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Electrolysis Hair Removal Treatment

Updated on July 14, 2013

What is Electrolysis

I have recently started undergoing electrolysis to manage my unwanted body hair. Electrolysis is the only FDA approved method for permanent hair removal.

During treatments, a tiny probe is inserted into the hair follicle under the surface of the skin. A tiny electric spark or burst of heat is then delivered at the site of hair growth. This jolt of energy destroys the growth center of the hair, preventing new growth. The hair is then removed with tweezers.

Electrolysis treatments should be conducted by a certified electrologist. Some states require the certification, but others do not, but even if you live in a state that does not require it, I would recommend finding someone who is certified.

The Bad

In an attempt to leave the reader with a positive outlook, I am going to outline all of the negative aspects of electrolysis before I list the good things. There are quite a few bad things, but please read on to the good things before deciding whether you want to undergo this treatment.

1. It Hurts!!! Bad!!!! This is the number one downside. I admit, I am a wuss, and I don't do well with pain. However, I have never seen anything during my research about how painful this method really is. During my free consultation, I was told it would be "uncomfortable" (doctor speak for "painful" but I wasn't told that it would feel like the electrologist is dripping acid on my face.

2. It makes you break out. This hasn't been that bad, and since I have sensitive skin it is probably worse. A few days after treatment, my skin is still blotchy with tiny blemishes in the area that I have had treated. My friends tell me that it isn't that noticeable, but I notice it, and it bothers me.

3. It takes a long time. A very long time. I have gone in twice a month for about 3 months now, and we are still working on my chin area. The reason that it takes so long is that the electrologist can only remove hairs that are at a certain point in the growth cycle. Each hair is at a different point in the growth cycle (this is natural, it ensures that you don't lose all of your hair at the same time). The entire hair growth cycle for each hair follicle can last for over a year, thus treatments on just one part of your body can span for that long or even longer.

4. You can't tweeze between appointments. Tweezing stimulates more hair growth, and taking away a new hair when you see it prevents the electrologist from being able to permanently remove the hair. This was terrible for me when I first started, because I hated the black, coarser hairs that were starting to grow back. I just had to deal with them for the two weeks until my next appointment. I could use scissors and cut them to make them smaller, but in my head that just made them sharper. On the plus side of this, after about three appointments this gets less and less noticeable.

The Good

Hopefully, the negatives didn't make you so afraid of this treatment that you decided not to read the positives. In my opinion, the benefits so outweigh the negatives that I have continued to go to my electrologist for treatments.

1. It is Permanent!!! This is the biggest benefit. After a year or two of treatment, I will never ever have to go back. After every hair follicle is purged, I will no longer be subjected to the bi-weekly torture. I know that 2 years is a long time, but the rest of my life is much longer.

2. They make a gel that eases the pain. The gel is pretty expensive, about 50 bucks for the little tube. It is the same gel that people use when they get a tattoo. The gel helps, but not always. With the gel, you don't even feel the heat surge on some of the hairs, but on some it feels as though you have no gel on at all. It is a toss-up with the gel, but it really does help.

3. It is relatively inexpensive. One half hour appointment only costs me about 40 bucks. This is only a little more than a waxing appointment would cost, and waxing isn't permanent. If you are on a budget, you can do 15 minute appointments instead for less money.

4. Did I mention...it is permanent???

Is Electrolysis Right For You?

This is a decision that only you can make. You must do a lot of research into hair removal methods and determine how important permanent hair removal is to you. If you are self conscious about your facial hair, like I was, maybe it is a good choice. If you are satisfied with alternative methods, than maybe it isn't. Hopefully, the information provided will assist you in making that decision.

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    • Elani-Lee profile image
      Author

      Elani-Lee 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      I have not heard of the 15 needle method. I will ask my electrologist about it when I see her again. I did some research, and some places claim they do electroloysis, but they really don't. They do pulse tweezing or some other things that they plug as electrolysis, and those methods are not permanent. I think it is still too early for me to tell for sure, but I do think I see a nice reduction in the areas we have worked on so far. Did you get any permanent results when you went?

    • Gemini Fox profile image

      Gemini Fox 4 years ago

      Had this done for years but think that the technician I was using wasn't very good. Have recently been looking into electrolysis again and was told that you should only go to technicians who use the 15 needle method . . . have you heard of this? Will research some more . . .