Electrolysis is the ONLY method of PERMANENT HAIR REMOVAL, per the FDA. Temporary methods such as waxing, tweezing, threading, etc. will create ingrown hairs and hair will grow back heavier, coarser and the initial area will expand as the hair is being pulled from the hair follicle.
The germinating cells creating each hair are located at the base of the follicle. Those temporary methods pull the hair out but do not harm or kill the cells creating the hair. In fact, usually the hair follicle will start to twist the bottom of the root so as to anchor the hair from being pulled out. This creates a "distorted" hair follicle and instead of the hair going into the skin straight, it becomes curved like a "J" or "S." It will also go down deeper into the skin and become tougher. This is evident by ingrown hairs or bumps as the hair under the skin tries to get out. Electrolysis can eliminate these hairs and, most times, the skin returns to a healthier look without all the irritation from the temporary methods. Other temporary methods such as depilatories and bleaching creams often irritate the skin from their chemical compounds as does shaving.
Most lasers cannot be used, or do not have effectiveness, on dark skin, tanned skin, skin that has been in the sun or going to be in the sun (or tanning booths), around the eyes and it does not work at all on blonde, red or light colored or light textured hair. But, electrolysis is effective on all hair colors, types and all skin colors. Electrolysis will kill the hair and, once killed, another hair cannot grow in its place.
How it works
A very fine surgical steel disposable probe (about the same thickness of your hair) is put alongside the hair follicle and a small amount of current is emitted to kill the germinating cells of the hair follicle. The skin is not punctured or harmed; the probe is very, very thin and topicals are used to desensitize the skin, along with the probe being insulated. There are stronger skin numbing agents that can be used to accommodate the client's comfort levels. Most people do not have a problem with any sensation. Each hair is treated in millisecond timing. Treatment times are booked in 15 minute increments; many hairs can be removed quickly in a short period of time.
Causes and Why Me?
After wondering how electrolysis works, most people want to know the causes. There are various causes for each individual and they include: heredity, glandular or hormonal imbalances which include pregnancy, medication reaction, certain medical conditions, stress and emotional state, high or low weight and then the temporary method being used will create more hair and also make the area expand from the hair problem you first started with. It is important to note that once a light, vellus (fine hair) changes to a dark, terminal hair, the color and texture will remain in that condition even after the cause has been diagnosed and corrected. ONLY electrolysis can kill that unwanted hair. Some people also desire electrolysis for purely cosmetic reasons, such as changing their hairline or shaping the eyebrows, being rid of underarm hair or leg hair. Men who have shaved too high on the cheekbones might prefer a cleaner looking beard and use electrolysis to shape their beards.
Benefits of Removing Unwanted Hair
The best benefit is that you do not have to deal with any of your temporary methods once the hair is killed. This will save you much time and money in the long run. Another benefit is your improved appearance and skin appearance as you are not trying to hide the unwanted hair with makeup, hair styles, hands over the area or continual touching and introducing bacteria and germs to the area. Removing the hair is psychologically uplifting as it is exceeding disturbing to have unwanted hair growth, no matter where it is located.
Basically, confidence is a big reason to be rid of unwanted hair in addition to helping to improve the appearance of the skin and reduce irritation from ingrown hairs and coarse hair growth. Some people even get cysts associated with distorted ingrown hairs which cannot find their way out of the hair follicle. Electrolysis can kill these distorted hair follicles.
Hair Growth Patterns/Cycle
Each hair has its own cycle of growth; some grow quickly and some very slowly. Each, and every, hair also goes through three stages of growth.
One stage is the active stage where the hair follicle is a vibrant new hair, next stage where the hair falls out of the hair follicle and the third stage where the hair follicle is in a dormant stage and getting ready to replace. Each hair goes through a growth, resting and replacement stage. A hair can be dormant for an extended period of time and then it goes through its normal replenishing and comes to the surface in the same manner it shed. At any time, a third of the hair follicles you have are under the skin in the dormant stage. If you are having electrolysis treatments, these hairs need to come the surface before they can be treated and, therefore, treatment times need to be scheduled in intervals and not just having one treatment. Once the area being treated is stripped, it is necessary to have sporadic treatments to maintain the area and keep it cleared of these new hairs that were dormant. All your unwanted hairs will be gone permanently.
After Care and Side Effects
There are no permanent side effects related to electrolysis treatments. If your skin is sensitive you may experience a slight redness or tenderness but this only lasts for a very short time. Topicals used after treatment and/or ice will alleviate any sensitivity. Each person will react differently and your specific needs will be addressed at your consultation and treatment session. Antibiotic creams, calamine lotion, Vitamin E and aloe help heal the skin quicker. Staying out of the sun and using sun block is recommended for a few days. Keeping the skin clean and hands off are helpful as are avoiding moisturizers and any exfoliating creams.