Electrolysis or IPL? 10 things to consider when choosing permanent hair removal treatment

Written by Angela, 24th September 2019

When it comes to permanent hair removal, there are many reasons you’d opt for this treatment. It could be that unwanted hair is becoming a real nuisance. Many of us have been there – standing in your bathroom mirror, you reach for the tweezers – again – on that pesky hair that keeps coming back with a vengeance. It’s natural to want a more permanent solution. Or, it could simply be a matter of convenience. After all, keeping up with shaving can be uncomfortable and time-consuming due to its quick regrowth. Whatever the reason, at Sensoria we offer two great permanent hair treatment options: IPL & Electrolysis. But – how do you know which treatment to choose?

Don’t worry! We can help!

In this blog post, we will look in detail at IPL and electrolysis – and explain exactly what you need to think about when it comes to booking your treatment.

1. Your investment

The first thing that you may notice between electrolysis & IPL is the difference in price – which we can explain.

On a minute-by-minute basis, electrolysis is cheaper. However, you have to bear in mind how electrolysis works – the application targets only one hair follicle at a time.

In contrast, IPL treats much larger areas – heating multiple hair follicles at a time.

At Sensoria, we have payment plans in place to help you spread the cost.

2. Your time

So, when you consider how long it takes to do certain areas you can soon see that the price isn’t actually that different.

3. Your treatment area

This goes hand-in-hand with your time. For example, if you are looking to treat a larger area like the bikini line or underarms IPL may be more efficient.

4. Your hair type

Time, money and body parts aside, your hair colour can affect what treatment we would advise.

In fact, will always ask you what hair colour you have – because that can completely affect what treatments we can offer you. Any professionally trained therapist should always ask this.


IPL works really well with darker hair. This is because the hair absorbs the light and is heated – damaging the follicle. IPL can be ineffective on lighter and fairer hair – and is unable to target white, red or ginger hair.

Whereas, one of the great things about electrolysis is that it’s suitable for all hair types.

5. Your skin type

Due to the technology of IPL, again your skin tone greatly affects what you can opt for.

Ready for the science-part? Our hair and skin contain melanin – which IPL targets. In dark hair, there is a lot of melanin, so it absorbs the heat and kills the follicle easily. This works best on light skin – as there is little melanin in lighter skin – and therefore the lighter skin does not absorb the heat.

If you have darker skin – or even a tan – that means there is more melanin in your skin. Melanin absorbs the heat of the IPL – the treatment will most likely be less effective and, in some darker skin cases, even leave marks. Not very nice.

That’s why we can never recommend IPL for darker skin tones.

However, electrolysis is completely safe for all skin types.

6. Your experience

When carried out by a trained professional, neither IPL or electrolysis should be too uncomfortable.

However, everyone is different and some discomfort isn’t unusual.

Electrolysis can create a stinging or pinching sensation.

Whereas, IPL tends to create mild discomfort from the heat technology of the intense pulsed light. A slight ‘ hot snapping’ sensation is noticed at times but shouldn’t cause any dramatic levels of pain.

At Sensoria, we always encourage our clients to speak openly with us about your pain tolerance – we can always go at your pace to make sure the treatment is comfortable for you.

7. Your hair growth, your choice

If your hair is dark, your skin pale and you don’t mind the time or money that the treatments take then the deciding factor could come down to whether or not you’re happy to let your hairs grow in between treatment.

In the case of electrolysis, the hairs need to be visible in order for them to be removed as they will need to be lifted from the hair follicle with tweezers.

However, with IPL you never need to see hairs again as they need to be shaved close to the skin before treatment.

People are divided into two camps on whether or not they are comfortable with visible hair growth or shaving. It’s completely your choice when opting between permanent hair removal treatments

8. Your pre-treatment advice

When choosing permanent hair removal treatments, you should always be offered a full consultation beforehand – something we always do at Sensoria.

During an electrolysis consultation we will discuss any medical conditions you have – and any medication you are taking – to make sure the treatment is right for you.

With IPL, there is a little bit more careful prep involved. We ask you to protect the area to be treated from sunlight for a month before hand and avoid fake tans for a fortnight before. We then carry out a small patch test a week before treatment starts. and then ask that you keep the area to be treated out of sunlight for at least a month before treatment. You will need to shave close to the skin prior to your treatment.

9. Your aftercare advice

Electrolysis has a fairly quick recovery time – with it usually taking from 2 – 48 hours until you’re back to your normal routine, depending on your skin sensitivity.

At Sensoria, we will always recommend a calming after-treatment lotion too. Then, we advise you to leave the area untouched for at least 24 hours – which means avoiding wearing makeup, washing your face and anything that could make you excessively sweat. Cool, calm and clean is the way to go!

As for IPL – the main aftercare advice is to keep the treated area cool after your visit and avoiding sun exposure and fake tanning between treatments.

10. Your trust

Finally, one of the most important things you need to consider? Can you trust the therapist performing your permanent hair removal treatment?

Whether you opt for IPL or electrolysis, you need to be assured that you’re in hands of a professional in order to get great results… but most importantly, for your safety.

Unfortunately, the world of beauty treatments is unregulated – and this means that sometimes clients can be subject to poor – and even unsafe – treatments.

Expertly trained therapists at Sensoria

At Sensoria, education, training and safety is something we are passionate about – so our clients can have complete peace of mind. We are qualified, verified and insured by BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology) for your peace of mind.

Angela, MD at Sensoria, is well known in the Cheshire area, nationally and internationally for her safe and effective electrolysis clinics in Tarporley and Ellesmere Port.

Furthermore, this extends to our IPL treatments too. We use recognised Lynton Luminette equipment – part of the NHS supply train – to provide you with the best quality treatments.

All our therapists who carry out these treatments are trained by Angela and supported by professional bodies.

Related: Did you know our commitment to beauty standards secured us a nomination for Best Small Beauty Salon at BABTAC & CIBTAC awards?

Electrolysis & IPL hair removal experts in Cheshire

Is it clear what treatment is best for you after reading this blog?

Don’t worry if you’re still not completely sure – we will always talk you through hair removal options to help you decide what’s best. The most important thing is that the treatment is effective and safe for you.

For a free over-the-phone mini-consultation, give us a call today. Or, contact us here.

Originally published September 24, 2019 10:40am, updated January 15, 2024

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