Electrolysis – Permanent hair removal
Did you know that Electrolysis is a time-tested method that was invented more than 100 years ago to remove irritating, in-grown eyelash hairs? Nowadays, most areas of the body can be treated with electrolysis, including the eyebrows, face, thighs, bikini, underarms, abdomen, breasts and legs.
Electrolysis hair removal is the only method that is approved by the FDA for permanent hair removal. It does require multiple sessions to achieve best possible results, but permanent hair removal isn’t 100% guaranteed for everyone.
A good electrolysis practitioner has knowledge of the factors that cause the excess hair growth and is able to see the action of current in the skin. Electrolysis treatments treat only the offending hair follicle, and can be performed on any colour of skin, and any size and colour of hair.
What methods of electrolysis are there?
An electric current is applied with a very fine needle-shaped electrode, or metal probe into each hair follicle to destroy the root.
There are three methods of electrolysis:
- Galvanic – the original electrolysis modality, is applied via direct current, resulting in a chemical change of salt and water to lye surrounding the hair follicle.
- Thermolysis – also known as radio or high frequency, uses alternating current to provide heat in the follicle.
- Blend – a combination of the direct and alternating current, so that a chemical and heating action occur together or sequentially in the follicle.
Hair grows in different stages: growing, resting and shedding. Because all of the hair isn’t on the same stage at any given time, multiple sessions are needed to get the hair in the growth phase for electrolysis hair removal to be most effective
Excessive hair growth can be attributed to many causes such as heredity, stress, hormonal changes, or even some medications. For women puberty, pregnancy and menopause play important roles. Therefore it is hard to predict the exact length of time before there is no more regrowth following treatments. Reason being Hairs grow in cycles. There can be as many as 1,000 hair follicles or more in a square inch, but less than 100 hairs will be showing at any one time.
It goes like this…..
This is the magic stage. Here the hair is growing and when it is visible above the skin, it can be treated. This period for facial and body hair can be as long as 2 – 3 weeks.
We are out of luck! The growth process has now reversed itself and the hair is ready to shed. The root is already dead and becoming a hard “bulb”. Follicle destruction is not possible. A follicle treated in the catagen stage will still produce another hair. The stage is extremely variable and can be as short as 2 days!
This is the resting stage. The hair is neither developing nor growing. It is usually not visible above the skin, and therefore, cannot be treated. This unpredictable phase can be as short as a few days or as long as a few years.
What factors determine results of electrolysis?
- The application method. The current is best applied via a fine wire filament, also known as an electrolysis needle. Other methods of applying electrology currents to the skin will not deliver the type of treatment energy that will result in stopping hair growth in the follicle.
- The practitioner’s skill. Selecting a skilled electrologist may be the most important factor. Electrologists are people who have undergone training to professionally administer the electrolysis procedure. If you are considering undergoing electrolysis, it is very important that you do your research before committing to an appointment. The wrong decision can mean extra sessions and cost and unnecessary discomfort.
The following guidelines can assist you in making an educated and informed decision when choosing an electrologist.
- Know their qualifications.
- Ask around. One of the best ways to find any good service is to ask friends and family 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 that any and all of your questions about the procedure are answered. Some of the questions you can ask include: how the procedure will feel; an estimate on the number of visits you will likely need; the cost of each visit (this will vary from place to place, and it is best to call around); the length of each session; how long they have been in business; and the number of clients they have treated.
- Make sure they use the right technique. Make sure the practitioner uses needle for electrolysis, which is the only permanent form of hair removal. Some places may advertise electrolysis, but in reality they use electronic tweezers or photoepilators. 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 probes? Ask to meet to person who will be performing the electrolysis for you. Does he or she strike you as professional? If you are not personally comfortable with somebody, do not go to him or her. Personal comfort is essential to knowing you have made the right decision in choosing an electrologist.
How much will it cost?
The cost of each treatment is determined by 10-minute increments. The length of time needed per treatment is determined by the area size being treated, and how many hairs there are per square inch. The amount of treatment time needed can only be determined after the electrologist has seen the area. Consultations are always free at NEST Skin, Body & Wellbeing, your beauty salon in Taringa, so we can discuss a treatment plan that works for you. Regular and consistent appointments are crucial to achieve the optimum results. The overall cost is a small price to pay for the physical and psychological benefits of a lifetime of freedom from embarrassing, undesirable hair.
How long will it take to remove all of my hair?
There are many different circumstances that affect the results of how long it takes to achieve permanent hair removal. The process of electrolysis is the destruction of hair cells. These cells live in the Follicle. All cells in the Follicle need to be destroyed in order to stop the Follicle from producing the unwanted hair. When the follicle is treated by electrolysis a percentage of the cells are destroyed. If the follicle that was treated by Electrolysis produces another hair, the new hair will be noticeably finer in texture because a percentage of the cells have been destroyed. This is how the process of electrolysis works. Once all of the cells have been destroyed in the follicle no hair can be produced in the follicle again. You cannot put an exact number on how many treatments are needed to destroy all of the hair cells in a follicle.
Consistency in your treatments plays a big part in speeding up the process of electrolysis. There are three hair growth stages. When electrolysis is performed in the first growing stage, more hair cells are destroyed. When treatment schedules are not kept, there is a chance the hair will grow into its second or third stage. If this happens, then the next electrolysis treatment will not be as effective.
Electrolysis may take weeks to months to see marked improvement, and over a year to permanently destroy every hair cell. An encouraging fact is that the area being treated is continuously improving during treatments, and visits becoming shorter in duration, as well as spaced further apart. When all unwanted hairs are gone, some people will need periodic treatments. Sometimes new hairs can be produced due to reasons such as stress, medications, hormonal changes, etc. Remember we cannot change the reasons new hairs may be produced, but at this stage it becomes easy to maintain. There are some people who, when finished with electrolysis treatments, do not have a need to come in for maintenance treatments. Individual factors that affect hair growth make it difficult to predict how many treatments will be needed and how long the process will take.