Types of Electrolysis

a trained professional performs electrolysis

While hair growth is a perfectly natural process, some people will tend to grow more hair than others as a result of age, hormonal imbalances, or other factors. There are several methods for temporarily removing unwanted hair, but there is only one method for permanent removal that is approved by the FDA: electrolysis.

This is a procedure that involves destroying each individual hair follicle at the root, so that it cannot produce hair anymore. Even though electrolysis can be a slow and sometimes expensive process, it is the most effective at making sure unwanted hair never returns for both men and women alike.

There are several different types of electrolysis that work different ways to destroy the hair follicle. Depending on which electrologist you use, he or she may offer two or three different options for your treatment. Here is a look at the four most common types of electrolysis and how they work.


This type of electrolysis uses chemicals as the conductor for transferring heat to the hair follicle. The needle transmits a direct electrical current, which reacts with the natural saline in your hair follicle, and the reaction produces sodium hydroxide. Heated sodium hydroxide will destroy your hair follicle.


This type of electrolysis uses water as a conductor to transfer the heat energy to the hair follicle. In this method, the needle will transmit an alternating current to vibrate the hair follicle. The vibrations shake the water molecules that surround the follicle. When the water is heated up, it will destroy the hair follicle.


Some electrolysis clinics will also offer a blend method for electrolysis, which combines elements from both galvanic and thermolysis procedures to destroy the hair follicle. This method takes the advantages of both methods and combines them, which means it may be the best option.

However, this method is much more rarely offered than galvanic or thermolysis alone, so you may have to base your decision off of the availability of electrologists who are willing to perform it.

Electric Tweezer

This is a type of electrolysis that is available as an at-home kit. This method involves vibrating the hair to remove it. The problem with this method is that it does not destroy the hair follicle, which means that it will generally be ineffective for permanently removing the unwanted hair. Additionally, this method is widely considered unsafe and is only available in some states that will authorize the production of this type of electrolysis. If you want to have your hair permanently removed safely, you should see a trained technician rather than attempting to purchase a product like this one.