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Waxing vs. Electrolysis: Which Hair Removal is Better?

By ULIKEBEAUTY
July 12, 2023
7 minutes

How exciting it is to know that there’s a truly permanent method of hair removal exists, right? Although IPL or Laser provides long-term results, they are not the FDA-approved method of permanent hair removal making electrolysis take the lead.

However, do you know all about electrolysis or is it just the hype making it look like the best hair removal out of all? Are you here to find out if electrolysis is really worth consideration and its cost? Do you plan on stopping to book your salon waxing sessions to get an electrolysis hair removal treatment?

Well, before jumping into any decision haphazardly, we suggest you look for a detailed comparison between electrolysis and your regular hair removal method to decide which will offer better results. So, in this article, we’ll find out which electrolysis and waxing is better.

Waxing vs. Electrolysis

The Technique

The technique of electrolysis and waxing stand at 180 degrees with each other. Waxing is a hair removal method based on the mechanical epilation of unwanted hair.

In waxing, a waxing mixture is applied on the skin, and hair is ripped out of the skin as you pull the mixture out. It is because wax binds to the hair and does not let them go until they are removed from the roots.

Electrolysis is similar to laser as it uses heat to destroy the hair follicles. But here the source of heat and the process of applying it is different. As electrolysis only treats one hair follicle at one time, it is more of a targeted hair removal method.

In electrolysis, a thin metal wire is passed into the skin through the pores of the hair. This wire is then passed till it reaches the hair follicle and a current is applied which heats and annihilates the unwanted hair-producing cells.

Number of Treatments Required

You might have heard that waxing reduces hair regrowth and makes the hair thinner after each session. It is true but not entirely as the difference waxing makes is very minute and it will take decades for it to permanently remove unwanted hair with no surety of it happening at all.

Waxing is a routine-based hair removal method that you will have to go through every 15 days or a month. So, you need uncountable hair removal treatments with waxing.

The number of sessions with electrolysis depends upon the area you are treating, the density of hair, and the thickness of hair. People with fine hair on the face will need about 8 sessions while people with coarse hair on the legs may need 12 sessions.

And the number of sessions may increase up to 15 depending upon how your hair responds to this treatment. As each session is booked at the distance of a month, it takes 8 to 16 months to complete electrolysis hair removal treatment.

Time Taken in Each Treatment

Waxing remove the strips of hair in one go. The wax is applied over an area and strips are used to meticulously remove hair from it. So, depending upon the type of wax you are using and the surface area you are treating, waxing takes 10 minutes for the face to 30 minutes for the legs. Eventually, full body treatment will go on for an hour or so.

Electrolysis is even more time taking as it treats individual hair follicles and allows the current to heat every time. So, on average it takes 15 minutes to an hour depending upon the number of hair follicles present in an area. Similarly, full-body electrolysis treatment will take much longer.

How Long the Results Last

Waxing is a short-term hair removal method while electrolysis is a long-term one. With waxing, you can enjoy hairless skin for 3 to 6 weeks at most. Hair begins to regrow after 2 weeks and reaches its full length at 6 weeks.

With each treatment of electrolysis, you will see some of your hair fall off completely from its follicles while others will regrow thin and fine hair. So, once your whole body hair is fallen off after the completion of treatment sessions, the results last for a lifetime in most cases. But in some cases, new hair follicles regenerate.

Hair Removal Experience

Unfortunately, both hair removal treatments are painful. The experience of waxing differs on if you are getting a treatment in a salon or removing your own hair.

While both processes are painful and you have to mentally prepare yourself before each session, skin appears more smooth, and hair is removed more efficiently after professional treatments. On the other hand, you might experience broken or ingrown hair with self-waxing sessions.

In electrolysis, a needle is passed into the skin triggering the pain receptors. So, it gives you an injection-like sensation. In addition, a heated current is given to the skin making it sting. Also, you have you bear the pain for a long time because of the slow treatment of electrolysis but the intensity of pain is greater in waxing.

Compatible Skin and Hair Type

Both waxing and electrolysis can be a good solution to unwanted hair removal for people with dark skin tones or light hair colors. These do not depend on differences in pigmentation of skin and hair as does the laser.

So, people with all skin tones and hair colors can remove their unwanted hair with waxing or electrolysis. Also, people with sensitive skin and less pain tolerance might want to reconsider both methods. Plus, you can check how electrolysis compares with laser in electrolysis vs. laser hair removal .

Cost

If we talk about one-time sessions, an at-home waxing kit can be bought for $20 to $40 and a salon session of waxing will be for $50 to $100. The price of electrolysis is determined by hours. So, it costs the same $50 to $200 or more for an hour. Additionally, you can check the detailed cost of electrolysis in electrolysis hair removal cost .

Waxing will go on for a full lifetime and electrolysis will end after 2 years at max. So, the lifetime price of waxing is more even though electrolysis is an extremely expensive procedure.

Advantages

We will look at the advantages of waxing and electrolysis through a table.

Waxing

Electrolysis

  • Inexpensive at-home waxing kits

  • Hair becomes thinner progressively

  • Exfoliates the skin and makes it appear smooth

  • Permanent results

  • FDA-cleared and completely safe

  • Perfect for small areas like the face

Disadvantages

This table here is to find the disadvantages of waxing and electrolysis. In addition, you can know more about the aftereffects of electrolysis in the side effects of electrolysis hair removal .

Waxing

Electrolysis

  • Painful

  • Time-taking

  • Hair regrows back

  • Strawberry legs and ingrown hair

  • Painful

  • Expensive

  • Time-taking

  • Skin redness, swelling, and scaring

  • Chances of infection

A Better Alternative to Both: IPL Hair Removal

If you are someone who cannot go through the pain of electrolysis and is tired of monthly sessions of waxing, IPL can save you both from pain and repetitive hair removal treatments. Also, among countless IPL machines, Ulike Air3 hair removal IPL handset can become your favorite for the following reasons.

Salon-Like Results at Home With No Pain

Whether it is waxing or electrolysis, you have to travel to a salon after booking your appointments for smooth hairless skin. Not to mention the pain you will go through in both cases.

But you can do your unwanted hair removal treatments at home with Ulike as you chill in your bedroom or bathroom. Additionally, hair removal with Ulike Air3 is painless because of its sapphire ice-cooling technology.

Better Results in Fewer Number of Sessions

Waxing never ends and electrolysis takes 1 to 2 years to complete. But Ulike Air3 can significantly reduce hair in 3 weeks and in less than 3 months, your body will be completely hairless.

It is also gentle on the skin. So, with fewer side effects and quick treatment, it offers better results.

Cost-Effective

The lifetime cost of waxing and electrolysis may reach $20,000 or even more. But you can get your Ulike Air3 IPL handset with its unlimited flashes for only $379 and an even lesser price with a discount.

The price is many times less than electrolysis and it also allows you to do hair removal at any time making it most cost-effective in the long term.

Fast Treatment Time

You do not need to spare hours to have your unwanted hair removed with Ulike Air3, unlike electrolysis and waxing. First, you will save the time needed to travel to a salon. Then the gliding and stamping mode of Ulike with o.7 flashes per seconds speed treats the full body within 7 minutes excluding the 10 to 15 minutes you will need to shave the body.

FDA-Approved and Dermatologist Recommended

Last but not least, Ulike Air3 sapphire hair removal handset, just like electrolysis is approved by FDA. In addition, it is recommended by doctors as well. So, it is a safe hair removal method.

Comparison Table

This comparison table shows a quick comparison of electrolysis, waxing, and IPL. also, check out the comparison of waxing vs IPL here.

Parameter

Waxing

Electrolysis

IPL (Air3)

Winner

Cost

$20 to $100 for 1 session

$50 to $200 for 1 session

$379 for a lifetime

IPL

Done at

Salon

Salon

At-home

IPL

Compatible for

All skin types and hair

All skin types and hair

Light skin and dark hair

Waxing and electrolysis

Painful

Yes

Yes

No

IPL

Lasts for

1 month

Lifetime

6 months to a year

Electrolysis

Safe

Yes

Yes

Yes

All

Treatment time

1 hour

1 to 2 hours

7 to 15 minutes

IPL

Suitable areas

Full body and face but better for large area

Full body and face but better for small areas

Better for full body and face

IPL

Principle

Pulling out hair

Current annihilation

IPL annihilation

IPL and electrolysis

Conclusion

While waxing seems like an inexpensive method of hair removal when done at home, it is cost-effective only for the term in addition to giving you hairless skin for a short time as well.

So, electrolysis brings an expensive yet long-term solution for hair removal for people with all skin tones and hair colors. But sadly, both methods of hair removal are painful even when they are approved by FDA and are safe for the skin.

So, if you have a fair skin tone and dark hair color with low pain tolerance or if you cannot afford the $20,000 electrolysis, IPL hair removal is the best method to get rid of unwanted hair for you. It is economical, painless, safe, FDA-cleared, and gentle on the skin in addition to providing long-lasting results and being recommended by dermatologists.

ULIKEBEAUTY
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