Electrolysis is a method of permanent hair removal that works by passing a small current along a very fine sterilised needle into the hair follicle, killing the hair at the root.


Electrolysis cuts off the blood and nutrition supply to the hair at the root with a localised current, thus weakening it so it can be removed, and eventually killing it altogether. An average treatment lasts between 5 – 30 minutes. The number of sessions needed to permanently remove hair will vary – the therapist will only be able to offer a guideline. Weekly or fortnightly sessions are usually necessary at the start, with times between appointments lengthening and the duration of sessions shortening as hair re-growth begins to slow down.

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You will feel some discomfort; exactly how much depends on the area of the body, the strength of the hair, and your pain threshold. You won’t physically feel the needle in the hair follicle, but the sensation of the electric current passing down the needle is much like a light sting. Topical anaesthetic creams or a couple of Ibuprofen tablets taken before the session may help dull the sensation. Don’t plan to go out straight afterwards as your skin will be pink, and if you have a treatment on your face, it’s best not to put any make-up over it until the irritation has settled.

Electrolysis can be used to remove hair from all over the body, apart from the nostrils and inner ears. But because treating one hair at a time is so painstaking, it works best on relatively small areas such as the upper lip, chin and neck. It’s suitable for both men and women, and unlike laser hair removal, puts no restrictions on certain hair types and skin colours. When performed by a qualified therapist, electrolysis is safe and effective.

To be successful (ie hair removed permanently), you’ll need to be patient and committed. Electrolysis takes considerably longer than other epilation methods but the results are thorough and permanent.