Latest update: February 26, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jennifer Trent MD, FAAD


Electrolysis can effectively destroy hair follicles and ultimately stop their regrowth. This procedure uses heat or chemical energy. Unlike intense pulsed light (IPL) or other laser treatments that only minimize hair growth, it can permanently remove hair. Lasers target the melanin in the hair follicles, but electrolysis eradicates the hair follicles.

The treatment can target various body areas, such as the chin, upper lip, bikini line, underarms, and back.

There are three main types of electrolysis: galvanic, thermolysis, and a combination of the two.

The Galvanic technique uses a direct current to create a chemical reaction to destroy hair follicles. It utilizes an electrical charge that reacts with the saline in the body to generate sodium hydroxide. As the sodium hydroxide heats up, it damages the hairs and the cells around them. This technique is rather time-consuming as each follicle can take 2-3 minutes to remove. Apart from this inconvenience, this is an effective way to treat thick and rough hair. 

Thermolysis uses alternating current to heat the hair follicle and destroy it. The energy is delivered through a needle into the follicles. While this method is much quicker than galvanic, it only works on fine hairs.

The “Blend” method: fuses both techniques. It produces sodium hydroxide while distributing heat through the vibrations. This treatment is quick and takes 7 seconds to target each follicle.

Electrolysis requires multiple sessions that can last from 15 to 60 minutes. Doctors usually recommend 12-30 sessions in total. Patients need monthly breaks in between for noticeable results.
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
2 weeks

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