Electrolysis Frequently Asked Questions
What is electrolysis?
Developed in 1875, electrology is the science of permanent hair removal. Utilizing advanced technology, an electrologist inserts a very fine needle into the natural opening of the hair follicle alongside the hair shaft. A minute amount of current is then 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. A series of regular treatments is necessary for clients to acheive the most effective and rewarding results.
Hairs have differing cycles of growth, many of which are not visible on the surface of the skin at the same time. The follicle produces the hair from the blood supply, and discards it eventually through shedding. The process of growth, rest and replacement is known as the hair growth cycle. The sequence of events is repeated constantly until a hair ceases to be formed.
Medical electrolysis devices destroy the hair growth cells with chemical or heat energy. All modalities equally destroy hair growth cells that causes hair growth. The modality used is the preference of the professional electrologist. There are three modalities in use today, each with its own variation of levels but with the same comfort, effectiveness, and permanency :
Galvanic or electrolysis is a chemical process. The current produces a chemical reaction in the hair follicle eliminating the hair growth cells.
Thermolysis or short-wave produces heat. When this modality is used it heats and destroys the hair growth cells in the follicle.
The blend method combines galvanic current with thermolysis current. Thermolysis heats up the chemical reaction in the follicle destroying hair growth cells.
As your electrologist, I will help you determine which modality best suites your individual hair removal needs.
Is electrolysis safe?
Safety is paramount to electrolysis. Epilators today are much quicker, utilizing current timings of thousandths of a second over the longer current applications of the past, and intensity settings can now be modulated to varying proportions, depending on the moisture content and texture of the skin, the depth of the follicle, and an individual's comfort level, thus allowing an electrologist greater control of treatments, and in turn protecting clients.
And unlike other forms of hair removal, electrolysis, is safe for any color hair or type of skin. Even with all of the forms of hair removal available today, electrolysis is still the ONLY true permanent hair removal method and the only permanent treatment recognized by the FDA.
Electrologists adhere to the Standards for Infection Control developed by The American Electrology Association. These standards follow the most recent recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Association for Practitioners in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and are rigorously followed at Vanity Affair Electrolysis.
Only pre-sterilized, individually packaged single-use probes are used during treatments. Probes are discarded immediately after use in a biohazard sharps container, and tweezers, probe caps, and electrodes are individually wrapped and sterilized in a high-pressure, moist heat autoclave between each treatment.
Vanity Affair Electrolysis invests in quality, state-of-the-art equipment, including the elite Apilus Platinum Pure 27 mHz epilator, to ensure that your treatment is comfortable, safe, and effective.
What does it feel like?
Electrolysis treatments have come a long way in terms of comfort and technology since their beginnings in 1875, yet individual tolerances to treatments vary greatly. Today's computer technology enables electrologists to work with more speed and comfort than ever before. Even the most sensitive person should be able to tolerate the treatments when the correct adjustments are made by a qualified electrologist.
During a treatment, the sensation that a client feels is that of a quick flash of heat beneath the skin. As your electrologist, I will consider your specific needs and design a treatment plan that is both comfortable and effective.
Another factor of comfort is the type of probe used. There are now a variety of probes to choose from: insulated, non-insulated, one-piece, two-piece, stainless steel, and gold-plated. I will determine the best option for your type of hair growth and skin, providing you with safe, quality treatments.
After your treatment, I perform a beneficial procedure called cataphoresis. Cataphoresis is a post-epilatory electrical treatment which soothes the skin, prevents infection, and accelerates the skin’s healing process. This is a step that some electrologists are unable or unwilling to perform, however, with my top-of-the-line epilator, cataphoresis is included as part of your treatment.
When proper care is taken, recovery after treatments is usually minor. Immediately following treatment, there may be slight redness and swelling to the treated area (this varies depending on the individual), but this will subside within a short period of time.
I adhere to the highest standards of sterilization, and I will provide you with specific post-treatment instructions and the personal attention you that you require for a successful and comfortable recovery.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments necessary varies with each client. Treatment sessions can range from 15 minutes to more than an hour depending on the area being treated.
Factors such as hair growth cycles, the quantity and structure of hair presented, previous use of temporary hair removal methods, heredity, hormone function, certain medications, and stress influence the treatment program for each individual. It is important to follow the recommended treatment plan to achieve optimum results.
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, as your electrologist, I will design a treatment plan that addresses your specific hair removal needs.
For areas that have been waxed or tweezed, treatments will be more frequent than for areas that have been shaved. Tweezing causes hairs to become coarser over time and it hides the true amount of hair you have. All of the hairs must grow before they can be permanently removed, so it is impossible for the electrologist to tell you exactly how many treatments you will need. Be sure to follow the electrologist's recommended schedule of treatments. This is essential in achieving permanency as quickly as possible.
How does electrolysis compare to other hair removal methods?
With so many hair removal methods available today, you may be wondering: why should I choose electrolysis?
Laser promoters often compare laser to electrolysis, however laser-assisted hair removal is considered a temporary method. Laser has also not been evaluated for long-term safety of the client’s skin and health, and laser-treated hair follicles, rather than being destroyed, may become stimulated into increased hair production after a period of time.
Waxing, threading and tweezing are alike. However, ingrown hairs and discoloration may result. Additionally, they may also cause an increase in hair growth activity. Depilatories and shaving can cause an irritation to the skin while the hair regrows quickly.
All of these methods are temporary and can require a lifetime of maintenance. Many can appear inexpensive but cost more due to long term use and are found to be inconvenient.
Unlike other hair removal options, professionally performed electrolysis eliminates unwanted hair, permanently, with unsurpassed results. Moreover, it does so for the most areas of the body and all skin and hair types to give you smooth, sleek, healthy-looking skin. No other solution claims such universal acceptability and success.
Electrolysis is the only true permanent hair removal method and the only permanent treatment recognized by the FDA.
What areas can or cannot be treated?
Electrolysis works on all skin and hair types. It can be applied to most facial and body parts, including eyebrows, chin, upper and lower lip, jaw line, sides of the face, breast, underarms, abdomen, bikini line, legs, and back. During a personal consultation, I will design a treatment plan that addresses your specific hair removal needs.
Pregnant women: Unwanted hair can be caused by hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy. As a precaution, I suggest that you seek the advice of your physician before beginning treatment.
Moles: Electrolysis can be performed in most moles where licensing regulations allow it. However, I require written approval from your physician before beginning treatment.
Breasts: This is a very common area of unwanted hair for women. Electrolysis treatments can safely and permanently remove breast hairs, even from the areola.
Curly or coarse hair: These types of hairs are prone to become ingrown or cause raised bumps on your skin. Attempting to manage these problems by temporary methods (depilatories, shaving, or tweezing) can make them worse by scarring or discoloring the skin. Electrolysis safely removes these difficult hairs without causing the skin-damaging issues related to temporary methods of hair removal.