Electrolysis – Long-Term Solution for Unwanted Body Hair

Electrolysis – Long-Term Solution for Unwanted Body Hair

We all have them and many of us really don’t like them – yes, we are talking about hair in unseemly places. Hair, in some places, can be a thing of the past with just one or two electrolysis treatments.

Did you know that a woman on average shaves 7,718 times in her life? Let’s say that one shaving of legs and bikini area lasts about 15 minutes (we are being generous, it lasts longer), which means that an average woman spends about 115,770 minutes of her life shaving. This also means that you lose around 80 days of your life in the bathroom; shaving. That is simply too much time wasted in the bathroom with your legs up. 

Luckily, in this day and age, shaving and wasting time don’t have to be a part of your everyday life.

Or, if we are talking about waxing – pain, ingrown hair and an obligation that you have to do it at least once a month.

There are other, more permanent options, like laser hair removal, and electrolysis

We’ve talked numerous times about all of the benefits laser hair removal has, check out “The Ultimate Guide to Laser Hair Removal” or find out why autumn is the best time to start with it in our blog “Autumn – The Right Time to Start Your Laser Hair Removal Treatments”.

Now it’s time to explore the magic behind electrolysis – what it is, how it works, all the benefits and side effects, so stay tuned.

Electrolysis – What Is That?

Electrolysis is a hair removal process that works by inserting a fine needle into the hair follicle, (the skin depression from which the hair emerges), and destroying the hair root either by heat or chemical reaction and sometimes both at the same time.

The great thing about this treatment is that it’s a great option for almost every part of the body: face, stomach, thighs and legs, breasts… The only two areas you should avoid treating are inside your nose and your ears.

The process takes time because one hair at a time gets treated, so patience is the key when it comes to electrolysis.

Its main job is to disrupt hair growth, whatever the reason behind it is – whether it’s genetics, hormonal or something else.

The interesting thing about electrolysis is that this method has been around for more than 150 years, even though it has just recently started gaining more popularity.

There are three different types of electrolysis:

    1. Galvanic: this is the oldest method with proven results; also known as the multi-needle method. It uses a chemical reaction in order to destroy the hair follicle and uses a direct electrical current. Even though it gives great results, it is time-consuming – it takes about three minutes per one hair. Also, it best works for thick hair.
    2. Thermolysis: this is a newer and quicker method of electrolysis. It works in a similar way as the previous method, however, needles send radio energy at a high frequency. Even though it’s quicker, it doesn’t have the same results as the galvanic method, so it’s best used for thin hair.
    3. Blend: as the name says itself, this method is a combination of the previous two; it’s quicker than the first one but slower than the second one (around seven seconds per hair), but the results are long-lasting. It’s best used for fine, facial hair.

Is It Really Permanent?

It is the only method confirmed by the U.S FDA to be permanent.

The way this method works is what makes it long-lasting, burning each and every hair follicle so it can’t grow back.

However, if the follicle is not destroyed properly, it can eventually lead to the re-growth of the hair.

Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal

These are the two most popular methods when it comes to hair removal in the long run.  Both of these methods have many advantages and target hair follicles, so it’s up to you to determine which one to choose.

Let’s take a quick comparison between the two.

A Laser Hair Removal device uses highly concentrated beams to target the melanin within the hair follicles. This light turns to heat whose main goal is to destroy hair follicles.


  • It’s quick(er than electrolysis) – it’s a fast and precise procedure
  • Slow regrowth after the first procedure
  • Long term (but not permanent) results


  • It doesn’t work that well on every skin colour: the best combination is dark hair and light skin tone
  • Possible redness, skin discoloration, discomfort
  • Photosensitivity

Compared to electrolysis, it takes less time, but the second method has long-lasting effects, unlike laser hair removal. Also, electrolysis is more versatile, because it works well for every skin type and any area, which is not the case with laser hair removal.

It’s up to you to decide which one works better for you and to help you do that, we have a blog explaining the differences between these two methods: Laser Hair Removal vs. Electrolysis.

Benefits of Electrolysis

There are numerous benefits to electrolysis:

  1. The main advantage is the fact that it can be done anywhere on the body
  2. Also, unlike the other methods, it is suitable for every skin and hair type
  3. Little to no down-time; you can continue with your day after the procedure
  4. It’s a very safe method
  5. There are no lasting side effects
  6. There is no need for a check-up after you are done with the procedure
  7. It’s chemical-free – it does not apply chemicals directly to the skin

All of these pros make it a great solution to getting rid of hair once and for all.

However, it is important to mention that these results don’t happen overnight. For electrolysis to have visible results it will take several treatments. This number depends on the area that is treated and hair type. For example, thin hair requires fewer treatments than thick, dark one.

Side effects & Disadvantages

We have mentioned that the side effects are not lasting, however, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. The severeness of side effects depends on skin sensitivity and the thickness of hair. 

The usual side effects are:

  1. Skin irritation, redness and swelling – it usually disappears after a couple of hours
  2. There is a risk of possible infections if the needles are not sterilized/replaced and if it’s not done by professionals
  3. Even though it is not painful, there is a stinging sensation, which can feel a bit uncomfortable for people with lower pain tolerance
  4. It’s time-consuming – in order to see results, you need to have at least a couple of sessions; also, each treatment lasts a long time
  5. Previous waxing and tweezing can make hair removal a bit complicated because if the follicle is bent, it can be much harder to get the needle to the root

Myths Behind Electrolysis

Like everything that is popular (especially when it’s been around for a really long time), there are always some myths and misconceptions whose main job is to make you question “Is this really THAT good?”.

We are here to debunk those myths, such as:

    1. It’s a really painful procedure – depending on your pain tolerance level, it can be a bit uncomfortable 
    2. There are other, better options for permanently removing hair – as we said, electrolysis is one of the options, besides laser hair removal, that gives longer-lasting results.
    3. It is better to choose temporary methods for hair removal – creams for removing hair include chemicals that can be harmful; razors can irritate your skin, especially when you cut it; waxing is painful and it can get expensive in the long run… all of this can be avoided with the electrolysis treatment 
    4. Electrolysis at home has the same effect – just like any other procedure, the “do-it-yourself” home kit can’t have the same effects as the one done by professionals with high-end equipment. Also, there is a risk of severe side effects, like scaring.

Before & Aftercare

You’ve scheduled your electrolysis treatment, great – now what?

There are some things to keep in mind before the treatment, for example:

  1. Avoid drinking any kind of caffeine a couple of hours prior to the procedure
  2. Don’ forget to hydrate
  3. Don’t smoke before the procedure (or  in general)
  4. It’s ok to shave, but don’t tweeze or wax the hair
  5. Use gentle exfoliator if exfoliating

When the procedure is done, the next 48 hours are the most important  – you should pay attention to keeping the treated area clean.

There are numerous things you should do, in order to have the best results and avoid any possible infection:

  1. Keep your skin clean
  2. Apply ice to the treated area to ease the pain
  3. Avoid any kind of tanning – sun exposure or tanning beds for at least 48h
  4. Use SPF (as always)
  5. Don’t touch the treated area (especially if the hands are not clean)
  6. Avoid saunas and jacuzzis 
  7. Avoid hot showers and swimming
  8. Don’t use make-up or put soap/perfumed products on that area

Following these steps is a great way to be sure that you will have the best results possible. 


There you have it folks – the magic behind one of the most beloved procedures explained in great detail.

What’s your take on it – is it a good solution?

The only thing we know is spring is just around the corner. And we all know what comes after it – that’s right, summer. And by that, we mean: dresses and skirts, being in a swimsuit for most of the beautiful sunny days… Shaving on a daily basis comes hand in hand with all of these amazing things…which makes them less amazing.

In our book, that makes electrolysis a great solution and now is the perfect time to start with it. When the summer comes, you will be ready to show off your ever-so-smooth skin!

Our talented team at Ottawa Vein and Cosmetic Medical Clinic is more than happy to assist you on this journey, so feel free to call us and book an appointment.

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