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Which type of hair removal removes hair permanently?

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While for some people the temporary removal of unwanted hair is enough, others just want it gone forever! Reasons vary, from cosmetic preferences to struggling with hirsuteness, sometimes the result of PCOS. Whatever your reason, it’s your body and your choice.

So what are the permanent hair removal options?

Basically there are three to consider:

  • Electrolysis
  • Laser
  • IPL

Which one you choose to use depends on your personal preferences. Some of your friends may say that laser did the trick for them, others may think that electrolysis is the best choice.

None of these options are instant. They take time and commitment to a number of sessions. So if you want to make sure you are hair-free for a summer holiday or a special occasion, then you need to think ahead.


While laser treats an area of hair, electrolysis removes each hair individually. It does this by sending a current through a fine probe into each individual hair follicle, Electrolysis works by sending a current from a metal probe down each individual hair with each hair removed using tweezers. The combination of the electrical current and a chemical reaction kills the hair follicle, preventing regrowth.

Because electrolysis tackles individual hairs it will take a lot longer than laser particularly when you want to treat an area, such as your legs.

It is better for some hair types as, unlike laser, it is effective on light, white, red and grey hair. But it is not suitable for darker skin types whereas laser is.

The number of sessions needed will vary from person to person depending on hair type and thickness. Due to the growing cycle, multiple sessions will be needed to permanently remove all the hair from the part of the body being treated.

Laser and IPL

Laser is Light Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation, while IPL is Intense Pulsed Light. They both use light to heat up the hair follicles and destroy the hair-producing cells in the targeted area. The main difference is that they use different types of light.

For Laser and IPL, you will need a series of sessions to ensure permanent hair removal. Usually this will be between 6 and 8 sessions spaced out over a number of months to align with your hair’s natural growth cycles.

Laser and IPL treatments are much quicker than electrolysis – in fact they have become even faster with IN-Motion technology as this means the laser machine’s hand piece can be swiped across large sections of skin. Depending on the size of the area being treated, you may find a leg laser treatment will be as quick as 30 minutes.

By undergoing a series of treatments you will achieve the best possible results, assuring your skin will stay as smooth and hair-free as possible.

You may need an annual ‘top up’ treatment to ensure that any sneaky regrowth is removed. How often you have a top up depends on hormones,  genetics, hair type and colour. Usually you will only need a top up once or twice a year, and if you only have a few areas to be touched up, your treatments will be much shorter.

While laser can be used for most hair types and skin tones, if yours is light, white, grey or red then laser is not the route to take. Laser machines use the melanin inside the hair to absorb pulsed light, but with light, white, grey and red hairs there is either very little pigment or no pigment at all. For this type of hair you might want to consider electrolysis.

Alternative hair removal options

If you decide you don’t want permanent hair removal, the most popular non-permanent methods include:

  • Depilatory creams
  • Waxing
  • Tweezing
  • Threading
  • Shaving

While these are temporary solutions that you can do at home, it may be worth considering using a clinic for some of these treatments, to make sure you get the best results and don’t damage your skin.


If you are set on permanent hair removal, your best bet is to discuss your options with an experienced clinic. Many offer a free initial consultation. Importantly, look for a clinic that offers a results guarantee and has a quality assurance policy.

Client testimonials are a good way of ascertaining the clinic’s reputation. Remember to look at different sites including Google to get a good overall picture.

Brigstock Skin & Laser is a good place to start for comparisons. There is plenty of information on our website that will help. To book your FREE initial consultation call now on 020 3820 4822 or click here.

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