Electrolysis is a safe, effective method of permanent hair removal recognized by the FDA.
These methods are:
Glavanic Electrolysis - Direct current (DC) is used to create a chemical destruction by producing lye (sodium hydroxide), which destroys the hair cells. This takes longer per treatment.
Thermolysis Electrolysis- Alternation current (AC) is heat destruction concentrated mostly at the tip of the probe, which destroys the hair cells. A radio frequency is used to create this heat. This is the method I use most all the time. It is faster than Galvanic and the Blend and in my opinion less toxic* (see below for details) to the body. I receive great results with this method.This takes a shorter amount of time per treatment.
The Blend – A combination action of both (DC – The Chemical Lye) and (AC – Heat) at the same time, which creates a dual action destroying the hair cells. This takes longer per treatment.
In each of these methods a fine, sterile probe often referred to as a needle is inserted alongside the hair in the follicle opening. A probe is different from a needle in that it is a solid wire. It is not hollow as a needle. A radio frequency is then applied to destroy the derma papilla and germ cells of each individual hair that control the development of that hair. The Electrologist then slides the hair out of the follicle grasping it with sterilized forceps. Once these hair cells are destroyed completely the hair will not grow back from that follicle. The body will be unable to regenerate hair in that follicle. This may take several treatments.
The process can be compared to killing weeds. In order to get rid of weeds one must remove the weeds over and over again. Every time the weed is removed it becomes weaker and weaker until it can no longer grow. However if you remove the weed only one time and leave it to re-grow on it’s own without removing it again and again the weed will grow to its original strength or stronger. One must be persistent to overcome the weed just as one must be persistent to overcome excess hair growth. With persistence and consistency you will find the hair stops growing and the permanent removal of unwanted hair will be accomplished.
Why does it take so long for the hair to stop growing?
With every treatment the hair will become finer and weaker. When you remove the hair you must then wait for it to grow back again before you can re-treat it. The normal growth cycle varies with each individual hair. This could take anywhere form one week to several months.
Not only does tweezing, waxing and other temporary removal methods increase the depth, strength and coarseness of the hair but it also distorts or bends the hair follicle making it more difficult for the Electrologist to treat. The treatments will help the hair follicle to straighten thereby making it easier to treat. The closer and more exact the Electrologist’s insertions can come to the base of the root of the hair the greater the chances are that the Electrologist will be able to destroy the hair and its germ cells.
Size, shape, and density of the hair are also factors that affect the number of treatments needed for permanency. Sensitivity of the skin is another reason for repeated treatments. A balance must be achieved in that the intensity of the heat used must be high enough to dislodge the hair from its follicle but not so high that it causes singeing of the outside surface of the skin. Treatments may take longer to insure the safety of the skin.
Glandular and hormonal changes due to puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can also affect the length of time before permanency is obtained. Emotional stress, changes in diet and body weight, heredity, disease, past surgeries and the use of drugs such as: steroids, birth control pills, and many others can increase hair growth by coaxing hair follicles which have not been treated with electrolysis out of dormancy.
When is scabbing on the surface of the skin not acceptable?
The Eelectrologist should be careful not to cause scabbing on the surface of the skin. Scabbing which occurs after the first visit or so is acceptable. You must be sure to tell your Electrologist that you had scabbing. If you find that you continue to have scabbing after the first treatment or so then you should find another electrologist. Repeated scabbing often leads to scarring and pitting. This is not acceptable. The electrologist is either working with the heat up too high or working too fast so the probe is pulled out of the follicle before the heat is off actually singeing the skin when the probe is removed. You want hair free skin free of any scarring. This is completely attainable and a realistic expectation.
With all the talk about laser hair removal why would I be interested in electrolysis?
• Laser should not be used in the eyebrow area.
• You will have to shave for several months, on a regular basis, in between treatments when using the laser method.
• Laser is not effective for blond, red, white, gray, or fine hair. If someone tells you they have a laser which treats this type of hair, don’t believe them. They are using some type of short wave electrolysis.
• When performed properly some lasers work well for large areas with coarse hair. Once the hair that is left is diminished to fine hair, all laser clients must then start electrolysis treatments for permanent hair removal. Some of my clients say that they have undergone the full series of laser treatments and found that after 5 years the hair has grown back. You may or may not accept this kind of result.
• If you have a small amount of hair in an area with some coarse and some fine hair, the laser may be unnecessary, too costly, and not effective.
Which areas are most common to have electrolysis treatments?
Upper Lip, Chin, Eyebrows, Sideburns, Neck, Breasts, Nose, Ears, Abdomen, Toes, Fingers
Basic Facts – Some people have experienced permanent hair reduction, but there is limited data on how long the hair reduction usually lasts, how much hair reduction is typical, and how often permanent hair reduction occurs. I have spoken to people who have had these treatments. Many of them come to me after their dissatisfaction with their laser treatments. They tell me they do not want to waste any more time with the laser. However there are some that are very pleased. They come to see me to treat with electrolysis the very few hairs that are left after laser treatments. There are also those who ask for advice after having laser treatments between 2 and 5 years ago. They have had much of the hair grow back. However this hair is finer and less. I have also had people tell me after spending a great deal of money they are not satisfied at all. Because the nature of my business is Electrolysis I doubt I will ever meet those that are very satisfied with the laser so one must realize that my experiences with people who have experienced laser hair reduction is biased by nature.
Description - Light at a specified wavelength is emitted from a hand piece which is connected to the Laser Hair Removal Machine. This light penetrates the skin, where it targets dark material specifically the hair. This causes thermal and/or mechanical damage to the hair follicles while sparing surrounding lighter color tissues.
Advantages -The laser can treat hundreds of hairs in a very short amount of time.
Some clients have experienced long-lasting hair removal or permanent hair reduction. Considered safe if performed properly. Useful for large areas such as the back, legs and heavy beards, bikini. Re-growth can come back lighter in color or finer in texture. Light-skinned clients with very dark hair have the best results. Disadvantages -
Gray, Red, Blond and FIne Hair will not respond to the laser. Re growth can be in patches looking a bit unnatural. Eyebrows Should Not Be Treated with a laser. Clients get in the habit of shaving between treatments when the idea of professional hair removal is to remove the hair so you don’t have to fuss with it. Once the treatments have taken effect the patients continue to shave out of habit when shaving is not necessary. This can make the hair feel more coarse and does not happen with electrolysis. Types of Lasers – There are four different kinds of laser light that are commonly used for hair removal:
Alexandrite – such as the Candela GentleLase Plus Ruby Diode – such as the Coherent Light Sheer ND and LP ND Yag – such as the Laserscope – is considered the least painful of the lasers having the best results. It has a higher wavelength than most lasers which makes the treatments more effective. My Recommendation – Please note that electrolysis is the only permanent method of hair removal. In the case of areas with very heavy course hair covering a very large area such as a full beard or a man’s back, the laser may have definite advantages over electrolysis and one should give consideration to this viable method of hair removal. Then follow up with electrolysis for the finer hair which is left will give the client complete and permanent results. This use of both laser and electrolysis seems to me to make the most sense. It has been my experience that the lasers with cooling tips rather than cryogen blasts of anesthetic are more comfortable to the client and in the long run logically and probably more effective. We should note however that there are a large number of people who have not seen good results with the laser. I am working on setting up some sort of system to evaluate different lasers with input from you. Visit back for more information.