Does it hurt?
There may be mild discomfort, which varies according to the location of the hair, prior hair removal techniques, as well as hair and skin type and client pain threshold. And technology has made electrolysis more comfortable and effective than ever before. Remember -- the settings can be adjusted to make the treatment more comfortable for you.
How many treatments are required?
The number of treatments necessary will vary with each client. The amount of hair, the methods of hair removal used by the client prior to treatment, genetics, hormones, nutrition and health of the individual will all be factors that determine how many treatments or sessions will be required. For areas that have been waxed or tweezed, treatments will be more frequent than for areas that have been shaved.
Treatment sessions can range from 15 minutes to more than an hour depending on the area being treated. The frequency and length of your appointments depends on the size of the area being cleared and the progress of your treatment. In general, treatments on a particular area are longest and most frequent at the beginning. Treatment length and frequency then taper off as fewer and fewer hairs remain to be treated.
To achieve optimum results, it is important to follow the treatment plan recommended by your electrologist.
Is all electrolysis the same?
There are three types, or modalities, of electrolysis used today -- galvanic (the current produces a chemical reaction), thermolysis (short-wave which produces heat) and a modality that blends the two called Blend. Some electrologists perform only one type and others may employ different styles depending on the needs of the client. They all result in effective permanent hair removal.
Is it safe?
In California, electrologists are required to be licensed and must display their license. They must complete a rigorous course of theory and practical curriculum in order to be eligible for the licensure exam. And preferably, your electrologist should be a member in good standing of the Electrologist's Association of California and/or the American Electrology Association. Look for certificates of completion of training and membership. Additionally, your electrologist should use sterile, disposable probes -- a brand new, unopened probe should be used for each treatment.
What causes unwanted hair?
Hair growth is often traced to hereditary factors. Hormonal changes at different stages of life can also stimulate hair growth, as well as stress, certain illnesses, and medications/drugs. In addition, temporary methods of hair removal (tweezing, waxing, depilatories) can increase growth.
What’s the difference between electrolysis and laser?
Electrolysis treats each hair follicle individually using a very fine probe to permanently destroy the follicle’s ability to produce another hair. Laser treatment tends to treat large areas of skin which can substantially reduce hair growth -- but not permanently remove the hair. Accordingly, it is termed 'hair reduction' rather than hair removal. Hair removal with electrolysis requires a longer course of treatment but results in complete, permanent removal of all hair treated.
Which areas can be treated with electrolysis?
Virtually any area, apart from the inside of the nose and inner ear, can be safely treated with electrolysis. (The rim of the ear can also be safely treated.) Common areas for women include the face (top lip, chin, neck, cheeks, eyebrows), breasts, abdomen, underarms, bikini line, legs, fingers and toes. Common areas for men are the upper arms, around the ears, top of the nose, eyebrows, top of the back, cheeks (above the line of the beard), around the edges of the beard and any areas where ingrown hairs are causing problems.
Is there a good time to start electrolysis treatment?
It is best not to start electrolysis just prior to a long holiday or before a busy period when it will be difficult to stick to your appointment schedule. Please schedule a consultation to discuss the best treatment plan for you and your lifestyle and to discuss the process, time and costs involved. You will see the hair reducing throughout your treatment, so you will not have to wait until the end of your treatment to see improvement.
What does the skin look like following treatment?
There is some mild redness and a little localized swelling immediately following electrolysis. This will disappear after an hour or so depending on skin sensitivity and skin type. Generally, your skin will show no sign of treatment the next day. However, occasionally there may be tiny reddish brown pinprick scabs, especially on treatment of large body areas or where hairs are distorted or ingrown. These scabs drop off naturally within a few days to a week depending on a client's individual ability to heal. If, however, you notice any unexpected after effects, please call your electrologist. It’s often hard to tell how a client's skin will react until after the first treatment in any given area.
Will I be scarred?
There is generally no risk of permanent scarring when electrolysis is performed correctly. If strict aftercare instructions are not followed, there is a very small risk of some skin surface changes which are temporary in nature and will disappear over time. This is another reason it is important to find a well-trained, licensed electrologist.
I know someone who had electrolysis and it didn’t work. How do I know what to believe?
Did they have regular treatment and stick with their treatment plan or give up after a few weeks? There are many reasons why someone might not have the best impression of electrolysis. Perhaps you can have a very small area treated first to see for yourself. Electrolysis will always work when performed correctly by skilled and experienced practitioners.
I want to have electrolysis but can't bear the thought of stray hairs growing in before my next appointment.
You can still remove hair between appointments by shaving (yes, even on the face) but no tweezing or waxing. Your electrologist only needs to be able to grasp the hair with tweezers in order to remove it at your next treatment. The hair does not have to be any longer than it would be when removing it yourself.
How much does it cost?
This varies greatly with each individual and the specific area of treatment -- while some people may need only a short treatment every 6 to 8 weeks, others may need to have a weekly treatment, at least initially. At your consultation, your electrologist will give you a more accurate assessment as to the expected treatment period for your particular situation and needs. Remember, a consultation puts you under no obligation to begin treatment.
I have both acne and chin hair. Will electrolysis help?
Chin and neck hair on women is often exacerbated by tweezing and waxing. The repeated irritation from tweezing can result in a coarser, larger diameter hair and can also cause ingrown hairs and skin irritation. Once you stop tweezing and your electrologist properly treats the hair, the skin will clear.
Will electrolysis work for me?
Almost certainly. Electrolysis is effective for all skin types, hair types, skin colors, hair colors, and most of the areas of the body.