In 1875 an ophthalmologist, Dr. Charles E. Michael, discovered a way to remove an ingrown eyelash from a patient. Dr. Michael’s method has been improved upon and modified. Today, the process of electrolysis is recognized as a safe, permanent method of hair removal on all parts of the face and body.
How does Electrolysis work?
With the process of electrolysis, using a device called an epilator, every hair is individually treated according to its depth, thickness and direction of growth. A presterilized, individual disposable probe (filament) is used only once for each patient, ensuring complete safety. The probe is inserted into the hair follicle, which is actually a natural opening on the skin.
There is a slight tingling, warm sensation as a very small amount of controlled electrical current cauterizes and destroys the dermal papilla (hair matrix that controls the development and growth of the hair). This causes the hair to become dislodged. A forceps is then used to help the hair slide out effortlessly. There is no pulling sensation when the procedure is performed properly. The skin is not harmed in any way. The treated area may redden slightly or swelling may occur. These conditions usually disappear within 15 minutes to an hour. Tiny scabs may also appear on the body several days after treatment, and are a natural part of the healing process.
How long will it take to remove all the hair?
Electrolysis is a commitment. A weekly or bi-weekly schedule of 15-60 minute sessions must be followed to successfully eliminate the hair. Following a rigid schedule of treatments is paramount to achieve permanent hair removal and is especially important because of the nature of hair growth. Usually hair will grow in a major follicle producing a coarse terminal hair surrounded by smaller, finer follicles that may or may not be producing hairs at the time. When the terminal hair is removed a finer hair often seems to replace it. However, it is not the same hair. The treated hair has been permanently removed. Since we treat an effect (hirsutism) not a cause (androgen production), a smaller follicle adjacent to the treated hair follicle may now be producing a finer hair due to the existing androgens in the body. This smaller follicle needs to be also treated. Electrolysis is a gradual process. It takes time to achieve permanent removal of all the hair – those that are actively growing and those that have the potential to grow. As the hair growth lessens the treatments get shorter and become less frequent until the hairs no longer return.
Is Electrolysis for me?
Electrolysis is more effective in shaping eyebrows and for people with light blonde, white or gray hair. Electrolysis is indeed an excellent, viable means of permanent hair removal used by many for over 100 years. However, for large areas of the body laser is a better, effective, and faster method of choice.