no electrolysis FAQ thread?

hi there, this forum has recently taught me everything about laser hair removal. got it done last week and really happy.

its now time i learnt more about electrolysis. but i see that there is no sticky electrolysis FAQ thread? one explaining about;
different machines, approx prices, what it does, side effects, etc…

on the internet all i find is the faq section of some beauty salons which im sure gives only the positive side of the process.

any future plans for a FAQ thread?

if not could you help me with my questions;

1-which current devices give the best results?
2-are there different type electrolysis machines maybe?
3-what are the approximate prices(per minute?) for london area?
4-possible temporary/permanent side effects?
5-how many sessions are needed to kill one hair?
6-delay between sessions?
7-how to choose a good electrolycist?
8-shorten the hair without completely killing it. possible?
9-anything else important?

thanks in advance

  1. There are three methods of electrolysis. thermolysis (fastest), blend (slower, but also needed for some deeper hairs sometimes over thermolysis), and galvanic (very slow)

  2. Newer computerized machines that offer thermolysis and blend is what you should be looking for. Apilus machines have good reputation.

  3. In the US, the average is around $65 per hour. London will be higher. Someone from there like Benji should be able to help you more with prices in pounds over there.

  4. There shouldn’t be any permanent side effects with proper treatments. It helps to have sample treatments to try out various electrologists and see how your skin reacts. Redness for a few hours is normal. Tiny scabs forming can be normal on some people on some areas, but those fall off within a few days. You should be using proper aftercare - buy witch hazel and apply for a few days after the treatment.

  5. Hair needs to be in the first anagen phase of growth to get killed. If it’s coarse or insertion wasn’t great, then it may take several tries. Since hair constantly cycles, the process takes some time. The best way to get finished fast is to make sure to clear the entire area you want treated as soon as possible and then come in as soon as new hair pops up to kill it while it’s still weak and in anagen phase. the process takes 9-12 months after first clearance if you go on this schedule and leave cleared each time.

  6. See above

  7. Call around, find someone using thermolysis/blend, and sample treatments.

  8. No. It can become lighter and weaker after one treatment if it’s not killed completely. But no way to predict for each hair.

  9. Proper aftercare.

There really should be an electrolysis FAQ’s on hairtell. I’ll start working on one and submit it to James and/or Andrea and they can decide if they want it or if it needs modifications.

There would be less repetition here.

The American Electrolgy Association’s FaQ’s is listed at: It’s a very nice website so consumers should take a look.

I think we can offer the same information with more detail, though. Since electrolysis is as much an art as it is a science, there will be some electrologists that disagree with some of the details presented, but I’ll give it my best shot and then others can help modify, if they so desire.

That’s a good idea. Please try to include examples of situations when laser can be a good option to get rid of a good part of their problem first as I did with electrolysis in the laser FAQs! (which is why so many people are on this section of the forum asking about it :slight_smile: )

I like lagirls answers, but I’m going to add more (and there may be some repetition, since I’m not looking at her answers).

1-which current devices give the best results?
You will get different answers from electrologists who use different modalities, techniques and epilators. For example, it’s been said that galvanic (properly done) is more effective the first time than other modalities, but it’s slower than all others. I believe that the results are practitioner related - that all current devices (modality, technique and epilator) will give the best results if the electrologist is performing the treatment correctly for that device.

2-are there different type electrolysis machines maybe?
Oh yeah. There are old epilators that use transistors and new epilators that use computers and digital technology, plus there is now an epilator that uses 27 MHz vs. 13.56 MHz frequency.

3-what are the approximate prices(per minute?) for london area?
No answer here, but think about this: Comparing the charges of different electrologists doesn’t really tell you who will be less expensive in the long run.

4-possible temporary/permanent side effects?
Temporary side effects include redness and swelling - much like that of a mosquito bite. This subsides quickly or within a few hours. Some people will have the tiny scabbing - most often seen on the body, and some types of skin will have some post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This usually fades with time. The permanent side effect is the loss of hair.

5-how many sessions are needed to kill one hair?
Under the best circumstances a treated follicle will never grow another hair. The best circumstances include the following: hair is in the anagen stage; skin is properly hydrated; and the insertion and current application was perfect.

6-delay between sessions?
Depends…How much hair? What methods of removal used prior to treatment? How fast do you want to get it all done? Clearing an area as soon as new hairs are seen is best, but not always possible.

7-how to choose a good electrolycist?
Interview a few. Get some short treatments and compare them. Are you comfortable with the electrologist? Is the office clean? Compare the sensation of the treatment. Painful insertions are not a good sign, but the current application might sting - painful removal of the hair is not a good sign - it’s a sign of tweezing, however, you might feel some traction on hairs in catagen or telogen - so weigh it all out.

8-shorten the hair without completely killing it. possible?
No. If piece-meal destruction occurs, then the hair will most likely head back to it’s heavy state with time.

9-anything else important?
Pre-sterilized and disposable needles. The electrologist sterilizes the forceps/tweezers and the tip used to hold the needle in the cord. The electrologist washes hands before gloving. If the electrologist stops to answer the phone they rewash and glove again. Good lighting and magnification are rather important.

In terms of pricing, I found the usual cost was around £65 - £70 for 45 minutes of treatments, however some are cheaper at £45 for 60 minutes. I also found that some practitioners give you the option of computerised and non-computerised treatment, the former being the more expensive per minute.

The majority of practitioners in London do no more than an hour of treatment for some reason, although there is one or two that do. You generally need to shop around a lot.


Why would they do that? (different price for computerized vs. non-computerized)

To tell the truth, I’m not sure. However, there is a lot of demand for electrolgoists using computerised epilators in London and certainly a lack of them as well. So it did come across to me as simply for monetary gain.


Since most practitioners are really smarting over the difference in the price of the computerized epilators, while at the same time the computerized machines can make a person’s hair removal come to a complete finish sooner (thus fewer paid hours overall for the practitioner) they want to do all they can to recoup the higher cost of the computerized epilator as soon as possible.

It is a good case for how we try to tell you that dollars per hour don’t tell the story of hairs per dollar. Much has been made of my saying that I can average 700 hairs per hour on a face, when using my computerized epilator, ergonomic work station and stereo scope with built in halogen lighting (a set up that would cost as much as U.S.A $30,000 to duplicate), but what is not said in that statement is that if I am forced to work in a non ergonomic work station, with a 3 dioptor circle lamp, and manual machine tapping a footswitch, me speed plummets to 200 to 350 hairs per hour.

A business might charge 30% more money for the computerized epilator, but the machine will at least be more comfortable, and if used properly (not a guaranteed thing, since the practitioner must actually know how and then implement all the best options in the machine) the computerized machine should also deliver more hairs per hour. The sum total is that while the manual machine would be less money per hour, one might spend more money in the long run to remove the same amount of hair, over a longer duration of time.

It is sort of like people who shop for loans based only on what the monthly payment will be, instead of the total finance charges paid at the end of the loan.

hey almost 2 years after my thread about electrolysis i’ve finally decided getting electrolysis done it done since 8 sessions of laser has only reduced the hair by 40-50-80% (area depending)

ive made a research and decided on a apilus machine however i was wondering if someone could tell me if there is a big difference between following machines available where i live:

-junior plus
-senior 2

chart here:

by the way, an electrolysis FAQ should definitely be available like for lhr for people not asking the same questions over and over again…

Of the 3 machines, the sx500 is the best as it will enable the practitioner to use higher settings at faster speeds along with having the ability to release energy at varied pulses.

The biggest and most important variable here is the skill of the tech. You might get a sense of their proficiency level at a consultation and 15 minute treatment.

Personally, I always buy the highest end equipment and that is part of my personal commitment to ending the distress that comes from unwanted hair. Higher end tools enable us to minimize discomfort and have other advantages.

I always wonder about those in business who don’t mind taking your money but do mind spending it.

Speaking of the SX-500, a colleague of mine has an SX-500 for sale. For anyone interested, I can give you her contact information.


I would add that I would do sample treatments with all 3 of these electrologists since all 3 machines are good. Skill will matter, so pick based on that. If all else is equal, then go with SX-500.

thank you for your help again. do you roughly know what settings should be used? i heard people saying some do it at very low settings to make people believe that they are gentle that their electrolysis doesnt hurt…

As long as the hair comes out without resistance after being zapped, you’re good.

There is WAY too much reliance on machine type when choosing an electrologist. What matters is that the hair is permanently removed with as little pain and skin damage as possible in the least amount of time. Manufacturer’s hype and the subsequent placebo effect of an electrologist’s praise about their expensive purchase go a long way to convince the patron that they need to have a treatment from a $5000 machine or none at all. Skill is what this is all about, not the computerized epilator.

Ya, think?? We always talk about skill being #1, but very close to that skill factor is epilator choice and modality used.

I’m going to ask you two questions and I’m going to think real positive that you will not ignore my questions. I’d be glad to have a polite exchange with you about your comments, galvanic, but it would be helpful to know more about what you are doing. I assume you are an electrologist? I’m sure the hairtell readers would like to learn more about this subject.

What epilator do you choose to use?

What modality do you use?