Electrolysis is the only FDA approved treatment for permanent hair removal. It works by inserting a small, sterile, disposable metal probe into the hair follicle alongside the hair which then delivers a small amount of electrical current and heat to cauterize and seal off the blood supply to that individual hair follicle. The electrical current mixed with sebum (the natural oil secretion inside each hair follicle) creates a chemical reaction, essentially gluing the follicle shut as it heals.
The hair root itself can safely and effectively be eliminated by any of these three actions, each effective in their own way:
1) a chemical action using a direct electric current
2) by heat production using high frequency
3) a blend of the two modalities as judged by your electrologist
Your electrologist will select the best method for you based on your hair type, skin characteristics and sensitivity. The size of an area treated and the amount of hairs in that area will determine how many treatments are needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Common Hair Removal Areas for Women:
- Top of nose
- Brow shaping
- Upper and lower lip
- Upper chest
- Nipples and between breasts
- Abdomen & belly button
- Bikini line
- Hands & fingers
- Feet & toes
Common Hair Removal Areas for Men:
- Hair line
- Beard line
Electrolysis is very helpful for treating ingrown hairs, which frequently cause irritation in the beard area.
Electrolysis usually requires a course of several treatment sessions because only one third of your hairs are visible in the growing phase at any given time. Although it usually takes only 1 session to treat 1 individual hair, only the visible hairs can be treated during a session. In addition, deep, coarse hairs cannot always be eliminated with one session.
During the entire course of the treatments—and due to the cyclic nature of hair growth—new hairs, as well as hairs emerging from a dormant phase, will also be treated and may be visible at the same time as finer re-growth hairs. The appearance of these coarse replacement hairs from dormant hair follicles should not be mistaken as re-growth from previously treated follicles. With every electrolysis session, your hair will become noticeably smaller and finer, and it will take much longer for it to grow back. After your treatment is completed, your hair shouldn’t grow back at all!
Some of the other factors that influence the number of treatments include patient age and tolerance to treatment, having other co-medical conditions, abnormal hormone function, certain medications, heredity, and the existence of curved or distorted hair follicles.
Yes. Electrolysis has been proven effective no matter if you have dark or light hair, or if you have light or dark skin. Unlike laser hair removal, which is best for dark hair on light skin, electrolysis will work for a wide range of skin types and types of hair.
During treatment, nerve endings around the hair follicle signal sensations of tingling, slight heat and/or stinging. The use of topical numbing and setting adjustments will help make your experience more comfortable. Following treatment, temporary, slight redness, tenderness and swelling, and occasionally a tiny scab over the treated follicle, may occur. During your appointment, we will review how to prepare for your treatment, any aftercare regimens, and will make a customized treatment package for your skin type & area of hair growth.