For many years those of us associated with electrolysis understood that epilators operated at a frequency of 13.5 megahertz. About a dozen years ago, epilators operating at 27 MHz arrived on the scene and our perspective shifted. The claim was that hair is permanently removed 25% faster and with a degree of comfort previously unheard of, and they are correct in every way.
So, what are we to make of an epilator that operates at 6.78 MHz? 27 MHz is more comfortable than 13.5 MHz because it's a shorter waveform. It doesn't radiate energy / heat to surrounding tissue in the same way that a 13.5 MHz signal does. So the question remains, how can a much longer 6.78 MHz waveform be in any way usable, let alone comfortable?
After doing some digging I've learned that “everything old is new again.” To find an answer to my question I decided to call Silhouet-tone, the manufacturer of the Evolution 5 HD epilator. I was directed to their representative Laurie Krebs. During our conversation I learned that the idea of using 6.78 MHz for hair removal came from none other than Arthur Hinkel, best known as the developer of the Blend. In fact he talked about 5 Mhz but Silhouet-tone adjusted to 6.78 Mhz for U S compliance reasons. Back when Arthur was a force in electrology he postulated that 5 MHz could be as comfortable as 13.5 MHz if the signal could be delivered fast enough. Unfortunately vacuum tube technology didn't offer speed and digital processors didn't exist. So in theory 5 MHz worked but in reality it was only a dream. One of Arthur's friends was the owner of one of Canada's first esthetics schools and the future founder of Silhouet-tone, Alphonse Ghedin. Arthur and Alphonse discussed the theoretical use of 5 MHz from time to time but it never got off the ground primarily because of technological limitations. Decades later and long after Hinkel's demise, Ghedin remembered Hinkel's 5 MHz ideas. Fast forward to the latter part of the last decade, the engineers at Silhouet-tone were applying their considerable expertise to the 5 MHz theorem. Using today's digital processors Silhouet-tone succeeded in developing their Evolution 5 HD epilator. Again, it operates at an adjusted 6.78 Mhz to comply with U S operating regulations and has been successfully sold here in the United States since 2013.
So, how does Silhouet-tone's 6.78 MHz epilator stack up against the competition? A few years back, an Evolution unit was sent to us for an evaluation. Three months later we found that in back-to-back comparisons, the Evolution is accurate, comfortable and represents value especially when compared to our benchmark 27.12 MHz X Cell epilator that costs 40% more.
What our instructors noticed first was its ease of use. The entire 27page manual is loaded onto the epilator and can be viewed at any time by tapping on the touch screen. You can move from topic to topic in this manner much like you would on an iPad. This is possible because Silhouet-tone uses an Android operating system, the kind found on many tablets and phones.
The Evolution is very comfortable and the sensation of its thermolysis modalities were most often compared to Pico flash and Multiplex thermolysis on our 27.12 MHz epilator. The Evolution doesn't offer an equivalent to Synchro but we found that its presets for all hair types, from very fine to very coarse are dead on. When you tap on the hair type visually represented on the touch screen, in almost every instance you will epilate successfully without further manual adjustments. You can manually adjust time and intensity but there is little need to look for better settings.
So, how is this accomplished? Tap your foot pedal and signals are sent in 2 / 1000ths of a second, the fastest output in the industry. When combined with a lower and very stable 6.78 MHz wavelength you have great efficiency and accuracy. The speed of the Evolution is calibrated to get very close to the pain threshold without ever crossing it. There is complete control of the output. This is a good example of “less is more”.
When using Blend modality, the Evolution is different than other epilators. If you select coarse or very coarse hair the option to use Blend is always there and it does a great job. Compared to all other epilators we tested, the Evolution completes its Blend cycle in about 6 seconds and that's about 30% faster than other machines in our test group. From personal experience I can say that it's very comfortable and all hairs were removed perfectly with no skin reaction to speak of. One possible draw back is that if you're exclusively a Blend operator and want to remove fine or medium hair using the Blend there's no option for that on the menu. The only way to remove very fine, fine and medium hair is using thermolysis but the machine automatically does such an effective and comfortable job, you won't mind.
What else do we like? It has built-in Wi Fi that allows you to download software updates with ease, long into the future. And there's no need to plug it into your computer with a patch cord to get this task done. Wireless is good.
Their probe holder is completely new. We've never seen anything like this before. It feels more like a good quality pen than the thin hand pieces we've become used to. The result is greater comfort for the electrologist but the best feature is a small spring loaded button that you press on the side of the hand piece to open the jaw at the receiving end. Simply press, drop in your probe, release the button and the probe is locked in place and ready to use. After you've used it once you'll wonder why no one has thought of this before.
So what's the bottom line? It always comes down to price. Up until now to purchase an epilator that is this smart, comfortable and stable you'd have to spend anywhere from the mid-seven thousand to the ten thousand dollar range. As good as epilators in those price ranges are, wouldn't it be better to spend just $5,500? Yes, $5,495 (plus shipping) gets an Evolution 5HD into your treatment room and when you open the carton and fire it up you are not facing a steep learning curve before you can effectively treat your clients.
During the first 3 months that we were working with our first Evolution, we had several veteran electrologists (apart from our instructors) use our Evolution, with decades of work experience. Most started their careers using Hinkel epilators and in recent years some purchased 27 MHz equipment. Unanimously they agreed on the ease of use, the accuracy of the presets and the comfort of the Evolution. And, they all like the futuristic look of this unit. It is a very attractive piece of equipment.
Freshman students using our Evolutions for the first time are familiar with it in about an hour. It's one of the most intuitive operating systems that we've experienced. We've also seen that our freshmen are effectively removing hair sooner and are working more like seniors with an Evolution in about half the expected time. And it seems that there's good reason for this shorter learning curve and increased confidence earlier on. With the Evolution there is an absence of complex epilator terminology and students don't have to work through what seems like unlimited time and intensity settings to find the “best” setting for each client. With the Evolution you tap the screen to activate the preset, then work. As one student remarked, “If 27 MHz epilators are so advanced, why aren't they simple and intuitive to use? Isn't that what advanced technology is supposed to achieve?” From the mouths of babes...
For those electrologists who may be reading this article and who in the past have felt overwhelmed by technological jargon associated with new equipment, all you have to know is that the Evolution is user friendly, easy to learn and you don't have to worry about what your clients will feel the first time you use it. They won't feel much of anything!
For those more interested in 6.78 MHz from a technical perspective I've cut and pasted the following information from Silhouet-tone's website. My opinion on what you're about to read is that it's true and verifiable. I now have 4 Evolution 5 HD's in my school clinic and they are respected across the board by all students and instructors.
Here's what Silhouet-tone says about the benefits of their Evolution 5 HD.
From the Silhouet-tone website: Refined vector modulation for maximum comfort and efficiency.
Silhouet-Tone is revolutionizing the electrolysis industry through the use of one-of-a-kind modulations. At two thousandths of a second, they are the fastest on the market and combine the efficiency of low frequencies with the comfort of high frequencies.
In 2013, with the arrival of the Evolution 5HD by Silhouet-Tone, maximum efficiency and ultimate comfort were combined and introduced to the world. In fact, the decision to go back to a low frequency of MHz was made to assure optimum efficiency and comfort. Vector modulations are the fastest on the market at 2/1000 of a second. They optimize energy transfer thanks to greater wavelength accuracy and stability. We can therefore get as close as we possibly can to the pain threshold, without ever reaching it, while maximizing the energy that is being delivered.
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For many years those of us associated with electrolysis understood that epilators operated at a frequency of 13.5 megahertz. About twelve years ago Dectro International introduced its Platinum line of epilators that operate at 27 MHz. Our horizons were expanded. Their claim is that hair is permanently removed 25% faster and with a degree of comfort previously unheard of, and they are correct in every way.
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