What is Electrolysis?

laser-hair-removal-legElectrolysis is a popular method of hair removal. It works by destroying the center of the hair where growth occurs with chemical or heat energy. A tiny probe is inserted into the follicle and the hair is taken out with tweezers. Electrolysis can be done on many different areas of the body. It is most commonly preformed on the face, chest, legs and back. There are no permanent side effects. Electrolysis requires multiple appointments in order for the hair to be permanently removed.


The cost of electrolysis varies depending on the amount of hair that needs to be removed and the size of the area being treated. The location of the facility and the credentials of the electrologist will also influence the cost. It is important to research the reputation of the facility so that you can avoid being scammed and will be pleased with your results. It is crucial to follow the electrologist’s instructions regarding care before and after the procedure. Areas that have been waxed and tweezed will require more frequent appointments than areas that have been shaved.

The Procedure

Before choosing a facility and electrologist do thorough research in order to guarantee the best results and appropriate costs. The electrologist will use an electrode or probe to apply electric current to each individual hair follicle that is being treated. The current will destroy the root of the hair which prevents further growth. Electrolysis can be somewhat painful and time-consuming because it targets each hair individually. Each hair follicle is treated for approximately one minute. It is important to book a course of treatment in order to complete an electrolysis procedure because hair grows at different rates. It will take between fifteen and thirty treatments in order to get long-lasting hair removal. There are different types of electrolysis available including galvanic electrolysis and thermolysis. Galvanic electrolysis uses chemicals as conductors. In this treatment the needle will transmit an electrical current to the hair follicle and reacts which produces sodium hydroxide. Heated sodium hydroxide destroys follicle successfully. Thermolysis is the practice of using water to destroy the hair follicle. The needle will transmit an alternating current to vibrate the hair follicle. The water molecules are shaken by the vibration which causes them to heat up and destroys the unwanted hair follicle. There are also at home electrolysis kits available, which usually come in the form of an electric tweezer. This method is considered unsafe and is not recommended. Electrolysis should be performed by a professional where safety and risk reduction is practiced. Electrolysis is a preferred method of hair removal for many including those of African descent. The hair shafts in those of African descent are typically curved making it tough to wax, shave or pluck. Electrolysis allows the hair and the hair follicle to be permanently destroyed. Treatment lasts fifteen minutes to one hour, depending on the size of the area being treated. At the end of your electrolysis procedure you may experiences some redness and minor pain, but that should dissipate within a few hours.


There are some minor risks involved with electrolysis including pain during treatment. The technician may apply a numbing cream to help alleviate this issue. There may also be scarring and inflammation at the treated area. Electrolysis may also be considered expensive and time-consuming. Electrolysis treatment is not recommended for those with sensitive skin and pacemakers.


Immediately following the electrolysis treatment you may notice redness and slight inflammation of the surrounding skin. The electrologist will provide you with post treatment instructions which should be followed directly in order to have a positive outcome. Treat skin with products designed for sensitive skin for the first few days after treatment to avoid further irritation.


In order to achieve permanent or semi-permanent hair loss electrolysis treatments will have to be done multiple times. Each session is scheduled within a few weeks to maintain the destruction of the hair follicle. It may take upwards of 15 to 30 treatments for permanent hair loss. If you notice any skin discoloration, swelling at the treated site or any other symptoms contact your doctor to schedule an appointment.