Patient receives consultation about electrolysis

What is Electrolysis?

Unwanted hair growth could be the result of heredity, hormone levels, medications, or an illness. Electrolysis is one option for removing unwanted hair, especially when the hair growth is in an area of the body where it is not desired, such as on a woman’s upper lip or chin. Many areas of the body can be treated using electrolysis, including the eyebrows, face, abdomen, thighs, breasts, and legs.

How does it work?

Electrolysis works by applying an electrical current into each hair follicle to destroy the root of the hair with a very fine, needle-shaped electrode. There are different types of electrolysis (galvanic, thermolysis, and blend) that vary depending on the exact method that is used to destroy the hair, whether it be using direct current, heat, or a combination of both.

Each session of electrolysis will typically last between 15 minutes and one hour. You will likely need several electrolysis visits in order to completely destroy the hair follicle and prevent re-growth. The total number of sessions will vary from person to person, but most people will need to return one a week or every other week until the series of treatments is complete.

Is it painful?

While some people think that electrolysis is uncomfortable, it is usually not painful. Modern electrolysis methods will usually only cause a slight tingling during the procedure. If you do feel discomfort, a topical anesthetic cream can be applied to reduce any amount of pain you may experience.

How much does it cost?

On average, a 30-minute session of electrolysis hair removal will cost about $45. The total cost will depend on how much hair needs to be removed, the size of the area that is being treated, and where you end up getting your services performed.

For example, a clinic in a large city will probably have higher rates than one in a small town. For a woman who is getting electrolysis on her bikini area, a good estimate would be about $600 by the time the treatment series is complete.

How do you find an electrologist?

An electrologist is a medical professional who has received special training in performing electrolysis. Finding the right electrologist to perform your sessions is important because choosing the wrong one might result in extra sessions, higher costs, or even unnecessary discomfort and scarring. Some things to consider when searching for an electrologist include:

  • Knowing their qualifications: Most states require an electrologist to be licensed or certified within the state before they can practice. If you live in one of these states, check to make sure that the doctor’s certificate is present and that it is not expired. If your state doesn’t regulate electrolysis, ask your electrologist if they have any certification from an accredited electrology school.

  • Asking for recommendations: Ask friends, family, and your primary care doctor if they have any recommendations for electrologists they may know about or have used before. If possible, ask anyone you know who has undergone electrolysis if they have any advice about their experience.

  • Getting consultations: Most electrology clinics will offer you a free consultation. This is a good opportunity to ask questions about the procedure, the cost, how long the electrologist has been working, and how many clients he or she has treated. This will help you to make the best decision about where to send your business.

Last Updated: January 04, 2016