cannot be eliminated using these two methods, electrolysis will be the best choice.

The same goes for dark and black skin, getting less optimal results with pulsed light. Therefore, electrolysis works very well on dark skin as well as on light skin.

That's not all! Following a laser or pulsed light treatment, it is common and normal for tiny hairs to have resisted the treatment. It is then relevant, from a monetary point of view and given the small number of remaining hairs, to eliminate them through electrolysis rather than adding additional sessions to the treatment.

Ultimately, some people may turn to electrolysis to treat small areas where hair growth is low, such as the armpits, since the treatment time will be reasonable with fewer sessions than laser or pulsed light.

In conclusion

You are now familiar with several effective permanent hair removal methods. Some are particularly suited to specific skin and hair pigmentation types. Regardless of the method chosen, the important thing is to feel comfortable with where you will receive your sessions. Also, make sure that you only get professional-grade service using devices approved by Health Canada.

Visit our “Services” section for more details on each technique presented. You can fill out an online consultation form to get a free evaluation for a complete permanent hair removal treatment!