What Is Home Electrolysis?

L. Baran

Home electrolysis is the process of removing unwanted body hair using personal machines in the privacy of the home. Electrolysis is a method of eliminating individual hairs by damaging the growth center of the hair follicle. At home electrolysis machines use heat or chemical energy to destroy the hairs, which are subsequently removed with a pair of tweezers.

The most common electrolysis machines use a small needle and an electric current.
The most common electrolysis machines use a small needle and an electric current.

The most common electrolysis machines use a very small needle that is directed into the hair follicle. An electric current travels down the needle into the hair root and destroys the root, preventing further hair growth. Hair removal can be performed in most areas of the body, including the face, but caution should be used in sensitive areas. Red marks can result if the needle comes in contact with the skin for too long or the intensity is too high. Electrolysis can feel a little uncomfortable, but should not feel truly painful.

The process of home electrolysis is fairly simple. First, the area is prepared with a good mirror to make the individual hairs easier to see. A cup of salt water is used to help the electric current travel down needle to the hair follicle. With wet fingers, the needle is inserted into the hair root in the direction of growth. The machine is turned up until a slight tingling sensation is felt and then held at the root for just a few seconds, until a bubble of fluid emerges from the root.

After the hair root has been destroyed, it can be removed with a sharp pair of tweezers. A home electrolysis session can last just a few minutes or up to an hour, depending on individual tolerance. Permanent hair removal is a time-consuming process as each hair must be destroyed individually and hairs grow in cycles. Complete hair removal can take up to a year, but the hairs should not grow back. Some home electrolysis machines may not produce a strong enough current to completely kill the hair root, increasing the chance that hair may grow back.

Many people choose home electrolysis because the procedure can be very costly when done in a salon. Home treatments can take longer to be effective, however, due to the limitations in equipment. Average home hair removers can generally be purchased at a cost equivalent to one or two salon treatments. They are usually popular with people who do not have time to commit to salon visits or who have privacy concerns.

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