Electrolysis on face took 5 hours, is that normal

Hi guys, I just had electrolysis done on my face for the first time a few days ago. I was previously getting laser done for about 8 months with 6-7 sessions, but was getting nowhere. My hair is pretty dark and thick even for a girl and all over my cheeks, chin, neck. The clinic I went to has a pretty good rep, but the person that did it was new, doing it for about 6 months now. Since she was new she charged a bit less than the experienced workers, but she took 4.5 hours to do my face (basically the whole area from underneath my eyes to the bottom of my neck)…my upper lip she only zapped the few thick ones as it was getting way too long. Does that sound about right, 5 hours for face. Granted I have a lot of hair, but she left most of the very thin fine hairs because of time issues. Please advise!!! She also booked me for 2 weeks later for the next session. Time to switch to the more experienced ones?


Well, if it’s any consolation, it took 30 hrs to clear mine by a very fast electrologist. So 5 for a female face may be right depending on the number of hairs

Thanks for the quick reply, but I mean for the whole face in just one session, she told me it may take up to 10 years to permanently clear up my face (apparently because I had laser done for about 8 months that messed my hair up, although I notice no difference)

“she told me it may take up to 10 years to permanently clear up my face (apparently because I had laser done for about 8 months that messed my hair up.”

Good Lord NO! I’m going back to sanding and painting today.

So she was lying or just inexperienced? ughhh!! also another question I have, would anyone know if blend is better for the face or thermolysis? I’d rather do thermolysis but I don’t know if that would scab up my face more :\ :frowning: but I’d rather get a faster result than ‘10 years’!

A picture is worth a thousand words. If you post one, we can help you better.

I once required 7 hours to clear the face, under the jaw, and neck of a genetic female. She had a really bad hair problem, and after that treatment, we never needed that long to reclear the area ever again.

Of course, in my experience, it would have taken twice as long to do the same amount of hairs in blend.

I’ll put up a picture up once I get hairy again…What are the disadvantages of using Thermolysis vs Blend? I did a consultation with 2 different electrologists, the thermolysis one looked like it scabbed a tiny bit, but cleared up after a few days, where blend didn’t scab at all…Although now that I have blend done all over my face, it’s still a bit pimple-ish and red (it’s been 2-3 days now)

Thermolysis doesn’t have to cause scabs, however, as long as they heal up fast, it is an acceptable occurrence.

For my sister, it took 6 hours just to clear the sideburns, upper lip and then 1hr on some random bits. The rest of the beard area and neck was barely touched (no more time). And this was with a fast and skilled electrologist using thermolysis. It really depends!

I would stick with whichever method your electrologist is more comfortable with. I had all my previous facial work done with blend… neither I nor my electrologist felt (her) thermolysis was appropriate. Now, I will be joining my sister.

The thermolysis one sounds fine though as well. A little bit of scabbing that clears up after a few days is normal for some people. The better hydrated you are, the less you should scab.

I meant 30 hours for one clearance on me. I had thermolysis and never had scabs.

What types of questions should I ask to find a skilled electrologist, so hopefully they won’t scar up my face :\

Wow templje 30 hours? you have a lot of patience! I hope you had some numbing cream! Thanks for the info guys I really appreciate it! Will have to find a new electrologist soon!

From HairFacts.com:

Choosing an electrologist
Choosing an electrologist

Choosing an electrologist will be the most important factor in how long completion takes, how much it costs, how comfortable treatment is, and how your skin fares. Choose carefully!


Electrologists are salespeople, too.

They are trying to sell you treatments that can cost you a lot of money. They have to make payments on equipment and office space. That’s a lot of sales they have to make.

Can you afford it if you have no long-term results?

Clinical studies suggest that 7% to 10% of clients don’t respond to treatment. If you cannot afford to risk your time or money if results aren’t satisfactory, you should stick with a cheaper method.

Initial research

Get personal recommendations

This is the most reliable way to find someone. Try asking:

your friends and relatives. They might go or might know someone who goes.
your doctor. Ask if she or he knows any clients who are done and are happy.
Find advertised practices

It’s much better to get a personal recommendation from a satisfied consumer, but

Yellow pages: Look under “electrolysis” and under “hair removal”
Internet: type in “electrolysis” and the the name of towns near you
Trade associations (see the list under Qualifications below.
Keep records

If you learn about an electrologist from a print advertisement, keep a copy of the ad (put the date and where it ran on the ad). If you hear something on TV or radio, note the date, station and program, along with any claims. If you try to get a refund later, you’ll need this information.

Calling for information

Get some information over the phone

Most places will not give much information over the phone, especially prices. This is not because they’re evasive, but because they want to see you before discussing treatment options. Take notes. Get the name of anyone you talk to and note the date. You should get the following information over the phone:

Make sure they do needle electrolysis. Some places claiming to use electrolysis really use electric tweezers or photoepilators.
Which of the three types of electrolysis are available (galvanic, thermolysis, or blend) and how long they’ve used each at their practice
Brand and model of equipment, and how long they’ve had it
Number of clients they’ve treated and number of years in business
Their electrolysis training and qualifications (see below)

Over one-third of the US states have no certification requirement for electrologists, and states that do regulate electrolysis each have widely varying standards for certification. Electrologists should have a current, dated certificate on display where required.

State license

They should have one if the state where they practice regulates electrolysis (see State regulations)


They should have a certification from an accredited electrology school. Instructors are even better.

Professional associations

Many belong to a professional trade group. The largest trade groups include:

AEA (American Electrology Association)
IGPE (International Guild of Professional Electrologists)
SCME (Society of Clinical and Medical Electrologists)
ESNE (Electrolysis Society of the Northeast)
IBE (International Board of Electrologists)
COPE (Canadian Organization of Professional Electrologists)
Common national certifications include:

CPE (Certified Professional Electrologist) a certification governed by the AEA
CME (Certified Clinical Electrologist), a certification governed by SCME
RE (Registered Electrologist)
Set up a consultation

Ask if a consultation and test patch are free. They usually are.

During the consultation

Check out the office

Is it clean and organized? Most places have a waiting room and private booths or offices in the back. Are the workers clean, too? Is everyone there professional and courteous? If not, you should look elsewhere.

Make sure they are sanitary

Unsterile conditions can lead to spread of infection and warts, and possibly blood-borne disease (although there are no documented cases of blood-borne disease transmission via electrolysis).

Electrologist should wash hands before and after each treatment.
The Center for Disease Control recommends electrologists use disposable gloves during treatments. Many also use masks, which also help protect you against infection and the possibility of disease.
Treatment tables should be sanitized or appropriately redraped with paper or linen before each treatment.
Do they sterilize equipment in an autoclave?
Do they use disposable probes? If not, why?
How does the treatment feel?

You should never have the feeling that a hair is being plucked or tweezed during treatment.

Do you like the practitioner?

You should get along. It can help to think that you are a team working together toward a common goal, since it’s very important to have a good rapport and an atmosphere of trust. If you don’t feel you can express your concerns about treatment to him or her, you might try someone else.

Talk to clients (if possible)

Ask to talk with clients who used the same practitioner who are done and happy. Clients should be at least 6 and preferably 12 months past their final treatment. Note: This option is not always available, as many clients of hair removal want to keep their visits private. That’s why it’s best to get a personal recommendation from a friend or loved one– most practitioners do not have clients on hand who are willing to speak about their satisfaction, and no reputable practitioner will divulge any information about clients without first getting client permission.

Meet the person who will give you treatment

If more than one electrologist works there, will you always be seeing one person? If not, find out the credentials of others who may be working on you. Get all the answers you require from the person who will be performing the procedure if possible. At the very least, meet them in person.

Check on pain relief

If you are concerned about pain or especially sensitive to it, ask them if they have pain relief available if you need it. If they try to tell you it’s painless, be very suspicious.

Discuss costs

Usually, electrolysis costs are calculated by the minute. Many places offer 15-minute increments, and the longer the session, the less it is per minute. For instance, 15 minutes might cost $25, a half hour might cost $40, and an hour might be $60. Some places allow you to pay up front for a block of treatment time that you can use as needed. These blocks can offer additional savings.

Discuss treatment schedule

You should find out:

How often you’ll need to come in
About how long each treatment will take (subsequent treatments may require less time)
Roughly how many treatments in total you might need before you won’t need to come in any more. They will probably give you a range, since it’s hard to predict.
Ask about office policies

You should also find out:

Office days and hours (especially weekend and evening options if your schedule requires)
Policy for missed appointments
Ask about post-treatment

Find out what to expect after you’ve been treated:

Ask if you will need to do anything special to your skin after treatment.
Get a written list of possible side effects and the doctor’s assessment of your skin type.
Ask how long it will be before you can clear any new growth or regrowth.
Get it in writing

In addition to getting answers on your Electrolysis consultation form, get a written guarantee of any results they promise. If they are willing to promise permanent results in writing, you may be able to get a refund if you aren’t satisfied.

Take your time

Don’t let them rush you. If you don’t get all your questions answered to your complete satisfaction, they don’t deserve your trust or your money.

Get more than one consultation

Every electrologist is different. If you have more than one option near you, you should check all of them out before committing.

Signing up for blocks

Do not sign up for a block until you’ve had a few treatments. It makes it difficult for you to stop in the middle if you become dissatisfied with them, and if you aren’t satisfied, it’s harder to get money back once they have it. Wait to see how your skin responds, and if possible, wait until you can see how well it’s working.

Read what you sign

Carefully read any waivers or disclaimers you are required to sign, and keep a copy for yourself. Some offices will require clients to sign an “informed consent” form, meaning you know the risks and don’t care. Clients should read forms very carefully to ensure that they are not waiving their legal rights in the event of any complications, either short-term or long-term. If in doubt, get legal advice.

During full treatment

Keep written records

If at all possible, pay with check or credit card, not cash. Have them sign and date a receipt with each payment.

Good electrologists keep a log of your treatment dates and times, and many will give you a card with the same information. If they don’t provide this, you should keep your own record and make sure it matches their records after each session. This is especially important if you have bought a block of time.

Give the practitioner feedback

Don’t be afraid to tell her or him to stop if it hurts. You might be getting overtreated, which can lead to injury.

From the American Electrology Asssociation:


Dees’ post is excellent advise. However regarding your situation, in electrolysis there are no averages, each skin and each hair problem is individual and every operater works a bit differently, different techniques,speeds and modalities. Now considering that you practitioner is only qualified for 6 months,she is bound to be a lot slower, than someone with several years of experience, and the fact that you are not experiencing any undue trauma to your skin, is very positive. It sounds like she has had good training, and is a careful worker and finally, accuracy is more vital than speed. Posting a photograph, as James suggested, would be the only way to provide a more accurate assessment of your situation.

Thanks! I will definitely post up a pic very soon, hair is already starting to regrow…It’s been 8 days since I got it done, redness is gone, but I can still see some marks and still feel pimple-ish…Hope that’s normal!

Your hair has not yet started to “regrow”. What you are seeing is hair that was growing, but not above the skin level. In addition to that, one would have the next phase of growth in about 4 to 6 weeks coming up. That is why it is so important to get full clearances, and stay on schedule with those full clearances.

Hi guys, so I went to a different electrologist today. I was very comfortable with her, she was very nice. This time I had thermolysis instead of blend, and the pain was a LOT more manageable, and it was quicker. She zapped most of the thick hairs from my face/neck in less than 1.5 hours, and the rest will be done in 3-4 days.

She suggested I wash my face with a mild soap tonight, and then put some aloe vera on. So I did just that, washed my face gently, and put an aloe vera lotion on. I also bought some witch hazel that I’ll apply tomorrow. Here is what my neck looks like after 5 hours, does this look normal to you folks?


qwerty Attachments


That’s perfectly normal following an hour or two of thermolysis. Keep washing gently and apply the witch hazel before the aloe vera. That should all resolve in only one or two days or less.

I hope so! :frowning:

This will heal fine. Can you submit another picture in 48 to 72 hours? You may have some small scabs, but do not worry and do not pick the scabs off. Report back to your electrologist about how you healed. Show her some pictures as well.