Comparison of alexandrite laser and electrolysis for hair removal

Dermatol Surg. 2000 Jan;26(1):37-41. doi: 10.1046/j.1524-4725.2000.99104.x.


Background: Different techniques have been used for hair removal. Electrolytic epilation is a widely accepted method for this purpose. Recently laser hair removal was introduced.

Objective: To evaluate and compare the effectiveness of long-pulse alexandrite laser hair removal with electrolytic epilation.

Methods: Twenty-four areas of unwanted axillar hair in 12 patients were included in the study. The right axillar area of the patients was treated by electrolysis with an intensity of 4-8 mA, and the left area was treated with long-pulse alexandrite laser with fluences between 30 and 50 J/cm2. Electrolysis was performed four times at 3-week intervals, and laser treatment was performed three times at 4-week intervals. Before each session, the hairs in a 4 cm2 area centered in the axilla were counted. The last evaluation was done 6 months after the initial treatment. The pain, time, and cost of each procedure are compared.

Results: The average clearance rate of the hairs was 74% by laser and 35% by electrolysis 6 months after the initial treatment.

Conclusion: Alexandrite laser hair removal is a more reliable and practical solution than electrolysis. Laser hair removal is more expensive than electrolysis, but is 60 times faster and less painful than electrolysis; also fewer sessions are needed with the laser with better results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Axilla
  • Beryllium
  • Hair Removal / methods*
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Patient Satisfaction


  • alexandrite
  • Beryllium