Electrolysis is a method of hair removal where a trained electrologist inserts a fine wire into the hair follicle beneath the skin. By sending an electric current through the wire to the follicle’s base, the process effectively destroys the hair root, preventing new hair growth and causing the existing hair to fall out.
Developed over a century ago, electrolysis was initially intended for eliminating ingrown eyelash hairs and remains the only FDA-approved technique for permanent hair removal.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

Growth of hair is normal and frequently desired. However, occasionally, people desire electrolysis because they

  • Are dissatisfied with hair growth in certain areas (such as between the eyebrows, on the upper lip, or on the breasts).
  • Suffer from hirsutism, characterized by excessive hair growth.
  • Are undergoing gender transition.

The majority of body parts can be treated by electrolysis, including the:

  • Face, including lip, chin and eyebrows.
  • Breasts and abdomen.
  • Underarms.
  • Fingers and toes.
  • Bikini line, thighs and lower legs.
  • Back.

Excessive hair growth can be caused by:

  • Genetics: Having a lot of body hair or not might be influenced by heredity.
  • Hormone levels, including elevated androgen (male hormone) levels.
  • Specific medications, including some steroids.
  • A few medical conditions, like polycystic ovarian syndrome.


Electrolysis is considered a very safe procedure with minimal risks of infection from unsterile needles or scarring if performed improperly. These risks are greatly minimized when conducted by a certified, professional electrologist.

During or immediately after treatment, you may experience slight reddening of the skin, but this is temporary. Individuals with darker skin may notice temporary dark spots, which typically fade over time; using bleaching cream is not advised.

During the procedure

Medical electrolysis devices, also known as epilators, use an electric current to eliminate the hair’s growth center. During the procedure, a fine needle, usually thinner than the hair itself, is inserted into the hair follicle’s opening by electrologists. A brief electrical current then targets and destroys the hair growth cells. Sensations in the treated area may include momentary heat or a slight pinching feeling.

Achieving permanent hair removal typically requires multiple sessions, which vary in number for each individual. Appointments are generally scheduled weekly or bi-weekly and may continue over a period of up to eighteen months. The duration of treatment depends on factors such as the treated area’s size and the hair type; larger areas or those with coarser hair often necessitate more sessions.

Because hair grows in different cycles—growth, rest, and replacement multiple treatments are essential to target hairs in their optimal stage for destruction. Each electrolysis session typically lasts between 15 minutes and an hour.

After the procedure

The following activities should be avoided for the first 24 hours following your treatment as they may irritate the hair follicles:

  • Sun exposure.
  • Tanning.
  • Putting on cosmetics.
  • Anything that makes you perspire.


After treatment, you can resume your normal activities immediately.

Electrolysis safely and permanently removes hair of all skin tones. It is the only FDA-approved method for permanent hair removal. By irreversibly destroying the growth cells in hair follicles, electrolysis ensures that hair cannot regrow.