This article tries to answer one of the most frequent questions in the field of hair removal and that is the amount of time needed to remove all unwanted hair on a particular area permanently. It also focuses on factors that influence the length of electrolysis treatments.

One of the most frequent questions in the field of permanent hair removal is the amount of time for the completion of the work on a particular area. It is indeed understandable that clients want to have all unwanted hair removed permanently in the shortest possible time. To achieve that, a number of factors must be taken into consideration. Some of the most important factors that influence the amount of time needed to remove hair permanently are: density of follicles, coarseness of hair, hair growing cycle, hormone levels (especially androgens), pain threshold, the skin’s tolerance of treatment, skin sensitivity, regularity and frequency of treatments and previous methods of hair removal.

Density of follicles and the coarseness of hair are largely controlled by genetics. Very heavy hair growth may require much more electrolysis treatments than areas with only light hair growth. More studies on hair growth are needed. But many researchers say that there can be as many as 500 to 2500 hair follicles per square inch although less than 100 hairs will be showing at any given time. There are variables involved and no two people are alike.

The growth cycle of hair is divided into three phases: anagen, catagen and telogen. Individual hairs enter into each phase at different times. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of hair is actively growing during the anagen phase. On average, this phase lasts from three to six years. Eventually growth begins to slow, and hair enters the catagen phase, which last on average from one to two weeks. During this phase, the hair becomes disconnected from the structures in the follicle and the bulbous area, and a new hair growing cell, dermal papilla, begins to form underneath i. That will produce a new hair.  The telogen phase that last from three to six weeks is a period of rest. The hair, severed from all connective structures, remains in the follicle only because of the bulb-shaped root and will remain in this position until it is shed off or removed.

For these reasons, during treatment, it is extremely difficult for anyone to predict the exact length of time before there is no more growth in the treatment area.

The hair might be visible above the skin, in the anagen stage in a week to two weeks time. If electrolysis appointments are missed, permanent hair removal can not be achieved as quickly since some of the hair will have begun to reach the shedding stage before treatment. Therefore, complete destruction of the papilla can not be achieved.

It is always good to go back to the initial consultation and to reassess the work in case the client questions the time spent having electrolysis done. It is also worth mentioning that the electrologist’s skill plays a huge part in treatment time needed.   Expectations by a client to permanently remove the unwanted hair in a couple of short and sporadic treatments are unrealistic.

Estimated time to remove men’s facial hair permanently

While the amount of time to initially clear the man’s facial hair varies from client to client, I would estimate that one needs at least 5-7 hours to clear the face of all unwanted hair for the first time. It is absolutely necessary that the client receives at least one weekly treatment of 30 minutes to one hour or more following the initial clearing of facial hair in order to remove the re-growth. The reason being, that we need to treat the hair when it is very young (in the anagen stage of hair growth) in order to get the best and fastest results.

One additional factor in the success of electrolysis is the type of hair removal methods used by clients prior to the procedure. Clients who tweezed and waxed hair before they decided to remove their unwanted hair by electrolysis usually require more treatments, because these methods cause the hair follicle deform, which makes it difficult for the fine probe to reach the bottom of hair follicle and destroy the dermal papilla.

The biggest variable is the actual time needed to achieve permanent hair removal – that is, to complete the electrolysis work. On average, one needs 200 to 300 hours (in some cases more) to eliminate the unwanted facial hair permanently.

No plucking and waxing is recommended in between electrolysis treatments as it may increase the risk of skin damage.

A very important piece of advice: Stick with your electrologyst’s recommended schedule since frequency and regularity of treatment will affect the treatment time.