Friday 7 June 2013

Permanent Hair Removal vs. Permanent Hair Reduction
The Permanent Choice

Posted by at 11:37 AM

Permanent Hair Removal vs. Permanent Hair Reduction

The Permanent Choice

Electrolysis is approved by the FDA to be the only* method for permanent hair removal. The FDA was formed back in 1906. I have been an electrologist since 1978. I couldn’t find the exact date it was approved , but needless to say it is a tried and true method. Permanent removal is the complete destruction of a treated hair follicle’s ability to generate another hair due to the destruction of germinative cells and dermal papilla. The expertise of the electrologist and the compliance of the patron to adhere to treatment protocol is essential to achieve satisfactory results.

* As noted in Wikipedia, laser hair removal wasn’t commercially available until the mid 1990's. One of the first published articles describing laser hair removal was authored by the group at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1998.

The FDA has defined permanent hair reduction as:

The long-term stable reduction in the number of hairs regrowing after a treatment regimen.

The number of hairs regrowing must be stable over time greater than the duration of the complete growth cycle of hair follicles, which varies from four to twelve months according to body location.

Permanent hair reduction does not necessarily imply the elimination of all hairs in the treatment area. The hair must be brown or black with sufficient melanin to absorb the proper wavelength of light to be treated effectively. Because the laser is not capable of treating white, blonde or red hair, we often combine laser with electrolysis.

In 2003, the FDA approved the Cynosure Alexandrite laser as a Class IV medical device targeting permanent hair reduction. Since 1999, the Nd:Yag 1064 nm and Diode 810 nm lasers have also been approved.


Laser hair removal has proven to be a very popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure; see current American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS ) statistics. It is a non-invasive, convenient way to permanently reduce unwanted facial and body hair. Electrolysis or Laser?

Which method is the best for you? Let us help you with the permanent choice.


Carol Dixon, RE, CLT

Electrolysis & Laser Center