How Electrolysis Works

An electrolysis treatment involves the inserting of a sterile probe, the same size as the hair, into the hair follicle opening down to the Dermal papilla. The dermal papilla is the electrologist’s target. It is the part of the follicle that contains blood and nerves and feeds the growing hair. If the papilla and the regenerative cells surrounding it are destroyed, the hair will die. When the probe is in place, a low-level electrical current is applied that will destroy the papilla and surrounding cells and loosen the hair in the follicle. The hair is then removed.

Many hairs will be eliminated with only one treatment, but some will need two or more treatments to achieve permanency. Electrolysis involves a series of treatments over a period of time. The length of time depends on the amount of hair, its coarseness, the cause of excess

Wilsonville Permanent Hair Removal

hair and many other factors, but once the dermal papilla has been eliminated, the hair is dead and will not grow.

Electrolysis Techniques

Electrolysis is the only form of permanent hair removal recognized by the American Medical Association and FDA. There are three modalities that can be used to eliminate unwanted hair and all three are effective.

Galvanic Electrolysis:

which is the oldest, is a chemical method that utilizes a direct current to convert normal body salt and water in the follicle into a compound capable of destroying the dermal papilla. The chemical is  produced only in the follicle and does not affect any other area. One probe or several probes working simultaneously can be used during this process.


is a method that uses a high frequency current to produce heat in the area influenced by the current. This heat cauterizes and destroys the dermal papilla.

Two variations of  Thermolysis are “Flash” or “Automatic” Thermolysis which uses a split second impulse of current and “Manual” Thermolysis which requires several seconds at a lower intensity to achieve permanency.


is a method that combines both currents together in the same probe. Thermolysis enhances the action of galvanic method to produce a faster process. Your electrologist will select the best method for you based on your hair type, skin characteristics and sensitivity. His/Her choice will assure you the greatest maximum comfort and permanency for your hair problem.

Causes of Unwanted Hair

Many factors can contribute to the growth of excess hair:

  • Heredity
  • Normal Physiological changes
  • Malfunction of the endocrine system
  • Medication
  • Topical influences
  • Stress

Heredity, as a cause of excess hair, must be approached from three different levels: race, nationality and family.

Puberty, pregnancy and menopause can also cause excess hair growth. During the normal systemic changes in a woman’s life, hormone production varies. It is not uncommon for hormones during these times to be unbalanced. Increased male hormones (androgens) can be present which may result in unwanted hair growth.

Malfunctions of the endocrine glands can trigger the appearance of excess hair, too. Some disease of the thyroid gland, ovaries, pituitary gland and adrenal gland, are known to stimulate hair growth. Cushing’s disease, polycystic ovary syndrome and thyroid condition are just a few of them.  These pathological disorders must be treated by a physician in order for electrolysis to be effective.

Medications are another known factor influencing the production of unwanted hair. Some common culprits include birth control pills, cortisone, some seizure drugs and high blood pressure medication.

Topical influences may also play a part in increased hair growth, These are external influences on the body that cause an increase in the blood supply to the skin and hair follicles. Included in the category are the abrasive action of casts, sunburn, scars, as well as prolonged tweezing and waxing.

And finally, stress, (both emotional and physical) can stimulate the adrenal glands to initiate a hormonal reaction that can cause fine, soft body hair to become more coarse and noticeable.  In addition, it has also been proven that emotional disturbances can cause menstrual irregularities which, in turn, can also affect excess hair growth.

Regardless of the cause of your specific hair problem, electrolysis can safely and permanently eliminate it for you.