Electrolysis is the term for a variety of methods used to permanently remove hair. A very thin probe is inserted into the hair follicle and a precise amount of electricity is used to destroy the cells that cause the hair to grow. The hair may be then removed easily, and when the papilla (the cells that cause the hair to grow) are fully destroyed, the hair will not grow back.
New Hampshire State Law requires specific training and continuing education for Electrologists, insuring that client safety is at the forefront. I stay abreast of all laws and best practices. I keep sterile instruments with an autoclave in my office. I use disposable probes and fresh gloves for each patient.
My many hours of training, and countless further hours of practical experience permit me to work quickly, effeciently and safely.
These kits are popular from time to time, but do not provide the level of safety I offer. Electrolysis takes a great deal of time to master, and these kits, can actually cause damage to the skin, leading to scarring. It is easy for an inexperienced person to insert the probe too deep, and cause physical damage to the follicle. The probes are not necessarily sterile, and most kits do not use disposable probes. Most people do not have an autoclave to sterilize their instruments in the home.
Poor technique that comes simply from a lack of training, coupled with instruments that may not be sterile can cause very poor results. It is not at all unwise to trust a person who has the training, expertise, equipment and experience to do this well. I take great pride in the satisfaction of my clients, which is itself a testament to the safety of my work.
Galvanic Electrolysis works by causing a chemical reaction using direct current that acts on the salt and water, naturally present in the body, and creating Sodium Hydroxide (lye). Sodium Hydroxide is a caustic chemical that will destroy the cells that produce hair growth. The advantage of this method is that the chemical remains and acts on the papillae for some time after the probe is removed.
Thermolysis is a newer form of electrolysis in which radio energy is used to directly heat, and destroy the papillae by exciting water molecules in the individual cells.This method is somewhat faster, but may take more applications to permanently and completely destroy each individual hair.
The blend method incorporates both galvanic and thermolysis methods. While this may sound as if one gets the full benefit of both methods, this isn't entirely true. Because the galvanic metod is a chemical reaction that takes time, less Sodium Hydroxide is produced than would be if a full galvanic treatment were used. Still, this method can have better results for those who are not looking to have large areas of hair removed.
Beware of those who claim that electrolysis is painless. Without anesthetics, there will be at least some sensation, most often experienced as some degree of pain involved. The point is that there are nerve cells in the areas being treated, and to a greater or lesser degree, these will register some experience of pain.
That said, an experienced electrologist is able to balance the levels of the machine being used to the desired results and comfort or tolerance levels of the client. Also, it is possible to recieve a prescription from a medical doctor for topical anesthetics which will dramatically reduce the sensation of pain during the treatment. As most electrologists are not medical doctors, they cannot prescribe or provide these drugs.
There are many factors that determine how many treatments, and ultimately, how long the process will take. These include the amount of hair to be removed, the quality of the hair, the treatment method chosen and more. Anconsultation with a qualified electrolygist will help in creating a treatment plan that results in realistic goals.
When we have our initial consultation, I'll recommend a schedule. The purpose of maintinaning this schedule is to allow you to get the fastest results possible. Hairs are easiest to treat when they are in an early stage of growth. At this stage, the root is less developed, and closer to the surface. The energy applied is able to more completely treat the follicle. A regular treatment schedule allows for the treatment of those hairs that do return, along with those that are just coming out of dormancy while they are in this vulnerable state. This makes for a shorter overall treatment regimen.
Rates will be discussed during the initial evaluation and will depend upon such factors as length of sessions and such. Please call 603-742-0471 to set up an appointment.
As electrolysis is a cosmetic procedure, it is unlikely that your insurance will cover the cost of treatments, however programs such as Medical Savings Accounts may cover the treatment costs. Also, electrolysis may be a deductible item on your federal Income Tax return. Please check with your financial advisor for details.
Shaving is perhaps the most common method of hair removal. It is not permanent, and even if a smooth surface is attained, stubble will likely appear in 8-12 hours. Shaving can also result in ingrown hairs which can be difficult to treat. Shaving leaves hair feeling coars as the hair shaft is cut flat.
Depilatories are chemicals which are able to disolve hair. They can be strong enough to cause chemical burns if left on for too long or used improperly, but must be left on long enough to work on the hair. They should be used with caution, especially on those with delicate skin, and never on areas that are already irritated. They can cause discoloration of the skin, and can toughen the skin, especially if used regularly.
Many individuals try to reduce the appearance of dark hair with the use of bleach. While bleach can lighten the color of hair, it cannot change the dimensions of hair, thus a coarse hair remains coarse. Too, depending on skin tone, a lighter hair may actually be more visible than a darker one. Bleach may have the unfortunate side effect of bleaching the skin as well as the hair.
Waxing, sugaring, twining, Epilady and similar methods accomplish the same goal; to physically pull the hair shaft from the follicle. It results in hair-free skin in the treated area. Unfortunately, this process may actually stimulate further hair growth, and may result in the hair growing back thicker than before. Most all of these methods can result in some damage to the skin by removing the outer layer. This can cause increased sensitivity to sunlight, ingrown hairs and other skin irritations.
All of these methods require hair that is from 1/4 to 1/2 inch long to be effective. None of these methods is permanent. Some research has shown that contrary to some claims, ripping methods may actually stimulate hair growth, and that it might re-establish stronger in hormone dependent areas of the body.
Tweezing is easy and inexpensive, but can result in coarser hairs over time. It can also be time-consuming as hairs are removed one at a time. It is also difficult to do in areas of the body that may be difficult to reach. It is not permanent, and must be repeated to maintain hair-free skin. If hairs are permitted to reestablish, they may grow back stronger.
Tweezing can result in ingrown hairs. Many people are tempted to dig them out and re-tweeze them, but this can lead to further problems, possibly resulting in an infection that may need medical treatment, or even permanent scarring.
There are a number of companies producing lasers for hair removal, and laser light of certain wavelengths was noted to remove hair as far back as 1963. The first laser produced for this specific purpose was developed in 1983, and the current technology only extends back to 1997.
Laser hair removal works by targeting specifically pigmented cells, and by a process called photothermolysis, destroys these cells.
Laser offers long-term hair removal, but as the current technology is merely 10 years old, it does not have the history to make long-term claims. Laser is effective at clearing large areas, and many individuals take advantage of the clearing ability of laser, as well as the permanence of electrolysis. It is important to note that an area treated with laser may not be immediately treated with electrolysis. Please talk to your electrolygist if you are undergoing both forms of treatment so that the electrolygist can avoid areas treated with laser until the skin has had time to heal properly.