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What Everyone Needs To Know About Electrology
WHAT CAUSES EXCESSIVE HAIR GROWTH?
If you are embarrassed by unwanted hair, you are not alone. It is estimated that 90% of all men and women may be affected to some degree. Factors that can cause or add to unwanted hair growth are: heredity, stress, glandular or hormonal imbalances, puberty, reactions to certain medications, pregnancy, menopause and the aging process generally, as well as excessive waxing & tweezing that in many cases will contribute to hair growing back coarser, darker and deeper than before.
WHAT IS NORMAL HAIR GROWTH?
Every hair on your body is produced independently and hair will regenerate at varying rates, depending upon the area of the body it’s found. After a hair sheds or is sloughed, the follicle will become dormant for a time varying from a few weeks to a few months at which time it begins it’s growth cycle once again. It’s important to understand that what may appear to be “re-growth” during the initial treatment period is actually “undergrowth hair” emerging from its dormant state. Now that you understand what normal hair growth is, you will be able to better evaluate your progress during your treatment cycle.
CAN HAIR BE REMOVED FROM MOLES?
To be reassured that the mole in question is “normal” and not pre-cancerous I will require written approval from your physician.
CAN PREGNANT WOMEN HAVE ELECTROLYSIS?
The hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy can frequently be the cause of unwanted hair. Electrolysis can be performed on anyone with normal skin, but I suggest that you get the advise of your attending physician prior to beginning a treatment regime.
ELECTROLYSIS IS THE ONLY PERMANENT METHOD OF HAIR REMOVAL.
To trace the origins of electrolysis, one needs to go back to 1875 when an ophthalmologist discovered that he could permanently remove ingrown eyelashes from his patients by energizing a fine needle and inserting it into the follicle of the eyelash. From these early attempts to rid people of unwanted hair, there has been continued medical research and development that has made electrolysis both a safe and reliable method of treatment. Today, the American Medical Association and the Federal Drug Administration recognize electrolysis as a safe and permanent method of hair removal.
Electrolysis also addresses other dermatological problems with hair follicles. Just one example is the removal of ingrown hair to prevent the formation of cysts.
HOW DOES ELECTROLYSIS WORK?
Electrolysis involves the insertion of a fine pre-sterilized, disposable probe into the hair follicle. The skin is not punctured or harmed. A slight amount of current is then applied through the probe. Effective treatment of the mid and lower follicle accomplishes permanent hair removal by destroying the dermal papilla. When the dermal papilla is completely de-activated, no further hair growth can occur. If in an initial treatment, a hair is only damaged an undernourished weaker hair will grow. This hair will be finer and more susceptible to treatment.
HAS TECHOLOGY CHANGED MUCH OVER THE YEARS?
Since it’s origins in 1875, electrolysis like most technologies has changed dramatically. Today’s epilators are essentially microprocessors that deliver bursts of energy measured in thousandths of a second, to eliminate hair. I can modulate both time and intensity of my epilator settings to match all clients’ tolerance levels. Speed and comfort are synonymous with modern electrolysis.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
The number of treatments required will vary with each person and according to factors such as the amount of hair in the treatment area, the sensitivity of the skin, medication and hormone balance, and the previous methods of hair removal, just to name a few. It is important to know that we can only permanently treat the hairs that are currently growing. We cannot know how many hairs will eventually grow or when your body will stimulate new growth.
It is therefore very important that electrolysis is performed upon the detection of re-growth. Left untreated, hair will reconstitute itself to its original diameter and depth. Once a treatment program begins, it is important that appointments are kept to the predetermined schedule set at the beginning of your program.
Most clients find that weekly sessions beginning at thirty minutes to one-hour work best. Eventually as the hair is removed, moving to 15-minute touch-up treatments on a less frequent basis is sufficient. Again, the more closely you adhere to a treatment schedule, the sooner you will become hair-free forever.
IS ELECTROLYSIS EXPENSIVE?
Fees for electrolysis are in keeping with those for other aesthetic services but considering that electrolysis treatments result in permanent hair removal, the cost is nominal. Continuous use of temporary methods over years will in fact cost considerably more than electrolysis.
Estimating the cost of electrolysis is something that can only be done after a consultation, as every client is different. How often you need to come in depends upon the density of hair as well as previous methods of hair removal, to name only two factors. The goal of a consultation is to evaluate the area to be treated and to educate you on your options. At that time, we will set a schedule that works for you and we will estimate the overall cost of the plan. Again, consistency is the most important factor in electrolysis. Over time, we will re-evaluate your progress and together we will reach your goal of being hair-free.
DOES ELECTROLYSIS HURT?
Today, most of my clients describe the sensation of electrolysis as “quick warmth”. Some areas may be more sensitive than others and at certain times of the month you may feel more sensitive. With today’s digital equipment, adjustments can be made to create a more comfortable treatment experience. Over the counter products are also available to desensitize a treatment area for those who are more sensitive. Taking your favorite pain reliever 30 minutes before an appointment can also lessen the sensation of treatment.
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS TO ELECTROLYSIS?
You may see slight redness and/or swelling but this is normal and these mild symptoms will lessen anywhere from ½ hour to a few hours. After hair is treated, it leaves an open follicle that is prone to bacteria. Keeping the area clean and avoiding makeup or harsh products on the area for 24 hours is advised. Complete details on before and after care procedures will be provided at your initial consultation.
DOES ELECTROLYSIS WORK IF HAIR HAS BEEN TWEEZED FOR YEARS?
Yes. Waxing and tweezing hair increases blood supply to follicles. Hair re-growth will be coarser as a result and may require more treatments than fine hair. That said you definitely would realize permanent results by the end of your treatment program.
WHAT AREAS ARE USUALLY TREATED WITH ELECTROLYSIS?
Unwanted hair can be removed from most body areas. The following are the most common treatment areas for men and women including teens. Women: eyebrow, upper-lip, chin, cheeks, hairline, breasts, tummy, fingers, arms, underarms, legs and bikini, genitals.
Men: hairline, brow, nose (avoiding nostrils), outer ear, ear lobe, beard, neck, back, shoulders, chest and stomach area, genitals, legs, buttocks, hands and toes.
ARE PROBES SAFE?
Only new, pre-sterilized, disposable probes are used for each appointment. All metal instruments used in a treatment as well as all equipment and treatment areas are thoroughly sanitized before and after every treatment.
WHAT ABOUT LASER TREATMENT?
A lot of people ask, "Well, isn't laser permanent? They often advertise that it is permanent." Laser is considered by the FDA to be permanent hair reduction. It cannot completely destroy the follicle, nor is it painless. Laser treatments only cripple the follicles, allowing for a period of decreased growth, thus reducing the size and thickness of the hair in the treated area. Additionally, laser hair removal has not been evaluated for the long-term safety of the skin. Lasers are not ideal for all skin or hair colors nor are they capable of selectively targeting individual hairs. The only method of permanent hair removal, as stated by the FDA, is electrolysis. For additional information on lasers I suggest that you visit the FDA’s site: www.fda.gov/cdrh/consumer/laserfacts.html#1
WHAT ABOUT ALTERNATIVE METHODS LIKE WAXING?
As I covered earlier, permanency only comes with electrolysis. Many people like to wax large areas and don’t mind the routine, the discomfort and the cost associated with this ongoing process. Waxing and tweezing however, only remove the hair shaft itself, leaving behind the dermal papilla that is capable of producing more hair for the next growth cycle. Aggressive successive treatments can in fact cause the opposite of what most people want, deeper, coarser hair that eventually will take longer to remove using electrolysis. It’s the very action of ripping the hair out that stimulates the follicle, making it more tenacious.
Bleaching hair on the face or other parts of the body will have the same outcome as bleaching the hair on your head. After a while, the hair becomes damaged and coarse looking and this can be just as noticeable simply because it now looks so different in contrast to the kind of hair most people expect to see.
SHAVING AND DEPILATORY PRODUCTS?
Shaving will only remove the hair you see. That includes the very fine vellous hair that some people refer to as “peach fuzz”. Shaving can promote in-grown hairs and small microscopic cuts are a certainty. Ask any man that shaves. The other downside to shaving vellous hair is that over time, it can become coarser and stubbly. Again, the opposite of what most people want. Depilatories are harsh and for many, can cause chemical burns of the surface of the skin. At a minimum, this can create a red and irritated looking complexion.
WHAT TRAINING IS AVAILABLE IN MY STATE?
Each State has different training requirements for practicing Electrology. Select your state from the map or the list below to find out more about the training programs available to you.