Electrolysis For Hair Removal At Your Salon

Did you know that electrolysis is the only FDA approved treatment for permanent hair removal? Electrolysis consists of a small needle-point probe instrument which is inserted into the follicle of the hair and then uses a small electrical current, radio current or combination of the two to damage the hair follicle of the unwanted hair. This damage causes the old hair to fall out and prevents new hair from growing in its place. However, while electrolysis treatment is permanent, it generally takes anywhere from 15 to 30 sessions treating the same area to achieve these results. Electrolysis can be done on hair in almost any area including above the lip, eyebrows, underarms, body hair and bikini line.

How Much Do Electrolysis Machines Cost

Electrolysis machines generally cost between $1,500 and $10,000 but can cost more. Therefore, It is certainly an investment you will want to take seriously. Electrologists generally charge between $30 and $200 per session and sessions are generally about 30 minutes for a single treatment area. Therefore, you should not ultimately have a lot of trouble making the investment worthwhile if you have regular customers but any potential electrologist will have to do these calculations for themselves.

Different Types Of Electrolysis

​Galvanic Electrolysis – has been used for more than 150 years and this type of electrolysis involves using a chemical reaction to destroy the follicle of the unwanted hair. The chemical reaction occurs when a small electric current interacts with the saline found at the bottom of the hair follicle to produce lye. This natural lye which is produced is very effective in preventing the unwanted hair from growing ever again. However, this method is also very time-consuming, taking about 3 minutes to destroy a single hair follicle. This method is most appropriate for thicker hair which may be harder to remove with other types of electrolysis.

Thermolysis Electrolysis – is newer than ​galvanic electrolysis and, instead of using a small electrical current to create a chemical reaction in the hair follicle, thermolysis electrolysis uses a probe needle with a specific radio frequency to remove hairs. This radio frequency agitates water at the base of the hair follicle and creates heat which then destroys the targeted hair cells. Now, while this method is much faster than galvanic electrolysis in that it only takes a few seconds to treat each hair, it is also not as powerful as galvanic electrolysis and is typically used for finer hairs.

Blend Electrolysis – is the newest form of electrolysis and combines the other two electrolysis methods into one machine. With this method, the electrical current creates the chemical lye reaction and while this is going on, the radio frequency of the thermolysis electrolysis creates heat inside the hair follicle which also heats the lye to effectively eliminate the hair follicle. This method, while not quite as quick as thermolysis electrolysis, takes about 7 seconds per hair during treatment. 

Pros And Cons Of Electrolysis

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of electrolysis, especially against laser hair removal to which it is frequently compared. As far as pros are concerned, the main one which will probably stick out to most people is that it is permanent. Yes, it takes many treatments to achieve permanent results but, when those results are achieved, you never have to shave, pluck, wax or otherwise remove this area of unwanted hair again. Also, while it can be costly, it is generally less expensive than laser hair removal and also works on everyone whereas the success of laser hair removal can depend more on hair color, hair texture and skin color. Electrolysis is also FDA approved and, for people who like validation from relevant authorities when it comes to their beauty treatments, this is a plus.

Now let’s discuss the cons of electrolysis. For one thing, it can be very costly and time consuming depending on the type and density of hair you are looking to remove. For instance, it is estimated that to remove a full beard, it could take several years worth of treatments and around $10,000. However, given that many people who get electrolysis are women and are not looking to remove this type of dense hair, results should ultimately come much sooner and less expensive. Electrolysis can also be painful. Although it is not an extreme or dangerous pain, some people do not enjoy being pricked by the probe over and over again for 30 minutes. Finally, electrolysis can cause skin discoloration, but this depends largely on the skill of the technician doing the work. With skilled technicians, this can, many times, be avoided. 

Training To Be An Electrologist

While some estheticians and salon professionals focus their entire career on electrolysis, many seek out electrology as an additional service to offer at their salon. To offer this service many states require taking courses in electrolysis to earn the license as well as completing an apprenticeship under an experienced electrologist. There are, however, still 18 states which have no formal requirements for electrologists. Even in these states, though, it is still preferable to become experienced before offering this service to your salon clients.


While electrolysis will require an initial investment of time and money if you want to provide this service at your salon, hair removal is a fairly common request from female salon customers and electrolysis is one way to accommodate this request. Since it has many pros, you can try offering this service to clients whom you normally perform waxing or eyebrow threading services for as an alternative.