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Electrolysis vs. LASER?

If you are seeking pre-surgical hair removal, you are advised to undergo electrolysis as the only form of hair removal in preparing for a gender-affirming surgery.

Unfortunately, many trans folks are given inadequate information and pursue other options (namely LASER hair removal) in preparation for surgery. As trans providers, we want you to have the best, clearest, and most true information possible: If you are having SRS, you want to do electrolysis.

This is because LASER hair removal can lead to regrowth, meaning that months or even years later, hair may regenerate. In almost all instances, this internal hair cannot be treated post-operatively without additional surgical procedures.


Electrolysis vs. LASER Hair Removal: What’s the Difference?

Electrolysis and LASER hair removal are two different hair removal methods and are NOT interchangeable treatments.


Electrolysis Hair Removal

  • Uses electrical pulses to treat hair follicles one-by-one.

  • Effective on all hair and skin tones.

  • Time consuming- due to only being able to treat one follicle at-a-time.

  • Electrolysis is the only FDA-approved method for permanent hair removal.


LASER Hair Removal

  • Uses light pulses to treat nickel-sized patches of hair by targeting the melanin in the hairs.

  • Requires color contrast between the skin and hair in order to be safe and effective.

  • Works very quickly to reduce overall hair appearance/thickness.

  • LASER hair removal is FDA-approved as permanent hair reduction, as regrowth can occur.

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