Electrolysis Hair Removal: What to Expect from the Procedure

Electrolysis hair removal is an FDA-approved treatment to get rid of unwanted or excess hair. It’s safe and effective for people of all ages and a suitable treatment for all hair and skin types. The Food and Drug Administration says that electrolysis hair removal is the only permanent solution available today.

Electrolysis hair removal works by sending a tiny amount of electricity to the hair follicle base. The current eliminates the follicle’s ability to regrow, resulting in permanent hair removal. Most people must receive multiple electrolysis treatments to permanently remove unwanted hair.

This article is intended to provide general information about electrolysis hair removal and the pros and cons of receiving electrolysis to achieve the client’s personal hair removal goals.

How Does Electrolysis Work?

woman undergoing Electrolysis Hair Removal

Electrolysis hair removal works by sending an ultra-thin probe-like needle into the targeted hair follicle. A licensed, board-certified electrologist inserts the needle into a specific hair follicle and applies sufficient electric current to kill the hair root. Because it destroys the follicle, it won’t regrow hair.

However, hair follicles usually grow hair at different rates and times. For that reason, achieving permanent hair removal may take more than one visit. For instance, if the electrologist treats a hair today, your skin’s dormant follicles are likely to grow hair prior to the next treatment session.

Although the originally treated hair is destroyed and can’t regrow hair, it’s important to understand that the electrologist is actually treating a multiple-follicle system for each hair on the skin. Electrolysis hair removal requires multiple treatments for that reason.

Before the first treatment, the electrologist will offer you a free consultation. He or she will ask questions about your health history and explain what to expect during and after electrolysis treatments. It’s your opportunity to ask questions at that time.

Most clients want to know how long it will take for electrolysis hair removal to remove unwanted hair. If you want to treat a large area, it’s best to have realistic expectations. The electrologist will provide an estimate and recommend a treatment schedule during the consultation, but actual treatment times can take a shorter or longer period of time.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Electrolysis Hair Removal?


before and after pictures of a woman who has undergone electrolysis hair removal treatment

One of the most important pros of electrolysis is that it’s a proven permanent hair removal method. Most people who want to permanently rid themselves of a small or large amount of hair can use electrolysis hair removal to achieve their goals. In addition:

  • Electrolysis has a long-term track record of success. It’s the only FDA-approved method to permanently remove hair. If you don’t want to deal with shaving, waxing, plucking, or laser treatments, electrolysis might be the best hair removal option.
  • Electrolysis hair removal is versatile. Unlike laser hair removal, people with all hair and skin pigment types can use electrolysis. Electrolysis hair removal targets the follicle, not the client’s skin and hair color.


There are cons to consider about electrolysis hair removal. To achieve best results, you must identify an experienced electrologist and commit to a treatment plan. In addition:

  • It can take a long time to complete electrolysis hair removal. If your technician recommends a monthly treatment session, you may need 12 to 30 sessions before achieving the best results.
  • Electrolysis hair removal is expensive when compared to temporary hair removal methods like shaving. However, depending on where you live, electrolysis can be a bargain when compared to laser hair removal sessions.
  • The cost of electrolysis depends on the treatment area. If you’re treating coarse hair at the bikini line, you’ll probably need more sessions to achieve complete hair removal. Finer hairs and a small treatment area can require less time and money to treat.
  • If you’re treating a few embarrassing stray chin hairs, the cost required to throw away your tweezers may be worth much more than the cost of electrolysis hair removal treatments.
  • You’ll probably experience some pain with electrolysis hair removal treatments. However, taking a pain reliever about an hour before the treatment session can help. Apply ice after each session to reduce minimal swelling.

Why Electrolysis Hair Removal Should Not Be Done at Home

Professional electrolysis isn’t a do-it-yourself project and most electrolysis machines sold for home use are ineffective at accomplishing permanent hair removal.

A licensed electrologist must adhere to CDC-established infection control standards. These standards require the electrologist to use sterile, disposable probes/needles and gloves. He or she must use sterilized tools.

An experienced electrologist with up-to-date electrolysis hair removal tools and equipment is committed to making the electrolysis hair removal process more efficient. Electrologists with a large client following often rely on word-of-mouth advertising. Professionals work with doctors and self-referred clients to achieve hair removal goals and, ultimately, clear and beautiful skin.

Precautions to Remember Before Trying Electrolysis Hair Removal

legs of a woman with smooth, hairless skin

Do your research before scheduling treatment sessions with an electrologist. Check your state licensing board for board-approved professional electrologists.

Identifying an experienced electrologist can help you avoid possible skin damage or negative results. Electrologists work with electricity and, in the hands of an inexperienced technician, the client can experience permanent skin discoloration, bleeding, or excessive discomfort.

An inexperienced technician can also increase the time needed to achieve hair removal goals. More appointments will add to the total cost of electrolysis hair removal treatments.

If you’ve previously waxed or tweezed the treatment area for a long time before consulting an electrologist, say so. Temporary hair removal treatments can cause misshapen follicles that are potentially more challenging to treat.

Don’t be tempted to try a part-time electrologist at the salon or an uncertified electrologist who charges less than an experienced and board-certified professional. Saving a few dollars per treatment session isn’t worth it.

Avoid touching the treatment area after your electrolysis hair removal treatment. Clean the area with mild soap and lukewarm water. Don’t expose the treated skin to sunlight for at least two days after your session. Wear sunscreen recommended by your electrologist if you’re receiving electrolysis hair removal treatments on sun-exposed facial and body skin.

Electrolysis hair removal is the only permanent solution available today for leaving your skin hair-free. Although generally considered to be safe, one does need to take the necessary precautions both before and after trying this procedure. Do remember that only an experienced electrologist can avoid skin damage or unpleasant results.

Let us know how your experience went. Are you happy with the outcome?