Electrolysis is the only method legally permitted to call itself Permanent Hair Removal:

Everything else is Hair Reduction.

There are Three Types of Electrolysis:

  • Thermolysis – also known as Short-Wave Diathermy, Electro-Coagulation. A thin filament, the width of the hair to be treated, passes into the follicle and down to the hair root, where a carefully measured amount of heat-producing electrical current is dispensed. This kills and detaches the hair, which is lifted from the follicle. Thermolysis is the fastest method, making it ideal for clearing large or dense growth areas.
  • Galvanic – also known as Electrolysis. The procedure is similar to Thermolysis, but the method produces a chemical called Lye, which fills the hair follicle and kills the hair within. The process takes up to thirty seconds per hair, so it isn’t often used for large areas of hair growth.
  • Blend – utilises the heat of thermolysis to speed up the chemical reaction produced with galvanic. This cuts down individual hair treatment time to around 6-7 seconds. The method is great for just a few hairs, or to mop up any stubborn remaining hairs when the main growth has been eradicated.

An electrolysist needs a steady hand and precision to treat every hair accurately. A well-trained practitioner will achieve fantastic, permanent results, making this a much sought-after treatment.

In Canada and the US, the treatment is called Electrology, and practitioners are known as Electrologists.

Electrolysis treatment on underarm hair.

What Causes Excessive Hair Growth?

Hair growth results from heredity and fluctuating hormone levels such as puberty and menopause. In addition, specific medication, temporary methods of hair removal, and medical conditions such as thyroid disorders and PCOS can stimulate hair growth. Electrolysis can permanently remove hair from any area of the face and body.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Many factors influence hair growth: you will need a course of treatment. The total number of sessions required to remove hair permanently from a particular area will vary from person to person. Every client has different needs: electrolysis is specifically tailored to you for the best results.

Please be aware: if you have a medical condition such as PCOS or a thyroid problem or are entering a phase of hormonal disruption such as menopause, hair may continue to be produced as a result. Electrolysis can deal with these hairs as and whenever they appear so you can get on with your life as usual.

Younger Clients (Minors)

Please note: Clients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for consultation and treatment.

Highly magnified hair root encapsulated in an almost transparent root sheath, which attaches the hair to its blood supply.
The Electrolysis Legacy Group provides lots of information on hair growth, with links for specialised information, support and advice:



  • Myth: Electrolysis is painful: In most cases, electrolysis causes minimal discomfort. Modern electrolysis methods have reduced the sensation to a minimum for many clients. Clients can source and apply a topical anaesthetic cream (available over the counter at most pharmacies), however very few clients choose to use it.
  • Myth: Temporary hair removal methods are better: Chemical creams are often used to remove body hair. These products can be time-consuming, messy and cause skin irritation. Bleaches contain harsh chemicals and do little to disguise dark hair. They may also discolour the skin. Salon waxing is another temporary method of hair removal, but hairs need to be grown first for successful results, which last between 3-8 weeks. Home waxing kits are available but can be messy, expensive, and difficult to use. There are electrolysis devices available for home use, but they can be unsafe for use in untrained hands and are usually ineffective. Laser/IPL generally only works on dark hairs against paler skin, as the energy targets the pigment in the hair to travel down to the root. Pigment disruption is possible in darker skins: only certain types of laser are recommended in these cases, and many may not be suitable. There have been documented cases of laser-stimulating hair growth, called Paradoxical Hypertrichosis, in some clients. Also, laser is hair reduction, so only partially permanent, but can be useful for areas such as the legs, to reduce numbers before finishing with electrolysis.
  • Myth: Electrolysis is expensive: Electrolysis is the only permanent treatment: costs are minimal compared to a lifetime of temporary methods. Some areas respond more quickly than others, such as hair around the nipples, on the back, the eyebrows and the stomach around the navel.


  • Electrolysis is the only method of hair removal approved as permanent by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration in the USA).
  • The British Advertising Standards Authority has permitted to state that electrolysis is permanent hair removal in advertising.
  • Other hair removal methods do not permanently remove hair – they can only reduce it.
  • Electrolysis is ‘non-discriminatory’ as any hair colour on any skin type or colour on any part of the body can receive effective treatment.
  • Hair removal using electrolysis for ‘cosmetic’ reasons has been around since the early 1900s and was initially invented within the ophthalmology field in 1875 to remove ingrown eyelashes permanently.
These are words provided by clients to describe how electrolysis has made them feel.

Consultation and Treatment

An Electrolysis consultation is mandatory before treatment (even if you have had previous treatment elsewhere): you’ll be assessed for suitability (if you have a medical condition or take any form of medication, please bring details), have the procedure explained and also have a patch test to check skin reaction and to show you how the treatment will feel. You can then make a fully informed decision on whether Electrolysis is the best method for you.

Contra Indications to Treatment

Electrolysis is a safe and effective hair removal method, but certain medical conditions may not be suitable for treatment.

  • Patients with a history of heart disease, epilepsy, or seizures will need written permission from their GP or consultant before undergoing electrolysis.
  • Pacemakers and similar implants will also need written permission, as electrolysis may affect the frequency.
  • Diabetes may slow healing of the treatment area and increase the risk of infection.
  • Patients with a compromised immune system may also experience slower healing times and an increased risk of infection.
  • Skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema: electrolysis should be avoided in the affected areas during the active stage. 
  • Some medications can affect skin healing: please bring details of any prescribed medication to your consultation.
  • Cancer: clients will need evidence of their all-clear and written permission from their oncologist to proceed with treatment.
Electrolysis is charged by time:

15-Minute Appointment: £35.00

30-Minute Appointment: £50.00

45-Minute Appointment: £70.00

60 Minute Appointment: £90.00

Aftercare Following Your Treatment

You’ll be advised during your consultation on how to look after your skin following treatment. Electrolysis uses heat to remove hair growth permanently, so it figures that there will be a skin reaction to the process. There will be redness immediately after treatment, which can take from around thirty minutes to a few hours to disappear completely. The area may appear bumpy for a while, and some scabbing may occur. Don’t be alarmed – everybody reacts differently, and it’s all down to your own skin’s healing process. You’ll need to use a recommended aftercare product morning and night for a couple of days to protect the area and ensure proper healing, and follow some simple advice during recovery time. You’ll receive written aftercare instructions for home use. 

If you have any concerns about your skin following treatment, contact your electrolysist immediately – it’s what we’re here for! 

As your skin becomes accustomed to the treatment, your reactions following the sessions will lessen, and recovery time will be quicker. As the number of hairs reduces permanently, the treatment time will also decrease, and sessions will be required less often until there is nothing left to treat.

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