How does electrolysis work?
Electrolysis uses the delivery of a fine probe into the hair follicle. Once in place 2 electrical currents are delivered through the probe until sufficient destruction of the follicle has occurred and therefore hair has been released from its attachments in the follicle. At this stage the electrologist simply slides the hair from the follicle. The first current is Thermolysis which uses a build-up of heat to cause destruction to the tissue in the follicle. The second is Galvanic, this current causes a chemical reaction to occur using the salt and moisture in the tissues. This reaction is highly destructive to the follicle. Both currents are used simultaneously to create a greater amount of destruction at the one time. This modality is called the Blend. There are rarely any permanent side effects of electrolysis, only some temporary redness and scabbing following treatment. Adverse reactions such as blistering are not typical of a quality electrolysis treatment but are possible if the individual hairs are very thick.
The hair growth cycle is made up of 3 stages
~Anagen, Catagen and Telogen stages~
The anagen stage
The blood supply has touched a hair germ cell and stimulated the growth of a hair. This is the optimal stage to have an electrolysis treatment as the blood supply is present therefore we are causing destruction to both blood supply and hair germ cells.
The catagen stage
The blood supply, having finished its job, falls away from the follicle therefore in this stage only the hair germ cells are damaged.
The telogen stage
When only the hair germ cells are damaged there will be regrowth from these follicles but it will be finer and softer. Several treatments on hair germ cells will render them unable to produce a hair.
Excessive hair growth may require additional treatments. Optimal results are achieved with consistent treatments, particularly in the first stages. Typically as we move into second stage, treatments become less often or of shorter duration and continue this decrease as we move into the third stage of treatment.
Do I need a consultation?
I provide a thorough consultation including an explanation of technique; the process involved and the expected outcomes. I also do a test patch to determine the settings needed so when you arrive for your appointments, we can begin straight away.
An individual treatment plan will be developed accommodating your family history and medical history including medications and any type of prior treatment of the area.
Please bring any relevant medical history, this information is necessary as some medical conditions and medications may alter type of modalities used or deem the treatment not suitable.
Am I a good Candidate for electrolysis?
Do you have blonde, red or grey hairs?
Do you have dark hair on dark skin?
Do you have tattoos?
Have you been treated with laser or IPL hair removal and only have sparse hairs left?
Do you want to define your eyebrows or beard line?
Remove ear and some nostril hairs?
Unlike laser and IPL, electrolysis works on all hair types and doesn’t affect pigmentation in tattoos so YES, electrolysis is an option for you
What factors affect hair growth?
It is important to understand that if your hormones fluctuate, so will your hair growth. Adolescence, pregnancy, menopause, hormonal conditions such as PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome) could be a contributing factor. If you suspect you may have hormone related hair growth, you may want to ask your health practitioner to refer you to have an endocrine test.
Does anyone in your family have a similar growth pattern?
Speak to your doctor about your medication if you believe this to be an influence
Temporary methods of hair removal
Waxing and tweezing promote hair growth
Can mole hairs be treated with electrolysis?
Some, yes. I’ll need you to provide written consent from your GP or dermatologist to verify that it will be safe to treat your moles with electrolysis.
How long does electrolysis last?
Your electrolysis treatment offers permanency providing you stick with the treatment plan, you will experience some regrowth just much more sparse and thin. Regrowth is dependent on your individual circumstances and keep in mind that you won’t be able to see all growth at the same time due to different growth stages.
Does electrolysis hurt?
The electrolysis probe is a rounded tip needle the size of your own hair so it is rare that insertions will be felt, the currents produce an increasing warmth along with a slight stinging sensation. Usually, the thicker the hair is, the more you will feel it but this isn't always the case. The area being treated will become more comfortable within a few minutes of the session beginning as the bodies natural pain relief kicks in and if all else fails, talk to your pharmacist about numbing cremes and gels
Is electrolysis better than laser hair removal and IPL?
Electrolysis is still the only form of permanent hair removal available! The great thing about electrolysis is that it does not need hair pigment to track with a laser so if you’re not a candidate for laser or IPL, you are in luck with electrolysis
Are there any risks to electrolysis?
There are several possible short term skin irritations that may occur. Other than that, I will not treat pregnant women and there are several health contra-indications that may result in clients needing to obtain a written consent from their doctors or my declining to treat them
How Many Electrolysis Treatments Will I Need and how often?
Many factors influence hair growth, so you will need to return for several electrolysis visits. There are MANY variations to each treatment, person, individual hair, skin tolerance, discomfort tolerance and the total number of sessions needed to remove hair permanently from a particular area will vary from person to person.
Depending on how many hairs need to be removed, clients may return once a week or every other week or as needed. Most unwanted hair will be gone forever once the series of treatments is complete. Each treatment lasts between 15 minutes and two hours. At your initial consultation, I will provide you with negotiable options for your appointment schedule.
Does treatment frequency have a bearing on success?
It is important to participate in a planned program of electrolysis but extending the time between treatments every now and again is acceptable. Regrowth is very fragile when it first appears. This is the optimum time for treatment otherwise the hair may rebuild its original strength negating the effectiveness of the original treatment The speed at which your hair grows and the number of hairs present will reduce over time, so you will need treatments less frequently as your course of Electrolysis proceeds and hair growth diminishes.
What should I do before appointments?
The better condition your skin is in, the easier my insertions will be and the more effective the currents will be, this is especially important for clients wanting treatments through tattoos as the skin becomes damaged and thickened after tattooing.
Stop waxing and plucking, start trimming!
I need to be able to grip the hairs with tweezers so a minimum of 3mm is necessary, 5mm is better, a slightly longer growth makes my job easier and may mean a quicker and therefore, more cost effective treatment for you.
What to expect after a treatment
After Electrolysis sessions most people experience erythema (redness) and oedema (swelling) in the treated area, this usually subsides within a few hours.
Other reactions which may take longer to subside include bruises, scabs, burns, bacterial and fungal infections, hyper pigmentation, hypo pigmentation, ice-pick scars and keloid scars. If you experience any of these conditions, contact me immediately to find out how to best treat this.
Your after-care sheet will provide you with information on which products you can use at home to prevent the possibility of adverse reactions, for example anti-inflammatories, advanced healers, DNA repairers and Vitamin A. An important aid to the healing process is withdrawing your skin from any activity that exposes it to the sun or solariums, and wearing an SPF 30 sunblock that is re-applied throughout the day.
Things to avoid after an Electrolysis session
For 24-48 hours after the treatment, the follicles are still exposed and more susceptible to infection. It is important that over this period, or until the follicles have closed you must not;
~Touch, pick or scratch the area
~Cause excessive heat or perspiration in the treated area including the gym and saunas
~Expose the area to public swimming pools, spas or anything else that may have bacteria or toxic chemicals such as chlorine
~Inflict any trauma, including friction from tight clothing
~Expose the skin to the sun, solariums or fake tans
~Do not touch the skin with unwashed hands after electrolysis, avoid touching and feeling the area after your electrolysis session; as this can introduce bacteria which can lead to an infection.
What should I do after an Electrolysis Hair Removal session?
~Apply aloe vera gel regularly for the rest of the day (with a clean cotton pad)
~Use a cool (clean) ice pack to cool the area and reduce swelling as needed
~Dust the area with a mineral makeup containing a high amount of zinc to heal the skin (NOT all make up labelled ‘mineral ‘contain a high amount of zinc and may be misleading, (please check the ingredients) also use a clean brush when applying your makeup keeping in-mind the area is open and more sensitive than usual.