Frequently Asked Questions about Electrolysis and Permanent Hair Removal
What is Electrolysis?
Electrology is the science of permanent hair removal. Using state-of-the-art technology, a minute amount of electricity is gently applied to the base of the hair follicle. This process destroys the hair growth tissue. Therefore, the regenerative ability of the hair follicle is permanently eliminated.
The term electrolysis is used to describe all methods of permanent hair removal. The electrolysis modality was the first method used to remove hair permanently back in 1875. The term electrolysis branded the process of permanent hair removal.
An electrologist inserts a very fine needle into the natural opening of the hair follicle alongside the hair shaft (keep in mind how tiny hairs are). A minute amount of current is then applied to destroy the hair growth cells.” (Excerpt from Electrology.com)
Why should I choose Electrolysis over other methods of hair removal?
For Starters, Electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal method approved by the FDA. All other forms of removal are not, and will either only reduce the amount of hair or in some cases will actually cause more hair to grow. For example, Laser is a reduction in the hair in a given area, while tweezing and waxing can cause blood to come to the follicle area, in turn stimulating more hairs
Electrolysis also is effective on all skin and hair types, while other removal methods are not.
How many treatments will I need?
The length and duration of treatments varies from client to client. Depending upon the area to be treated, sessions can range from 15 minutes to one hour or more. There are also many other factors such as hair growth cycles, the quantity and structure of hair presented, previous use of temporary hair removal methods, heredity, hormone function, certain medication and stress influence the treatment program for each individual. It is important to follow the recommended treatment plan to achieve optimum results.
How long is a treatment session?
Treatment sessions range from 15 minutes up to 1 hour or more. When working to clear larger areas, often clients will opt to come in for 2 or more hours at a time.
Are all hairs eliminated after one treatment and will the hair regrow?
Excessive hair growth, known as hirsutism can range from fine, vellus hair to dark, coarse hair on the face and body. Deep, coarse hairs cannot always be eliminated with one treatment; thus, breaking down the hair growth cells may require additional treatments. Based on a personal and confidential consultation, your electrologist will design a treatment plan that addresses your specific hair
What is the normal growth cycle of a hair?
The hair growth cycle goes from growing (Anagen) to resting (Catagen) to shedding or recycling (Telogen). Hairs are constantly going through this sequence which cannot be distinguished or seen on the surface of the skin. Thus Electrolysis needs to be done over a period of time to ensure the follicles are treated at the proper stage of growth in order to permanently destroy the follicle and eliminate future growth.
Does Electrolysis hurt?
In most cases Electrolysis does not cause much discomfort. Modern methods and technology have made treatments much more comfortable and tolerable than in years past. While individual tolerances may very, even the most sensitive individuals are now able to tolerate a treatment with the new technology. As Electrologists, we also work with the client to find a setting that is most comfortable (while still effective) for them.
Are there any side effects from Electrolysis?
All clients are provided with a copy of post treatment care instructions. You should expect to see a slight reddening of the treated area, as well as small bumps or swelling that generally goes away within a couple of hours post treatment. If a client is prone to break-outs, we test a small area for a first treatment and the client then monitors that area for a few days to a week following the initial treatment to see how their skin will react before proceeding further. If a break-out does occur, we have various after care products that we can apply post treatment during future visists to help keep this from happening after each treatment.
Can unwanted hair be removed from any part of the body?
Electrolysis works on all skin and hair types. It can be applied to most facial and body parts, including: eyebrows, chin, upper & lower lip, jaw line & sides of the face, breast & underarms, abdomen, bikini line, legs and back. Based on a personal and confidential consultation, your electrologist will design a treatment plan that addresses your specific hair removal needs.
Can Pregnant women be treated?
Electrolysis can be performed on pregnant women however certain areas such as the breasts and abdomen should not be treated during the third trimester without a doctors approval.
Can hairs be removed from Moles?
Electrolysis can be performed in most moles where licensing regulations allow it. Your electrologist may require written approval from your physician.
Common Questions about Electrolysis For Men
Do guys get Electrology treatments?
Yes! Often men are frustrated by unwanted hair and also get tired of temporary methods of removal. Common treatment areas for men are chest, back, shoulders, ears, eyebrows beard sculpting or elimination and to treat irritations and ingrown hairs. Many Competitive athletes also choose electrolysis for permanent removal of unwanted hair.
How Long Will it Take?
The length and number of treatments to clear a given area will depend on the amount of hairs to be removed, the consistency of the treatments, and ensuring that the client follows the instruction of the Electrologist for any temporary means for keeping the area clear between appointments. For example tweezing and waxing should never be done once electrolysis has been started on an area, as this will cause more hair growth. It is important to have treatments regularly in order to clear an area and achieve permanency sooner.
How long will a treatment session take?
Treatment sessions vary in time ranging from 15 minutes up to 2 hours, depending upon the area to be treated and the availability of the client and Electrologist. Through a confidential consultation, the Electrologist will be able to provide the client with a treatment plan suited to their needs and area(s)
How do I know that I’m getting good treatments?
Through the consultation, the Electrologist should provide you with information about the process and design a treatment plan that will suit your goals for hair removal. You should also receive information on post treatment care so that you will know how to take care of a treated area.
In general, you should not feel the probe as it is inserted into the follicle, and you should not feel as though the hair is being pulled or plucked once the current has been applied. The hair should easily slide out of the follicle if it has been properly treated. It is normal to have some swelling and redness in and around a treated area, but they should both dissipate within the day. If you have any further irritation or break out in the area (as some individuals with sensitive skin may experience), you should mention this to the Electrologist and they will be happy to work with you on making adjustment to prevent this in future sessions.
Can hairs around the groin or on the genital area be treated?
Hair can be safely and effectively removed from both the groin and genital area. However, not all electrologists choose to work in these areas. Depending upon the Electrologist, some may charge a slightly higher rate for these areas. If you contact an Electrologist who does not work on these areas, they should be able to provide you with a name of a colleague who can assist you.
Common Questions about Electrolysis For Hormonal Changes and PCOS
I suddenly have dark and or coarse hairs on my chin. I am too young…is there something wrong with me?
During your consultation you will fill out and go over a health history card. This will help the Electrologist determine a possible reason for this sudden hair growth. Some of the questions asked might be:
- Do you have a thyroid problem or condition?
- Are you a diabetic?
- Have you had menstrual or ovarian problems?
- What medications are you taking?
- Do you have a family history of similar hair growth
- Some women begin menopause 10 years before actually reaching menopause - Could this be
While the Electrologist cannot diagnose a client with any condition, they can assist you in getting these questions asked with the help of your physician if necessary. Regardless of the cause of the hair, it can be permanently removed through electrolysis.
Why do I have all of this facial, breast and belly hair? Is there something wrong with me?
While I believe that there are more people than not who have unwanted hair, and endocrinologist (hormone specialist) may be able to help with hair growing in these areas. If you are overweight, have trouble losing weight and are a female with hair growing in a male pattern area you should first be evaluated by a specialist. These are classic signs/symptoms of Polycistic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). While the Electrologist cannot diagnose the problem, we can recognize it and if you do have PCOS, we can still permanently remove the unwanted hair once you have been properly diagnosed, as you may need medication as well.
Does my medication cause hair growth?
Many medications can cause hair growth or loss as a side effect. You should talk with your pharmacist or doctor about each medication you are taking, as well as how your medications interact.
Common Questions about Electrolysis for Females
Do women ever have electrolysis treatments on their breasts and or nipples?
Yes, the breast is a very common area for women of all ages to develop unwanted hair. Most women are embarrassed by this and therefore do not openly talk about it. Electrolysis can safely and permanently remove hair from any area of the breast.
Does electrolysis on the breast hurt?
While the breasts are sensitive to touch, they are not as sensitive to the sensation of electrolysis. Most women tolerate this treatment quite well and have no issue.
I have been tweezing my hairs for a long time. Will this affect my treatment.
Yes tweezing will affect the treatment if you do not stop tweezing as soon as you begin Electrology treatments. Tweezing causes hairs to become coarser over time, and it hides the true amount of hair that you have. All of the hairs must grow before the Electrologist can permanently remove them. You must be sure to follow a regular schedule of treatments in order to achieve permanency as quickly
I have a lot of ingrown hairs. Will that be a problem?
Repeated tweezing and shaving, as well as clothing is worn over many of these areas can cause hairs to become trapped beneath the skin. In some instances they can become quite painful. These hairs can be successfully treated and eliminated, which will alleviate any pain your might have experienced.
If I am pregnant, can I have electrolysis treatments on my breasts?
It is generally advised that a women should not have breast treatments during the last trimester of
Common Questions about Electrolysis for Transgender Consumers
Will an Electrologist be able to understand what transgender is about?
Absolutely! A certified Electrologist will take the utmost pride in performing their professional responsibilities. They will know what you are trying to accomplish and will be there to support you and respect your choice and your privacy.
Will the Electrologist have experience with transgender clients?
It is very likely, but do not be afraid to ask. Electrologists practice confidentiality and will not share your information with anyone else. If you contact an Electrologist who does not have experience in this area, they should be able to refer you elsewhere. If an Electrologist does have experience with the transgender population, they will likely have other referral sources of MD’s, cosmetologists, psychologists, estheticians, etc. that they can share with you should you so choose. An Electrologist with transgender experience can be a valuable partner in your transition.
Can electrolysis remove hair in the genital area?
Yes, however they may ask which surgeon you are working with in order to follow his/her pre-surgical protocols. It is important to allow adequate time prior to surgery to complete genital hair removal to help prevent future ingrown hairs internally.
Why does my Electrologist need to know what protocol or program I am on?
Your Electrologist understands the commitment necessary to make a gender transition and they take it as seriously as you do. It is important to ensure that your electrolysis treatments occur at the right point in your process and in a way that works in unison with your health and long-term goals.
Common Questions about Electrolysis from Teens
What is the youngest age allowed for Electrology treatments?
There is no age requirement for treatment. It is dependent upon the motivation of the young person to seek treatment. Most electrologists want to ensure that it is the young person seeking treatment for themselves, and not the parent pushing them to do so. Girls as young as 12 years old seek treatment to remove hair on the upper lip, as well as to shape eyebrows.
Can young people tolerate the treatments?
Yes. New techniques, topical anesthetics and equipment help reduce the sensation of electrolysis treatments. A tolerance will also come with maturity, so if the young person is unable to tolerate the treatment, options for hiding the hair until they become less sensitive may be discussed.
What areas do teens have treated?
Often times, teen and pre-teen females will get their upper lip, chin and sides of face treated. Teen girls and boys will also have their eyebrows shaped, defined or separated, as well as hairline, neckline and other body areas.
Why do young girls develop hair on their upper lip?
The most common cause is genetics and hormones. Medications can also cause unwanted hair growth at any age. Some people never learn the cause of their excess hair growth, but Electrology treatments will eliminate it safely and effectively.
Common Questions about Electrolysis for People With Curly, Wavy or Coarse Hair
Who has this kind of hair?
In general, people with dark skin are more likely to have this type of facial or body hair but it can appear in all skin tones. People can have dark skin and straight hair, and still develop ingrown hairs.
Why is curly or coarse hair a problem?
Curly hair is more prone to becoming ingrown and can cause raised bumps on the skin. Coarse hair tends to get stuck underneath the skin. Attempting to remove these hairs with tweezing, depilatories or other temporary methods can actually worsen the problem can cause scarring and skin discoloration
How does electrolysis help with these issues?
Unlike other temporary hair removal techniques such as tweezing, depilatories or incorrect shaving, which can cause damage to the skin and make these problems worse, electrolysis can safely and effectively remove ingrown and curly coarse hairs while causing destruction to the follicle preventing a future ingrown hair from forming.
If I have curly or coarse hair are there any side effect I need to worry about?
There are no “special” or different side effects caused by treatment of this hair type. Electrolysis has proven to be safe and effective for all skin tone and hair types.
If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to call today.