Considering Electrolysis? How Many Sessions Does It Take? - Alite Laser Hair Removal (2024)

Hair removal is one of the most common cosmetic procedures. People are increasingly opting for more permanent procedures, tired of waxing, shaving, and tweezing their hair. Amongst these is electrolysis. Despite being popular for over a century, electrolysis is often confused with laser hair removal. They’re completely different, however.

Such confusion creates a wariness of the procedure. Does it hurt? How many electrolysis sessions does it take? How long does it last?

We’re here to answer all these questions and more. In this article, we’ll discuss how many electrolysis sessions you may need, as well as what to expect after each session.

What is electrolysis?

Electrolysis is a hair removal procedure that involves removing individual hairs from the face or body. To do so, a needle is inserted into your skin, and an electrical current is passed through it. This heats up the surrounding tissue, damaging the hair follicle and causing it to break.

The result is a noticeable decrease in hair growth after a session. In fact, the hair will fall out in the subsequent hours and days.

However, most practitioners will remove the hair with tweezers after destroying the hair follicle. Due to the nature of the treatment, not all body areas are suitable for the process. In general, the eyebrows, face, abdomen, thighs, breasts, and legs can undergo electrolysis.

Electrolysis: How many sessions will you need?

The answer is it depends. Hair follicles change depending on the body area in question. They can be further down in the skin or more resilient. You’ll also need to factor in the thickness and density of the hair. The more hair follicles, the more sessions you’ll need to remove them.

In addition, most hair follicles will need to be targeted at least twice to have a permanent effect. Expect to go through around eight to twelve sessions for a permanent result. That may seem like a lot. However, it’s important to remember – the results last forever.

Indeed, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) consider electrolysis the only permanent hair removal method. All other methods will still result in hair regrowth because they do not remove the hair follicle itself.

It takes, on average, about 12 months to complete all the sessions. Though, in some cases, electrolysis treatment can continue for up to 24 months. Again, it’s all dependent on the hair type and body area.

The upside is each treatment lasts between 15 to 60 minutes. So, you can even book a session for your lunch hour!

Types of electrolysis hair removal

Contrary to popular belief, there are multiple types of electrolysis hair removal. Some date back over hundred years, and others are more recent innovations.

The Galvanic method is named after Luigi Galvanic. However, the technique was first developed in 1875 by ophthalmologist Charles Michel. He used it to remove ingrown eyelashes. The procedure delivers 0 to 3 milliamperes of power to the body. A follicular probe directs the charge to the follicle, causing a form of chemical electrolysis.

Thermolysis, as the name suggests, uses heat. It’s also known as radiofrequency, shortwave, or diathermy. Developed by Henry Bordier in the 1920s, it works by heating the hair matrix cells to 40 to 50 °C (118 to 122 °F), causing electrocoagulation.

The Bland method uses a combination of the above methods. It was pioneered in 1948 by Arthur Kinkel, involving a direct current and radiofrequency to boost performance.

Does hair grow back?

Despite being considered the only true form of permanent hair removal, hair can still grow back. Nevertheless, future hair growth will be finer and sparser – it may even stop after multiple sessions.

No hair removal technique can 100 percent guarantee the removal of all hairs forever. There are just too many follicles in your skin. But, electrolysis is one of the most effective of all the techniques.

How does electrolysis compare to other techniques?

Electrolysis is most frequently compared to laser hair removal. Both are amongst the most permanent treatments available. Laser hair removal is perhaps slightly less permanent than electrolysis, as it thoroughly damages the hair follicle.

On the other hand, laser therapy targets melanin (color) in the hair. So, as treatment progresses, the hair will lighten. That’s particularly beneficial if you’ve got darker hair and lighter skin. Pricewise, electrolysis also tends to be the cheaper option.

Chemical treatments, like liquids or creams, can also be used to remove hair. However, these products are often irritating to the skin and do little to remove the hair permanently. Nor do cosmetic techniques like waxing yield the long-lasting benefits of electrolysis. It’s also a lot more painful.

Side effects of electrolysis

Electrolysis is a safe procedure with minimal to no side effects for most people. Nonetheless, all procedures come with some risks. Here are the possible side effects of electrolysis:

  • Skin damage: Excess electrolysis can cause some skin damage. You should only receive electrolysis from a trained electrologist.
  • Blisters: blistering is common after electrolysis. Typically, these blisters fade away within three days. If blisters continue to persist for longer, you seek medical attention. Never scratch or scrub blisters or the treatment area until fully healed.
  • Skin discoloration: Dark or brown spots can occur with electrolysis. Skin lightening cream can be used to reduce their visibility.
  • Burning sensation: This should not occur. However, if you have gone to an amateur, you may experience a burning sensation. Contact a professional dermatologist if you experience a burning sensation after treatment.
  • Face swelling: this is rare. However, if a large area is treated in one go, the irritation can lead to swelling. Apply ice to the area and leave to heal.


How many electrolysis sessions can you expect? Between eight to twelve sessions is typical. Sessions can take anywhere from 8 to 24 months to complete the full treatment. To get more information on electrolysis sessions, contact Alite Laser today.

Considering Electrolysis? How Many Sessions Does It Take? - Alite Laser Hair Removal (2024)


Considering Electrolysis? How Many Sessions Does It Take? - Alite Laser Hair Removal? ›

Between eight to twelve sessions is typical. Sessions can take anywhere from 8 to 24 months to complete the full treatment. To get more information on electrolysis sessions, contact Alite Laser today.

How many electrolysis sessions after laser hair removal? ›

Electrolysis is a slower process because each individual hair follicle has to be treated. One pass over the eyebrows may take 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the experience of the technician performing the procedure. The number of sessions can be as many as 15 before long-term progress is seen.

How long does electrolysis take vs laser hair removal? ›

Electrolysis sessions typically occur 2 weeks apart, and may require up to 30 treatments. Laser hair removal can be completed in just 4-8 sessions, spaced 4-6 weeks apart. While annual touch-ups are needed for laser hair removal, the procedure is much less time consuming than electrolysis.

How many sessions are required for electrolysis hair removal? ›

Generally speaking, you are likely to require between 8 and 12 treatments. The average time from start to finish is about 12 months. It can take anything from 8 months up to 2 years in some cases. The total number of sessions needed to remove hair permanently from a particular area will vary from person to person.

Which last longer laser hair removal or electrolysis? ›

Electrolysis requires more and longer sessions, with full results seen in closer to 18 months; those results, however, last longer and require fewer touch-ups. This is because electrolysis actually stops hair growth, while laser hair removal steadily slows growth and thins hair over time.

What is a downside to electrolysis? ›

Electrolysis Cons

It's a time-consuming procedure requiring multiple sessions. Skin discoloration is a possibility. The electricity in the device can actually destroy the capillaries in the surrounding areas. It can be very painful. It is not recommended for people with rosacea since the skin is so easily irritated.

Does electrolysis work better after laser hair removal? ›

Also, doing one procedure and then the other isn't a good idea. For example, getting electrolysis done after laser hair removal disrupts the effects of the first procedure.

Should I get laser before electrolysis? ›

You do not want to have both electrolysis and laser done on the same area of your body at the same time; however, some people start their hair removal process with laser, wait a few months to see what growth remains, and finish the process with electrolysis.

Does hair grow back slower after electrolysis? ›

Some hairs will grow back after electrolysis. However, as you undergo more and more sessions, the number of hairs that grow back each time decreases. If the hair doesn't regrow after more than three months, it will never come back again.

Which is more painful, electrolysis or laser? ›

Experts will advise you to take a pain reliever one hour before the treatment and also to apply ice after the session. Electrolysis is experienced as more painful than laser hair removal procedures.

How many sessions of electrolysis chin? ›

The exact number of sessions varies. However, it usually runs between 8 and 12 sessions. Nevertheless, it's important to remember that outcomes can differ among individuals, and certain individuals might necessitate a greater or lesser number of sessions.

What is the cost of an electrolysis process? ›

The cost of electrolysis hair removal can vary depending on the size of the area being treated and the number of sessions needed. A one-hour session can range anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the area being treated.

How many hairs can electrolysis remove? ›

How Much Hair Can Be Removed in One Session? Electrolysis damages roughly 35% of hair per session — the amount may be lower or higher depending on your hair type. An electrologist may be able to eliminate soft hair quicker than coarse hair since the former is easier to destroy.

Why isn't electrolysis more popular? ›

Dr Emma Wedgeworth, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, explains that electrolysis has become less popular with the introduction of laser hair removal because it is much more time-consuming (hairs are zapped individually) and requires weekly appointments for a year or more.

What is more expensive, electrolysis or laser hair removal? ›

electrolysis in terms of cost, laser hair removal is cheaper than electrolysis. On the average, laser hair removal costs $200 – $400 per session while a 30-minute session for a small area will attract a cost of $45. However, several sessions will be required than what will be required in laser hair removal treatment.

How long does electrolysis take to permanently remove hair? ›

Electrolysis only destroys about 35 percent of hair follicles per session, says Elise, so it can take up to 18 electrolysis sessions spaced three to four weeks apart to completely remove hair from a single area, says Elise. Remember: Permanence takes time, especially when you factor in how your hair grows.

How long to wait in between electrolysis sessions? ›

Treatments should be repeated every two to four weeks for maximum effectiveness. Electrolysis works best when the hairs are in the active growing phase. For the maximum result we recommend not waiting more than two to three weeks once you have seen the new hair growth appear.

What happens if you stop electrolysis? ›

It is therefore very important that electrolysis is performed upon the detection of re-growth. Left untreated, hair will reconstitute itself to its original diameter and depth. Once a treatment program begins, it is important that appointments are kept to the predetermined schedule set at the beginning of your program.

How fast does hair grow back after electrolysis? ›

Hair in the final week of resting appears within one week

This hair will start growing the day after the electrolysis session. It will appear on the surface of the skin within the week. The early anagen hair will even reach the surface in less than a week.

Can you see results after one session of electrolysis? ›

Clients Should Come for a Minimum of 10 Sessions

Another general rule of thumb is that most clients will need to come for at least 10-14 sessions before the full electrolysis results will kick in. However, this is just a minimum. Some people may have to wait 8-18 months to see the full results.

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