About Electrolysis


Definition and Process

Electrolysis is the science of permanent hair removal. It is the only method approved by the American Medical Association (AMA) and FDA for permanency. Laser practitioners like to compare laser to electrolysis. Find the facts for yourself at Electrolysis vs. Laser and at the FDA website on laser facts.

tweezing hair after electrolysis treatmentAn accredited and professionally trained electrologist slides a fine, flexible, silicon-insulated probe into the natural pore opening. Insertion is the single most important step of the procedure; when performed properly, the insertion is painless. The round-tipped sterile probe is guided delicately in the direction of hair growth. The expert electrologist can sense the bottom of the follicle. A small release of current destroys the root bulb/blood vessel complex and the hair’s ability to regenerate. The hair is removed with a tweezer but is never “tweezed”. The success of the treatment relies upon the practitioner’s skill, knowledge and expertise.

History and Development

Electrology was developed in 1875 by Dr. Charles Michel, ophthalmologist, who successfully treated a patient’s ingrown eyelashes. Now, 135 years later, electrolysis is again recognized as the only permanent treatment for hirsutism (excessive hair growth).

The medically approved electrology device can use three delivery methods (modalities):


This is a chemical process using direct current (DC) at low intensity. The current causes the follicle’s naturally occurring salt and water to dissociate and re-associate into sodium hydroxide (NaOH), a chemical compound that destroys the cells feeding the hair.


This method, introduced in the 1920s, is also referred to as short wave or radio-frequency energy. Thermolysis uses alternating current (AC) current to heat the hair matrix cells to the point of electrocoagulation.


In 1948 Arthur Hinkel began combining AC and DC. The chemicals created by DC are heated by AC, resulting in very effective removal of thicker, darker body hair. Since its discovery, the blend has become more popular for use on all body areas.

Look at our chart comparing electrology and other hair removal procedures.