- Mishael’sElectrolysisCenter, LLC
- My Struggle With Facial Hair
- My Electrolysis Journey
- My Life Now
- Is electrolysis permanent?
- Why should I choose electrolysis over temporary methods like waxing?
- Are all hairs eliminated in one treatment or is regrowth to be expected?
- What you should know about laser hair removal versus electrolysis
- Advantages of laser hair removal
- Disadvantages of laser hair removal
- Hirsutism a.k.a. Facial Hair
- Laser Hair Removal
- The outcome
- The emotional roller coaster of having regrowth
- Laser doesn’t work with PCOS*
- Try out different clinics
- Time is money
- Patient or bag of money?
- I got a job! = I can pay for electrolysis
- You can check out my latest health update to see where my insulin levels and hormones are!
- The treatments
- Hormones & Insulin
- How long should it take?
- Factors to consider
- The Unfortunate Truth
- The treatments in pictures
- How Do I Choose an Electrologist?
- Everything You Need to Know About Electrolysis Hair Removal
- What is Electrolysis Hair Removal?
- Am I a Good Fit for the Treatment?
- How Long Does it Take?
- Does it Hurt?
- Are there Any Side Effects?
- How Much Does it Cost?
- Want More on Electrolysis Hair Removal?
- How does electrolysis work?
- What are modalities?
- What does electrolysis feel like?
- What about after treatment?
- How long will my electrolysis treatment take?
- What are the Real Side Effects of Electrolysis?
- What Everyone Needs To Know About Electrology
- WHAT CAUSES EXCESSIVE HAIR GROWTH?
- WHAT IS NORMAL HAIR GROWTH?
- CAN HAIR BE REMOVED FROM MOLES?
- CAN PREGNANT WOMEN HAVE ELECTROLYSIS?
- ELECTROLYSIS IS THE ONLY PERMANENT METHOD OF HAIR REMOVAL.
- HOW DOES ELECTROLYSIS WORK?
- HAS TECHOLOGY CHANGED MUCH OVER THE YEARS?
- HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
- IS ELECTROLYSIS EXPENSIVE?
- DOES ELECTROLYSIS HURT?
- ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS TO ELECTROLYSIS?
- DOES ELECTROLYSIS WORK IF HAIR HAS BEEN TWEEZED FOR YEARS?
- WHAT AREAS ARE USUALLY TREATED WITH ELECTROLYSIS?
- ARE PROBES SAFE?
- WHAT ABOUT LASER TREATMENT?
- WHAT ABOUT ALTERNATIVE METHODS LIKE WAXING?
- SHAVING AND DEPILATORY PRODUCTS?
- WHAT TRAINING IS AVAILABLE IN MY STATE?
- How effective is electrolysis?
- Who is suitable for electrolysis?
S.A. – Computer Programer – Marietta, GA (Transgender – Face and neck)
“As someone who was at the beginning of a gender transition at the time I began my treatments at Mishael’s Electrolysis, I was very touched by Ahoova’s supportive, understanding nature, and grateful for her incredible skill and expertise. I had a challenging combination of dense, coarse facial hair and very sensitive skin. Ahoova worked with great care, and around one year after I began facial electrolysis I was done (much faster than I expected). Since that time I’ve had almost no regrowth. My face is now smooth, soft, and feminine. I could not be happier with my results which have truly been life changing! In fact, I was so pleased with my experiences and results the first time around that I’m now back having some other areas worked on by Carol. Once again, my experience at Mishael’s Electrolysis is proving to be stellar!”
M.T. – Atlanta, GA (Chin)
“If you are African-American and you have tried and tried to get rid of unwanted hair and laser is not working, try electrolysis. This is permanent hair removal. I have been hair free from my chin area for 3 years and I have sent others and they are pleased as well. Laser did not work for me. It burned my skin and hair grew back.”
J.N.F. – Management – Decatur, GA (Transgender – Face and neck)
“I have sensitive skin and a lot of facial and body hair. Before finding Mishael’s Electrolysis Center, LLC, I tried both laser and electrolysis. I knew I was in the right place at Mishael’s Electrolysis Center because of the sincerity, professionalism and compassion I experienced there. I was shocked by how many hairs were removed during my first visit. My skin has never felt and looked so great! My life has changed because I feel more confident. I am happy to share my experience in the hopes that it will help others find a great place to remove their unwanted hair fast and permanently.”
S.K. – Student – Norcross, GA (Face and neck)
J.O.H. – Professor – Sandy Springs, GA (Transgender – Face and neck)
“In the Atlanta area, when people talk about needing facial and related hair removed, independent of method, it is always Ahoova’s name that comes up. In a crowd of people, you can even hear it said in unison. You won’t find a better place than Ahoova. Ahoova has always been very professional to work with, everyone I know speaks positively of her, and she is accepting of everyone who walks through her door. Ahoova did many hours of electrolysis on my face and chest area, and I personally would recommend her to anyone, particularly anyone who lives in the Atlanta area.”
Dominique Holder of Brooklyn, NY, tells POPSUGAR about her electrolysis experience.
Before electrolysis, I was self-conscience, antisocial, depressed, and hated my facial hair that I was plagued with. I feared that my facial hair was obvious and everyone could see it, despite my efforts to conceal it. I would get my chin and neck waxed or threaded weekly and pluck any hairs that showed up in between. After my threading and waxing appointments, I would go straight home because those areas would be red and irritated, and I didn’t want anyone to see.
Flash forward 18 months: the only hair removal method deemed “permanent” by the FDA has changed my appearance, my demeanor, and even my career.
My Struggle With Facial Hair
Very few people knew about my daily struggle with facial hair. It was my biggest, darkest secret. There were mornings that I would look in the mirror at my face and start crying because I was so unhappy with my skin’s appearance. On top of the facial hair, I had caused other problems: ingrown hairs and acne that stemmed from hairs not being removed properly. Additionally, I had severe hyperpigmentation on my neck and chin from picking at the skin to remove the painful ingrown hairs.
“Examining my face for hair became part of my daily routine. I carried a set of tweezers in all of my purses, just in case.”
Some days I felt so awful that I would call out of work and stay home in bed all day. Other days, I would relentlessly dig into my flesh to remove the ingrown hairs that were bothering me. In turn, this left the areas red, bleeding, agitated, and extremely tender. I would cancel whatever plans I had until my skin cleared up. My social life was nearly nonexistent. I wouldn’t go out spontaneously when friends or coworkers would ask.
The hair on my face controlled my life and kept me from enjoying it. I didn’t like to have conversations in close proximity to other people because I feared they would notice my hair growth and pass judgment. Examining my face for hair became part of my daily routine. I carried a set of tweezers in all of my purses, just in case.
I would pluck, wax, and thread my lip, chin, and neck weekly. Every time I went to the bathroom, I would check to see if there were any visible hairs. Before I went anywhere, I would check my face thoroughly. I was tired emotionally from dealing with my unwanted facial hair. It was taking up too much time and money to deal with every week or couple of days. At that time, I was in a relationship with someone, and he was very supportive, but I still thought that it was the worst thing ever.
My Electrolysis Journey
I first started receiving electrolysis in midtown Manhattan with Emily Limoges at Limoges Beauty in June of 2016. I was 28 years old.
I had heard about the process through a colleague who was receiving treatment after expressing to her my struggle with facial hair and my search for a permanent solution. Having heard so many horror stories about laser hair removal and the mixed effects on darker skin types, I didn’t want to risk damaging my skin more than it already was and possibly stimulating more growth. After talking to her and doing a bit of research, I was willing to try it.
My first electrolysis consultation was very emotional. I was scared that the treatment wasn’t going to work. I was also a little anxious about what to expect. I learned that the treatment uses a tiny needle, inserted into the hair follicle. The tip of the needle has a current that seals off the root to prevent the hair from regrowing. I was told that plucking hairs just made it worse, as what were once a few hairs were now hundreds. Several areas of my face were severely damaged and hyperpigmented from picking at ingrown hairs.
My journey took patience, time, and reinforcement. My hair growth was most prominent on my chin and neck, so those were my main areas of focus. When the hair growth decreased in those areas, I started to work on my upper lip and sideburns. I felt uncomfortable for the first couple of months during my treatments. It was difficult to see the difference because my hair was so hormonal and tough. Emily kept reassuring me my hair was getting a little thinner and a little less dense each time.
It is kind of like watching paint dry, or watching grass grow. You don’t see the change right away. In theory, you know the change is happening. In my particular case, it was a slow process because of my hair type. We live in a world of immediacy, and electrolysis is not an instantaneous process for most people.
My Life Now
Over the course of 18 months, I invested approximately 40 to 50 hours in electrolysis. For the first two months of treatment, I would go once a week for one to one-and-a-half hours, then every 10 to 12 days for 30 to 45 minutes.
“I don’t try to angle my face anymore like I used to, to disguise the hair. I don’t look in the mirror and cry anymore about how I look.”
I no longer plan my social schedule around my facial hair. I am confident when I talk to people I just meet, or even just walking down the street. I don’t try to angle my face anymore like I used to, to disguise the hair. I don’t look in the mirror and cry anymore about how I look. I feel emotionally lighter and happier in my everyday life. My family has told me I seem to have this glow about me now. I no longer have to wear so much makeup and can show off my skin to the world without the embarrassment I used to feel.
I decided to change careers after seeing that the treatment really worked. I went to school to become certified and graduated at the top of my class. I learned about the different types of electrolysis treatments, which method is best to use in what circumstances, and how to properly insert the probe and determine the pitch and depth. I studied skin and hair follicles and factors that contribute to hair growth in detail. I am also currently studying to become a licensed esthetician.
I’m happy to be helping others gain confidence and achieve the looks that they want. It means so much to me, especially since I come from a long hair journey. I’m extremely passionate about what I do and take pride in my work.
Today, I see myself as a beautiful woman who is more emotionally and physically confident. My outlook on life has become more positive. Being able to conquer my facial hair has taught me that difficult challenges in life can be very fulfilling and internally rewarding. The journey was long, with lots of emotions along the way. I feel I came out on the other side stronger mentally, hair-free, and more prepared for other challenges that life might have in store for me.
Is electrolysis permanent?
Electrolysis stands alone as the permanent alternative to lifetime maintenance.
Yes, it is.
No other hair-removal solution can claim the universal acceptability and success offered by electrolysis treatments. Electrolysis safely and permanently removes all types of hair from all skin tones.
Electrolysis permanently destroys the growth cells of the hair follicle, preventing treated hairs from ever growing back. Treatment can be applied to most facial and body parts including eyebrows, chin, upper and lower lip, jaw line, sides of the face, breasts, underarms, abdomen, bikini line, fingers and toes, legs and back.
Most other methods focus on immediate, but temporary, hair removal – visible hair, or hair that’s inside the follicle but hasn’t yet emerged. None of them deliver permanent elimination of unwanted hair.
See the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) report, Removing Hair Safely.
Why should I choose electrolysis over temporary methods like waxing?
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.
Waxing, threading and tweezing are alike. With all of these, 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 regrows 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.
Are all hairs eliminated in one treatment or is regrowth to be expected?
Hairs have differing cycles of growth, many of which are not visible on the surface of the skin at the same time. The follicle produces the hair from the blood supply, and discards it eventually through shedding.
The process of growth, rest, and replacement are known as the hair growth cycle. Since individual hairs are in different phases of the cycle at any given time, multiple treatments may be required to remove unwanted hair.
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.
Based on a personal and confidential consultation, your electrologist will design a treatment plan that addresses your specific hair removal needs.
What you should know about laser hair removal versus electrolysis
Share on PinterestLaser hair removal does not eliminate unwanted hair forever.
Laser hair removal uses a laser to damage hair follicles sufficiently to reduce hair growth.
It will permanently diminish hair growth, but does not eliminate unwanted hair forever — eventually, the hair will grow back.
What does the procedure involve?
Before the procedure, the technician performing the laser surgery will trim the hair that is being treated close to the skin.
The technician will then adjust the laser’s settings based on the color and thickness of the hair being removed, as well as the area being treated. Preparations will likely also take into account the color of the person’s skin.
The technician will then apply a cold gel to the skin to protect it. Some people may be given a topical anesthetic to minimize discomfort. Anyone having their hair removed with a laser will need to wear eye protection during the treatment.
After the procedure, it may be necessary to apply ice packs to alleviate discomfort. For severe pain, a doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers or a steroid cream.
Most people will require up to 8 follow-up treatments to get the best results, which can be scheduled 4 to 6 weeks apart. Once hair growth has been sufficiently restrained, a person may require a once-or twice-yearly maintenance session.
Advantages of laser hair removal
Some of the benefits of laser hair removal include:
- Precision: The lasers quickly target coarse, dark hairs.
- Speed: Laser pulses take just milliseconds, and can treat several hairs at once, which means that small areas can be treated in just minutes.
- Lighter growth and color: New hair growth tends to be less dense than before, and the new hair is often a few shades lighter than the original hair.
- Efficacy: Many people see long-term results after 3 to 8 sessions.
Disadvantages of laser hair removal
Laser hair removal is not suitable for everyone, and there are some risks involved. Its main disadvantages include:
- Not suitable for all coloring: The laser works best on people with light skin and dark hair because the laser targets dark colors.
- Risk of adverse reactions: Some of the more undesirable side effects of laser hair removal can include discolored skin, swelling, skin redness, blisters, and scarring. However, some of these resolve within hours of the treatment.
- Photosensitivity: Lasers can increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity); so direct exposure to the sun must be avoided immediately after the procedure. People having laser treatment should avoid sunlight for 6 weeks before treatment to prevent discoloration of the tanned skin.
- Dangers of numbing products: According to the FDA, the use of skin-numbing products in laser hair removal has led to reports of serious and life-threatening side effects that occurred after individuals applied a numbing agent to large areas of the body.
People should use a fully trained, certified laser technician working under the direction of a board-certified healthcare provider to reduce the risk of severe and long-lasting side effects following laser hair removal.
Insurance companies consider laser hair removal to be a cosmetic procedure, and so they do not cover it.
Costs vary according to the area of the body being treated and the number of sessions required but can cost $200 to $400 per visit. Prices also vary depending on the geographic location of the laser treatment center.
It is also necessary to factor in the price of the yearly maintenance procedures when calculating the total cost of this treatment.
At-home therapies or salon treatments, although significantly cheaper, carry more significant risks.
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Last updated on November 26th, 2019 at 03:16 pm
Before I start talking about hirsutism and PCOS, I’d like to remind everyone that I am not a doctor and am writing this from my personal experiences, a survey conducted with 950 women who have PCOS and a series of interviews with different electrologists and laser hair removal technicians.
I think this post is going to be one of the most embarrassing and humiliating one I’ll ever write about, but I think it’s one of the most problematic symptom that I’ve had to deal with since 2010 and I think that writing about my experiences should or may help other women out there who deal, have dealt or will deal with this.
As most of you know, this blog is primarily dedicated to food and recipes that are gluten-free, sugar-free and low carb so that women with PCOS who are interested in losing weight and taking control of their symptoms naturally can refer to them and start their low carb journey.
Hirsutism a.k.a. Facial Hair
One of the most commonly known symptoms of PCOS is weight gain, but I think the most common symptom that no one really talks about is hirsutism, most frequently known as facial hair. It’s one of the biggest struggle I’ve personally had to deal with since 2010, as well as plenty of other fellow cysters. It’s not something that any woman wants to admit. I mean having facial hair as a woman isn’t a feature that I like to boast about. I’ve seen a few women online that have gone viral for sharing their facial hair and accepting the fact that they have a beard and I applaud them. I’m so proud of them for accepting what they have been dealt with. I, on the other hand, couldn’t and still can’t. For the past 7 years, all I’ve felt was humiliation and embarrassment. I’ve never really felt very attractive or feminine because of it. I’ve never been able to accept it. Actually, I’ve accepted the fact that I have facial hair, but I’ve never been able to accept that I, as a woman, should have to endure having facial hair. For those who aren’t familiar with PCOS, when I say facial hair, I don’t mean the light blonde facial hair that every human has, I mean an actual man beard that grows on a woman’s face. It’s most commonly associated with women who have PCOS, but there are a few women that do not have PCOS, but just have higher testosterone or other hormonal problems.
The hair started to appear when my weight passed 230lbs/105kg. My insulin was through the roof, in the 40s, and my hormones were out of whack. I was about 20 years old and hair started to appear on my side burns and on my chin. At first, it wasn’t much. It was just a few hairs here and there. But as the months went by, the patches grew larger. They never fully connected, but were very noticeable as I am of Italian descent and my hair tends to be very dark and thick. I started waxing, bleaching, plucking, you name it. Anything to make it less noticeable. But it wasn’t working. The hair were there to stay. No matter what I tried, it would just grow back right away. When I turned 22 years old, I finally had enough. I had read so many suggestions online to get laser hair removal and I decided to take all of my money and go do it. I was a student at the time and I wasn’t rich or anything, but I had enough and decided to use the last of my savings for it as it was important for me to get rid of it. I needed this. I needed it to be gone so badly.
Laser Hair Removal
I booked an appointment at a laser hair removal salon soon after. The first appointment, the technician explained to me how laser worked. She told me that she treated many women with PCOS, but that I shouldn’t expect to be hair-free. Instead, I should expect that after 5-6 treatments, I should have a 70% decrease in hair growth. She then told me that laser hair removal wasn’t permanent, but it did significantly decrease the hair amount. I was happy with what I heard and decided to go ahead with the treatments.
The treatments were really painful. I cried every single time. The upper lip was the worse. I have never felt that much pain in my life. Laser shocks your skin and burns the hair instantly. One shock has a range of 1-5cm or something, I can’t really remember. After the treatments, you need to ice the area for an hour or two and put some pure vitamin E all over. The skin gets really bumpy, hot and red, but it disappears after a day or two. You’ll notice some burnt hair that will fall out after a while. You’ll notice that your skin tends to be really hot and burn for about an hour after the session. You may even get slight bruising if the laser touches a vein.
For the next year, I did about 8 sessions. Not only did the hair all come back 6 weeks after each session, but the amount of facial hair that I had basically tripled. I used to only have patches on my sideburns and my chin, but after the sessions, I had a full-on man beard connecting my side burns, neck, chin, jaw and moustache. Laser hair removal, if anything, had me feel even more worthless than I’ve ever felt. I started the treatments expecting to find a cure or some sort of relief, a slight sliver of hope that could make me feel more of a woman and make me comfortable in my own skin, regain my self-confidence and feel beautiful. These hopes were completely destroyed after a year of laser hair removal. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t depressed and disappointed. I don’t think I had ever felt so sad in my entire life. I was so humiliated. I didn’t want to go outside, hang out with friends, and get seen by anyone whatsoever. Imagine being a woman that is supposed so look a certain way, especially the fact that being a woman in our society this day and age is already so damn hard, but being a woman that has a full grown man beard all around her face. Can you even imagine the pain and embarrassment one can have? The worst part was that the hair wouldn’t stop growing. It wouldn’t stop like leg hair at about 1cm, it would just continue to grow and grow, and if I wouldn’t have cut it, I’d probably have the Guinness world record for the longest man beard a woman can have.
The emotional roller coaster of having regrowth
At that time, I’d completely given up feeling slightly normal. I was so sick and tired of shaving, waxing, plucking and bleaching. No matter what I tried, the hair would come back the same day. I’d have a five o’clock shadow by the end of the day, irritated skin from shaving, pimples from waxing and my self-esteem had completely gone down the drain. I eventually gave up on dealing with the hair as I just didn’t have enough courage to do it anymore. It came to the point where I honestly didn’t care what other people would think of me as I, myself, had lost every ounce of respect and self-love I had for myself. I gave up on the outside world for a while, and I think from when I was about 22-24 years old, I had reached the highest level of depression one could reach and I really wasn’t in a happy place. All I could think was that no one would ever love me or look past my facial hair. All my friends knew I had facial hair, I mean it was obvious. But just the fact that they would notice or slightly look at my face for that extra second made me feel so self-conscious. It hurt me in a way where it’s been really hard for me to move forward and accept who I am and what I’ve been dealt with.
Laser doesn’t work with PCOS*
After the 8th treatment was over, the laser technician told me that laser wouldn’t work on me since I have PCOS and that I should do electrolysis instead. I had used all of my money and basically had tripled the amount of hair that was on my face. I looked into electrolysis and it was just completely out of my price range. Electrolysis zaps one hair at a time and so to do a whole face can take 20+ hours of treatments and each hair follicle needs 2-10 treatments. The worst thing is that electrolysis treatments need to be regular so you can’t just skip a few months and go back. It won’t work and the hair will come back and you’ll have wasted your money. Obviously, at that time electrolysis was out of the question and out of my price range. So I completely gave up. I stopped shaving, plucking and waxing. The hair amount was just so ridiculous that anything I tried was just making it worst. My skin felt so sensitive and irritated that I had just enough. I decided to let the hair grow out and just bleached them. I was tired of the pain of pulling each hair out of my skin 2-3 times a day just so that I could feel like a woman, so I just let it grow out. I think I had the long facial hair for about 2 years. Everyone noticed. Obviously my friends didn’t treat me differently, but they did notice and so did strangers.
*Looking back, laser may have been more effective if my hormones and insulin were at normal levels like today. I think the reason laser didn’t work is because my insulin was in the 40s, whereas it’s 7 today, my male hormones were too high and my female hormones, LH and FSH, were irregular, whereas they’re all normal today. But I think that because my hormones and insulin were out of whack, laser did not work. However, I can’t say for sure that it was because of that. I definitely think it was one of the main factors that made it unsuccessful. If perhaps my hormones and insulin would have been normal, it may have been successful, but because my experience was negative, I can’t recommend laser to anyone.*
For those two years, I had gone to a few electrolysis clinics in Ottawa and Toronto to see what it was like and how it felt. I had explained to them that I did laser and that it had tripled the amount of hair I originally had. She told me that laser really shouldn’t be done anywhere where hormones are sensitive. Hair that grows on the face, under the belly button, on your bum, between you thighs or behind you upper arms are all very sensitive to hormones, whether male or female, and so having laser done on those hair follicles only stimulates the dormant ones to come out even more because it zaps a wide area and touches the ingrown hair too. I think I went 4 times total to electrolysis because I didn’t really have the funds for it. But my goodness. Laser is painful, yes, but at least it’s quick. I hadn’t realized that doing electrolysis would take so much time. The way electrolysis works is that they insert a tiny needle into the hair follicle and zap the root of the hair with an electric current for 1-10 seconds depending on the machine and the electric current it’s set at. The shock can be a little painful to ridiculously painful. The electrologist will adjust the power according to your pain reaction. I’ve read that the stronger the power, the better because that way the root of the hair can be sure to be burned. However, it’s not like you can suddenly withstand a super strong electric shock 300 times on your face for an hour. There’s a limit to how much pain one can handle and my pain tolerance isn’t really high.
Needle inserted into skin and zaps 1 hair at a time Needle inserted into skin and zaps 1 hair at a time Needle inserted into skin and zaps 1 hair at a time
Try out different clinics
I tried four different electrolysis clinics and let me tell you something. Before you decide on a clinic to continue your treatments for the following number of years, TEST out the electrologists. I do not mean to be rude, but electrolysis needs to zap one hair at a time meaning that the treatments will take an enormous amount of time. We have over a million hair on our faces and zapping one hair can take 1-10 seconds. I don’t deny that electrologists know what they’re doing, but the speed they do it at is important. Time is money, especially for electrolysis. I tried four different clinics and I swear some took so much time compared to other clinics that I honestly thought they were doing it on purpose so that they could get more money out of me. So definitely try out different places and see which one gets the job done fast. If you go to a slow clinic and don’t check out other ones, your treatments will cost SO much more over the years so definitely be careful with that. I once counted how many hair this one electrologist zapped in 45 minutes and she zapped about 400 something. When I went to a slower electrologist, she had zapped about 100 in the same amount of time.
Time is money
In addition, the equipment used is extremely important. The fast place used a bright light that would go over my face so that she could see all the hairs, plus she had these mini magnifying glasses that would make her see all the tiny hairs and make sure to zap every one of them. She also held the tweezers and needle in one hand and used her other hand to stretch out my skin to get access to all the hair. Also, she sat on a lower chair while I was lying on a bed and she was crouched over me so that she could see everything. On the other hand, at the slowest place, the electrologist didn’t used any magnifying glasses, and she stood up so her face wasn’t close to my face. She couldn’t see the hairs as well, thus the reason why she was slow. After one treatment with her, I decided that it was a huge waste of money and also my precious time because she wasn’t competent enough. So honestly make sure your electrologist is fast. It is SO important.
Patient or bag of money?
Another important thing to consider is whether the electrologist treats you like a patient or a bag of money. I felt that the electrologists that would put a timer, check the time every second or try to make me sign a contract that said to come at least two times a week as a client or she wouldn’t be able to treat me were being unfair and were thinking of getting paid more than treating me. I honestly did not like that as I knew that I would be doing treatments for a long time and wanted an electrologist that I could trust and that wasn’t just in it for the money. The one I go to now schedules me for a session of however long and sometimes pass the time scheduled by 2-10 minutes and she never charges me. I think she knows that there is a lot of work to do and she treats me more like a human being, rather than a bag of money. She always makes sure that whatever area we’re doing that day is completely hair free.
I got a job! = I can pay for electrolysis
In January 2015, I moved to Japan because I got a job there and was officially employed. That meant that I could finally afford electrolysis treatments. I was not interested in laser as it had ruined my face and made the hairs grow like crazy, so I definitely wanted to invest my time into electrolysis. If you’ve read my ‘About Me’ page, you’ll know that the second I moved to Japan, my periods magically came back and have been regular ever since. Electrolysis isn’t very popular in Japan so finding a clinic was a bit hard. I actually have to go into Tokyo (I live in Saitama, another prefecture) and it takes about an hour and a half each way.
The first time was just like the other clinics. They explained how electrolysis works and give you a free trial for 10 minutes. Because I had already done electrolysis before, I told her I wanted to buy an hour right away and do a treatment. She used a different kind of machine (there are so many varieties btw) where I held a metal stick and she would zap each hair for a minimum of 10 seconds. She said she prefers to use this machine and zap for a longer periods because she’s seen more success zapping for a longer time than for a shorter time. She has a big light over my head, a magnifying glass and sits right beside me so she’s crouched over my body so she sees all the hair. I love her because she never puts a timer and we just talk while she does the treatments. Every clinic is different in terms of prices. I think Japan is on the higher end for it. You can buy minutes or you can buy a 5 hour package. Other clinics will sell bigger packages too, but she’s the cheapest one I’ve found so far and love her. A 5 hour package in Japan costs 61000¥ (540$) so you can see that it can get pretty pricey. I decided to do 45 minutes treatments per week because one, I couldn’t afford more and two, it hurts soo much that I cannot handle more than 45 minutes. I would’ve liked to go twice a week, but I could only afford once a week for 45 minutes so that’s what I started with.
If you look at my chart (sorry I only started the chart in May 2015 and not January), you can see that I started with 3-3.75 hours per month, decreased to 2 per month, then to 1 per month and now I do 30 minutes per month. My chart also includes my weight, what days my periods came and how long between each period. The black sections are because my periods overlapped between 2 months. In January 2016, I got my periods on the 30th until the 3rd of February and then again on the 6th of March.
You can check out my latest health update to see where my insulin levels and hormones are!
I started the treatments with my long hair bleached because I had stopped waxing. Because I had so much hair, we decided to start section by section or else we’d get confused as to where we had done and where to redo, etc. I asked her to do my chin first because that was the place I hated the most, then she moved to my sideburns, then my cheeks and then my jaw and neck. By the way, she didn’t go over those places in one treatment, I mean in the course of 20 or so hours, she went through all those sections one by one, while going back to previous sections to zap the hair that had come back. My face wasn’t clear, or semi-cleared until about November 2015. I think I finally started to look like I had no beard around that time, but the hair would come back so I still had to go every week or every two weeks.
While she focused on eliminating the hair on a particular section, I would still have hair on the other sections and I was fine by that. You have to remember that once you start electrolysis, you CANNOT shave, pluck or wax the hair as you’re just going to ruin everything and the hairs WILL come back. You can trim and bleach, but under no circumstances should you pluck the hair out of your face. It’s a pretty crappy part about it, but I learned to live with the hair and I’m finally seeing results.
Hormones & Insulin
It is important to note that all women produce the male hormone testosterone, but in much smaller amounts. This is one of the hormones that causes facial hair, among other ones. Excess facial hair depends entirely on several factors: the hair follicles’ androgen sensitivity, genetics (people from the Middle East or Mediterranean tend to have more hair), insulin sensitivity, testosterone levels, and hormones like estrogen and progesterone. If you have a poor diet and have consumed high amounts of carbs like sugar and refined carbohydrates, your body most likely started becoming insulin resistant over the years. When that happens, your body is unable to process sugars properly or break down food. This unfortunately has a major impact on hormone levels which can cause hair to grow. A diet that is high in carbohydrates raises insulin levels, which in turn raises testosterone levels and other female hormones, which can contribute to an increase in facial hair. High testosterone can also cause acne and scalp hair loss. As long as your hormones are out of whack and your insulin is too high, hair WILL grow. Essentially, you CANNOT do electrolysis or laser if you do not have your insulin and hormones under control. The hair that you zap will not only come back, but dormant hairs will also come out. I recommend checking out my guide on how to start a low carb diet for getting those hormones in control.
How long should it take?
I found this really helpful article here that talks about how many hours or years you should expect to get rid of facial hair. It’s an article specifically designed for transsexuals, but they go through the same thing as women with PCOS.
Factors to consider
- An important factor to remember is that electrolysis WILL TAKE TIME, even years. You should expect treatments to take from 1 to 4 years or more. According to the article, the average is 2 years and the fastest has been 10 months. Completion requires from 40 hours to more than 700. The treatments NEED to be regular, and by that I mean every single week. The biggest financial challenge will be to get your face cleared, after that it’s just zapping the hairs that come back. For me, personally, it took 10 months-ish to clear my face after going there once a week. It can obviously take less time if you have the money, but for my case, it wasn’t. After your face is cleared, then you can start going for less time or just 1-3 times a month depending on how much hair comes back. I’ve been going for 2.5 years now.
- I think the most important thing to remember is that if you do not have your hormones and insulin under control, the hair WILL come back. Before even starting treatments, you need to get your female and male hormones and insulin under control, either by diet and exercise or by medication. If they aren’t in control, the hairs will always come back, unfortunately.
- You need to be patient. It won’t happen overnight. It’s almost been three years for me and I now go once a month instead of once a week. The hair is barely noticeable, but a few do come back. The hair on my neck and jaw are coming back first because that is the last section that I started. The hair on my chin was the section I had started with and I haven’t had hair there for a good year now. I get occasional hair on my sideburns and cheeks, but most of it is on my jaw and neck. I just started doing the upper lip because it’s one of the most painful area to treat and I’ve been avoiding until now. I started the upper lip in June 2017. I can only handle about 5 to 10 minutes on the upper lip and then I start crying. Even if the hair decides to stick around for the rest of my life, going once a month for touch ups instead of once week is definitely a life savour and I’ll take that any day.
- It will hurt. I find that the treatments during my periods or right before my periods are the most painful. Maybe because I’m extra sensitive during those days, but I try to schedule my appointments at times where I will not be on my periods. I also take an Advil one hour before each treatment. There are a few creams you can use before treatments (Maxilene and Emla) that sort of numb your face, but they can be quite pricey and honestly I’ve never noticed a difference with or without them so I just stick with my Advil. I’ve been told that getting your face frozen after going to the dentist is a godsend since you don’t feel anything and can do 2+ hours without pain, but I obviously can’t do that every month lol.
- Your diet will affect the growth of the hair. Make sure to eat healthy and exercise as eating sugar or gluten will affect the hair and they will come back faster. In April 2016, I had an ACL surgery on my knee because I broke it a few months before. Anyway, I was hospitalized for three weeks and couldn’t bring any food in the hospital. I had to eat what they gave me for three whole weeks. I had been eating gluten-free, sugar-free and low carb for the past year and I suddenly had to eat wheat and rice every single meal for three weeks. At that time, I used to go do treatments every 2 weeks for 30 minutes for the past 4 months, but when I was hospitalized, the hair came back after a week and double the amount that normally comes. I had to go do electrolysis 3 times that month because I had eaten carbs, gluten and sugar for three weeks, also because I was stuck in bed and wasn’t moving. Ever since, I’ve been very careful about what I eat and the hair growth has decreased over the months. You’ll also notice that eating low carb can lighten the hair colour.
After three years of treatments and seven years of having facial hair, I finally look like a woman again. A few of the hairs do come back in some random places, but I go do touch-ups once a month and then it’s all good again. You can see in the pictures below the hair before the treatment, the hair right after, and the hair growth 3 weeks after. Compared to two years ago, I think it’s absolutely incredible.
The Unfortunate Truth
I just want to say that it is extremely important that you remember this. And I don’t mean to be cruel or mean, but just want to say the unavoidable truth. As humans, we all have blonde baby hair. The hair is in its dormant form. If your hormones are out of whack or if your insulin is too high, those blonde hair follicles will come out of their dormant form and turn long and black. Once the facial hair has come out and grown dark and black, there is no way to remove it, unless permanently removed. By that I mean, no matter how much vitamins or medication you take, no matter how healthy you eat or how much you exercise, once the hair is out, it’s out. It doesn’t matter if you pluck, wax, trim or shave, the hair will come back. Think about it. If you were to pluck your hair on your head, it will come back. The hair follicle has been created so even if you pluck it out, the hair will simply grow back because the hair is not dormant anymore. So you may think that eating healthy is not important, but it is. By eating healthy, exercising and eating low carb, you are controlling the amount of insulin your body makes. By having a normal amount of insulin, your hormones start to become normal and so do your insulin levels. So eating healthy makes the baby blonde dormant hair that hasn’t developed into long and dark hairs stay that way, stay dormant and not come out. But the hair that had come out previously from your hormones or extra insulin will unfortunately always be there unless permanently removed. Since hair starts to appear with PCOS’ extreme levels of hormones and insulin, there is no way to remove the hair follicles once the hair has come out, unless you do permanent hair removal ONLY IF YOUR HORMONES AND INSULIN ARE NORMAL.
The treatments in pictures
Here are some pictures of treatments I had this year so you can see how hair growth works. I don’t really have hair on my sideburns, cheek and chin anymore. It’s all in the neck and under my jaw as it’s the last area I started. I started the moustache area in June 2017 so still have hair because we haven’t cleared the entire are yet.
February 2017 – Before Treatment February 2017 – After treatment
February 2017 – After treatment
September 2017 – After treatment September 2017 – After treatment
September 2017 – After treatment September 2017 – After treatment
September 2017 – After treatment
September 2017 – 2 weeks after treament, regrowth September 2017 – 2 weeks after treament, regrowth
September 2017 – 2 weeks after treament, regrowth
September 2017 – 3 weeks after treatment – regrowth September 2017 – 3 weeks after treatment – regrowth
September 2017 – 3 weeks after treatment – regrowth September 2017 – 3 weeks after treatment – regrowth
September 2017 – 4 weeks after treatment – regrowth
October 2017 – After 30m treatment – Hair free October 2017 – After 30m treatment – Hair free
October 2017 – After 30m treatment – Hair free
How Do I Choose an Electrologist?
Electrologists are people who have special training to perform electrolysis. If you are considering electrolysis, it is important that you do your research before committing to sessions. The wrong decision can mean extra sessions and cost along with unnecessary discomfort and scarring.
- Know the professional’s qualifications. Many states require electrologists to be licensed or certified within the state to practice. If you live in one of those states, be sure the practitioner’s certificate is current and on display. For states that do not regulate electrolysis, look for electrologists who have certification from an accredited electrology school.
- Ask around. One of the best ways to find good services is to ask friends and family as well as your doctor for recommendations. If you know anybody who has undergone electrolysis, ask for his or her input.
- Get a consultation. Many places will give you a free consultation. During the consultation, be sure all of your questions are answered. Some things you may want to ask about include: how the procedure will feel; how many visits you will likely need; how much each visit costs; how long each session lasts; how long the practitioner has been in business; and the number of clients he or she has treated.
- Make sure the electrologist uses the right technique. The practitioner should use needle electrolysis, which is the only permanent form of hair removal. Some places may advertise electrolysis but use electronic tweezers or photoepilators instead. These are not permanent hair removal procedures.
- Use common sense. When you go to your consultation, look around. Does the place look clean? Do the workers look clean? Do they use disposable gloves or needles? Ask to meet the person who will be performing the electrolysis. Does he or she strike you as professional? If you are not comfortable with somebody, look for someone else to do the procedure. Personal comfort is essential to knowing you have made the right choice.
Everything You Need to Know About Electrolysis Hair Removal
Electrolysis hair removal is the only form of permanent hair removal that is FDA-approved. But how does it actually work? Click here to learn everything you need to know.
Keyword(s): electrolysis hair removal
Studies have shown that the average woman spends a lot of time over the course of her lifetime shaving her legs.
No, like–a lot of time.
No, like 72 days of her life.
And that time isn’t even including any hair removal besides the legs! What about facial waxing? Brazilians? Armpits?!
If you’re the kind of person who feels like losing that 72 days to back-breaking hair removal is…well…not worth it, you might be just the person for electrolysis hair removal!
If you’ve got a hunch electrolysis hair removal might be right for you, here are some things you might want to know about the treatment!
What is Electrolysis Hair Removal?
Electrolysis hair removal is a form of permanent hair removal. The process involves the use of a microscopic needle that emits heated electric currents directly into the hair follicle shaft, destroying the follicle and its ability to regrow or support new hair growth.
Electrolysis hair removal is the only 100% FDA-approved hair removal treatment on the market. Unlike other treatments that claim to be “permanent” until those little patches of hair start to creep back to the surface…the effects of electrolysis are really, truly permanent.
Though the procedure is less common than laser hair removal, its results are often more satisfactory than those of other similar treatments. It can be performed with equal effectiveness on areas of the body and face alike.
Am I a Good Fit for the Treatment?
When it comes to any cosmetic procedure, there are usually some factors that can determine how thorough the results will be on any given patient. The same is true when it comes to electrolysis.
With regard to the more-common laser hair removal treatment, candidates are really only suited for the treatment if their skin and hair have significant color contrast, since that procedure works through targeting contrasting hues.
For electrolysis, however, contrast between the hair and skin makes little-to-no-difference! No matter how fine or fair, dark or coarse the hair, you’re probably a good candidate for electrolysis hair removal!
How Long Does it Take?
The length of the procedure itself will vary based on a number of factors, including the amount of hair and area of the body being covered. In general, treatments can last between 15 minutes and 1 hour from start-to-finish. Some patients do request longer treatments.
In terms of the amount of time it takes to begin seeing results from your electrolysis treatments–well, this may not be quite so speedy.
Many patients find that they require several treatments before they’re satisfied with the outcome from their electrolysis treatments. This sometimes means patients receive 15 to 20 treatments to any given area before the treatment has thoroughly taken hold.
Since hair grows differently in different areas of the body, electrolysis is often able to work more quickly on certain regions of the body. Electrolysis treatments on the legs, for instance, may take hold after just 12 weeks of treatments. Hair on the head, however, could take up to 3 years.
In general, completion of most areas of electrolysis treatment can be expected between 12 and 18 months, if the suggested treatment plan is followed.
Does it Hurt?
Many people’s first question before considering any cosmetic procedure is, “Does…uh…does it hurt?”
When it comes to electrolysis, the answer is, “Eh.”
Similar to most other treatments (and even things like tattoos), the level of discomfort patients experience depends largely on the area being treated and the patient’s overall sensitivity to pain.
Electrolysis treatments are described by some as feeling like a tiny shock every other second. Others report a feeling of heat or tingling across the affected area.
To combat any procedure-specific discomfort, some electrologists give patients the option of having a topical numbing agent applied. This can take care of the sting and discomfort some patients experience during the treatment.
After the procedure, most patients experience some minor redness and burning discomfort on the skin that lasts for a couple of days. Patients can apply creams to soothe this pain, though.
Are there Any Side Effects?
As with anything medical or procedural, there is potential for some minor side effects following electrolysis hair removal.
The major risk at hand comes from the fact that the electrical current doesn’t discern between hair follicles and other types of local cells. This means that there’s a slight risk of minor scarring, mostly due to the treatment’s collateral damage. This scarring should be extremely subtle if it’s present at all.
Because of the raw nature of the skin, there’s also a very minor risk of infection–although this really only happens when patients neglect to keep the treated areas clean. Follow your electrologist’s instructions and you’ll be totally fine in this area.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of electrolysis hair removal can vary widely depending on a lot of factors. These include the area and amount of hair being treated and the number of treatments necessary. They also include the clinic and area of the country in which you’re being treated, and more.
As a baseline, you can expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $200 per electrolysis treatment. Most clinicians base the treatment’s cost on the amount of time each session takes to complete, so these numbers can vary, even from one session to the next.
Although the cost of treatments may begin to add up over time, many patients see it as completely worth the commitment. No more time spent hunched over shaving or waxing, and no more money spent on those pesky razors!
Want More on Electrolysis Hair Removal?
It’s no wonder electrolysis hair removal is so fascinating and desirable, because the treatment really is totally permanent!
The procedure renders hair follicles completely unable to regrow hair. This means you’ll be completely free to never think about shaving or waxing ever again.
Electrolysis hair removal is the perfect route for the person who’s too busy living life to worry about pesky unwanted hair. If this sounds like you–check out our options for electrolysis and shoot us a message!
How does electrolysis 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.
What are modalities?
Medical 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.
What about after treatment?
Immediately following treatment, you may experience slight redness or tenderness which usually disappears in a couple of hours. There is very little risk of complication or serious skin irritation with electrolysis performed by a skilled practitioner. For the first 24 hours following treatment, it’s best to avoid activity that could irritate hair follicles such as excessive sweating, tanning and prolonged sun exposure or make-up application.
How long will my electrolysis treatment take?
Depending on the area you want cleared, it could be a few minutes for a followup appointment to an hour for a larger area. Most people who follow the recommended treatment plan can expect to be completed or nearly completed within 18 months. 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.
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. Based on a personal and confidential consultation, your electrologist will design a treatment plan that addresses your specific hair removal needs.
What are the Real Side Effects of Electrolysis?
Electrolysis is an invasive procedure that involves inserting a fine needle into the the hair follicle and applying a small amount of electric current over a very short period of time.
While the procedure generally isn’t typically very painful (although some discomfort can be felt), there are usually some longer term side effects of treatment. Here are the more common side effects:-
Common Electrolysis Side Effects
The amount and severity of the side effects that you experience with electrolysis depends largely on the sensitiveness of your skin, the duration of the session and the density of the hair in the patch that’s being treated.
Most people experience one or more of the following systems following a session of electrolysis:-
- Redness for up to a few hours after treatment (rarely longer than a day)
- Red dots on the treated area (usually only last a few days)
- Rarely small scabs may appear on the treated area (usually lasts up to 1 week)
- Localised swelling (for most people these usually look like insect bites, although for the rare few that react badly to electrolysis, this can cause large raised bumps on the surface of the skin).
- Acne breakouts (usually caused from skin insensitivities and disappears within a week)
- Skin dryness (sometimes the reaction from the electrolysis can leave the patient with dry skin – a simple aloe gel is your best line of defence against this side effect)
Expert tip: If you find that you’re suffering from long term side effects then you may wish to consider using some kind of anti-inflammatory drug or an antihistamine before your treatment.
Rare Electrolysis Side Effects
In some cases, you may experience some of the following less common symptoms from electrolysis:-
Permanent Scarring and Pitting
In some rare cases you may find that the electrolysis procedure has damaged your skin enough to form severe scabbing, which may then over time progress into a scar. In some cases, the scars may take 6-12 months to fully show themselves on your skin.
The two most common reasons for permanent scarring are over treatment of a certain area or using a setting that’s too strong for the customer. This is one of the reasons why it’s really important that you do your homework when looking for a good electrologist.
Expert Tip: If you find that you have permanent scarring from your electrolysis session you should consult with a dermatologist about using Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, chemical peels or laser skin resurfacing as viable methods of improving the affected area.
What Everyone Needs To Know About Electrology
WHAT CAUSES EXCESSIVE HAIR GROWTH?
If you are embarrassed by unwanted hair, you are not alone. It is estimated that 90% of all men and women may be affected to some degree. Factors that can cause or add to unwanted hair growth are: heredity, stress, glandular or hormonal imbalances, puberty, reactions to certain medications, pregnancy, menopause and the aging process generally, as well as excessive waxing & tweezing that in many cases will contribute to hair growing back coarser, darker and deeper than before.
WHAT IS NORMAL HAIR GROWTH?
Every hair on your body is produced independently and hair will regenerate at varying rates, depending upon the area of the body it’s found. After a hair sheds or is sloughed, the follicle will become dormant for a time varying from a few weeks to a few months at which time it begins it’s growth cycle once again. It’s important to understand that what may appear to be “re-growth” during the initial treatment period is actually “undergrowth hair” emerging from its dormant state. Now that you understand what normal hair growth is, you will be able to better evaluate your progress during your treatment cycle.
CAN HAIR BE REMOVED FROM MOLES?
To be reassured that the mole in question is “normal” and not pre-cancerous I will require written approval from your physician.
CAN PREGNANT WOMEN HAVE ELECTROLYSIS?
The hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy can frequently be the cause of unwanted hair. Electrolysis can be performed on anyone with normal skin, but I suggest that you get the advise of your attending physician prior to beginning a treatment regime.
ELECTROLYSIS IS THE ONLY PERMANENT METHOD OF HAIR REMOVAL.
To trace the origins of electrolysis, one needs to go back to 1875 when an ophthalmologist discovered that he could permanently remove ingrown eyelashes from his patients by energizing a fine needle and inserting it into the follicle of the eyelash. From these early attempts to rid people of unwanted hair, there has been continued medical research and development that has made electrolysis both a safe and reliable method of treatment. Today, the American Medical Association and the Federal Drug Administration recognize electrolysis as a safe and permanent method of hair removal.
Electrolysis also addresses other dermatological problems with hair follicles. Just one example is the removal of ingrown hair to prevent the formation of cysts.
HOW DOES ELECTROLYSIS WORK?
Electrolysis involves the insertion of a fine pre-sterilized, disposable probe into the hair follicle. The skin is not punctured or harmed. A slight amount of current is then applied through the probe. Effective treatment of the mid and lower follicle accomplishes permanent hair removal by destroying the dermal papilla. When the dermal papilla is completely de-activated, no further hair growth can occur. If in an initial treatment, a hair is only damaged an undernourished weaker hair will grow. This hair will be finer and more susceptible to treatment.
HAS TECHOLOGY CHANGED MUCH OVER THE YEARS?
Since it’s origins in 1875, electrolysis like most technologies has changed dramatically. Today’s epilators are essentially microprocessors that deliver bursts of energy measured in thousandths of a second, to eliminate hair. I can modulate both time and intensity of my epilator settings to match all clients’ tolerance levels. Speed and comfort are synonymous with modern electrolysis.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
The number of treatments required will vary with each person and according to factors such as the amount of hair in the treatment area, the sensitivity of the skin, medication and hormone balance, and the previous methods of hair removal, just to name a few. It is important to know that we can only permanently treat the hairs that are currently growing. We cannot know how many hairs will eventually grow or when your body will stimulate new growth.
It is therefore very important that electrolysis is performed upon the detection of re-growth. Left untreated, hair will reconstitute itself to its original diameter and depth. Once a treatment program begins, it is important that appointments are kept to the predetermined schedule set at the beginning of your program.
Most clients find that weekly sessions beginning at thirty minutes to one-hour work best. Eventually as the hair is removed, moving to 15-minute touch-up treatments on a less frequent basis is sufficient. Again, the more closely you adhere to a treatment schedule, the sooner you will become hair-free forever.
IS ELECTROLYSIS EXPENSIVE?
Fees for electrolysis are in keeping with those for other aesthetic services but considering that electrolysis treatments result in permanent hair removal, the cost is nominal. Continuous use of temporary methods over years will in fact cost considerably more than electrolysis.
Estimating the cost of electrolysis is something that can only be done after a consultation, as every client is different. How often you need to come in depends upon the density of hair as well as previous methods of hair removal, to name only two factors. The goal of a consultation is to evaluate the area to be treated and to educate you on your options. At that time, we will set a schedule that works for you and we will estimate the overall cost of the plan. Again, consistency is the most important factor in electrolysis. Over time, we will re-evaluate your progress and together we will reach your goal of being hair-free.
DOES ELECTROLYSIS HURT?
Today, most of my clients describe the sensation of electrolysis as “quick warmth”. Some areas may be more sensitive than others and at certain times of the month you may feel more sensitive. With today’s digital equipment, adjustments can be made to create a more comfortable treatment experience. Over the counter products are also available to desensitize a treatment area for those who are more sensitive. Taking your favorite pain reliever 30 minutes before an appointment can also lessen the sensation of treatment.
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS TO ELECTROLYSIS?
You may see slight redness and/or swelling but this is normal and these mild symptoms will lessen anywhere from ½ hour to a few hours. After hair is treated, it leaves an open follicle that is prone to bacteria. Keeping the area clean and avoiding makeup or harsh products on the area for 24 hours is advised. Complete details on before and after care procedures will be provided at your initial consultation.
DOES ELECTROLYSIS WORK IF HAIR HAS BEEN TWEEZED FOR YEARS?
Yes. Waxing and tweezing hair increases blood supply to follicles. Hair re-growth will be coarser as a result and may require more treatments than fine hair. That said you definitely would realize permanent results by the end of your treatment program.
WHAT AREAS ARE USUALLY TREATED WITH ELECTROLYSIS?
Unwanted hair can be removed from most body areas. The following are the most common treatment areas for men and women including teens. Women: eyebrow, upper-lip, chin, cheeks, hairline, breasts, tummy, fingers, arms, underarms, legs and bikini, genitals.
ARE PROBES SAFE?
Only new, pre-sterilized, disposable probes are used for each appointment. All metal instruments used in a treatment as well as all equipment and treatment areas are thoroughly sanitized before and after every treatment.
WHAT ABOUT LASER TREATMENT?
A lot of people ask, “Well, isn’t laser permanent? They often advertise that it is permanent.” Laser is considered by the FDA to be permanent hair reduction. It cannot completely destroy the follicle, nor is it painless. Laser treatments only cripple the follicles, allowing for a period of decreased growth, thus reducing the size and thickness of the hair in the treated area. Additionally, laser hair removal has not been evaluated for the long-term safety of the skin. Lasers are not ideal for all skin or hair colors nor are they capable of selectively targeting individual hairs. The only method of permanent hair removal, as stated by the FDA, is electrolysis. For additional information on lasers I suggest that you visit the .
WHAT ABOUT ALTERNATIVE METHODS LIKE WAXING?
As I covered earlier, permanency only comes with electrolysis. Many people like to wax large areas and don’t mind the routine, the discomfort and the cost associated with this ongoing process. Waxing and tweezing however, only remove the hair shaft itself, leaving behind the dermal papilla that is capable of producing more hair for the next growth cycle. Aggressive successive treatments can in fact cause the opposite of what most people want, deeper, coarser hair that eventually will take longer to remove using electrolysis. It’s the very action of ripping the hair out that stimulates the follicle, making it more tenacious.
Bleaching hair on the face or other parts of the body will have the same outcome as bleaching the hair on your head. After a while, the hair becomes damaged and coarse looking and this can be just as noticeable simply because it now looks so different in contrast to the kind of hair most people expect to see.
SHAVING AND DEPILATORY PRODUCTS?
Shaving will only remove the hair you see. That includes the very fine vellous hair that some people refer to as “peach fuzz”. Shaving can promote in-grown hairs and small microscopic cuts are a certainty. Ask any man that shaves. The other downside to shaving vellous hair is that over time, it can become coarser and stubbly. Again, the opposite of what most people want. Depilatories are harsh and for many, can cause chemical burns of the surface of the skin. At a minimum, this can create a red and irritated looking complexion.
WHAT TRAINING IS AVAILABLE IN MY STATE?
Each State has different training requirements for practicing Electrology. Select your state from the map or the list below to find out more about the training programs available to you.
Electrolysis and laser hair epilation are the only hair removal methods that may provide a permanent result.
Electrolysis involves the insertion of a small fine needle into the hair follicle, followed by a small electrical current that damages and eventually destroys the hair follicle. There are 3 different methods (modalities) to achieve this:
- Galvanic electrolysis
- Blend method
This uses direct current electrolysis, which means a direct electric current is passed down a needle into the hair follicle where it creates a chemical reaction. This reaction converts tissue saline into sodium hydroxide, a caustic agent that then destroys the hair bulb.
This uses a high frequency alternating current that is passed down through the needle to the hair follicle. The high frequency causes vibration in the cells of the hair follicle to produce enough heat to cauterize the hair bulb.
This combines both the galvanic and thermolysis modalities.
No clinical trials have been carried out to compare the methods and any claims of one method being more effective over the other is based on anecdotal evidence only.
How effective is electrolysis?
Effectiveness of electrolysis is dependent on the skill of the technician (electrologist) performing the procedure. Proper electrolysis requires accurate needle insertion technique and use of appropriate intensity and duration of current. The technician, based on the patient’s pain threshold, sets the intensity measured in milliamps, and the duration of the current is controlled by how long the technician presses down on the hand or foot pedal. A common estimate of effectiveness is that 25% of treated hair don’t regrow.
Electrolysis is a very slow method of hair removal that may also be prolonged by having to do repeat insertions into the hair follicle. It may take a minute or more to remove each hair using galvanic electrolysis.
The amount of pain experienced during the procedure is dependent on the individual’s pain threshold. Topical anaesthetic creams applied one hour before the procedure may help to reduce discomfort. However, it is desirable to maintain some sensation as the pain is related to the amount of damage to the hair follicle.
Who is suitable for electrolysis?
Almost anyone wanting to remove unwanted hair is a candidate for electrolysis. For men and women electrolysis is usually a safe and permanent process of hair removal. However, it is should not be used for patients with pacemakers because it can interrupt the electronics to cause potentially dangerous heart rhythms.
Some degree of redness about treated hair follicles for a few days is not uncommon.
Potential risks of electrolysis include scarring and increased or reduced pigmentation i.e. brown or white marks.
Secondary local infection with bacteria (impetigo) or reactivation of herpes simplex are also possible complications.