Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hair Removal Options: Electrolysis

Please first read Thoughts about Hair Removal Options for some important preliminary information.

Electrolysis has been around for a long time and used to be the only permanent method of hair removal. It is now running neck and neck with laser techniques in popularity.

Electrolysis works by sending an electrical current from a needle down into the hair shaft, affecting the root and basically destroying it. Electrolysis is not foolproof, and the effectiveness rate varies from person to person. Some clients have an 80-100% success rate, while others have less than 50%. You have to go back for repeated visits for best results, and electrolysis can be expensive.

When I was working for a spa back in my early years as an aesthetician, I had a client who was getting electrolysis on both of her legs. Imagine the time and expense of having this done! But I also picture this woman today, never having to shave or otherwise worry about unwanted hair on her legs. I’m sure she thinks it was worth every penny.

Electrolysis is not initially a permanent removal, but is a process of weakening the hair. With continued treatments, the hair essentially gives up and does not grow back, so you will need a series of electrolysis sessions lasting anywhere from a few months to a year or more depending on the location of the hair and how stubborn (thick) it is. This process varies with each individual, and you will have to discuss your specific needs with your technician.

Don’t think that going in for one electrolysis session will permanently eliminate your unwanted hair. The duration of your treatments will depend on your own personal hair growth cycles, how much damage you have done to the area (through tweezing and/or waxing), and how coarse the hair is, along with the depth of the hair within the follicle. Even medications you are taking can affect how the hair grows, which can in turn affect the success of your treatment process.

Generally, once you start getting electrolysis, the hair will grow back thinner and finer, setting the stage for permanent removal. Most electrolysis experts will tell you not to tweeze or wax the area—it makes electrolysis much more difficult. They need to work with “untampered with” hair. So if you decide to go through electrolysis, consult with your technician and obey their instructions, or the process will take longer and may potentially be more painful. Put your confidence in the professional you have chosen and leave your hair alone!

I highly recommend checking out more than one electrolysis facility. If you can, get some referrals from friends. If you don’t know anyone who is getting or has gotten electrolysis, call a few reputable skin care salons in your area and ask them for referrals. If all else fails, get out the phone book or go online and start calling around.

Be careful when it comes to discounted electrolysis. Cheaper doesn’t mean better. What you are looking for is a highly qualified technician who will help you get rid of unwanted hair. You don’t want to waste your time and money on a person who may be charging you less than the rest, but is doing a less-than-effective job on your unwanted hair.

For more information, see:
Perhaps. As you've read, electrolysis is not one-size-fits-all.