Frequently Asked Questions

1. What causes excessive hair growth?
2. Are there different kinds of electrolysis?
3. How does electrolysis work?
4. How many treatments are needed?
5. Is electrolysis expensive?
6. What is the average cost of electrolysis?
7. Is electrolysis permanent?
8. Does electrolysis hurt?
9. Are there any side effects with electroysis?
10. Will electrolysis work if I have been tweezing for years?
11. How long has electrolysis been around? Is it safe?
12. What areas are usually treated with electrolysis?
13. How do I know the needles (probes) are safe?
14. How long until my hair is permanently gone?
15. What about laser treatment?
16. My question wasn't answered here. Now what?

1. What causes excessive hair growth?

If you are embarrassed by unwanted hair, you are not alone. As many as 90% of all men and women may be affected to some degree. Any one (or a combination) of the following factors can cause, or add to unwanted hair growth:

  • Heredity
  • Glandular or hormonal imbalances
  • Reactions to certain medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Normal aging process
  • Stress
  • Excessive waxing & tweezing (which, in most cases, causes the hair to come back darker, deeper, and coarser than before)

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2. Are there different kinds of electrolysis?

The field of Electrology includes Thermolysis, Galvanic, and The Blend:

  1. Thermolysis uses high frequency waves to coagulate the tissues inside of the hair follicles. A tiny hair-like probe (needle) slides down into the follicle under the hair. There is no need to puncture the skin. Then the electrologist applies the high frequency current, also known as shortwave. This heats up the tissue surrounding the hair. The probe itself does not heat up. You do feel a quick warming sensation. The warmer you can tolerate, the more of the follicle can be destroyed and the more hair growing cells will be killed. Thermolysis (the preferred method by Tami) is a quick process taking very little time with each hair. A large area is able to be covered in one appointment. There is a slightly higher rate of re-growth with Thermolysis but the faster treatment time allows them to be caught quickly when they grow back finer and lighter. After a series of treatments the hairs will not grow back and will then be permanently removed.
  2. Galvanic uses direct current to chemically destroy the cells and the hair root. A chemical reaction takes place when direct current comes in contact with the salt and moisture in the follicle. The follicle acts like a vessel for lye to be created. The lye, also known as sodium hydroxide, is what destroys the tissue. Galvanic alone is rarely used as it is a very slow process taking 10 to 30 seconds for each hair and can be uncomfortable.
    • WARNING: There are some salons that claim to do transdermal electrolysis/permanent hair removal. This is true in the sense that they are creating the chemical reaction on the surface of the skin, but since hair is not a good conductor of electricity only a small amount, if any, lye is made in the follicle itself. You must find a Licensed Electrologist that performs needle/probe electrolysis for it to be permanent. This is a very big caution as many people have spent thousands of dollars on transdermal electrolysis that had no effect on the re-growth of hair.
  3. The Blend combines the two currents and uses them simultaneously and/or individually to coagulate and to create lye. The benefit of the combined currents is that more tissue can be destroyed with less lye. The high frequency creates porosity and allows the galvanic to reach further into the follicle. The blend is a slower method in that it takes more time per hair than thermolysis. Each hair treated can be more fully destroyed during the treatment with the blend but the process is slower taking several seconds for each hair.

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3. How does electrolysis work?

As was explained above, there are different forms of electrolysis. To simplify it even more, electrolysis is a process whereby a tiny pre-sterilized, disposable probe is inserted into the hair follicle. The skin is not punctured or harmed. A slight amount of current is then applied through the probe. That current coagulates the tissue in the follicle and the papilla (the hair's blood supply), which nourishes that hair. The dermal papilla at the bottom of each hair must be completely de-activated so it can no longer sustain nourishment to the hair root.

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4. How many treatments are needed?

An electrolysis program must be tailored to meet each individual client's needs. Certain factors determine the number and length of time for each treatment, such as the number of hair follicles contained in the area of treatment, the sensitivity of the skin in the particular area to be treated, and previous methods of hair removal. Most clients find that a weekly session—beginning at 30 minutes to one hour, and gradually moving to 15-20 minutes—is the most effective. The closer you adhere to your treatment schedule, the more effective your treatment program will be in helping free yourself of superfluous hair—forever!

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5. Is electrolysis expensive?

Fees for electrolysis are in keeping with those for other professional health care and aesthetic services. In fact, the cost of a lifetime of temporary methods is often more expensive than electrolysis—which is permanent. The benefit of electrolysis over laser (a temporary method) is that you pay for your visits as they come, so you don't have to put down a huge lump-sum at the beginning.

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6. What is the average cost of electrolysis?

Estimating the time and cost of electrolysis is something most electrologists stay away from, due to the fact that every single client is different. How often you need to come in, and how long your treatments will be, depends on the density, coarseness, and previous methods of hair removal. During your consultation, your situation will be evaluated and appointments will be set up accordingly. The more time you put in up front, the quicker you will be hair-free. If you are going through a tough financial time we can adjust your schedule to fit, it will just take longer to complete your treatment. Consistency is the most important factor in electrolysis. Usually you are set up on a weekly schedule, and then go down to every other week, and so on.

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7. Is electrolysis permanent?

YES! Electrolysis is the only medically proven method of permanent hair removal. Once the hair follicle is destroyed the hair will not grow back. Having a good understanding about how electrolysis works will help you understand why it requires a series of treatments for permanency.

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8. Does electrolysis hurt?

The sensation is a quick warmth. Some areas may be more sensitive than others and at certain times of the month you may feel more sensitive. We do provide products that can help you feel more comfortable during your treatments. You can also take your favorite pain reliever a half an hour before your appointment to lessen the sensation. It is impossible to properly treat the follicle without any sensation. The more warmth you can tolerate the faster you will be hair-free.

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9. Are there any side effects with electroysis?

After your treatment, your skin may be slightly red and/or swollen, this is very normal and will lessen within a few hours. After the hair is treated, it is gently removed leaving an open follicle which is prone to bacteria. The best thing you can do is keep it very clean and avoid putting makeup or harsh products on it for 24 hours. Most of all, try not to touch or disturb the area, as tempting as it is to feel your new, silky-smooth skin. A slight crust may appear over the follicle—it is important to remember that this is nature's band-aid, covering the follicle until it has completely healed. Picking it can cause a pit or scar.

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10. Will electrolysis work if I have been tweezing for years?

Most definitely! By tweezing or waxing the hair you have increased its blood supply. So the hair will probably be coarser, and may require more treatments than a fine hair, but you will still have permanent results in the end.

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11. How long has electrolysis been around? Is it safe?

Electrolysis is a tried-and-true method of hair removal. It was first developed in 1875, and for 132 years has been used by doctors and electrologists as the only method of permanent hair removal approved by the FDA. Invented at first to treat ingrown eyelashes, it has evolved to be one of the most popular ways to remove unwanted hair cosmetically. With this established safety record there are few worries when getting electrolysis. There can be slight redness after your treatment, some swelling may occur in some individuals. This usually disappears within an hour. Sometimes a honey colored crust called a lymph crust will appear over the follicle, this is natures band-aid and should be left alone to heal. Very rarely does anyone have a more severe reaction as it is done on such a microscopic level.

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12. What areas are usually treated with electrolysis?

"Any hair, anywhere!" is our motto. Women often have treatments on eyebrow, upper-lip, chin, cheeks, hairline, breasts, chest, tummy, fingers, arms, underarms, legs and bikini/genitals; Men on outer ear hair, brow, nose (avoiding nostrils), back, shoulders, chest and tummy and genitals.

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13. How do I know the needles (probes) are safe?

We use a new, pre-sterilized, disposable probe for each appointment. Sterility is of the highest concern and is used on metal instruments as well. All other equipment and areas are thoroughly sanitized before, and after every treatment.

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14. How long until my hair is permanently gone?

Each individual is different and there are many factors in the process of hair growth. It is important to look at possible causes of hair growth such as medication and hormone balance. We can only permanently treat the hairs that are currently growing and cannot guarantee how many or when your body will stimulate new growth. We can only deal with what you have now. Everyone has a different number of hairs that need treatment. Methods of temporary hair removal such as tweezing and waxing can actually make the hairs stronger, darker and coarser. The coarser the hair, the more energy it will take to treat and the longer it will take to become permanently removed.

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15. 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 at this time completely destroy the follicle. It only cripples the follicle, allowing for a period of decreased growth, thus reducing its size and thickness. Again, the only permanent hair removal, as stated by the FDA, is electrolysis. For more information from the American Electrology Association regarding laser, go to http://www.electrology.com/lasers.htm.

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16. My question wasn't answered here. Now what?

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