Galvanic electrolysis

Galvanic electrolysis

  • The galvanic electrolysis method was the first method developed for removing superfluous hair.
  • The galvanic electrolysis removes hair through chemical decomposition.
  • Galvanic electrolysis refers to galvanic cells (a battery). As does a battery, the galvanic method uses direct current (DC).

    graph of direct and alternating current used in galvanic electrolysis and thermolysis electrolysis respectively

    Galvanic electrolysis uses direct current (DC) with electrons flowing in one direction only. This in contrast to thermolysis where alternating current is used.

  • It is long been understood that the application of direct electrical current to a solution of salt water (which our body is composed of) produces a reaction that causes the salt and the water to break into their constituent parts. This process is called electrolysis. Hence the name galvanic electrolysis. These parts quickly rearrange themselves to form an entirely new substance. The new substances that are formed are sodium hydroxide or lye (NaOH), hydrogen gas (H2), and chlorine gas (Cl2).
    galvanic electrolysis battery
  • It is the sodium hydroxide (NaOH), or lye, which is very caustic and the source of follicle destruction in the galvanic electrolysis. The galvanic electrolysis method is basically a chemical process. The lye causes a chemical decomposition of the hair growing cells.

lye in galvanic electrolysis is very caustic

Lye (NAOH), produced by galvanic electrolysis, is very caustic

  • Two electrodes are required for this galvanic electrolysis process to take place. One electrode is actually the electrology needle, the other electrode touches the patient’s body or treatment chair in some location.second pole is necessary for blend electrolysis
  • This process is very slow and requires about two minutes to generate enough lye to spread through the follicle of a course, deeply rooted hair. Galvanic electrolysis is rarely used in isolation nowadays as fewer hairs can be treated per treatment.
  • The galvanic electrolysis kills about 80 percent of the hairs treated.

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Do you also remove hair from the genital zone before the sex reassignment surgery?

Yes we do, we strongly advise electrolysis before the operation because laser is not always permanent and after the operation you won’t get a second change to remove the hair.

Can I do Electrolysis at your clinic while recovering form the surgery?

Yes you can. We suggest you book 1 day of electrolysis a few days after the surgery through our website:

If you have a choice though it is probably a more comfortable option to book the electrolysis a few days before your surgery.

I have some discoloration on my face after electrolysis, is this normal? Will it go away?

Hyperpigmentation is possible after electrolysis. The inflammation caused by the electrolysis destruction can sometimes stimulate melanocytes (pigment cells in the skin) to produce pigment.

This reaction is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. When this happens in electrology, tiny dark patches or dots appear 2 to 6 weeks after treatment where each hair was epilated. These marks may persist for 4 to 6 months, but disappear as the skin recuperates. This reaction can develop on any patient. However, this reaction is most common in darker-skinned patients. It rarely occurs in lighter-skinned patients. Sunlight seems to encourage this reaction. Therefore we advise our patients to protect against the sun for 2 to 3 weeks after treatment.

In very rare instances, inflammation from electrolysis arrests the pigment production of the pigment cells and causes white spots, or hypo-pigmentation. In all such cases the melanocytes recuperate and the skin fully returns to normal; usually within several months.

I suffer from psoriasis, can I still get electrolysis?

On the active psoriasis zone electrolysis is contra-indicated.

I suffer from PCOS, can I still get electrolysis?

It is not a contra-indication, but in some people it doesn’t really help because too much new hair is recruited. In some individuals the problem is less pronounced than in others.

The average person has 1,000 follicles per square inch. However, that does not mean one grows 1,000 hairs. Where a man may have 100, to 500 visible hairs in a square inch, a woman may have 0 to 25. You must understand that hormonal problems (like PCOS) work in such a way that new follicles are recruited to start growing hair, where they never grew before. The severity of the problem defines how long it takes for new follicles to be recruited, and how many at a time are stimulated in that term. So, until one arrests the problem that is causing the new hair recruitment, one will continuously gain new hairs, and one may may have to come back forever.

You still have another question? Feel free to ask! We will answer your question and if generally applicable add it to the FAQ of this page.