Electrolysis: Definition & Treatment (2024)

What device is used during electrolysis?

Medical electrolysis devices are called epilators. They destroy the growth center of the hair using an electric current.

What happens during electrolysis?

Electrologists use a thin needle, which is often even finer than the hair. They insert the needle into the opening of the hair follicle. A small electrical current destroys the hair growth cells. The skin where the needle enters may feel temporarily hot or like a pinch.

How many electrolysis treatments will I need?

You will need several appointments. The number of sessions needed to achieve permanent hair removal differs from person to person. Typically, you need an appointment every week or every other week. The appointments can last for up to a year and a half.

Treatment length depends on several factors, including the body area and the type of hair growing there. If you’re treating a larger area, or an area with coarse hair, you’ll need more treatments.

Why do I need so many electrolysis treatments?

Hairs have different growth cycles. Your hair follicle produces hair and discards it through shedding. This hair production cycle is a process of growth, rest and replacement. Individual hairs are in different phases of this cycle. More than one treatment catches the hairs at the right point in the cycle to destroy them.

How long does electrolysis treatment last?

An electrolysis treatment lasts anywhere between 15 minutes and one hour.

What do I need to know after the procedure?

For the first 24 hours after your treatment, try to avoid activities that may irritate the hair follicles, including:

  • Anything that causes sweating.
  • Tanning.
  • Staying out in the sun.
  • Applying makeup.
Electrolysis: Definition & Treatment (2024)

FAQs

Electrolysis: Definition & Treatment? ›

What is electrolysis? Electrolysis is a hair removal treatment. A trained electrologist inserts a thin wire into the hair follicle under the surface of the skin. An electric current moves down the wire to the bottom of the follicle, destroying the hair root.

What is electrolysis treatment? ›

Electrolysis is a method of removing individual hairs from the face or body. Today's medical electrolysis devices destroy the growth center of the hair with chemical or heat energy. After a very fine wire is inserted into the hair follicle, the hair is removed with tweezers.

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.

How long does electrolysis last? ›

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.

What are the side effects of electrolysis? ›

Most side effects of electrolysis are mild but may include redness, swelling, blisters, scabs, dryness, and ingrown hairs. The commonest complication of the electrolysis is the skin edema. After treatment, your skin may be red, swollen (inflamed), and tender. These are temporary side effects.

Is electrolysis really painful? ›

Everyone interprets the sensation of electrolysis differently. Some people are very sensitive and feel stronger levels of pain, while others feel no pain at all. Some clients even fall asleep while they are being treated! With more and more treatments, you learn what to expect and adjust to how it makes you feel.

Does hair fall out immediately after electrolysis? ›

After any one session, expect a 50 to 60 percent drop off in hair growth. During the initial few sessions, hairs will begin to regrow after one to six weeks – as these hairs were dormant at the time of the procedure.

Who should avoid electrolysis? ›

Absolute Contra-Indications – Requires a Doctor's Note: Diabetes, heart condition, hemophilia, pacemaker, seizures, transplant, surgery.

What is better, electrolysis or laser? ›

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.

Why is electrolysis hair removal not 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 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 many sessions of electrolysis do you need for your face? ›

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.

Is electrolysis worth the money? ›

The Benefits of Electrolysis

Our experts gave a resounding "yes," touting the procedure for its ability to make the skin hair-free for good. Though electrolysis requires lengthy sessions (15 to 60 minutes) spaced one month apart (for roughly 12 to 30 sessions in total), Dr.

Where is the most painful area for electrolysis? ›

Under and near the nose is the single most sensitive area for electrolysis on the face. I also had electrolysis on my genitals prior to SRS and every zap in that area hurt much more than the any facial electrolysis.

Can electrolysis go wrong? ›

Electrolysis is very safe. Very slight risks of infection (from an unsterile needle) or scarring exist if the electrolysis is not done correctly. These risks are very low if you choose a certified, professional electrolysis practice. You may have a slight reddening of the skin during or right after treatment.

Why does my hair grow back after electrolysis? ›

Hormonal changes can affect hair regrowth after electrolysis hair removal. Hormones can stimulate hair growth, even in areas that have been treated with electrolysis. Hormonal imbalances, such as those caused by pregnancy, menopause, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can result in hair regrowth after electrolysis.

Does electrolysis really remove hair permanently? ›

Yes. Unlike other hair removal methods that offer a temporary solution, Electrolysis is permanent and is the only FDA approved method of permanent hair removal.

What is better, laser or electrolysis? ›

Electrolysis is considered a more permanent solution than laser hair removal (it stops hair growth completely while laser hair removal slows and reduces hair growth), but it requires more individual sessions (closer to 14), and the sessions can take longer. You might not see full results for nearly 18 months.

Is electrolysis very expensive? ›

A one-hour session can range anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the area being treated. Electrolysis hair removal is often more expensive compared to other methods, but it is more effective in the long run as the results are permanent.

What exactly happens during electrolysis? ›

electrolysis, process by which electric current is passed through a substance to effect a chemical change. The chemical change is one in which the substance loses or gains an electron (oxidation or reduction).

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