Modality Wars: Thermolysis vs Galvanic vs Blend

One of the most frequent topics of debate in electrolysis, is which modality is the best, thermolysis, galvanic or blend.

The answer is very simple – ALL three are effective at permanently removing hair. It is primarily the skill of your electrologist that determines whether or not any one of those methods are effective for them and much of that comes down to the region you live in.

Galvanic was the original way of doing electrolysis and it works by chemically dissolving the inside of the follicle to destroy it. It absolutely works to remove hair, but the problem is, it takes as long as 30 seconds per follicle to kill a hair. To combat this, the manufacturers of galvanic epilators created “multiple needle galvanic” (MNG) machines, which treat as many as 16 hairs at a time. Few schools specialize in MNG electrolysis, so it’s more of an art form shared between practictioners whom enjoy this modality. Don’t let the word needle scare you, they are using the same dull, rounded tip probes that other electrolysis modalities use. One of the downsides of galvanic, and as a consequence, blend, is that it passes a DC current through the body, which can be dangerous for certain medical conditions, requiring a doctor’s permission to treat a person with them.

Thermolysis is a newer method, which uses localized heat, almost like a miniature microwave oven inside the follicle, to destroy the structures in the follicle. It is EXTREMELY fast, typically only taking a few hundredths or tenths of a second to work, but it requires very precise placement of the probe because the heat only targets a very small area. Because of this, it is also important to stretch the skin so that the tip of the probe can reach the terminus of the follicle, where the papilla that grows the hair is, making it harder to treat curly or distorted hair follicles.

Blend is a combination of both galvanic and thermolysis, giving it the advantages of both, although it is slower than thermolysis.

Thermolysis tends to be more popular on the east coast of the US, blend more popular on the west coast. The simple reason for this, is because the schools on the east coast focus on thermolysis, while the ones on the west coast focus on blend, largely because the inventor of the blend method was located in California, where he manufactured the units and had an electrolysis school.

So, which method is best? Again, it comes down to how skilled your electrologist is with that particular modality. Blend is easier to do, particularly on curled/distorted follicles, but thermolysis works just as well if the electrologist can stretch the skin. Blend is a little slower, but perhaps slightly more thorough, meaning that both thermolysis and blend are likely to get your removal completed in roughly the same amount of time.

A particularly skilled electrologist will be very familiar with at least two modalities and can use the one they feel is most appropriate for your personal needs. In order to maximize our effectiveness for our clients, at Emancipated Electrolysis, LLC, we primarily deal with both thermolysis and blend, and frequently use both depending on the individual case, although we can also do single probe galvanic if necessary. For more information about permanent hair removal, electrolysis or to book an appointment, contact us at or call us at 585-270-5230 and finally be freed from unwanted hair.