ELECTROLYSIS 101

Electrolysis has been and still is the ONLY FDA approved form of permanent hair removal since the late 1800’s.  It is tried, tested and true and the ONLY method that is able to treat grey, white, blond or red hair.

Pluck one, four grow, pluck two, now there’s ten!  Before you know it, eeek you have a beard, mustache or both!  Sound familiar?  Wether you are 16, 18, 25, 38, 46, 54, 60 etc…. let’s face it, facial hair on women can happen at any age! That’s a fact.   Do we embrace it?  In some culture’s facial hair on women is accepted.  However, typically in North America many women struggle with social stigmas when it comes to facial hair.   

Before you pick-up those tweezers stop!  Did you know that plucking can actually stimulate hair growth?  Yes, you read right, plucking stimulates the hair to grow back and grow back stronger and often wakes up more hair in the surrounding area.  This can be quite overwhelming emotionally.  What can you do?

Consultations

We always recommend an initial consultation when considering electrolysis.  Your electrologist will be able to answer questions specific to your situation and help guide you to decide if this treatment is ideal for you.   Consultations typically take about 20mins and you are encouraged to call and book ahead as our clinic has limited spaces for new electrolysis clients. 

Why does hair grow in these places? 

We know that the male hormone (androgens from the adrenal cortex) is responsible for hair growth.  Male and females have these hormones, it’s normal and it performs many necessary functions and works alongside other hormones.  When androgens are produced in excess, we can see hair growth in hormonal areas, like… chin, upper lip, areola, even along the umbilicus (belly button line to pubic bone).  However, it is possible show up in other areas as well.

Preparing for your first appointment?

Please make sure you have hair!  We will need to examine the treatment area and the density and pilosity of the hair.  No waxing, plucking, tweezing, threading, depilatories, or laser for 6wks, you can shave and trim hair with scissors as this will not affect the growth.  It is also best to avoid peels, and strong retinols in treatment area as this increases skin sensitivity.  Best to arrive hydrated, calm and rested, if you are dehydrated, stressed and fatigued, this can add to the discomfort of the treatment.  You may still be treated but we want you to be comfortable and these are helpful tips to make your treatment as comfortable as possible.

How does Electrolysis work? 

Electrolysis is performed by a highly skilled electrologist who matches the hair size to a special needle and inserts this needle from the underneath of the direction in which the hair is growing into the offending follicle and sends a combination of heat and electrical current which creates a lye or caustic soda mix that kills the bulb or papillae of the hair follicle thus releasing it from its home without resistance and if the hair is in active hair growth (anagen) that hair will cease to grow.  Electrolysis is performed on one individual hair at a time.  It is time consuming and a labor of love, it is not intended for large areas like legs or backs.  Electrolysis is perfect for faces, shaping eyebrows, uni-brow for men and women, and areas where perhaps laser has been performed but some clean-up is still required.  Electrolysis treats all hair of any color and skin of any color.  

Is all Electrolysis the same?

There are three types, or modalities, of electrolysis used today – galvanic (current produces a chemical reaction), thermolysis (short-wave which produces heat) and a modality that blends the two. They all result in effective permanent hair removal.  The efficacy of the treatment is also highly dependent on your electrologist.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions.  Remember, you should NOT feel any resistance when the hair is removed.  Should you experience any resistance the treatment is NOT being done correctly!

Does it Hurt?

When it comes to electrolysis, the answer is usually “NO”.   The level of discomfort clients may experience depends largely on the area being treated and the client’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. 

 

How many treatments are required?

This will vary per individual. Based on how much hair and where it is located.  To clear the treatment area, can be done once or twice weekly, 15min, 30min or 60min treatments, depending on the individual and their skin sensitivity.   Once the treatment area has been cleared of all offending hairs.  Treatments are then based on whenever hair begins to re-appear.  This may take days, weeks, months or never.  Typically, one year from start to finish is common.  With duration in between treatments getting longer each time.

 

What happens post procedure?

After the procedure, most patients experience minor redness and swelling in the treatment area. This can last for a couple of days. Pin-point scabbing is normal and clients are encouraged not to pick to avoid pigmentation issues.  We also encourage no creams or makeup for the 24hrs post treatment to avoid pimples and extended irritation. Your electrologist can recommend post treatment products to speed healing and minimize redness and swelling.  Each individual will experience different post treatment effects depending on their own skin sensitivity.  Your electrologist may modify the treatment parameters based on your sensitivity and also use special needles that are specific for sensitive skins.

 

Can Electrolysis be performed on moles?

Your dermatologist will need to verify that your mole is benign and safe to treat.  We will ask you to bring in a signed note from your dermatologist stating “ok to treat”.  We will add this to your file.  This is for our liability and your safety.  No exceptions.

Is there anyone who can’t have Electrolysis?

Yes, we do not recommend people;

  • Undergoing cancer treatments,
  • People with a compromised immune system. 
  • Uncontrolled diabetes,
  • Epilepsy
  • Pacemaker
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women (it’s not unsafe, it’s a hormonal time and simply worth waiting)
  • Active skin infections (Herpes Simplex, cold sores in treatment area)
  • Sick with fever (not a common cold)
  • Sunburned skin in treatment area
  • Prone to keloid scarring
  • Accutane
  • Hemophilia (blood disorder)
  • On antibiotics

If you are unsure about your medical situation, always consult your primary healthcare provider.

We take the guesswork out of your Electrolysis!  Please feel free to contact our clinic and book your free electrolysis consultation today and have confidence in knowing your treatment is done right, by skin care experts!

Book your complimentary electrolysis consultation today! 403-287-1477

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