Electrolysis

Electrolysis is the only FDA-approved permanent hair removal method. This procedure can be used to treat unwanted hair growth with either chemicals or electricity.

Electrolysis

The Skinny


Average Recovery

1 weeks

Permanence

Temporary

Application

Thermal Treatment

Surgical

No

Cost

$30 - $20000

The Specifics


What is electrolysis?

Electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal cosmetic procedure available with approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While IPL and laser hair removal eliminate hair temporarily and slow regrowth, electrolysis permanently destroys the hair follicle.

There are three variations of electrolysis:

  • Galvanic
  • Thermolysis
  • A combination of the two

Galvanic hair removal uses electricity and chemical reactions to destroy hair follicles; it is slow and often best used for thick, coarse, and dark hair. Thermolysis uses heat delivered to the base of the hair follicle to irrevocably damage it; this method is faster, but less effective than the galvanic. The blend method or dual action method combines both of these techniques for an efficient, fast hair removal solution.

What cosmetic concerns does an electrolysis procedure treat?

  1. Unwanted Hair: Regardless of the method used, electrolysis permanently destroys hair follicles and impedes the body’s ability for hair growth in the treated areas.

Who is the ideal candidate for an electrolysis procedure?

The ideal candidate for electrolysis is seeking permanent hair removal for unwanted hair on the face and body. Electrolysis is not recommended for those with active skin infections, keloid scarring, hemophilia, those on anticoagulants, or those who have undergone dermabrasion or facial plastic surgery within the past six months.

What is the average recovery associated with an electrolysis procedure?

Most patients experience one to two weeks of recovery time following an electrolysis procedure. Scabbing develops within one to two days, and resolves within two weeks. Patients are advised to not manipulate the treated area, avoid sun exposure, and limit activity for the first few days.

What are the potential side effects of an electrolysis procedure?

Possible side effects following an electrolysis procedure include tenderness, redness, swelling, scarring, and pitting of the skin.

What can someone expect from the results of an electrolysis procedure?

The results of electrolysis will develop over a series of initial treatments spaced one to four weeks apart dependent on the candidate. Once the desired results have been achieved, they are permanent.

What is the average cost of an electrolysis procedure?

An electrolysis procedure can cost anywhere from $50 to $5,000. The actual cost of electrolysis is dependent upon location, hair loss specialist or dermatologist, and length and involvement of the cosmetic procedure. Learn more in our complete guide to the cost of electrolysis.

Pros

permanent hair removalproven effective

Cons

many sessionsconsistent treatmentexpensive

Invasiveness Score

mildmoderatesevere
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect


Electrolysis is the only FDA approved method of permanent hair removal. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after electrolysis.

The Takeaway


Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal solution FDA approved to damage hair follicles and cease hair growth in the treated areas.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Mayo Clinic Staff Hair Loss Symptoms and Causes MayoClinic.org
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