What is the average cost of electrolysis?
Electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal solution approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are three variations of electrolysis: galvanic, thermolysis, and a combination of both. In contrast to IPL and laser hair removal, electrolysis permanently destroys the hair follicle.
Galvanic hair removal uses electrically created chemical reactions to destroy hair follicles. This method is slow and best for thick, coarse, and dark hair. Thermolysis allows heat to irrevocably damage the hair follicle. It is faster, but less effective than galvanic. The combo uses both of these techniques for the most efficient, fastest hair removal solution. All methods will require numerous sessions over weeks to months to be effective.
- Average Cost of Electrolysis: $500
- Price Range for Electrolysis: $30 - $10,000
Candidates considering electrolysis treatment will find it helpful to familiarize themselves with the elements affecting the total price of this hair removal system.
Factors to Consider in the Total Cost of Electrolysis
|Treatment Area||Chin area, underarm, bikini area, etc.|
|Provider||Training, experience, specialty|
|Consultation Fee||May or may not be applied towards procedure cost|
|Anesthesiologist Fee||Training, experience|
|Type of Treatment||Galvanic vs. Thermolysis vs. Hybrid|
What affects the cost of electrolysis?
So, what exactly do the variables mean for your wallet? These bullet points below can give you a feel for questions to ask and factors to think about when consulting with a provider or researching an electrolysis treatment. These are estimates and consultations always offer the most accurate cost assessment:
- Treatment Area: A larger area, thicker/coarser hair, and darker hair will all require more sessions of longer duration to remove so costs will be higher.
- Provider: A more experienced, board certified cosmetic provider or specialized dermatologist typically has higher fees for their expertise.
- Location: The 2019 American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Report shows in general most cosmetic procedures occur on the coasts. While there is no specific data for electrolysis, it’s not too hard to assume costs will be higher along the coasts for electrolysis due to the higher volume of procedures.
- Sessions: Electrolysis will require multiple sessions of varying length to create results. Session can last 15 minutes to one hour and occur one to a few times a week. This is an important factor in determining the level of financial investment you will be making in an electrolysis hair removal.
Before we move on, let’s look a little closer at how a body area affects the price of electrolysis. The table below offers general estimates by major body area. Remember, there is significant price variation due to differences in hair thickness and distribution between candidates.
Average Total Cost of Electrolysis by Treatment Area
|Upper lip or chin||$150 to $300|
|Underarms||$500 to $4,000|
|Bikini||$900 to $2,000|
|Leg||$4,500 to $10,000|
|Back||$4,500 to $10,000|
|Chest or Abdomen||$2,500 to $9,000|
What does the cost of electrolysis include?
What are you actually paying for with an electrolysis session? As we mentioned, the variables listed in our first table have their own individual fees. The cost of the electrolysis itself will have added fees for the provider’s time, the facility’s supplies and procedure room, and potential recovery supplies provided by your facility.
How much does electrolysis cost?
Electrolysis, depending on the body area and hair characteristics, will necessitate multiple sessions to achieve the final aesthetic. Like we mentioned, larger treatment areas (like your legs or back) will require numerous machine sessions and, therefore, have higher costs compared to small treatment areas.
Additionally, a patient’s hair type and distribution significantly affects cost. Most electrolysis treatments last 15 minutes to one hour and cost $30 to a little over $100. Treatments are generally performed once or twice a week for as many weeks as are needed for results.
How much does electrolysis cost across the United States?
It’s all about location! We noted above that the 2019 ASPS Report shows the majority of cosmetic procedures occur on the coasts, and this most likely holds true for electrolysis. The table below breaks down electrolysis single session costs of 15 minutes to one hour in major cities across the U.S.
Average Electrolysis Single Session Cost by City and State
|New York, NY||$50 to $130|
|Chicago, IL||$45 to $105|
|Miami, FL||$40 to $125|
|Birmingham, AL||$30 to $100|
|Austin, TX||$35 to $105|
|Los Angeles, CA||$50 to $130|
How much does electrolysis cost around the world?
For those considering pursuing electrolysis abroad, the table below compares average prices in a few countries. As a friendly reminder, you’ll need to consider extra travel expenses and research the reputation of the provider and facility before getting too excited about the price difference. Also remember that electrolysis may take months to years to achieve full results… that would be a lot of frequent flyer miles. The table below reflects average single 15 minute to one hour session costs converted to U.S. dollars.
Average Electrolysis Cost by Country in USD
|Canada||$50 to $150|
|Mexico||$20 to $60|
|Colombia||$20 to $50|
|United Kingdom||$50 to $150|
|Australia||$30 to $115|
|Japan||$40 to $150|
|United Arab Emirates||$50 to $100|
Does insurance cover the cost of electrolysis?
If you’re wondering whether or not insurance will pay for electrolysis, the answer is maybe. These two definitions from the American Medical Association (AMA) may help:
- Cosmetic Surgery: Reshapes normal structures of the body in order to improve appearance and self-esteem.
- Reconstructive Surgery: Alterations to abnormal body structures caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors, or disease.
Basically, reconstructive surgeries may be covered by and cosmetic surgeries will definitely not be. Yes, we know electrolysis is not a surgery, but the ideas hold for procedures as well. Electrolysis is most often considered a cosmetic procedure and, therefore, is not covered. For those pursuing electrolysis for something like hirsutism, however, it could be argued there is medical indication, though it would require proper documentation from the patient’s provider.
Electrolysis is a permanent solution for removing unwanted hair, as it entirely destroys all possibility of hair growth. This hair removal method is safe for both facial hair and body area in most skin types. Remember, electrolysis will need multiple treatment sessions, so it can be a significant financial investment.