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Types of electrolysis: what is the difference?

For electrolysis , you can use the electrolysis , thermolysis and blend method . In each method, a small needle is used that is inserted into the hair follicle.

Electrolysis, or galvanic hair removal


Galvanic hair removal (galvanic) was the first methodFacial hair removal by electrolysisdesigned to remove excess hair. This method is used to remove hair through chemical degradation. The method is based on electrochemical phenomena (galvanization), similar to the phenomena occurring in an electric battery. Electrolysis is also carried out using direct current. It has long been known that passing a constant electric current through a saline solution gives rise to a reaction, as a result of which the solution breaks up into separate components - salt and water. These constituents quickly rearrange to form a completely new substance. This process is called electrolysis. As a result of electrolysis, sodium hydroxide (lye), hydrogen and chlorine gas are obtained. For the first time, the electrolysis process for hair removal was forever used in 1875 by

Charles Michel (ophthalmologist) - Wikipedia

The cause of the destruction of the follicle during galvanic hair removal is sodium hydroxide, or liquor. Galvanic hair removal, in fact, is a chemical process.

    We describe the mechanism of electrolysis. During galvanic hair removal, sodium ions in combination with tissue fluid create an aqueous salt solution. The moisture content of this solution reaches the highest concentration deep inside the follicle. When a current is passed through a needle inserted into the pouch, the resulting liquor causes chemical decomposition of the hair follicle cells. To implement this process, two electrodes are required. One of the electrodes is the electrotherapy needle itself, the second electrode should touch the patient’s body. Usually, the role of the second electrode is played by a metal cylinder, which the patient holds in his hand. This is a very slow process, requiring about two minutes to create enough lye to fill the follicle of coarse, deeply rooted hair. Due to time limitations, a single-needle galvanic method no longer used. However, modern developments in the field of electronics make it possible to use galvanic hair removal using more needles, in which 12 to 16 hairs are processed simultaneously, which significantly increases the efficiency of the method. With galvanic hair removal, about 80 percent of the treated hair is killed.


    There is no chemical reaction during thermolysis. However, it also provides permanent hair removal. Thermolysis is often referred to as electrolysis; Now you can often hear the word electrolysis as applied to all types of permanent hair removal.
    Thermolysis, also known as the shortwave method, high frequency method or diathermy, destroys the hair follicle by heating or electrocoagulation. This method of permanent hair removal is most widely used. Thermolysis was first applied in 1923, but it became popular only in the 1940s. All equipment used for thermolysis operates at a special radio frequency approved by the Federal Communications Commission in the United States, as refers to radio devices. During thermolysis, the energy of high-frequency radio emission is emitted (mainly) from the tip of a needle inserted previously into the hair sac. High-frequency energy excites the molecules that make up the follicle cells. This leads to the fact that the cells heat up, ideally until tissue destruction. This destruction is electrocoagulation. A microwave is another example of radio waves that heat organic tissue. Thermolysis does not require the use of a second electrode.
    Thermolysis is ideal for thin, shallow-rooted hair. This is a simple approach to solving the problem of excess hair, requiring minimal cosmetologist skills. However, its usefulness is significantly reduced for larger, coarser, deeply rooted hair, usually growing on the male face. Thermolysis is considered more difficult to use compared to the multi-needle galvanic method or the blend method described below. In addition, the complexity of the application increases significantly with the use of instant thermolysis (flash) - high-intensity and fast. With flash thermolysis, consequences may occur in the form of more numerous scars and scars.

    The flash method was originally intended to affect small follicles, but was converted to handle large follicles as well. This method allows you to release a high-intensity flow of energy in less than one second. The flash method is acceptable for power proportional to the size of a small hair bag. But when the power increases so much that it is possible to process larger follicles, serious long-term side effects can occur. This intense heating can cause scars. Thermolysis typically kills between 5 and 15 percent of treated hair.


    The blend method, also known as the double action method, is a combination and simultaneous use of galvanic hair removal and thermolysis. This combination mitigates the disadvantages of each method, while enhancing their advantages. The blend method combines a high level of follicular destruction, which is achieved by applying the galvanic method, with the speed of thermolysis. This is especially useful when treating coarse, deeply located follicles, usually covering the face.

Basically, the destruction of the cells of the hair bulb using this method occurs due to chemical decomposition. This destruction, as indicated above, is due to the liquor obtained by galvanization. But unlike galvanic hair removal, the combination of electrolysis and thermolysis reduces the usual duration of exposure from two minutes to about 10 seconds. And, which is also important, high ability to destroy hair remains. Using the blend method, 70-80 percent of the hair is destroyed.
    The high-frequency current used for heating in the process of thermolysis in the blend method is mainly used as a catalyst. This is due to three independent actions:

  • Increased ability to destroy tissues - heated lye is much more caustic.
  • Porosity - the tissues closest to the needle turn into a porous mass through which a heated alkaline solution can easily pass.
  • Excitation - the liquor surrounding the needle is distributed not so much by simple penetration as by excitation of the cells. The resulting excitement in the cells delivers a hot alkaline solution to each area of ​​the hair sac and distributes around the hair shaft.

This distribution is also very important when considering the need for precise killing of undifferentiated cells found slightly higher in the follicle and called stem cells, which are responsible for the growth of new hair. In addition, the blend method allows you to successfully act on curved follicles even with inaccurate contact due to the propagation effect resulting from the application of the method.

Despite all its advantages, electrolysis with the bland method still has some unpleasant side effects. As a rule, galvanic hair removal is a more painful method than thermolysis. Trying to deal with the pain as much as possible, you can understand that this is a considerable problem. Conducting effective electrolysis hair removal is a more complex and complicated process, requiring better education and more staff experience along with more sophisticated equipment. While older foot pedal epilators can satisfy the needs of less complex and complicated situations, advanced computerized blended epilators better are suited for large numbers of follicles requiring treatment when removing facial hair.