Electrolysis has the longest known track record together with the most effective results for hair removal. Dr Charles Michel first used it successfully in 1875 to remove ingrown eyelashes. He discovered that once the follicle had been treated with electrolysis the hair was permanently destroyed.
Since that first eyelash was removed electrolysis has been refined and perfected into the modern methods used today around the world. Electrolysis is performed by inserting a very fine, flexible needle into the follicle (the pocket where the hair sits in your skin). Your therapist then skillfully applies a tiny amount of current and destroys the lower part of the follicle, which stops any more hairs growing from that particular follicle.
Which areas can be treated with electrolysis?
Virtually any area, apart from the inside of the nose and inner ear. (The rim of the ear can be safely treated.) Common areas for woman are the face, chest, abdomen, bikini line, fingers and toes. Common areas for men are the upper arms, around the ears, top of the nose, top of the back and around the edges of the beard where ingrown hairs are causing problems.
Can I have electrolysis if I’m pregnant?
Pregnancy is not normally a contra-indication to the thermolysis method of electrolysis. This method uses alternating current (AC) and as a very weak intensity of current is used during the procedure, there is no risk to mother or unborn child provided both are otherwise healthy, although treatment of the breast and abdominal areas should be avoided, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. However, the ‘Blend’ or ‘Galvanic’ methods of electrolysis may best be avoided during pregnancy. These methods use direct (DC) electrical current. We use the thermolysis method. If, by chance, you have been having ‘Blend’, please do not worry, it too can be used during pregnancy and should not pose any problem especially if the treatment has been to the facial area. Most clients having treatment are female and may have treatment before they know that they are pregnant, without any ill effects. If you are at all concerned, please discuss this issue with your therapist or GP.
Does it hurt?
It is roughly the same sensation as if you were to pluck the hair. However it varies according to where the hair is and how you have been removing the hair so far. Remember the settings can be adjusted to make the treatment more tolerable.
How many treatments do I need?
Since everyone has a different density of hair (ie some have lots packed into a small area and others have less hair spaced out) it’s impossible to put a figure on the number of treatments you’ll need. You will certainly need to have regular appointments over a long period of time (at least a year if not more for most areas) as this is how long it takes for every hair to appear at the surface of the skin. Not all our hair is growing at the same time, and it can be quite a shock to find that those 3 or 4 hairs on your chin are actually 30 or more hairs ‘taking turns’ to grow! On top of this your hair thickness, skin sensitivity and other factors affect how fast each hair can be treated. However the appointment time can be as little as 10 minutes or as much as 2 hours or more depending on how large an area needs to be treated. Little and often is the best route to take with electrolysis so try not to start just before a long holiday or before a busy period when you won’t be able to stick to your appointment schedule. Please come in for a no-obligation chat to discuss the best treatment plan for you as unfortunately it’s just not possible to advise you without seeing you first. You will be able to see the hair reducing throughout your treatment though, so you do not have to wait until the end to see a difference.
What are the side effects? Will I get scarred?
There is usually some redness and a little swelling resembling an insect bite straight after electrolysis. These will disappear after an hour or so. The next day your skin will be clear and shouldn’t show any signs of treatment. The exception is the body which may show tiny pinprick scabs, which will wash off naturally within a week or so. On rare occasions you may see these tiny scabs on the face, usually when the treated hair was distorted or ingrown and hence the surrounding skin was damaged. If you notice any unexpected after effects please make sure to mention them as sometimes it’s hard to tell how the skin will react on first appearance. There is a VERY small risk of temporary scarring if aftercare advice is not followed, such as picking at the area after treatment (your electrolysist will go through this in depth with you.)
I know someone who had electrolysis and it didn’t work. How do I know what to believe?
There are many reasons why someone might not have the best impression of electrolysis? Did they stick with their treatment or give up after a few weeks?. Why not have a chat with our therapist, or perhaps just have a very small area treated first to see for yourself. Electrolysis DOES work, but only when performed properly.
I want to have electrolysis but I can’t bear the thought of walking around with hair on my face for months just for my appointments.
You can still remove hair between appointments by cutting or shaving (yes, even on the face) just so long as there is enough to show where the hair is on the day of your appointment.