0416 165 475

Nicolsons Electrolysis

Permanent Hair Removal Clinic in Australia

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This page features information about electrolysis, the three modes, the Apilus difference and of how hair growth cycles affect the duration of treatment.

About Electrolysis for Permanent Hair Removal.

Electrolysis was invented in 1875 and is still recognised by authorities as the only medically and scientifically proven method for permanent hair removal. Such authorities include the USA Food & Drug Administration (FDA) who state “Electrolysis is considered a permanent hair removal method, since it destroys the hair follicle.” [1] The FDA is the U.S. government body that regulates medical devices. An article on WebMD states: “The FDA and the American Medical Association recognize only electrolysis as a permanent method of removing hair.” [2]

Electrolysis works on any skin and hair type. This is particularly great news for people with fair skin and blonde or red hair tones; for whom laser and IPL aren’t effective at even temporary hair reduction.

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The process of electrolysis involves the insertion of a very fine probe into the hair follicle. This is followed by the application of a small current to cauterize the lower portion of the follicle. The hair is then removed. To achieve 100% permanent hair removal results the procedure requires accuracy and precision.

Electrolysis is safe when performed by a qualified and skilled operator. It is cost-effective in comparison to temporary hair removal methods.

When seeking quality electrolysis the skills and experience of the operator are paramount. In recent times, we have been fortunate to have some rapid improvements to electrolysis technology which have served to make the process faster and gentler.

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The Different Modes of Electrolysis:

When researching electrolysis people often come across debates and opinions on which method and which machine might be best. All professional electrolysis machines work as do the three modalities:

  • Thermolysis – also known as shortwave, this mode uses high frequency radio energy to destroy the hair follicle and prevent hair regrowth. With this method the current is very short and fast; often less than a second. The heat can be focused to the root of the hair. This helps with improving comfort, for showing less effect on the skin’s surface and for treating more hairs in a unit of time.
  • Galvanic – this relies on a chemical reaction to destroy the hair follicle. A slower, longer electrical current reacts with the saline in the follicle to create lye (sodium hydroxide). That chemical destroys the hair follicle. Depending on the strength of the hair the current may run for 3 to 10 minutes in each hair follicle. Galvanic machines can have up to 16 probes. Even so this means less hairs can be treated per unit of time compared to thermolysis.
  • Blend – this combines aspects of both Thermolysis and Galvanic. It requires a longer electrical current than with thermolysis of up to 10 seconds or more. This means less hairs are treated during a unit of time.

Over several decades Katherine Spiric has worked with the three modalities and used many different machines. After using the Apilus Platinum machine for Thermolysis it became evident that this newer technology far superseded the older, slower methods.

We are able to work faster than ever to gain clearances and can more easily maintain areas to keep them hair-free, until all hair cycles come through and treatment is completed.

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Electrolysis: The Apilus Difference.

At Nicolsons Electrolysis the most up-to-date machinery is used in order to provide further comfort and to produce faster results. In recent years, a Canadian company, Dectro International, have integrated advanced computerised technology to create the Apilus electrolysis machine. This technology allows the electrologist to work faster, with greater destruction of the hair root in the one treatment, less sensation for the client and less irritation to the skin immediately after the treatment. The diagram below illustrates how the Apilus, in contrast to older technology, focuses heat energy on the root of the follicle. This enables a more effective treatment with a faster recovery time for the skin’s surface.

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About Hair Growth Cycles and Treatment Plan Duration:

In order to be able to treat a hair follicle, the electrologist requires a hair to be actively growing. This allows the follicle to be identified and for the probe to be correctly inserted into the follicle. Hence, it is necessary to wait for all growth cycles to appear. As only a portion of hairs are visible at any one time this means it can require treatments over a range of 12 to 18 months for all hairs to be found and treated. 

Diagram Dormant Active Hair Growth Cycles Regards Treatments Permanently Remove Unwanted Hairs Anagen Catagen Telogen Phases Sydney Suburbs Summer Dulwich Hill Croydon Petersham St Peters Marrickville Lewisham Redfern Waterloo Eveleigh Darlington

Every individual is different and each area is different in rate of growth and frequency of growth cycles. If you have been removing the hair by tweezing, waxing or threading you have interrupted the natural growth cycle and this will need to be taken into consideration when creating a treatment plan. If you have had laser hair reduction within the last 12 months you may experience prolonged sporadic regrowths of hair as laser can “shock” the follicle into the resting phase for a longer period of time than would normally be seen.

The good news is that for most areas the majority of the hair will grow through within the first 3 to 6 months. You will therefore most likely need the longer and more frequent sessions at the beginning of your treatment. This tapers off to infrequent, short sessions in the end.

During the initial consultation, Katherine will gather a history of the types of methods used for hair removal in the past, will assess your skin and hair, and discuss your options in regards to a treatment plan.

The plan will also be designed to fit around lifestyle and budget.


[1] “Removing Hair Safely” https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/removing-hair-safely#Epilators
[2] “Electrolysis for Hair Removal” https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-electrolysis#1


For further information:

Please see our Sydney electrolysis clinic home page.

You will find more detailed information on this page about the technology and staff; as well as this FAQs page for answers to common questions. We also have a page specifically for transgender clients. Another page features testimonial reviews from clients.

For a quick overview of key points see this  slideshow on the Nicolsons Electrolysis YouTube channel.

To discuss booking an obligation-free consultation, phone: 02 9555 7007 or 0416 165 475

There is an email-message form on the contact page which also features a location map.