Electrolysis Pain – What to Expect and How to Manage It

What is Electrolysis Hair Removal?

Electrolysis Pain

Electrolysis hair removal is a method of hair removal from the face or body. This is more than just a hair removal method, you can call it a hair removal treatment, because it permanently removes hair from your body regardless of the cause – heredity, metabolic, or hormonal conditions. This is why it got so popular over the years. It’s FDA approved and it can only be done by a certified electrologist using an electrolysis machine like Apilus xCell Pur or Apilus xCell Pro.

How does Electrolysis Work?

Modern medical electrolysis machines destroy the growth center of the hair with chemical or heat energy. During your electrolysis treatment the electrologist inserts a very fine needle, that’s usually thinner than your hair, into the natural opening of your hair follicle alongside the hair shaft. Once the needle is inside the opening, a tiny amount of electrical current is applied to destroy the hair growth cell. The amount of current is adjustable based on your pain tolerance and specific hair removal needs. Your electrologist will design a custom treatment plan based on your needs.

How Painful is Electrolysis?

The repones to this question varies from patient to patient. Just to give you an idea, imagine a needle being inserted gently into the hair follicle and then delivering a tiny burst of electrical current to stop its growth cycle. Does it sound painful? Well, it slightly painful. Some electrolysis patients say that the process feels like a slight pinch, to others it’s more noticeable. There are a few factors that could make it feel more or less painful like the area being treated, your stress level, the lunar cycle for women, caffeine intake, even the music playing in the background during your electrolysis for hair removal treatment.

How Painful is Electrolysis Versus Laser Hair Removal?

Electrolysis is pretty painful compared to laser hair removal  or other hair removal methods. Electrolysis is painful because it removes your hair one by one, and they are one next to each other. The electrolysis needle should be inserted in each hair follicle. This takes time and it can be painful. Many patients are saying that each time an individual hair is removed it hurts for a fraction of a second. In one hour your electrologist could remove from 200 – 800 hairs one by one.

When talking about laser hair removal, it doesn’t cause much pain when compared to electrolysis or waxing. It’s a quicker process that feels like tiny pinpricks. Much better than electrolysis in regard to pain.

Pain Management Options

We talked about how painful electrolysis can be. Now let’s talk about what could help reduce the pain. There are multiple pain management options offered by a few clinics in the USA. We checked the best clinics of electrolysis hair removal Chicago , Miami, Seattle and other big cities and here’s what we found in terms of pain management options:

  • Topical Numbing Cream – this cream is usually offered at no additional cost. It’s applied to the treatment area 60-90 minutes before the electrolysis treatment. 
  • Lidocaine Injection – some clinics offer lidocaine injections that are more efficient than the numbing cream. They have a board-certified nurse practitioner who administers it directly into the treatment area. If you choose to get lidocaine injections, it will cost you extra.
  • Oral conscious sedation – taking medication orally 30-40 minutes before the electrologist will start your treatment. This will allow you to relax while remaining conscious and cooperative.

Common Electrolysis Treatment Areas

  • Chin
  • Jawline
  • Upper lip
  • Throat
  • Sides of face
  • Eyebrows
  • Chest
  • Abdomen
  • Breasts
  • Bikini lines
  • Underarms
  • Hairline
  • Fingers and toes


Electrolysis is the best hair removal method available today. For some people it’s very painful, for others it’s less painful. When you get a consultation with an experienced electrologist they will give you a few instructions on how to prepare for your electrolysis treatment. These instructions will definitely help you lower the pain. If you’ve never had electrolysis, you’re probably asking yourself a ton of questions like how painful an hour of electrolysis could be, or should I book my first electrolysis treatment for 15 minutes only just to see how painful it is, and other overthinking questions. Most of electrolysis clinics offer free consultations with 15 minutes electrolysis treatment specifically for people who never tried it before. It’s design for you to see how it feels like. 

The pain of electrolysis depends on multiple factors like skin type, skin hydration, hair thickness, quantity of hair, electrologist’s experience and other. Don’t overthink it. Start with a consultation and see how it goes. Electrolysis can be painful but remember the most important thing: electrolysis removes hair permanently. You’ll feel a bit more pain compared to laser hair removal but you will never have to return for another session for the same area.

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