Usually, during electrolysis you should neither feel the insertion of the probe into the hair follicle, nor should you feel like the hair is being pulled out when it is removed because it will usually slide out of the follicle when properly treated. Sometimes, when there is a large white keratin ball at the root of the resting or telogen hair, you will feel it pop out right at the surface of the skin, and this is normal. As for when the heat is being applied or when the lye chemical reaction is occurring, different people have different tolerance for pain, and the same person may have different pain threshold at different areas on the body, or at different times of the month for women. Some areas of the face and body, especially towards the mid-line, are more sensitive than others. But considering that we have to apply enough heat or form enough lye to kill the germ cells that are making hair at the bottom of the hair follicle, anyone that claims a painless procedure is likely to be exaggerating just a little bit. It is just impossible to destroy tissue without sensation. Similarly, laser hair removal does involve some degree of discomfort. Clients who have low tolerance for pain may wish to apply a numbing cream, or take Advil or ibuprofen before their appointment. Stronger pain medication may be prescribed by their physician.
Because we must treat each follicle of the unwanted hair, electrolysis is time consuming by its nature. Electrolysis is ideal for clients who have patience and tolerance for delayed gratification, they are willing to invest the time and resource needed in order to achieve a more permanent result. Those people who need a quick fix are best served by more temporary methods such as shaving, waxing, threading, and tweezing. Having said this, one should keep in mind that waxing, threading, and tweezing will tend to distort the hair follicles and make electrolysis more difficult at a later date. These temporary methods may also lead to skin irritation, “razor bumps” or ingrown hairs, and increased hair density and thickness. Also, the temporary methods require frequent, never-ending maintenance, and in the long run are more time consuming and costly.