Electrolysis Hair Removal: How It Works

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Electrolysis is a process used to treat unwanted hair by applying a small amount of electrical current to the base of the hair follicle with the gentle insertion of a specialized, single use, sterile disposable probe. The energy from this current destroys the growth center of the hair follicle called the papilla, making this a permanent method of hair removal.

With electrolysis, each hair has to be individually treated. The probe never actually penetrates the skin; it is inserted into the natural opening of the hair follicle. After each follicle is treated, the electrologist removes the hair with sterile forceps. The sterilization of our instruments is biologically monitored.

At Champion Laser & Electrolysis, our concern for excellence is so high that we use a surgical microscope which allows us to see even very fine hairs and to insert the needle directly into the follicle smoothly and accurately, increasing patient comfort and effectively destroying the root of the hair.

Fine, light-colored hair (vellus hair) can usually be eliminated with a single electrolysis treatment (this is the hair type that normally does not respond to laser treatment due to lack of color pigmentation).

Safe and effective

Electrolysis is safe and effective with few or no side effects. It is normal to experience a slight reddening of treated areas, and this may last from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Most people can expect to have a treatment of electrolysis during a lunch hour and return to work.

For people with very dark skin, laser hair removal can sometimes present a risk of skin damage due to concern that the level of the energy required to kill hair will affect the pigment in skin as well. Electrolysis, on the other hand, does not key in to color pigment as lasers do, so it will never present this risk. It is equally safe and effective for people with light or dark skin, and for light or dark hair.


There is some discomfort associated with this treatment, but tolerance to this discomfort varies with each individual.  For treatment of extremely sensitive areas, or when circumstances dictate, topical anesthetics are available.

Are results permanent?
Unlike laser and pulsed lights, electrolysis affects every follicle the electrologist treats, regardless of hair or skin color. Regular and repeated treatments during the active growth cycle will result in permanent hair removal.

How long does it take?
In order for electrolysis to be effective, it is crucial to follow the recommended treatment schedule. In order to achieve permanent reduction, the hair follicle should be treated during the active stage of hair growth, when the target parameters necessary for permanent hair destruction are present. Since only about 15-25% of hairs are in this active growing stage at the same time, repeated sessions are necessary to synchronize with your active (anagen) growth cycle.

This treatment is a labour/time intensive process so only so much can be accomplished in a single session. Numerous factors determine the number of treatments, as well as the length of each treatment. Since it is necessary to time treatments with these growth cycles, multiple sessions are necessary.

It is very difficult to estimate time requirements in advance with exact certainty. We will, however, be able to provide feedback on expectations for number of visits during a preliminary consultation before beginning treatment. There is no charge for this consultation and no obligation


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