Electrolysis Myths Unveiled

by Carol Aalund

Myth #1 : Electrolysis is an ancient, outdated technology that no one believes in or uses anymore.
Truth: Electrolysis has been proven safe and effective for 136 years and is still the gold standard in PERMANENT hair removal, according to the FDA and AMA. Epilators today are state-of-the-art and extremely efficient. There are many, many men, women and teens who enjoy the freedom of unwanted hair obtained with electrolysis.

Myth #2 : I’ve heard that the procedure utilizes needles that puncture the skin and leave scarring.
Truth: Very tiny, flexible probes, also called filaments, are used (.001” to .005” in diameter – about the same width as a human hair). The hair follicle is an existing opening in the skin like a pocket and the probe is slipped in easily next to the hair. Most people feel nothing at all with insertion. The skin is not punctured and there is no bleeding. Electrologists today are required by the state to be highly trained. They must attend an accredited school and sit for a state board exam to obtain licensure, and today’s equipment is very high-tech. Because of this the risk of scarring with treatment is not an issue.

Myth #3 : I’ve been told the pain is unbearable. Is that true?
Truth: No. While it is not possible to destroy hair growth tissue without at least some sensation, treatment is quite comfortable. Most people, if they feel much at all, will describe it as feeling something like a mosquito bite or a gradually building heat. Some people find that a short appointment (15 min.) is sufficient for their particular comfort level, while other people sleep through an hour or more of treatment.

Myth #4 : I’ve been told that if you choose electrolysis that you will be going forever, or that it really is not permanent.
Truth: Electrolysis requires a series of treatments due to the hair growth cycle. It is not an overnight sensation, but because it is permanent it is well worth the time spent in treatment. If someone who has had electrolysis tells you that they did not achieve permanence it is because they did not complete their course of treatment as outlined by their electrologist for their particular situation.

Myth #5 : Is it true that it is more expensive than other hair removal methods?
Truth: No, it is very affordable. Also, money is saved because it does not require life-long touch-ups due to the fact that it is the only permanent option available today. Cost varies with each person depending on how dense their unwanted hair is and how big an area they want treated. An electrologist can give you an idea of how much it will cost you by assessing your particular situation at a consultation.

Myth #6 : Home electrolysis kits purchased over the internet are as effective and will save me a lot of money if I can treat myself.
Truth: Home electrolysis kits are a scam. They do not have enough electric current to destroy hair growth tissue.

Myth #7: I’ve heard that laser and electrolysis are basically the same thing. Is that true? If not, how does electrolysis permanently keep the hair from growing back?
Truth: No, they are not the same. With electrolysis, a small burst of electrical current cauterizes the blood supply, which is what nourishes a growing hair. Also, the current dessicates the follicle and coagulates the tissue inside of it. This includes the germinative cells that line the follicle wall and produce a new hair. Over the course of 2 to 3 days after treatment, the follicle seals up and is no longer capable of producing hair. Because of this, electrolysis works on any hair color and with any color of skin. Laser light only targets the melanin (color producing cells) in a hair follicle.

This article was written by Carol Aalund, a walking testimonial and owner of Clear 4 Life Electrolysis, P.C. After successfully eliminating her own unwanted hair, she decided to change careers and help others by becoming a registered electrologist. To find out more about electrolysis and how you can get rid of your unwanted hair for good, call Carol at (815) 266-1405.

2 Responses to “Electrolysis Myths Unveiled”

  • Steph:

    I have one more quick question. I’ve heard that if you get electrolysis before pregnancy, the hormone changes during pregnancy will cause your hair to grow back and you’ll have to get it re-done when you are finished having children. Is there any truth at all to that?

  • Carol’s Answer:

    The electric current delivered during Electrolysis cauterizes the blood supply that nourishes a growing hair and also dessicates the follicle and coagulates the tissue, as well as destroying the germinative cells that line the follicle wall and produce a hair. When the follicle is treated it loses it’s ability to grow a new hair.

    Fine, vellus hairs that have NOT accelerated at the time of treatment and have never picked up any darker color, diameter or length usually are not treated by an Electrologist – just the dark, long or coarse hairs are. The follicles with hairs that had not accelerated before (and therefore were not treated before) can accelerate with the hormone changes brought on by pregnancy.

    We have several hundred hair follicles per square inch on our face and so it is easy to assume that it is the same follicles that are sprouting new hair when in fact, they are not. Because of the growth cycle not all follicles have a visible hair at the same time. Some follicles are in the dormant phase and will sprout a new hair in the near future as the cycle for that particular follicle continues, while other follicles will be shedding an old hair and moving to the dormant phase of the cycle. On the chin and upper lip, for example, we only see about half the hairs our follicles are capable of producing at any given time, if the client has NOT been tweezing, waxing or threading.

    It is important for a woman to NEVER begin tweezing, waxing or threading the hair on her face as this just promotes more vigorous growth. Many women do not know this and when the hormone fluctuations caused by pregnancy start to accelerate the hair they begin using these methods.

    So the answer to your question is no, the follicles that were treated previously will not regrow hair after the follicle has lost it’s ability to produce a hair with Electrolysis, but the follicles that were not treated before because they did not need to be treated can, indeed accelerate with the advent of a hormonal event.

    Carol Aalund, CPE, RE

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