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Hair removal electrolysis side effects: Electrolysis for Removing Hair | Michigan Medicine


Electrolysis for Removing Hair | Michigan Medicine

Treatment Overview

Electrolysis is a common method of removing unwanted hair. A small needle or thin metal probe is inserted into the opening of the skin where hair grows (small sacs beneath the skin called hair follicles). Next, a low-level electrical current passes through the needle or probe into your skin and destroys the hair follicle. Hair is unable to grow back in an area where the follicle has been destroyed.

The process of electrolysis can be slow and can require several treatment sessions to destroy the hair follicles. Treatment can be uncomfortable—the feeling is sometimes described as having little rubber bands snapping at your skin. The destruction of each individual hair follicle may take from less than 1 second up to 20 seconds.

What To Expect After Treatment

After electrolysis, your treated skin may temporarily be red, swollen, and tender. You may need additional treatments to permanently remove all unwanted hair. You should notice a loss of unwanted hair in the treated area within several weeks to months after the first treatment.

Why It Is Done

Electrolysis is done to permanently remove unwanted hair. Electrolysis is commonly used to remove hair on the face (eyebrows, upper and lower lips, cheeks, chin, hairline, bridge of the nose between eyebrows, and sideburns) and also on the neck, shoulders, arms and underarms, breasts, abdomen, bikini line, legs, back, and chest.

Who should not have electrolysis?

Electrolysis should not be done on the inside of your ears or nose. It also should never be done to remove hair from a mole or a birthmark. If you have a pacemaker, you should not have electrolysis on any part of your body.

How Well It Works

When electrolysis is done correctly, it permanently removes unwanted hair. Successful hair removal depends on the skill of the person doing the electrolysis.


Electrolysis poses few risks in a healthy person. During treatment, you may feel some pain from the electrical current flow. After treatment, your skin may be red, swollen (inflamed), and tender. These are temporary side effects. Electrolysis can cause scarring, keloid scars, and changes in skin color of the treated skin in some people.

What To Think About

Finding a licensed, reputable electrologist is important to successfully and permanently removing unwanted hair. Each state in the United States regulates the licensing of electrologists. Your doctor, friends, or family may be able to recommend a licensed electrologist.


Current as of:
July 2, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine
Keith A. Denkler MD – Plastic Surgery

Current as of: July 2, 2020

Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD – Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine & Keith A. Denkler MD – Plastic Surgery

7 Side Effects of Electrolysis Hair Removal Treatment

Hello, friends!

How are you all doing? How was your Eid celebration? Well, today, we would like to talk about the side effects of electrolysis hair removal treatment. Electrolysis is one among the most preferred and common methods used to remove unwanted hair from the body. This hair removal process involves the use of small needle which is inserted into the opening of the skin where the hair starts growing. Then, electricity is passed through the needle which kills the hair follicle.

It generally takes 1-2 minutes to destroy a single hair follicle. Well, being one of the most common hair removal processes, most of the people opt for this process. Before considering this hair removal treatment, you should know the side effects of it.

1. Skin damage:

Skin damage is one among the most common side effects, you can suffer due to electrolysis hair removal treatment. Skin damage can happen after electrolysis hair removal treatment was performed by an unexperienced technician. It can also happen if you do it at home. The only way to prevent skin damage is you should invest some time to find a good skin expert who will carry the process keeping all the risk and effects in mind.

2. Blisters:

Another popular side effect, which people have observed, is blisters on the skin or treated area. Blisters, basically look like acne, is quite common after you undergo the surgery. These blisters may typically appear on the skin for 24-48 hours and will eventually fade away. However, you should avoid scratching or scrubbing your face for a few days. Consult the doctor in any case.

3. Swelling on the face:

If you have electrolysis hair removal treatment done on the face, then, there are high chances that you will observe swelling on the face. If you get a very large area treated at once, then, there are chances that you may experience swelling and inflammation on the face. You can treat the slight inflammation on the skin by applying ice on the face. Swelling may fade away after 36 hours of the treatment.

4. Acne:

Yes, acne is one among the most common problems that a person may suffer from, after electrolysis hair removal treatment. If your skin is prone to breakouts, you should consider using mild lotions, cleansers or toners to keep your skin healthy. It is important to avoid using those products which may make the condition worse. Acne or breakouts on the skin may be quite frequent for 5-10 days after the treatment. It all depends on your skin.

5. Burning sensation:

Undergoing pain or burning sensation is another side effect that you may observe after electrolysis hair removal treatment. Burning sensation or pain may be highly probable, if the procedure is done by an inexperienced technician or if it is done incorrectly. If you happen to experience pain after the first session, you should speak to your expert about this. If needed, you can discontinue the process and find another good and certified expert for this treatment.

6. Discoloration of skin:

Another common side effect of electrolysis hair removal treatment is discoloration of the skin. You may suffer from this problem especially if you have sensitive skin. Discoloration of the skin may be in the form of dark or brown spots on the face, which can be treated using a skin lightening cream. Discoloration of skin is quite common and you don’t need to panic about this.

7. Formation of ingrown hair:

Unfortunately, undergoing the electrolysis hair removal treatment can lead to formation of ingrown hair. Ingrown hair forms when the hair follicle is damaged instead of getting destroyed completely. Ingrown hair may lead to irritation or itching, but ingrown hairs should be easy to remove by using a good exfoliator.

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What Are the Dangers of Electrolysis Hair Removal?

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Electrolysis is a method of hair removal in which hair follicles are destroyed by electric current. Fine needles are inserted into individual hair follicles, and then an electric current is sent down the needle into the follicle, burning the root of the hair. Electrolysis is one of the only forms of hair removal that can be permanent, but it takes many sessions to achieve permanent hair removal, and there can be risks involved.

Electric Shock and Burning

Whenever you are dealing with an electric current or laser, or anything else delivering a strong blast of heat, there is a risk of electric shock and burning. Many providers claim that electrolysis is 100 percent pain-free; depending, however, on the sensitivity of an individual’s skin, it can in fact be quite painful. Also, if a provider is inexperienced or makes a mistake, the electric charge delivered to the hair follicle can burn the skin and shock the patron.


Infection can occur immediately after or sometimes many years after electrolysis treatment. It can also exacerbate a pre-existing infection. In addition, if electrolysis is performed in unsanitary conditions, infection can be spread from one patient to another or from the provider to the patient.

Scarring and Debris Under the Skin

If not performed properly, electrolysis can leave pitted, round scarring on the skin. The needle must be inserted in a specific way so as to avoid swelling of the hair follicle and destruction of the surrounding tissue. If this occurs, permanent scarring can result. Another danger of electrolysis is the fact that debris can become embedded under the skin. When the hair follicle is destroyed, whatever remains will eventually be pushed out of the skin; in certain cases, however, debris can become embedded under the skin, leading to infection and scarring of the skin surface.

Pigment Alteration

There is a chance of pigment alteration following electrolysis, especially in individuals with darker or tan skin. Improper application of electrolysis can lead to a lightening of the skin that is often permanent.

How will electrolysis affect my skin? – Transgender Map

The hair removal information on this page is written for a transgender audience.

For a general market discussion of electrolysis, please visit: hairfacts.com



  1. Skin damage is the worst side effect of electrolysis. Choosing an electrologist will be the most important factor in how your skin ends up. Ask the recommendation of local TSs who are done and are happy.
  2. You can count on a certain amount of redness, swelling, welts, tiny blisters, scabs, dryness, and ingrowns between treatments. These temporary side effects must be treated properly to avoid permanent skin damage.
  3. Immediately after treatment, you must stay out of the sun, avoid make-up, and avoid harsh chemicals until your skin has recovered. The less you do to your skin between treatment, the better. A fragrance-free and menthol-free aloe gel (not lotion) can moisturize the skin following treatment and reduce redness. There are also several preparations designed for use after electrolysis which can help reduce and conceal redness and swelling.
  4. If at all possible, avoid shaving immediately after treatment. If you absolutely must, use an electric foil razor.
  5. As you near completion, you may find that weakened hairs are causing more ingrowns. Use a gentle exfoliant to help release them.
  6. If you are having excessive swelling and redness or are seeing skin damage, discuss it with your electrologist to adjust treatment, or consider trying another electrologist. You may also want to consult a dermatologist.

Main factorsYour skin typeAs mentioned before, everyone’s skin has a damage threshold that may even be lower than your pain threshold.Method of electrolysis usedSome people find a difference in skin condition depending on whether thermolysis, galvanic or blend treatments are used. Also, some feel that stripping an area of all hairs causes more damage than gradually thinning an area. The size of the area treated will also be a factor.How much treatment and current you needWhen you are starting out, this will be at its highest level. The redness and swelling will be at their worst until you’re down to clearing your face in one session a week. After that, the side effects will be less and less with each treatment.Amount of treatment in one areaIf too much work is done in a small area, it can lead to significant local swelling. This is most frequently reported on the upper lip, but also can happen anywhere on the face. You can expect mild to severe swelling if you do more than a half an hour on your upper lip.Thinning versus strippingIf you treat hairs that are less than about one-eighth inch apart, you will probably get more swelling. If you are especially sensitive, you may find that thinning hairs from an area gradually works better then stripping an area all in one session.Time between treatmentsThe more often you have to go, the less recovery time between sessions. Again, that means your skin will be affected most early in the process.Your skin care regimen immediately following and between treatmentsThis is the most easily-controlled aspect, and possibly the most important. The do’s and don’ts listed below can make a big difference in the condition of your skin.

Potential side effects

You can count on the following to some degree or another:RednessDepending on all the factors listed above, you can expect the treated area will have redness immediately after, which will last anywhere from half an hour to well into the next day. Common treatments include witch hazel to cleanse and soothe the area just after treatment, followed by a skin soother like Simply Smooth or aloe gel. My electrologist uses a menthol aloe gel, but I advise against any irritants like menthol or astringents like alcohol, even if they feel good right after. I bring my own plain Walgreens Aloe Vera Gel mostly, although I also have an aloe plant I have used at home. Also, those sensitive to permanent wave solution and other products containing lye may want to test an area of skin with galvanic before face work. Some believe that those suffering excessive redness or discomfort may find a gold-plated probe less irritating.If the redness gets excessive, you may want to consider thinning hairs gradually instead of clearing a patch on your face. Some clients experiencing severe inflammation have found an improvement by taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (e.g. Voltarol 50mg) and/or an antihistamine before commencing treatment. Topical antihistamines may reduce redness and help control itching. Ask a dermatologist if you seem to be having a severe reaction.SwellingDepending on all the factors listed above, you will have some overall puffiness on your face, and some raised bumps or welts immediately after. Usually these welts look like insect bite here and there, but sensitive clients sometimes report enough swelling to make them look like “a deformed monster. ”This is much more common in those who clear an area instead of thinning the hairs over several sessions. I did a couple of marathon clearing sessions that left me looking like I scraped my chin or swollen enough for co-workers to say I looked like I’d been slapped around, even a day or two after treatment. Too much treatment in a small area can turn skin into a seeping mess that crusts over into a giant scab, especially for those with sensitive skin.Swelling may start to subside following treatment, or it may increase for several hours following and then take a day or two to go away. Ice is the most common method to reduce swelling, although ice often increases the redness. This is why it’s good to schedule your treatment so that the redness and swelling won’t be noticeable to others. Besides ice in a bag, some people use froze tissues or washcloths soaked in water, or those gelpacks used in coolers for food storage. Tiny blisters (scabs, crusts, petechiae, or eschars)Following treatment, you may notice a few tiny raised white blisters that look like acne. When I would get these, they would usually show up the day after. These would sometimes scab over. To people at work, I’m sure it just looked like acne, and most people aren’t going to mention that to you. It’s best to cleanse the area and leave them alone to minimize scarring. In the process of treatment, there is usually a tiny amount of blood involved. Sometimes there would be a spot where the skin was open from removing an ingrown or from treating a lot of hairs in a small area. These scabs are also best left untouched.IngrownsAs mentioned earlier, occasionally a treated hair will grow back in a direction away from the skin’s surface. Also, weakened hairs may not push through the skin and remain below the skin’s surface. There is a chance an ingrown hair may become infected or cause inflammation. Getting ingrowns out must be done very carefully- trying to “dig them out”can cause scarring. Many electrologists use a sterilized needle to release hairs that can’t be gotten out with forceps. However, prevention is your best bet. See the skin care section below for additional tips on fighting ingrowns.Breakouts/folliculitis (inflammation of follicles)This is best treated by doing as little to your skin as possible between sessions. Use the mildest cleanser and gentlest moisturizer, and avoid shaving if possible. Avoid drying products like benzoyl peroxide (Oxy 10, etc.), which may make the acne worse.Dryness/flaking/itchingMany find that the heat and/or chemical reaction from electrolysis leaves their skin very dry. This is often exacerbated by the use of hormones, which can have a similar effect on skin. The dryness can get severe enough to be noticeable to others. The best treatment I’ve found is aloe gel for a day after treatment, followed by a fragrance-free emollient lotion. I find any lotion with fragrance burns my skin if I use it within 24 hours of electrolysis.Skin discolorationPeople prone to scarring may experience hyperpigmentation (darkening), which can be reduced in some cases with a cream made of alpha-hydroxy acids and hydroquinone. One such brand is Neostrata. Much rarer is hypopigmentation (skin lightening). I know no one personally who has experienced either of these. Blacks are usually more likely to have this happen. Permanent scarring and pittingThese are the most common and most troubling problems. Electrolysis is a rather violent process designed to destroy tissue. Scabs or crusts form when enough tissue damage is caused for the skin to leak fluid or blood. Usually it resolves itself in a few days, but severe scabbing can result in pigmentation change or permanent scarring.Scars do not show up until 6 months to a year or more later due to the fact that inflammation can take 6-8 months to recede and the scar tissue 2-3 months to contract. So, looking at your face the week after treatment does not tell you if you are being scarred. Turning the currents up really high to compensate for the coarseness of beard hair and the lack of exactness in technique increases your chance of scars. Injury to your subsurface tissues is cumulative. In people prone to forming thick scars, the scars may be noticeable quickly. Dark-skinned people may develop dark or white areas around the treated hairs. In all clients, there is a chance that overtreatment will damage the collagen below the skin. This connective tissue can be damaged by heat, causing depressions in the skin in some. Collagen damage is most commonly reported at the corners of the mouth. Dealing with scarring and pitting will be discussed in the skin care section.Ingrown hairsOccasionally a treated hair will grow back in a direction away from the skin’s surface. Also, weakened and curved hairs may not push through the skin and remain below the skin’s surface. There is a chance an ingrown hair may become infected or cause inflammation. Getting ingrowns out must be done very carefully- trying to “dig them out” can cause scarring. Dealing with ingrown hairs will be discussed later in the skin care section.“Tombstones”Bits of hardened debris sometimes remain in a treated follicle. It can be visible under the skin’s surface, because it sometimes contains pigment from the hair that was removed. They often look like blackheads. Eventually, the follicle will push this out with natural action, although sometimes they need to be “helped” out. Methods for doing this will be discussed later in the skin care section.BruisingSome people get tiny bruises when the probe is inserted wrong and punctures a capillary. When this happens, it’s reported on the chin or eyebrows more frequently.

Skin care

Following electrolysis, take the following steps:

Immediately after treatment:

  • No astringents!
  • No shaving! (but DO shave after redness has subsided)
  • No sun exposure!
  • No makeup!
  • No perfume!
  • No scratching or rubbing!

Treat skin with one or more of the following:

  • Cool water (esp. if witch hazel is irritating)
  • Witch Hazel
  • Aloe leaves or a prepared Aloe Vera Gel (no menthol, and no lotion– get gel)
  • Simply Smooth (see ordering info above)
  • Sterex Apres Cosmetic Cream
  • calamine lotion
  • Post-Epil
  • Tend Skin to reduce the appearance of razor bumps, ingrown hairs, skin redness after hair removal. To reduce redness, apply immediately after. For ingrowns, apply before sleep and after showering until ingrowns are cleared, then use it several times weekly to keep skin clear. Because it’s an exfoliant, be careful using other exfoliating methods and products with Tend Skin. (phone orders: (800) 940-8423)
  • Foille
  • Oatmeal mask
  • Savlon (chlorhexadine gluconate)
  • Hydrocortizone cream (not ointment)- 1/2% or 1%. (This can aggravate acne, though, and is a steroid, so some recommend avoiding it.)
  • Banana Boat “Soothe-a-Caine” for after-treatment burning.
  • Antibiotic ointment, spray, or lotion like Neosporin, Bactine, Bacitracin or generic equivalents
  • Harsher antibiotics like hydrogen peroxide gel and benzoyl peroxide products (like Oxy 10) may be too much for sensitive skin, but some like these.
  • Some suggest preparations made from tea-tree leaves and bark, but many people find this to be an irritant.


Some galvanic practitioners claim the reversing the machine’s polarity (called cataphoresis) helps reduce temporary side effects. There is no clinical data supporting this, but if you are having severe reactions, you might consider trying it.

At home the evening after treatment:

Cleanse the face with a mild liquid detergent soap like Clean and Clear Sensitive Skin Foaming Facial Wash. Continue to use aloe or Simply Smooth-type products until swelling and redness have subsided. Don’t use bar soap, which can be very alkaline (just like lye produced during blend and galvanic treatments), and may make things worse. Once the irritation has subsided, add a non-astringent toner like Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner after cleansing, followed by a mild fragrance-free face lotion like Lubriderm Moisture Recovery GelCreme. Some find relief from their itchiness with Dermoplast spray.

From one day after treatment until your next session:

Once the redness and swelling are gone, you should use a daily sunscreen. I find that Lancome SPF 15 spray sun screen and Clinique spf 25 sun screen lotion don’t irritate my face.

Try to avoid shaving if at all possible until your redness and swelling have completely subsided. However, it can be good to shave a couple of days before your next appointment. Any hairs that grow out will be in anagen phase, and they will be in more effectively treated. If you can get in often enough to keep up with this new growth, you’ll save yourself time in the long run. The longer a hair is allowed to grow after it surfaces through the skin, the stronger the root gets. For me that meant going in 2-3 times a week for a while. This is another reason to try to get done before you go full-time.

If you shave between sessions, you may find an electric foil razor less irritating. If you use a regular razor, make sure it’s sharp, and avoid any shaving creams with menthol and other irritants. Some find a non-spirit-based aftershave like Clinique’s Post-Shave Healer helps. REMEMBER: Don’t shave for 24 hours prior to your session– your electrologist needs a day’s growth to determine a hair’s direction and to grasp it with forceps.

Once you’re to the point you don’t need to shave between sessions, you can start letting your fine vellus hairs grow. Shaving removes the, and this can make your face look waxy and unnatural. The sooner you can let this fine down cover your cheeks the better (yet another reason to start before full-time).

Diet can help your complexion as well. Get plenty of antioxidants by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink lots of water, which can help with skin moisture levels. You may find a humidifier helpful, too. And as if there weren’t 500 other reasons to quit smoking, it can affect the health of your skin.

As I have gotten closer to completion, I’ve had more ingrowns at my jawline. I can see them just under the skin, but I resist the temptation to dig them out. Sometimes you can get them to surface by GENTLY scratching at the skin above them. Your best bet if to do as much exfoliating as you can in that area. This should get many of them out.

Once you’re clearing your face in one session a week, you may want to battle ingrowns and tombstones with a gentle skin exfoliant like Physician’s Formula Beauty Buffers Exfoliating Scrub the day or two before your next treatment.

There is a product called Tend Skin which some people have claimed helps reduce ingrowns. Tend Skin claims to clear “razor bumps” (a frequent post-shaving problem for African-American men) in 48 hours and to lessen redness. They further claim that if used regularly, it will prevent future ingrown hairs and “razor bumps”. Be careful if you have sensitive skin, though– the active ingredient is acetylsalicylate, in an alcohol/propylene glycol/glycerine solution. A user writes “Don’t get it anywhere too sensitive or you’ll be sorry.”($20-4oz; $50-16oz). In many drug stores, or call 1-800-940-8423 for a store or for ordering info.

For those who want a much stronger alpha-hydroxy type exfoliant, I recommend M.D. Formulations Facial Cream with glycolic acid (despite its $60 price tag for 2 ounces). Keep in mind that any exfoliant can be too much for sensitive skin– start slowly and use very sparingly at first. I can only use this about once a week.

If the damage is done…

If, despite the best efforts of you and your electrologist, you have some skin damage, you have a few options. You’d probably be best served by speaking with a dermatologist. Some of the options include using Alpha-Hydroxy Acids in prescription strength, the stronger chemical peels such as phenol peels, or laser skin resurfacing. These procedures will be discussed at greater length in an upcoming article.

Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal [Which is Better?]

Shaving, waxing, and tweezing often feel like losing battles. You get rid of a hair one day, but a few days later, it’s back and you have to address it again.

If you’re sick of wasting time dealing with unwanted hair growth, you might want to consider permanent hair removal.

When it comes to removing hair permanently, you have two options:

Laser hair removal or electrolysis.

But what’s the difference between the two? Is one better than the other? Which one is right for you?

Today, we’re discussing electrolysis versus laser hair removal to help you make the right choice.

Table of Contents

  1. How Laser Hair Removal Works
  2. How Electrolysis Works
  3. The Similarities Between Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal
  4. The Differences Between Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal
  5. Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal: Which One is Better?

How Laser Hair Removal Works

Before you can decide which hair removal treatment is the better option, you should know how each process works.

When you undergo laser hair removal, a technician applies a pulse of light into your pores. The light energy travels through your skin, targeting the melanin in your hair follicle. By increasing the temperature of the follicle, it destroys the root of the hair.

When the root is destroyed, the follicle is unable to produce hair.

Learn more about our laser hair removal services!

Laser Hair Removal Aftercare

To see the best results, you must follow an aftercare treatment routine. You’ll need to limit sun exposure for several weeks and wear loose clothing for at least two days after treatment. Also, it’s best to avoid swimming pools, hot tubs, steam rooms, and physical exercise for 48 hours.

Other than that, you can go about your daily activities as usual.

Side Effects  of Laser Removal

Laser hair removal has limited side effects. Some people experience redness and swelling, but those usually subside within a few hours.

Afraid that it might hurt? Most people say that the pain is minimal and that the laser feels like snapping a rubber band against the skin.

Related: Laser Hair Removal FAQs

How Electrolysis Works

Electrolysis involves the insertion of an ultra-thin needle (called a probe) into an individual hair follicle. The probe sends an electric current through the follicle, damaging it so that future hair growth cannot occur.

Individual hairs are targeted one at a time.

Electrolysis Aftercare

After electrolysis, you’ll have to apply an antibacterial cream to the treated areas. You should avoid any activity that could cause you to sweat excessively.

You’ll also need to avoid touching or scratching the treated area in the days following treatment.

Side Effects of Electrolysis

Some people see small scabs on the surface of the skin, but they fall off naturally. It’s also common to see redness and swelling for a few hours after treatment.

Patients report small amounts of pain during the process, too. Most people describe the feeling as a heat sensation followed by a pinch each time the needle attacks a new follicle.

The Similarities Between Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal

Electrolysis and laser hair removal are similar in several ways:

Both Can Remove Hair From Anywhere on the Body

Both treatments are effective on the bikini line, underarms, nose, ears, and upper lip. They also work well on large areas such as the back, arms, and legs.

Anyone can get either procedure, but you should speak to a dermatologist first to make sure you’re a good candidate for treatment.

Both Require Multiple Sessions

Hair growth involves three stages. Laser hair removal and electrolysis only work when the hair follicle is in the anagen, or growth phase.

Multiple sessions are necessary to capture every hair in that specific phase.

Both Are Safe and Effective

Both methods are safe and FDA-approved for permanent hair removal. They both eliminate the need to shave and wax and can prevent ingrown hairs.

However, in order for either technique to be effective, it must be performed by a professional.

The Differences Between Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal

Although these two hair removal methods share some similarities, they also have some differences:

Laser Hair Removal Requires Fewer Sessions

Multiple sessions are necessary, regardless of which method you choose. However, electrolysis sessions are longer, and you’ll need to have more of them.

Laser hair removal usually requires four to eight sessions. The exact number depends on your skin type, pigmentation, hair color, and the size of the area.

Electrolysis, on the other hand, can take up to 30 sessions, especially in an area where the hair is coarse.

With laser hair removal, you’ll need to do a touch-up treatment about once a year. Electrolysis doesn’t require any follow-up (unless you experience an infection).

Laser Hair Removal Sessions Are Shorter

Laser hair removal treatments last only a few minutes each, as the laser affects multiple hairs at one time.

Electrolysis sessions are much longer, as every hair must be targeted one at a time. They happen every week or two, making it a much more time-consuming process.

Related: 7 Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal: Which One is Better?

So is one method better than the other? It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Here are some additional facts to help you make your decision:

Electrolysis costs less money per session. However, you’ll need more sessions to get rid of your body hair. You might be able to get away with just a few sessions on small areas of the body, but larger areas can get quite expensive.

Laser hair removal treatment usually costs more per session, but it takes only a few sessions to see results. Prices vary for both, depending on the size of the treatment area.

If you’re concerned about pain, both procedures can be uncomfortable. Most people experience minor discomfort during laser hair removal, but each session only lasts a few minutes.

Electrolysis can be painful too, and sessions are longer. Therefore, you’ll experience discomfort for a longer period of time.

Electrolysis has the same effect on any hair type and any skin color. Laser treatment is most effective on people with light skin and dark hair or vice versa.

You’ll have to decide for yourself which method of hair removal you want to go with. It’s best to start the process by talking with your dermatologist.

Regardless of which one you choose, make sure to have the procedure performed by a licensed, certified technician. That’s the only way to protect yourself and ensure the best possible results.

Looking for laser hair removal services in Colorado? We have locations in Fort Collins, Lakewood, Westminster, and Colorado Springs!

Follow us on Instagram to see examples of our work!

Permanent Hair Removal is the Number One Side Effect of Electrolysis |

Other Side Effects from Electrolysis are Temporary

Permanent hair removal is the number one side effect of electrolysis.  Before you get to your “hair free” status you might experience less-desirable side effects. This article will explain the common and uncommon reactions that may occur after an electrolysis treatment.  

Side effects and their severity will depend on four factors.  Those factors include your type of skin, the aggressiveness of your treatments, the techniques and skills of your electrologist, and your compliance in following aftercare recommendations.

The most common side effect you can expect is redness. This reaction is caused by a dilation and congestion of superficial capillaries.  Also known as erythema, redness is short-lived.  The recommended aftercare is to apply a compress of witch hazel for several minutes to several hours after the treatment.

Redness may be accompanied by a histamine response at the site of the follicle.  This reaction may look like a mosquito bite and is a heat induced or physical urticaria, also described as hives, which appears within two to five minutes of treatment.  This reaction usually subsides within hours of the treatment.

The aftercare for a histamine response can be selected from the following:

  1. For extreme reactions and as a preventative measure take an oral antihistamine prior to treatment. Follow manufacturer directions when taking over-the-counter medications.
  2. Apply a topical antihistamine during or immediately after treatment.

  3. For mild reactions apply a compress of witch hazel with small amount of wintergreen alcohol added.

Occasionally, redness and bumps on the skin will last longer than expected.   This is an infrequent side effect and it is temporary.  Keep skin clean without overusing products and do not pick, scratch or squeeze the bumps.   

Treatment of dense hairs might result in a leaking of blood serum, which shows up as a yellowish crust, usually the day after treatment.  This is not a frequent side effect, and it is not alarming. A day or so after treatment, a scab  may form in the follicle opening.  A scab is nature’s band-aid and it may honey colored or darker, and will protect the healing skin.  It is common for scabs to appear on body areas after an electrolysis treatment.  It is less common for scabs to appear on the face so let your electrologist know if this occurs. 

Utilize the following steps if a scab or yellow crust appears


  1. Keep the area clean.  Gently wash with mild soap and water, rinse and pat dry.  Avoid rubbing the area and apply a compress of witch hazel.
  2. Keep a scab moist.  Topical ointments can be used to prevent infection and helps keep the scab moist.  Your electrologist may provide recommendations for products to use.

  3. Leave a scab alone.  It may itch, so look for a topical with an analgesic.  Avoid picking or scratching the scab.  Healing will take longer if you remove the scab before it is ready.

  4. As always – keep hands off!!!

An infrequent side effect of electrolysis is the appearance of a pustule a day or two after treatment.  A pustule is a small, inflamed, blister-like lesion.  If you are prone to developing pustules, apply a warm compress immediately after treatment to help prevent their formation.  Salicylic acid may be used sparingly to help dry out a pustule once it appears.

Another infrequent and temporary side effect is bruising. A bruise occurs when small blood vessels leak their contents into the soft tissue beneath the skin.  A bruise can occur from the pressure of the electrologist’s fingers on the skin, when the electrolysis probe punctures the follicle wall, or when the client has taken aspirin-like pain relievers.  Most bruising will show up immediately and the electrologist should indicate that it might be expected.  Witch hazel is the best treatment for bruising and should be used immediately to  enable its astringent action.  A bruise from electrolysis treatment should be gone within 2 weeks.

Clients who have the herpes virus may experience a new breakout if electrolysis is performed in the area of their previous breakouts. Antiviral products have been shown to stop repeated occurrences.  If you feel a breakout coming on, reschedule your appointment to allow for the herpes infection to heal and to avoid autoinoculation to other areas.  Electrolysis will not cause herpes in a client who does not already carry the virus. 

Scar formation is an infrequent and rare side effect. Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin after an injury.  Electrolysis treatments result in minor lesions which do not result in scars, however, over-treatment and improper aftercare and previous skin care can result in damage to the skin known as pitting.

Loss of pigment at the site of the follicle may occur with over-treatment on dark skin. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) may occur on some skin types.  It is not from an electrolysis error, but from the nature of certain types of skin.  PIH usually subsides once the irritation of treatments has been stopped and can take up to a year to disappear.  Pigmentation spots known as melasma are unrelated to electrolysis treatments but may become more noticeable once excess hair is removed. 

Most skin damage is caused by digging and picking of the skin prior to electrolysis treatments. Chin acne will clear up after electrolysis if it is caused by tweezing of chin hairs. Tweezing contributes to retention of root sheath remnants which inflame the skin.  Tweezing can also result in hairs being broken off under the skin to become ingrown to cause chin acne.  Your electrologist should recommend that ALL tweezing and picking of skin stop.  

What other suggestions can I make for you?

  • Contact your electrologist if you have any reaction that concerns you.  Permanent hair removal as an electrolysis side effect outweighs other side effects a million to one.  
  • Communication between you and your electrologist is important in helping you reach your hair removal goal.  It is common for the first treatment to result in the most skin reaction, so talk to your electrologist if this occurs. 
  • Make sure that your electrologist wears exam gloves and utilizes medical sterilization for instruments.
  • Make sure that your electrologist provides you with a new pre-sterilized and disposable electrolysis probe at every appointment.  
  • It is important for you to comply with aftercare procedures to avoid infection. Stop all tweezing and handle your skin carefully.   


Disclaimer:  Please use caution and follow directions when using any over-the-counter product.  Contact your physician for medical advice as this article is not presented as medical advice.



© Barbara Greathouse, CPE   This work may be reproduced as a complete document without alteration as long as credit and link back are provided.








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Tags: aftercare, chin acne, hair follicle, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, pustules, redness, scabbing, side effects, swelling

Electrolysis Hair Removal vs. Laser Hair Removal in Austin

Are you wondering how painful is electrolysis hair removal vs laser hair removal? Laser hair removal and electrolysis are two popular types of permanent hair removal. Both these types work by targeting hair follicles located under the skin’s surface. Laser hair removal is on the rise. Though electrolysis is also getting more and more popular, it’s not as common as laser therapy. In comparison with laser hair removal, electrolysis is painful. It is done by a dermatologist.

The process of electrolysis works by inserting a device into the skin. It uses shortwaves in hair follicles to stop the growth of new hair and causes existing hairs to fall out. However, you will need multiple appointments for the best results. As the growth of hair is normal so the hair removal. Permanent hair removal is a dream of everyone but you must know how to achieve it? Electrolysis is one of the well-known and safe methods of permanent hair removal that is used across the world.

Electrolysis is very painful as compared to laser hair removal. For most people, today’s methods of hair removal don’t hurt but electrolysis does hurt. Electrolysis removes the individual hairs from the body that’s why causes a lot of pain. A very fine probe is inserted into the body and thus removing hair from the follicles through tweezer. Most areas of the body can be treated through electrolysis like eyebrows, face, breasts, legs, abdomen, and thighs. Electrolysis generally doesn’t have any permanent side effects but sometimes a temporary reddening of the skin may occur.

On the other hand, laser hair removal does not cause much pain as compared to waxing and electrolysis. This process is much quicker and way better than other techniques of hair removal. It feels like tiny pinpricks. As compared to electrolysis laser treatment is much better, in regard to pain. Electrolysis is painful when you see the laser hair removal vs electrolysis.

Related: Electrolysis Pricing, Laser Hair Removal Pricing for Women, Laser Hair Removal Pricing for Men, and Waxing Pricing.

What causes unwanted hair growth?

The growth of hair is normal and the result of heredity and hormone level. Illness and the use of drugs can stimulate their growth. Everyone wants the permanent removal of their unwanted hair. In such a situation, electrolysis and laser hair removal are the best options.

Laser therapy and electrolysis both produce long-lasting effects and permanent solution to hair growth as compared to shaving. Laser hair removal can be used for every person whether with fair or dark complexion but it can result in burning the skin of darker people. On the other hand, electrolysis can be used by anyone, no matter what type of complexion they posses. It does attack the hair follicles along with the hair pigments. In the comparison of laser hair removal vs electrolysis, electrolysis is good in regard to the procedures. However, electrolysis takes more time than laser treatment. You have to take more sessions of electrolysis than laser for permanent hair removal.

Laser hair removal can portend danger to the eyes or other surrounding parts of the body that are near the targeted area. If the process is not done correctly, then it may cause the skin to get discolored. Laser hair removal has its own side effects while electrolysis has its own. However, laser hair removal is cheaper than electrolysis.

Benefits of electrolysis hair Removal

Electrolysis is extremely versatile and produces more permanent results. It inhibits the growth of new hair for all skin types and hair types. The main benefit of electrolysis is that it can be used anywhere on the body, even eyebrows. Electrolysis is safe and effective as compared to other techniques of hair removal. Unlike laser, electrolysis targets the hair follicles, thus permanently removing the hairs from your body. Electrolysis is effective for all skin types. There is no maintenance required after electrolysis treatment as the hair is permanently removed from your body. It causes pain but you have to bear in order to get rid of that unwanted hair permanently.

How do you choose an electrologist?

Electrologists are those people who have special training to perform electrolysis. If you are going to consider electrolysis, it is very important to do some research before deciding on anyone. The wrong decision can prove fatal and result in scars on your face. There are some points that you should consider before going to an Austin electrolysis specialist:

Ask Around

It is very important to ask your friends and family members to find good services. Your circle must be your first preference to know about anything. If there is anyone in your circle who has undergone electrolysis hair removal, you must ask for their input.

Professional Qualifications

There are many electrologists in the market who are licensed or certified to do their practice. Look for those electrologists who have certification from an accredited school. The qualifications matter a lot in this era of specialization.

Related blogs: Essential Tips for Laser Hair Removal, Can I use Laser Hair Removal on my Face?, and Top 10 Questions About Laser Hair Removal.

Get a Consultation

Many electrologists will give you a free consultation. During your consultation, you must make sure that all your questions must be answered. Some questions that you want to ask about are: how the procedure will feel; how many sessions you need; how much each session costs; how long each session lasts; what is your experience and the number of patients you have dealt with till today.

Personal Comfort

While getting your free consultation, look around and examine the establishment. Does the place look clean? Do the workers look clean and presentable? Do they use disposable needles? Observe hygiene conditions of the clinic and base your decision on your personal comfort as this is always essential.

Techniques Used

Keep in mind that the practitioner uses the right technique like they should use needle electrolysis, which is the only permanent form of hair removal. Some places advertise electrolysis but use electronic tweezers. Using electronic tweezers is not a permanent hair removal method.

In short, electrolysis hair removal is a much better way of removing hair permanently as compared to other hair removing techniques like laser hair removal but it causes much pain as compared to laser as in this process, prim is directly applied into follicles for the purpose of destroying them. For this sensitive treatment trust Alite Laser Hair Removal because only professionals can provide you with the best and safe services. Contact us for a free consultation today!


Life 2021

Laser hair removal only works if the hair is black or brown, i.e. darker than skin color. For blond hair or hair lighter than human skin color: electrolysis is the only one VA


Laser Hair Removal only works if the hair is black or brown, i.e. darker than skin color.For light hair or hair lighter than human skin color: electrolysis is the only option. Electrolysis uses an electric current to permanently remove hair and is more painful than laser hair removal, which is a newer procedure that uses lasers.

Comparison Chart

Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal Comparison Chart
Electrolysis Laser Hair Removal
Current rating 2.99/5 (90 ratings) current rating 3. 35 / 5 (55 ratings)
Effectiveness Complete hair removal Only works on black or brown hair. Some patients experience regrowth.
Pain More discomfort Less discomfort
Treat The practitioner supplies electricity to the follicle through a metal probe, causing localized damage. Uses Selective Photothermolysis (SPTL) to cause localized damage to the hair cell by selectively targeting melanin in the follicle.
Session Duration Approx. 30-60 minutes Approx. 10-15 minutes
Number of sessions Takes 15-30 sessions for best results Usually at least 7
Cost $ 65-90 per session (approx.) $ 150-200 per session (approx.)
Side effects Redness, swelling, dryness and enlargement of ingrown hairs Itching, pink skin, redness, swelling, skin pigmentation changes, mild pain, acne breakouts , crusting and infection.
Regulation FDA Approved for Permanent Hair Removal Non-adjustable-Permanent REDUCTION
First Used 1875 Mid 1990’s


Laser Hair Removal Procedure

Electrolysis is an electric hair removal for permanent hair removal.The practitioner applies electricity directly to the hair follicle by inserting a hair-thick hard metal probe into each follicle, causing localized damage to the areas where the hair is formed. The power is turned on at the minimum level and then increased until the hair comes out easily.

Laser hair removal uses selective photothermolysis (SPTL) to cause localized damage to the hair cell by selectively targeting the melanin in the follicle.


Complete hair removal by electrolysis takes 1 to 4 years, with an average treatment time of 2 years. Typically, patients require 15 to 30 half hour sessions to achieve the best results. Each session costs approximately $ 60.

Most patients require about 3-7 laser hair removal procedures at intervals of 3-8 weeks. Each lesson lasts approximately 10 minutes and costs between $ 150 and $ 200.


Electrolysis is FDA approved for complete and permanent hair removal.Suitable for all hair colors and types. However, because it targets individual hair follicles, it is usually not suitable for removing hair from large areas.

Laser hair removal only works on brown and black hair and is most effective for patients with dark hair and fair skin. Some patients experience regrowth of hair after treatment and this is not FDA certified as “permanent hair removal.”


Electrolysis is regulated in many states, which means that practitioners need training and a formal license to offer treatment to patients.

Laser hair removal is not adjustable, which means anyone can do it.

Side Effects

Side effects of electrolysis may include redness, swelling, drying and enlargement of ingrown hairs.

Side effects of laser hair removal may include itching, pink skin, redness, swelling, skin pigmentation changes, some pain, acne breakouts, crusting and infection.

Electrolysis hair removal, does it really work?

You may have had to deal with unwanted hairs in areas where you would never want them to appear.Well, there is a way to say goodbye forever to lost hair that you don’t like. Electrolysis hair removal is a very effective hair removal method if you want to get rid of it permanently. . The process is carried out using rather thin electrodes that destroy the hair root. Loosening the area prevents hair regrowth in the area where you are applying electrolysis.

It is important to note that hair removal by electrolysis is final. However, this does not mean that this is a miracle.That is, it is a process that takes time for you to start seeing the results of consistency. To do this, you will need several sessions if you want to see how the appearance of the hair is permanently eliminated. Impatience should not get over you when you want to undergo electrolysis, because the results they are aiming for will come when you are persistent. It is important that you attend all classes to get what you are looking for.

The reason you need to be consistent is that not all hairs appear at the same time.By default, not all roots can be visualized and attacked at the same time with the same electrolysis epilation. Similarly, you should know that this type of hair removal does not destroy the root immediately, but only weakens it. The process happens as you go through the sessions. So this is not a magical or immediate cure. You may have doubts about electrolysis, but they can all be clarified before trying this epilation.

Electrolysis vs laser hair removal

Both are permanent methods, but they have their own differences.Which, depending on the occasion, can be fascinating or discouraging, depending on what you want. A laser is a process where you can remove multiple hairs at the same time. While electrolysis is individual. Knowing this, it is obvious that the session time is different, while electrolysis hair removal is longer. However, the electrodes do not target the hair pigment like laser hair removal does. It can be done regardless of your skin tone, as it affects the hair follicles.

Both should be applied very carefully and by hair removal professionals to avoid risks. Especially hair removal by electrolysis, because if done incorrectly, scars can form on the skin. Many women sometimes use electrolysis as an adjunct to laser treatments. While others prefer electrodes in the first place. The advantage of both treatments is that they do not cause infected hair, unlike depilatory creams or razors..

Is electrolysis hair removal painful?

This is something that is highly dependent on the person who undergoes electrolysis hair removal. Opinions are divided about the pain caused by the app. Truth doesn’t have to be a painful process, although many say it can. What can happen is that such a thorough method is uncomfortable. It is important that you know that the area in which you decide to perform hair removal is a very important factor.The armpits and bikini area are usually more sensitive to the electrolysis process.

For this reason, the discomfort may be felt a little more, causing some pain when the electrodes are applied. According to experts, there are other factors that affect the sensitivity of the skin when performing electrolysis hair removal. . If you’ve used wax to wax, your follicles may be thicker than normal or slightly curved. As a result of this deformation of the follicles, this method can be a little painful.In this case, a local anesthetic on the skin is usually an option to relieve discomfort in that area.

Are there any risks or side effects when using this method?

There is some risk with electrolysis, but this is a very small margin compared to other treatments. Electrolysis hair removal should be a process that you perform with trained personnel for this type of aesthetic procedure. . If this method is applied incorrectly, your skin can become discolored and permanently lose its original color.This is one of the most important reasons to be treated by someone who is trained to do it right.

A very common side effect is skin redness, but it usually lasts only a few days. After applying electrolysis, you may also notice inflammation in the area where it was done. The effect of edema on the skin must also last for a short time before it disappears. Remember that since this is not a natural process, there are certain factors that your body can reject.Although this is not something you should be worried about, because after a short time, it disappears.

If you have problems with scarring or skin hypersensitivity, you should be even more careful with electrolysis. In more risky cases, hives, depigmentation or abnormal scarring may occur after electrolysis hair removal. . Ideally, to avoid such effects, you should perform pre-procedure tests to assess the condition of your skin. Professional advice is the key to avoiding any risks or side effects when performing permanent hair removal.

Can anyone refer to electrolysis?

It is not recommended to do this for everyone, since for some people there are some contraindications when performing this method. If you have clotting problems or diabetes, electrolysis is a bad ideal. You should know that you must have gone through puberty as all of your follicles will fully develop. Thus, the placement of the electrodes will be more accurate and new follicles will not form after waxing.If you are a slave to wax, it is a means to stop torturing yourself forever.

On which parts of the body can electrolysis hair removal be applied?

You can apply electrolysis to any part of the body where you want to permanently remove hair. Except for some delicate areas such as the nostrils and the inside of the ears, as this is quite risky. Electrolysis is not recommended on hairs growing on moles. The most commonly used electrodes are in the armpits, legs and bikini area.Although many women did it on their belly or on the hairs of their fingers and toes.

One of the areas where this electrolysis method is most commonly used is the face. Especially women who are going through menopause, as their facial hair tends to develop to a large extent when they are suffering from it. This is a very common area for permanent epilation, especially above the upper lip. This tool is also used by women with very thick eyebrows to improve the aesthetics of the face.So, if you already know where you want to make wax permanently, you should only consult with your specialist before starting.

Electrolysis at home: contraindications and consequences

Electrolysis is a popular cosmetic procedure that allows you to remove hair on the face and body. The technique is very effective, but before carrying it out, you need to check compatibility, consider existing contraindications, since neglect can cost a beautiful lady dearly, harm beauty and health.

What is electrolysis

The popular cosmetic technique of electrolysis is hair removal on different areas of the body. The procedure is carried out by means of direct and alternating electric current. For carrying out, an electric epilator is used with several types of nozzles that correct the supply of current.

Electrolysis allows you to achieve perfectly smooth and clean skin, permanently get rid of hair on different parts of the body. The procedure is gradually gaining popularity among girls of different ages, but you need to carefully read the contraindications and possible consequences in order to preserve your beauty.

Electrolysis at home

Electrolysis at home is feasible, but only if hair removal is carried out on the legs or arms. It is forbidden to clean your face on your own; careless movements can cause scars or a miniature burn.

For the procedure you will need:

  1. Electric epilator (you must first treat the needles with alcohol).
  2. Convenient tweezers.
  3. Local anesthetic (lidocaine is excellent).
  4. Alcohol for cleaning the treated area.
  5. Cotton.

40-50 minutes before the start of the procedure, an anesthetic should be applied to the treated area. If an independent session is the first, then it is recommended to cleanse a small area of ​​the skin. After an hour, wipe the area with alcohol, this will help remove the remaining lidocaine. Start the procedure.

During electrolysis, you must follow the instructions that come with the device you are using. The algorithms are almost identical, differ only in some aspects, due to the peculiarities of the technology.

It is advisable to carry out hair removal, being with someone in the room. It can get sick during the procedure, it is recommended to keep the ammonia handy and leave the window open.

Contraindications and consequences of electrolysis

Although electrolysis is considered a safe procedure that is suitable for all women, there is a whole list of contraindications when hair removal is prohibited. Sessions should not be carried out to persons suffering (having) the following problems:

  • Acne vulgaris.Electricity can aggravate the skin condition and enlarge the affected area.
  • Herpes or eczema. The procedure is carried out exclusively at the stage of remission.
  • Skin fungus. Electrolysis is carried out only after the completed therapeutic course, otherwise the likelihood of side effects increases.
  • On the area of ​​the skin with birthmarks, moles. Electric current can cause the development of a malignant tumor if the papillomas are damaged.
  • Scars and cuts.The procedure can be carried out exclusively on clean skin.
  • HIV or hepatitis of any genotype. There is a risk of disease transmission.
  • Varicose veins. Do not remove hair on limbs affected by varicose veins.
  • Mental disorders. Electrolysis is a very painful procedure; discomfort can aggravate a person’s condition.
  • Pregnant or lactating women. Separately, it is forbidden to remove hair in the armpits and arms. It is dangerous for the health of the woman and the baby.
  • Persons with pacemakers.

It would seem that hair removal is safe and suitable for all girls, but adhere to the above restrictions and contraindications unquestioningly in order to exclude any side effects.

Electrolysis can cause the following complications and consequences:

  1. Severe itching. Electricity can negatively affect the condition of the epidermis, damage it. The treated area will itch a lot, after hair removal, red spots and a rash will appear on it.
  2. Painful sensations. After the procedure is completed, the skin will hurt. The manifestation can be stopped with specific drugs.
  3. Hemorrhage. Small blood clots form at the site of hair removal. The reaction is provoked by the aggressive influence of the current. Such manifestations are often observed with electrolysis in the bikini area.
  4. Folliculitis. Hair grows in after the procedure. The reason is the aggressive effect of the current on the bulb.
  5. Scars or scars.Smooth and sensitive skin is especially prone to scarring. Scars appear due to scratching of the treated area.

The above consequences are the main problems faced by the fair sex. There are individual complications, manifested in the form of edema, temporary loss of sensitivity of a small area of ​​the skin, large hemorrhages, etc.

Types of electrolysis

Each type of electrolysis is suitable for removing hair on a specific area.The specialist will select the appropriate procedure methodology based on the preferences and goals of the visitor.


Electrolysis is based on the use of direct current and electrodes that destroy the hair. Skin cleansing is complete, the procedure is painless, perfect for depilation of the face and sensitive areas of the body.


A more rough procedure, it can be accompanied by severe pain. A strong alternating current is passed through the hair, which leads to root combustion and destruction of the follicle.The method is recommended for people with non-sensitive skin.

Flash thermolysis and Hi thermolysis

Both procedures are less painful than conventional thermolysis and can be used anywhere on the body. They belong to high-speed methods of hair removal, quickly destroy any structure. Good for cleaning bikini, face and underarms.


This type of electrolysis combines thermolysis and electrolysis. To achieve a positive effect, 2 types of current are used alternately.The procedure is extremely painful; rounded follicles are difficult to remove. Improper conduction can cause burns.

Recommended areas for depilation – arms, legs.

Places for electrolysis

Girls strive to maintain the beauty of their bodies, sometimes reaching fanaticism. Many lovely ladies are annoyed by the abundance of hair on the face, arms or armpits, they dream of getting rid of it forever. Electrolysis provides a similar opportunity, consider what area the procedure is performed on and how many sessions will be required for this.


The facial area is most problematic as there are many sensitive areas. Often it is necessary to remove small hairs on the cheeks, chin, near the nose, or to correct the shape of the eyebrows.

Girls are strongly advised to choose electrolysis, as this type of electrolysis is painless and highly effective. It will take 2-3 sessions to completely cleanse the skin.

Upper lip

Unpleasant hairs of the upper lip bring pretty girls to a negative state.Standard removal with a laser or tweezers does not work. But, if you use electrolysis, you can forget about the presence of “antennae” for long months, and maybe forever.
You need to trust a specialist, choose thermolysis or electrolysis. It will take 1-2 sessions to completely remove the hair.


Hands are an insensitive area, so any type of electrolysis is suitable for the procedure. Sessions have the highest percentage of effectiveness in comparison with other types.It is recommended to carry out 2-3 sessions to ensure the long-term absence of unwanted hair.


The armpit area is extremely sensitive, for the procedure you need to carefully prepare, anesthetize the treated area, and only then begin to remove hair. The recommended method is electrolysis, as it is the least painful. Number of sessions – 2.


Hair removal on the legs – fast, comfortable and durable. Electrolysis allows you to achieve perfectly smooth skin, but you have to suffer a little itching and little swelling.

Recommended method – any, number of sessions – 3.

Can electrolysis be done during pregnancy

Doctors and experts have long debated whether electrolysis can be done for pregnant women. Although young mothers express a desire to emphasize their own beauty in position, cosmetic institutions do not carry out this procedure in any trimester.

Gynecologists claim that electrical waves can negatively affect the development of the fetus.An increase in the tone of the uterus, early discharge of water, which is fraught with prematurity in the child, and physical pathologies in the unborn baby are expected.

It is also forbidden to carry out electrolysis during breastfeeding, which causes an unstable hormonal background, an unknown reaction of the female body.

The history of electrolysis from 1875 to the present day

Last update:

By the nineteenth century, research showed that hair grows from a bulb at the base of the hair follicle.Damage to the central part of this formation, that is, the growth papilla, can permanently stop growth.

Formation of the method, development and its alternatives

In practice, the application of this discovery prompted doctors to undertake various, sometimes life-threatening investigations. Tried injections of carbolic acid with a hypodermic syringe, injected and turned a red-hot needle. Such executions often ended tragically.

Therefore, the manipulations were performed strictly according to medical indications.The greatest interest in the final control of vegetation at that time was shown by ophthalmologists.

Ingrown eyelashes did not so much cause inconvenience to the patient as led to chronic irritation, inflammation of the cornea, and often led to blindness.

Electrolysis – the pioneer

Consider below the invention of electrolysis, its application in practice and the first steps in the commercialization of the method.

1875: invention of electrolysis

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Dr. Charles Mitchell served as a field surgeon in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and knew firsthand about the injuries sustained in battle.

As an ophthalmologist, he did not hesitate to use the aforementioned creepy treatments for ingrown eyelashes. But the high rate of complications after the procedures stimulated the doctor to look for other options.

By analogy with today, when laser technology is at the height of fashion, in the 19th century, electricity was considered the pinnacle of achievements and a cure for all diseases.

This “medical fever” formed the basis of Mary Shelley’s famous novel “Frankenstein” about resurrection with the help of electric current.

“Perhaps the corpse can be reanimated. Electroplating suggests the possibility of doing such things, ”Mary wrote on the night before the book was published.

Dr. Mitchell was familiar with the chemical reaction of direct electric current and experimented with the goal of adapting the method for his purposes.

A metal plate attached to a positively charged battery was placed on the person’s cheek while a negatively charged needle was inserted into the follicle and an electrical charge was applied.

The result was the first eyelash to be easily removed with tweezers. Thus, the root was destroyed by the alkali formed as a result of a chemical reaction. Growth never resumed.

After perfecting the technique on the eyelashes, Charles tried his hand at cosmetic surgery and applied the technique on the eyebrows.

In 1875, a detailed account of the electrochemical destruction of hair follicles was first published in the St. Louis Medical Edition. From that moment on, electrolysis began its triumphant march around the world.

1880-1900: Application of the method outside of medicine

The editor of the above publication, dermatologist William Hardway, was impressed and tested the method on his patients with excessive hair. His results, stunning for that time, were presented at the second meeting of the American Dermatological Association.

Let’s virtually attend and read the notes of one of the direct participants in the meeting.

“We do not know anything about a certain Miss X, except for the notes of her attending physician W. Hardway, made in 1877. Getting an appointment with the doctor at the age of 22, Miss X was an absolute woman both in character and physically, remarkably well-fed and completely healthy. She was also an unlucky beard that could rival a similarly hairy man in strength and luxury.Previous methods to eliminate this disadvantage were not successful: after applying the depilatory powder, the hair began to grow even thicker and thicker. Wanting to help the young woman, Hardway subjected her to an experimental procedure: electrolysis. Strand by strand, Hardway and his colleague completely removed the excess vegetation that bothered the woman. Two men worked on the patient’s face for two hours per session, 9 procedures were performed every week, and in total there were more than 350 visits. But despite the tediousness of the treatment, Hardway came to the conclusion that cardinal therapy for hirsutism is extremely effective in its results. “

After this incident, the procedure quickly spread in medical circles. In 1889, a Detroit physician published over 1,500 cases of electrolysis of excess vegetation.

On the other hand, many doctors viewed this technique as an ephemeral aesthetic procedure. After all, hairiness in itself does not threaten human life. The production base was completely absent, and the need to independently design such a device confused many doctors.

First commercial vehicles

The first device for galvanic current appeared on the market at the turn of the 20th century. Suppliers have supplied it with detailed user manuals in addition to the technical specifications, forward-thinking to establish a new market outside of the medical profession. One company from that era has survived to this day: Instatron of Rode Island.

Hair removal soon slipped out of the hands of doctors, heading to hairdressers and beauty salons throughout America, the UK and Australia.

In Europe, the situation was the opposite. While the United States and England have successfully passed the licensing process, France and other countries have banned the use of such technology outside the medical profession.

And this had good reasons: insufficiently qualified personnel, trying to speed up the process, used too much current, non-sterile instruments and improper post-therapeutic care. The result was scars, burns, and various infections.

Licensing in America and England, in contrast to the European, was distinguished by the presence of scientifically trained courses and an association of electrologists with more serious training than their counterparts from European countries.

1908: invention of the multi-needle technique

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Despite all the obstacles, innovation in this area came from Germany. In 1908, dermatologist Ernst Kromayer decided to abandon the need to move from one hair to another, and even wait until enough alkali was formed for the effect.

– “Why not use several needles at the same time?” – he decided.

Of course, with this method, there was no individual control of the current supply to all needles, therefore, there was no possibility of controlling the therapeutic effect. So, in some place an excess of alkali was formed, in another – a deficiency.

Yet it was a step forward in hair removal research. The procedure cost $ 6-10 per hour, and, unfortunately, it was more than the daily pay of most employees.

There was one more very significant disadvantage. The innovation has brought about significant changes in subjective feelings of comfort. If the sensations when working with one hair were quite bearable, regardless of the intensity, then with the simultaneous exposure to 8 zones, the patient experienced significant discomfort.

This has spurred the development of pain relievers. At first, they were created on the basis of cocaine, and their overdose carried its side effects.

The instruments themselves were also a source of problems: gold and platinum were expensive and wore out quickly.Steel was preferable, but it cost a lot of money to throw away after each use.

Therefore, quite often ordinary sewing needles were used, which are much thicker than modern electrodes, and this required a specialist to master much more virtuoso skills than at present.

In 1916, Professor Paul M. Cree, realizing the growing need for procedures and wanting to shorten the procedure, combined 5 needles, and gave the name to this method – multi-needle electrolysis technique.

Dangerous alternatives

Due to the high cost and duration of treatment, doctors were constantly looking for an alternative.

In 1885, Leopold Freund, a pioneer in radiotherapy, used X-rays to treat a patient with extensive back vegetation. After 20 hours of exposure, the hair fell out.

When this case was published in 1901, the possibility of treating an unwanted cover with radio beams captured the medical mind.In the 1920s, X-ray gained immense popularity as a quick and painless way to combat hair problems.

The monstrous consequences made themselves felt only after the incident of 10-15 years: unfortunately, many patients died of cancer.

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Improving the methodology: thermolysis, blend and flush

Below we will consider the further formation and development of the method.

1923: invention of thermolysis

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A new type of electrolysis was released in 1923. A high-frequency alternating current, passed through a probe in the hair follicle, destroyed the hair using the heat generated when the current came into contact with tissue fluid.

Thermolysis owes its birth to Dr. Henry Bordeer from France. Although the German physician Eitner had undertaken similar experiments before him, due to the complexity of the device and the laboriousness of the settings, this innovation did not receive sufficient recognition.

Initially, hissing sounds and flashes of light prevented the popularization of the method. That all changed with the invention of the vacuum tube between 1930 and 1940. Working with the device has become more convenient, and the procedure has a new name – diathermy.

Since then, electrolysis has gradually started losing ground in favor of the novelty. Despite the much lower efficiency compared to electrolysis, thermolysis was faster, more comfortable and much cheaper.

Until now, there is a mistake that originated in those days: confusion in terms. At first glance, the essence of both types of electrolysis is the same, and electrolysis is often called thermolysis and vice versa.

1938: invention of the hood

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Knowing about the significant difference between electrolysis and thermolysis, electrologist Henry Pierre and engineer Arthur Hinkel of the General Electric Company dreamed of combining the advantages of techniques (the speed of one and the efficiency of the other).

And only in 1938, with the development of research in the field of electricity, they finally managed to develop a method called blend (blend).

The highlight of the hood is to mix both types of electricity for maximum effect.

Serious training was required to operate the apparatus. To the great credit of Hinkel and Pierre, they conducted mandatory trainings for those wishing to purchase a novelty.Therefore, the equipment was not sold quickly, but the buyers were completely captivated by the effect and the scientific base.

In 1968, the results of their fruitful work were published, and this event served as an impetus for the spread of the method outside the United States.

Blend almost completely supplanted electrolysis and left thermolysis only to small beauty salons that lacked qualifications.

1970: Computerization and Flash

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With the move from valves to transistors, equipment has become significantly sleeker, smaller, more reliable and easier to manage. It also gave sufficient advantages to the proponents of the hood in varying settings.

Transistor timers have made it possible to achieve surprisingly accurate control of exposure times down to a fraction of a second. This led to the birth of the flash method, a follower of thermolysis, in which a high current intensity was combined with an extremely short exposure time.

The technique promised a significant acceleration in treatment, but there was a very fine line. On the one hand, there was the danger of too short and ineffective exposure, on the other – the danger of skin burns with increasing time. The result was a large number of dissatisfied patients.

The search for the new in the old and the creation of a theoretical basis

In the mid-eighties, cosmetologists became interested in the original technique, which gave the highest efficiency rates that could not be achieved using thermolysis or a blend.

1980: the revival of galvanic technology

Under the direction of Kay Lasker of Philadelphia, a machine was created with 16 probes, each equipped with its own timer and intensity regulator. In this way, the old procedure was combined with modern trends in electronics.

A significant difficulty arose – a huge gap in the documentation. Virtually all of the original literature was lost, and Lasker had to rewrite the instructions by trial and error.

Naturally, such devices were much more safe and comfortable than their predecessors in the 1920s. In total, it was possible to simultaneously use up to 32 needles, which guaranteed a high speed of the procedure compared to the predecessor devices.

And although the multi-needle electrolysis technique is still used today, its spread is extremely small due to the complexity of the procedure itself and its training, as well as the fact that each hair requires long-term exposure.

1992: electrolysis in Australia

In the early 1990s, Noreen Rosler, while traveling to the United States to improve her knowledge of electrology, met Kay at a conference in Atlantic City. After studying under her guidance, Noreen returned home with a new purchase – Australia’s first modern electrolysis apparatus.

Starting work, she discovered a big obstacle – the difference with America in network voltage. I had to seriously modify the device, adjusting it to achieve the declared effect.

Noreen was helped by her own clients – engineers and doctors, who took over the lion’s share of the work.

The results were well worth the effort. Noreen prepared a series of lectures with which she traveled around her country, and then the whole world. Her teaching aids were sold in huge numbers throughout the country. As a result, the most powerful theoretical base in the field of electrolysis at that time was built in Australia.

New discoveries, scientific evidence and FDA approval as the only definitive method

In the mid-90s, simultaneously with the growing popularity of direct current, the laser appeared.Similar to the x-ray of the 20s, laser exposure had a speed advantage.

1995: exposure to light

With no fatal complications, the laser instantly swept away all other types of unwanted hair control, and competition and manufacturing in China further reduced the cost.

Just like thermolysis, this novelty destroyed hair by generating heat. But if the former worked by means of fluid in the tissues, then the latter transformed light, penetrating through light skin and lingering in dark hair.

Laser therapy gave a tangible plus: the effect went immediately to an area of ​​several centimeters in size against the movement from follicle to follicle. Yet light therapy has had its significant limitations and negative consequences.

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In the absence of contrast between skin color and hairline, the laser simply did not work. When working on an unsuitable color type, the treatment ended in burns.While these laser problems have been overcome for now, the most important obstacle remains.

Laser hair removal, acting on the pigment of the hair, injures the growth zone, capturing stem cells only in about 10% of cases. As a result, the hair is restored again, albeit with a significant time delay.

Therefore, the laser does not permanently remove the cover, but only significantly slows down the growth. Consequently, clients are still forced to return for re-therapy after several months or years.

And for clients with hormonal hair loss, the effects of light therapy are even worse. Androgenic attack combined with laser stress stimulates the growth of velus (vellus) hair sacs.

This means that the thin, barely noticeable fluff that covers the entire body begins to turn into coarse and dark hair, leaving people with a much greater problem than before treatment.

New discoveries

All of these developments coincided with the discovery of hair cyclicality.It was found that at the beginning of each new cycle, a new hair grows from the stem cells secreted by the follicle.

That is, there is a particularly vulnerable time when it is possible to effectively act on stem cells: at the very beginning of the active anagen phase, in which only 10% of all hairs in the area of ​​therapy are located.

It is quite difficult to catch this period with a laser. Electrolysis, on the other hand, by producing alkali, envelops the entire area of ​​the hair follicle and destroys the growth zone forever.This explains the ultimate success of the electrical technology procedures.

FDA approves electrolysis as the only definitive treatment for vegetation

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medical device issues.

In light of the incredible popularity of the laser and promises from manufacturers and clinics, the FDA reiterated its position that only electrolysis can permanently remove vegetation.The agency also warned laser clinics against such advertising of their devices.

The Consumer Health Bulletin dated June 27, 2007 reads as follows:

“The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes electrolysis as a way to remove hair permanently.”

Established in Title 21, CFR, Sec. 878.5350 for needle epilators that: “the device is designed to epilate hair by destroying its dermal papilla.”With this in mind, only electric epilators have the right to claim permanent hair removal in their advertisements.

As you can see, electrolysis has an impressive history behind its shoulders with numerous ups and downs. She had and still has strong competitors in the form of other methods.

But, in spite of everything, it remains until now the only recognized method of hair removal in the world forever.


Medically written and reviewed by: Julia Nicholson, dermatologist, physiotherapist
Published by: Olesya Smagina, Assistant Director of the Universe of Beauty Hair Removal Centers

Laser hair removal – reasons, methods

If you are one of the millions of people suffering from the problem of unwanted hair, we have good news – today you have a large selection of effective methods of hair removal.

Hair Removal Reasons

The reasons people choose to have their hair removed range from a routine medical necessity to a simple “I want it” argument. For many women, hair removal is part of their daily routine. Now laser hair removal in Moscow, and not only, has become available to everyone. To keep up with modern fashion, they shave their legs and armpits, pluck their eyebrows, and trim or remove pubic hair.

Most men shave their mustaches and beards, and sometimes their body hair, to achieve a good cosmetic result.To increase the effect of the appearance, improve the appearance, or both at the same time, many athletes – swimmers and bodybuilders in particular – remove body hair. One of the most effective hair removal methods is laser hair removal for men.

Some people with hair growth disorders such as hypertrichosis or hirsutism (excessive hair growth) have to remove their hair for health reasons.

Temporary or complete hair removal

All hair removal methods can be divided into 2 large groups: temporary and radical.

Temporary treatments only work for a short time and depend on the normal hair growth periods. Such techniques include shaving, plucking, waxing and using a variety of creams. Most people use temporary home hair removal methods, but they can also be used at a spa or salon.

Radical Hair Removal Techniques

The radical methods described below are designed to remove unwanted hair in such a way that it never grows again, or in the worst case, starts to grow after a certain period of time.Such hair removal methods are usually carried out by certified specialists in this field.


When removing hair by electrolysis, each hair follicle is treated separately. The graduate inserts a needle into the hair follicles and delivers an electrical charge that destroys the hair follicle and its ability to produce new hair. This process can take months, depending on the size of the area to be depilated. This is a somewhat painful process, and side effects can include scarring and infectious diseases.


The laser hair removal process uses a small laser beam to destroy hair follicles. This is a relatively painless method and works best for people with fair skin and dark hair. It is not recommended for severely tanned people. Laser hair removal is FDA certified and should only be performed by certified, highly trained professionals. Therefore, full body laser hair removal is done only in beauty salons.

Photoepilation / Pulse Laser

This FDA-approved method uses a pulsed beam of light to destroy hair follicles. Photoepilation / pulsed laser hair removal is especially effective for removing hair from sensitive areas such as armpits and bikini area. Unlike laser hair removal, this method has no restrictions regarding hair and skin color or tanning.

Anyway, removing unwanted hair is easier and more affordable than ever before.


Removal of unwanted hair for cosmetic purposes includes a wide range of procedures from shaving to painful waxing, or extremely lengthy hair removal using electrolysis, which allows you to achieve relatively long-term results.

Each of these techniques, as well as laser hair removal (comparatively less unpleasant), is aimed at removing hair for the maximum period and increasing the delay in hair regrowth.

For dark hair, laser hair removal is most effective due to the high level of melanin. After the completion of the laser treatment, the skin may turn red for 1-2 days, and itching is also possible (the reaction is similar to a light sunburn), while the number of procedures required for epilation sessions depends on several factors. These include:

  • The area of ​​the treated surface (different number of hairs in the anagen phase)
  • Hair and skin type.
  • Patient expectations (several fine hairs allowed)
  • Time interval between sessions.

To achieve a satisfactory result, an average of three to seven sessions may be required. The intervals between sessions should not exceed 4-6 weeks.

Permanent hair removal

Laser hair removal is a relatively new cosmetic product for permanent removal of unwanted facial and body hair using laser light energy. Permanent laser hair removal is an alternative to shaving, hair removal, plucking, and the use of chemical epilators.This procedure takes less time than electrolysis and allows you to process large areas in one session. Laser hair removal can be used to remove hair from the back, chest or legs, as well as delicate areas such as the upper lip, eyebrows or bikini area.

Laser Hair Removal Candidates

The best candidates for laser hair removal are people with fair skin and dark hair. This procedure is not as effective on light or redheads, and coarse hair is easier to apply than fine hair.

Permanent Hair Removal Procedure

Laser hair removal is an outpatient cosmetic procedure performed using a MedioStar laser, working with a diode laser and equipped with a special contact cooling system. This system is also suitable for sensitive skin as it helps to avoid burns. In addition, the laser operates at high frequencies of up to 2 Hz, making the procedure faster and more effective, and reducing the feeling of discomfort.Typically, the first step in laser hair removal is shaving the area. To increase the effectiveness of the procedure in patients with dark skin, it is possible to use a whitening cream. After the area is shaved and cleaned, an anesthetic cream is applied. The pulses of light then send energy into the hair pigment, damaging the follicles. You can also use a solution to provide a wavelength response to help prevent hair regrowth.

Risks of laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is generally safe, but there are several potential side effects.In some cases, the appearance of dark or white spots on the skin is possible. Dark skin is more susceptible to changes in pigment, therefore sunburn should be avoided before the procedure. Burns and blisters are possible. To reduce the risks associated with laser hair removal, you should follow your beautician’s recommendations.

Duration of exposure to laser hair removal

Not all human hairs are in the growth phase at the same time. Typically, about two-thirds of the hair is in the growing phase, the rest in the resting phase.Because of this, laser hair removal usually requires more than one session – an average of about three sessions per area. The procedure is recommended to be carried out at least once a month so that the hair from the rest phase passes into the growth phase and is ready to be removed during the next procedure. The duration of each session depends on the size of the treated surface. The time can vary from five minutes to an hour, depending on where the procedure is performed (body or face).

For laser hair removal, it is important to contact a highly qualified specialist – a dermatologist or cosmetologist.

Electrolysis hair removal | Portal 1nep.ru

Electrolysis procedures require good performance skills, and although devices for home use are now being sold, we recommend that you contact a specialist. Laser hair removal is not always suitable for those with dark skin or light hair. Electrolysis would be an excellent solution to this problem. True, there is one caveat: the procedure is extremely tedious and unpleasant. In addition, it is not recommended to use this type of hair removal for areas of a large area – legs, bikini line or, for example, the back.Electrolysis is most effective on the face: upper lip, chin and cheeks.

There are three methods of electrolysis hair removal: galvanic, thermolysis and their combination. All three give the same result and are produced with a long needle inserted into the follicle under the skin. The success of the procedure depends more on the skills of the specialist than on the equipment used. Other factors that affect how you epilate are your hair type and pain threshold. Modern technologies have made electrolysis less painful, however, the procedure remains extremely unpleasant.

Galvanic electrolysis is the oldest method of this type of hair removal, used since 1875. The follicle is not destroyed by an electrical discharge, but by a chemical reaction. The salt and water around the insertion needle interact to form sodium hydroxide, or lye. The same is found in washing powders. As a result, the follicles are eaten away and completely destroyed. Thermolysis uses short radio waves, effectively inserting a radio transmitter under your skin. Thermolysis causes the water molecules around the follicle to vibrate and heat up accordingly.When a certain temperature is reached, the cells responsible for hair growth are completely destroyed.

The third method combines elements of galvanic electrolysis and thermolysis. If one of them does not destroy the follicle, the other will. However, the results show that the effectiveness of this method of hair removal is in no way higher than either galvanic or thermolysis.

Selecting a good therapist is much more important to the safety and effectiveness of the procedure. Hair removal using electrolysis is an extremely difficult process: the needle must be inserted very accurately.