How does electrolysis work?

Electrolysis treatment mainly consists of a professional electrologist inserting a very fine needle (usually thinner than the hair being treated) into the natural opening of the hair follicle alongside the hair shaft. A tiny amount of electrical current is then applied to destroy the hair growth cells.

Based on a personal and confidential consultation, your electrologist will design a treatment plan that addresses your specific hair removal needs.

Available treatment methods (modalities)

Modern medical electrolysis devices can destroy the hair growth cells with chemical energy, heat energy, or both. The method chosen by the electrologist is the modality. All are effective. The three modalities in current use are as follows:

  1. Galvanic electrolysis is a chemical process. The current produces a chemical reaction in the hair follicle, eliminating the hair growth cells.

  2. Thermolysis (also called short-wave) produces heat. This modality heats and destroys the hair growth cells in the follicle. A higher intensity current can be applied for less time in the follicle, or current can be used at lower intensity with longer timing.

  3. The Blend method combines galvanic current with thermolysis current. Thermolysis heats up the chemical reaction in the follicle, destroying hair growth cells.

During treatment, you'll probably feel a momentary heat sensation or pinch, but you should not feel the insertion of the probe into the hair follicle, nor should you feel like the hair is being pulled out when it is removed; the hair will usually slide out of the follicle when properly treated. Discomfort is minimal for most people, but individual tolerances vary greatly. Keep in mind that some areas of the body are much less sensitive than others. Many people read, listen to music or even take a nap while being treated.

How long will my electrolysis treatment take?

Individual treatments - Depending on the area you want cleared, a treatment could be between a few minutes for a follow-up appointment, to an hour for a larger area.

Overall - Most people who follow the recommended treatment plan can expect to be done or nearly done within 18 months.

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.

After treatment

Immediately following treatment, you may experience slight redness or tenderness which usually disappears in a couple of hours. There is very little risk of complication or serious skin irritation with electrolysis performed by a skilled practitioner. For the first 24 hours following treatment, it's best to avoid activity that could irritate hair follicles such as excessive sweating, tanning and prolonged sun exposure or make-up application.

Are all hairs eliminated in one treatment or is regrowth to be expected?

Excessive or unwanted hair can range from fine, vellus hair to dark, coarse hair on the face and body. Breaking down the hair growth cells on deeper, more coarse hairs may require more than one treatment. Based on a personal and confidential consultation, your electrologist will design a treatment plan that addresses hair removal needs specific to your case.

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