If you’ve been dealing with unwanted hair growth for a long time, you might be sick of the creams, razors, epilators, and waxes — and ready for something more effective over the long term. Electrolysis hair removal is one way to tackle The Hair Problem by totally preventing hair growth, permanently. But should you bother going to a professional when there are at-home electrolysis machines available? Let’s explore more about what electrolysis is and what the best option is for you!
What is Electrolysis Hair Removal?
Electrolysis hair removal involves a tiny needle – but don’t panic! It’s incredibly small and fine, so most people feel it has a mild pinch at worst, comparable to tweezing. The needle is inserted into the hair follicle (the “root” of your hair), and “zaps” the follicle with chemical or heat energy. This process needs to be repeated over the course of several sessions to be totally effective. The end goal: destroying the hair follicle so it no longer produces hair!
Does Electrolysis Work?
Electrolysis is the only method of hair removal approved by the FDA and American Medical Association as a permanent method. The Food & Drug Administration is in charge of regulating products like these, so they know what they’re talking about!
Yes, it works. It may take a few sessions, but professional medical electrolysis sessions from licensed technicians can totally prevent hair regrowth. Keep in mind that there is a BIG difference between professional medical electrolysis and “home electrolysis kits.” There are huge benefits to going to a certified professional rather than trying to “DIY” your electrolysis or go to the cheapest beauty salon offering this service.
Electrolysis Side Effects
When you go to a professional electrolysis clinic, your side effects after treatment should be minimal. Your skin may feel tender and look a little flushed. Avoiding sweating, tanning, and other activities that “stress” your skin will help your skin return to normal in as little as 24 hours.
Rarely, some people experience noticeable scarring or even keloid scars. You can discuss how at-risk you are for noticeable scarring or skin tone changes at your professional electrolysis appointment!
When trying home electrolysis, you are much more at risk for scarring or even infection, and the hair may still grow back (adding insult to injury)!
Professional Electrolysis vs. Home Kits
Professional electrolysis is administrated by a trained technician. Ideally, this technician has been to an American Electrology Association-accredited school to become a Certified Professional Electrologist. They have been trained to use the most advanced electrolysis equipment to give you the best experience possible. With professional electrolysis, you’ll return for repeat sessions every week or two to ensure the target area is totally hair-free.
The main issue with using a home electrolysis kit is that you are not a trained electrologist! Even if the kit itself is great (which many are not), you risk scarring or otherwise injuring yourself because you are untrained. An electrologist knows how to carefully insert the needle into the hair follicle, which is a very small point on your skin that can be easy to miss.
In addition, a home electrolysis kit is not held up to the same standards as the medical electrolysis machines you’ll find at an electrolysis clinic. A home kit has not been tested like a medical device or held to the same quality standards. They’re also not as powerful as a professional electrolysis machine. So, even if you believe you can perform the technique correctly, your equipment may not be the best for the job!
Types of Home Electrolysis Machines
There are two main types of home electrolysis machines: probe and transdermal machines.
Probe electrolysis machines carry the risk of infection and scarring. These machines claim to work the same as the “real deal.” You insert a probe into the hair follicle to “zap” it. A licensed technician is trained to perform this process without injuring the surrounding skin or missing the follicle, but it’s very difficult to do on your own. On top of that, these probes have a much lower voltage and other restrictions for safety reasons—making them less effective.
There is no evidence to show that transdermal electrolysis machines work. These devices claim to destroy the hair follicle by applying an electrical current to the surface of your skin. Beauty salons occasionally offer this type of electrolysis as well, despite its lack of effectiveness!
Reviews of Home Electrolysis Kits
Clean N Easy Deluxe Electrolysis
This probe electrolysis kit comes with a one-year limited warranty and is battery-operated. The 9V battery is as much power as you’re going to be getting from the kit. Professional medical electrolysis machines run on 12V besides having other improved operating features to ensure a consistent current and total accuracy.
Customer responses to this kit have been mixed. Getting the right angle and depth of the needle can be difficult even assuming you have placed it perfectly into the follicle, and sanitizing the needle is pretty much impossible. Some people found that the needles bent or broke easily, or didn’t seem long enough to work with. Others experienced frustrating pain and irritation after using the device.
Verseo eGlide Home Electrolysis Hair Removal Roller
The Verseo eGlide Home Electrolysis Hair Removal Roller system is an example of the transdermal electrolysis kits that are not scientifically proven to work in any way. It may be cheaper compared to going to a licensed professional, but it also won’t get rid of hair!
It has a built-in timer and a conductive gel you apply before using the face or body roller mode. Verseo offers gel refills. One customer used it for a year with barely noticeable results. In that time, you can get proven results from a licensed pro! Electronic tweezers are also included to attempt to destroy the hair follicle as you tweeze hairs. Tweezing alone can be effective over long periods of time as it can damage the hair follicle each time you pluck out a hair, but it’s not the same as electrolysis. Don’t confuse the effects of tweezing over time with the “transdermal electrolysis.”
The Electrolyse Automatique system comes with a one-year warranty, foot-switch activation, electrolysis epilator, and conductivity gel anode prep. Five sterile disposable probes are included, which should only be used for one session each. This system combines an electronic epilator with the probe style used in professional medical machines.
Although this system claims to be professional and has more features than the bare-bones home kits available at cheap prices, it’s still a far cry from the machines used in a licensed electrolysis facility. And, once again, unless you’re willing to become a certified electrolysis technician, you’ll find getting the technique right difficult.
Alternatives to Home Electrolysis
With all that said, are there similar alternatives to home electrolysis with better results? Yes! At-home laser hair removal kits are widely available with better track records than home electrolysis. Laser hair removal progressively thins and lightens hair growth by damaging the follicles over time. Home laser hair removal is absolutely possible for you if you have dark hair you want to remove and lighter skin. It requires multiple treatments over several months to show serious results.
If you want results ASAP, want to treat lighter hairs, or don’t have the contrast between skin and hair needed for laser hair removal to work, then going to a licensed electrolysis location may still be your best bet for permanent hair removal. You may also find that epilators or waxing can produce the same gradual improvement over time that these home kits can offer.
Don’t Waste Your Hard-Earned Cash!
You work hard for your money, and trying to perform electrolysis on yourself is generally not an ideal way to spend it. Take a look at home laser hair removal kits, consider an epilator, or start researching a professional. We’ve got your back the whole way with informative articles and product reviews!