Electrolysis involves the insertion of a probe into each hair follicle to deliver electric currents that destroy the hair root. It is the only permanent method of hair removal.

There are three methods of electrolysis: thermolysis, galvanic electrolysis, and the blend method. Each method uses a different type of electric current.

  • Thermolysis allows for fast removal of fine hair with shallow to medium straight follicles.

  • Galvanic electrolysis has the highest success rate for lack of regrowth. It is the slowest method, which may make it more uncomfortable. It works on distorted hair follicles, as well as deep hair follicles. Incorrect treatment can result in tattooing (permanent black marks on the skin). Can be followed by cataphoresisThe electrical current stimulates the sebaceous gland which will secrete basic sebum. The hair follicle then becomes a potential area for the effect of the production of bacteria proliferation., which is beneficial for reducing redness and providing effective antibacterial protection.

  • The blend method is the most popular method in North America. It combines the currents of the previous two methods, so that a wide range of hairs can be treated. This includes kinky and curly hairs and hairs with distorted follicles.

As skills and experience vary across providers, it is crucial to work with a skilled, experienced and well recommended laser hair removal provider. For more information, visit Choosing a Hair Removal Method for tips in choosing a provider.


Electrolysis can successfully remove all types of hair, regardless of colour, texture, or stage of growth. It can also successfully remove hair on all skin colours and types (dry, oily, and mature). It can be performed just about anywhere on the body, except the inside of the nose and ear. After each treatment, any hair that regrows will be finer and lighter.


Electrolysis is expensive (anywhere from $25 to $250/hour). It requires repeated treatments over a long time period (around 1-4 years for thick facial hair). It is also painful (though there are over-the-counter and prescription topical anesthetics to help with pain management). Common side effects of electrolysis include temporary redness, bumps, swelling, and scabbing. Incorrect treatment methods can lead to blanching (temporary whitening of the skin), pitting, and dimpling of the skin.

There are some health conditions that may prevent you from safely undergoing electrolysis, such as high blood pressure and epilepsy. Ask your doctor if electrolysis is a safe hair removal option for you.

Safety tips

After electrolysis, the area is prone to infection. Follow your electrologist’s aftercare instructions. This will include information about cleansing your skin, using soothing products, avoiding makeup for a day, avoiding tanning, and avoiding plucking. There are some home electrolysis devices on the market. It is very difficult to perform electrolysis on yourself (even for skilled electrologists). The consequences of inaccurate needle insertion can be severe, and include permanent scarring.