Hair Removal FAQ
HOW DOES ELECTROLYSIS PERMANENT HAIR REMOVAL WORK?
Based on a personal and confidential consultation, your electrologist will design a treatment plan that addresses your specific hair removal needs. A professional electrologist inserts a very fine needle (usually thinner than the hair being treated) into the natural opening of the hair follicle alongside the hair shaft. A tiny amount of electrical current is then applied to destroy the hair growth cells and the hair is removed.
WHAT ARE THE MODALITIES?
Electrolysis devices can destroy the hair growth cells with chemical energy, heat energy, or both. The method chosen by the electrologist is the modality. All are effective.
There are three modalities in current use:
Galvanic electrolysis is a chemical process. The current produces a chemical reaction in the hair follicle eliminating the hair growth cells.
Thermolysis (also called short-wave) produces heat. This modality heats and destroys the hair growth cells in the follicle. A higher intensity current can be applied for less time in the follicle, or current can be used at lower intensity with longer timing.
The Blend method combines galvanic current with thermolysis current. Thermolysis heats up the chemical reaction in the follicle destroying hair growth cells.
WHAT DOES ELECTROLYSIS FEEL LIKE?
You'll probably feel a momentary heat sensation or pinch. Discomfort is minimal for most people, but individual tolerances vary greatly. Keep in mind that some areas of the body are much less sensitive than others. Many people read, listen to music or even take a nap while being treated. If you find that you are sensitive to treatments, you can discuss sensation management with your professional electrologist.
WHAT ABOUT AFTER TREATMENT?
Immediately following treatment, you may experience slight redness or tenderness which usually disappears in a couple of hours. There is the possibility that healing may take longer depending on different variables such as hydration level, skin sensitivity and aftercare. For the first 24 hours following treatment, it's best to avoid activity that could irritate hair follicles such as excessive sweating, or make-up application. If those activities cannot be avoided make sure to disinfect the area after exposure. It is also extremely important to avoid tanning and extreme sun exposure for the 24 hours following treatment as well as be diligent about drinking water and applying SPF while you are seeking electrolysis treatments. Since we are creating micro-injuries to kill the hair follicles, some degree of healing is to be expected and is a normal part of the process in becoming hair-free.
HOW LONG WILL MY ELECTROLYSIS TREATMENT TAKE?
Depending on the area you want cleared, the first appointment could be a few minutes for a small area to an hour or more for a larger area. Most people who follow the recommended treatment plan can expect to be completed or nearly completed within 18-24 months.
Generally clients need to be seen weekly or bi-weekly for the first couple of months with appointments becoming less frequent and shorter in length until treatment is no longer needed. Factors such as hair growth cycles, the quantity and structure of hair presented, previous use of temporary hair removal methods, heredity, hormone function, certain medications and stress influence the treatment program for each individual. Please keep in mind that this treatment is a commitment you are making to yourself, by skipping treatments you are prolonging your end-goal of being hair-free.
ARE ALL HAIRS ELIMINATED IN ONE TREATMENT OR IS REGROWTH TO BE EXPECTED?
Excessive hair growth, also known as hirsutism, can range from fine, vellus hair to dark, coarse hair on the face and body. Breaking down the hair growth cells on deep, coarse hairs may require more than one treatment. But generally most hairs don’t fall into that category of deep and coarse.
The hairs that you are able to see today on your body are only a fraction of the hairs that are currently growing in that area. Most of your hair follicles are still beneath the surface building new hairs that will eventually come through the surface of the skin.
This is because of the hair growth cycles and how all the hairs in our body are constantly in growing and then resting (shedding) phases. It takes a hair 2+ months to regenerate itself after being plucked. So do not be discouraged during the first few months of treatment. In the beginning we are doing a majority of the work with regular treatments (that will eventually get shorter and less frequent) and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results if you commit to the treatment schedule. Based on a personal and confidential consultation, your Electrologist will design a treatment plan that addresses your specific hair removal needs.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE ELECTROLYSIS OVER OTHER HAIR REMOVAL METHODS?
Electrolysis is the only true permanent hair removal method and the only permanent treatment recognized by the FDA.
Unlike other hair removal options, professionally performed electrolysis eliminates unwanted hair, permanently, with unsurpassed results. Moreover, it does so for the largest variety of skin and hair types for example, lighter colored blonde, grey and white hairs that laser hair removal cannot target.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE ELECTROLYSIS OVER TEMPORARY METHODS OF HAIR REMOVAL LIKE LASER AND WAXING?
Laser promoters compare laser hair removal to electrolysis although laser assisted hair reduction is considered a temporary method. Before choosing laser hair removal, please look up “paradoxical hypertrichosis.”
Waxing, threading and tweezing are alike. However, ingrown hairs and discoloration may result. Additionally, they may cause an increase in hair growth activity. Depilatories and Shaving can cause an irritation to the skin while the hair grows quickly. These methods can require a lifetime of maintenance. Many can appear inexpensive but cost more due to long term use and are found to be inconvenient. Electrolysis works on most areas of the body to give you smooth, sleek healthy looking skin. No other solution claims such universal acceptability and success.
MY GRANDMOTHER USED TO GET ELECTROLYSIS TREATMENTS. HAS THE TECHNOLOGY CHANGED MUCH?
Permanent hair removal using electrolysis has come a long way since its beginnings in 1875. Today's computer technology enables the electrologist to work with more speed and comfort. Epilators are much quicker, utilizing current timings of thousandths of a second over the longer current applications of the past, plus, intensity settings can now be modulated to varying proportions. The instruments and equipment used in a contemporary electrologist's office are just part of the changes that have occurred in the electrolysis industry.
DO ELECTROLOGISTS FOLLOW APPROPRIATE INFECTION CONTROL PROCEEDURES?
The American Electrology Association has written standard for infection control following the most recent recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Association for Practitioners in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
CAN UNWANTED HAIR BE REMOVED FROM ANYWHERE ON THE BODY?
Electrolysis works on all skin and hair types. It can be applied to most facial and body parts including: eyebrows, chin, upper & lower lip, jaw line & sides of the face, breast & underarms, abdomen, bikini line, genitals legs and back. Based on a personal and confidential consultation, your electrologist will design a treatment plan that addresses your specific hair removal needs.