How Long Does Electrolysis Take: Here’s How Long It Will Take

How Long Does Electrolysis Take

Electrolysis stands out as the only FDA-approved method for permanent hair removal, offering a solution for those seeking to rid themselves of unwanted hair for good. Unlike temporary methods that require constant upkeep, electrolysis promises a lasting solution by targeting hair at its root. Understanding the time commitment involved in this process is crucial for anyone considering electrolysis, as it varies based on several factors, including the treatment area, hair density, and individual characteristics. This article delves into the intricacies of electrolysis, including how long it takes, to equip you with the knowledge you need to embark on your hair removal journey confidently.

How long does electrolysis take?

The duration of electrolysis for permanent hair removal varies widely among individuals, primarily depending on the area being treated, the density and coarseness of the hair, and personal factors like the hair growth cycle. Typically, sessions can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, with multiple sessions required to achieve complete permanency. For smaller areas like the upper lip, you might see significant results after 8-12 sessions, while larger areas with denser hair, such as the legs or back, require substantially more sessions spread over a year or more. It’s essential to consult with a certified electrolysis professional who can provide a more personalized estimate based on your specific needs.

Factors Influencing The Duration Of Electrolysis Treatments

The duration of electrolysis treatments, aimed at achieving permanent hair removal, is influenced by several key factors, each playing a significant role in the overall time commitment required for this process:

Hair Growth Cycle: Human hair undergoes a cycle that includes growth (anagen), transition (catagen), and rest (telogen) phases. Electrolysis is most effective during the anagen phase when the hair is actively growing and directly connected to the follicle, making the timing of treatments crucial for efficacy. The need to target hairs in this phase means treatments must be spread out over several months to a year or more, depending on the individual’s hair growth cycle.

Area Being Treated: The treatment area’s size and location significantly impact the electrolysis sessions’ duration. Smaller areas, such as the eyebrows or upper lip, require fewer and shorter sessions, while larger areas, like the back or legs, demand more extensive treatment time per session.

Hair Density and Thickness: Individuals with denser or thicker hair require more electrolysis sessions than those with thinner or sparser hair. The more hair follicles present in an area, the longer it will take to treat each follicle individually.

Previous Hair Removal Methods: The history of hair removal can affect electrolysis duration. Techniques like waxing, plucking, or threading that remove hair from the root may temporarily reduce hair visibility but stimulate blood flow to follicles, potentially making them more resilient or altering the growth cycle, which could extend the time needed for electrolysis to be effective.

Individual Pain Threshold: The personal tolerance for discomfort can also influence the duration of electrolysis treatments. Those with a lower pain threshold may prefer shorter sessions to manage discomfort, increasing the number of sessions needed to complete the treatment.

Skin and Hair Color: Electrolysis is unique in its effectiveness across all skin and hair colors, unlike laser hair removal, which is less effective on lighter hair. However, the contrast between hair and skin color does not affect the duration of electrolysis but rather its applicability to a broader range of individuals without affecting the time commitment.

Technician Experience and Equipment Used: The skill level of the electrolysis provider and the technology utilized can also influence treatment duration. Advanced techniques and modern equipment can lead to more efficient and faster sessions, though the overall time to achieve permanency still depends on the abovementioned factors.

Different Types Of Electrolysis

Electrolysis, the only FDA-approved method for permanent hair removal, comes in three main types, each employing a different technique to destroy the hair follicle. Understanding these variations is crucial for choosing the most suitable method for your needs:

Galvanic Electrolysis:

This method, or the multi-needle technique, uses a chemical process to remove hair. A direct electric current is passed through a needle inserted into the hair follicle, causing a chemical reaction that produces sodium hydroxide (lye). The lye destroys the hair follicle, preventing new hair growth. Galvanic electrolysis is highly effective but time-consuming, especially for larger areas, as each follicle must be treated individually.

Thermolysis (High-Frequency or Short-Wave Electrolysis):

Thermolysis utilizes a high-frequency electric current to generate heat when the needle is inserted into the hair follicle. This heat destroys the follicle, effectively stopping new hair from growing. The process is faster than galvanic electrolysis, making it a preferred choice for treating larger areas. However, it may require more sessions for complete hair removal, especially for those with thicker or denser hair.

The Blend Method:

As the name suggests, the blend method combines elements of both galvanic and thermolysis techniques. It uses both the chemical reaction of galvanic electrolysis and the heat generation of thermolysis to destroy the hair follicle. This method is considered very effective because it takes advantage of the benefits of both systems, offering a good balance between efficiency and speed. The blend method is beneficial for stubborn hair and is adaptable to various hair types and densities.

Average Duration Of Electrolysis Session.

The average duration of an electrolysis session can vary significantly based on several factors, including the area of the body being treated, the density of hair growth, the type of electrolysis being performed (galvanic, thermolysis, or blend), and individual treatment plans tailored to each client’s needs. However, general guidelines can give you an idea of what to expect:

  • Small Areas: For smaller areas of the body, such as the upper lip, eyebrows, chin, or sideburns, electrolysis sessions can be relatively short, typically ranging from 15 to 30 minutes per session. These areas often require precision but cover less surface area, allowing quicker sessions.
  • Medium Areas: Medium-sized areas, like the underarms or bikini line, may require longer sessions, usually 30 minutes to an hour. The density of hair in these areas and the skin’s sensitivity can influence the session’s duration.
  • Large Areas: For larger areas, such as the legs, back, or chest, sessions can last one to two hours or more. The extensive surface area and potentially higher hair density necessitate longer treatment times. It’s common for these areas to require multiple lengthy sessions spread over a period to achieve desired results.
  • Frequency and Total Number of Sessions: The total duration of electrolysis treatment to achieve permanent hair removal varies widely among individuals. While some might see significant results after a few months of regular sessions, others may require ongoing treatments for one to two years or more, depending on the abovementioned factors.

Benefits Of Electrolysis

Electrolysis offers several compelling benefits for those seeking a permanent solution to unwanted hair growth, making it a preferred choice over temporary hair removal methods for many individuals. Here are some of the key advantages:

The most significant benefit of electrolysis is its ability to remove hair permanently. Unlike shaving, waxing, or laser hair removal, which require ongoing treatments or maintenance, electrolysis destroys the hair follicle’s ability to grow hair, offering a lasting solution.

Electrolysis effectively affects all hair types, colors, and skin tones. This inclusivity contrasts laser hair removal, which works best on individuals with high contrast between their hair color and skin tone (e.g., dark and light skin).

Electrolysis can target individual hairs, making it an excellent option for shaping eyebrows or removing unwanted hairs from sensitive or small areas like the upper lip, chin, or bikini line. This precision ensures that only the unwanted hairs are removed without affecting the surrounding skin.

Compared to other hair removal methods that can cause skin irritation, ingrown hairs, or razor burn, electrolysis minimizes these risks. By permanently destroying the hair follicle, the skin remains smoother without the irritation associated with temporary hair removal methods.

While the upfront cost of electrolysis sessions may seem high, the permanent nature of the results means that individuals save money over time on razors, shaving cream, waxing sessions, or laser treatments that require ongoing expenses.

Removing unwanted hair permanently improves self-esteem and body confidence. Many people find that electrolysis enhances their well-being by eliminating concerns over visible unwanted hair.

Electrolysis can remove hair from any body part, including the face, legs, arms, underarms, bikini line, and back. It also offers flexibility in treating areas that may be sensitive or have tattoos without damaging the skin or artwork.

The FDA recognizes electrolysis for permanent hair removal, and when performed by a licensed and experienced practitioner, it is a safe method with minimal side effects. The procedure has been used for over a century, demonstrating its effectiveness and reliability.


Electrolysis presents a compelling option for those seeking a permanent solution to unwanted hair, offering unparalleled benefits such as suitability for all hair and skin types, precision, and elimination of ingrown hairs. The process, though varying in duration due to factors like the treatment area, hair density, and individual growth cycles, promises lasting results that surpass the temporary fixes of shaving, waxing, or laser treatments. Understanding the different types of electrolysis—galvanic, thermolysis, and the blend method—allows individuals to choose a treatment that best suits their needs, emphasizing the importance of selecting a skilled and experienced electrolysis provider to ensure safe, effective, and comfortable treatments.

Shirley Wesley
Shirley Wesley is a tech blogger who loves to share her insights on the latest gadgets and software. She has a passion for helping people learn new things, and she enjoys writing about her findings in an easy-to-understand way.