Get the Facts on Electrolysis

Is Electrolysis really permanent?  Yes!  Electrolysis has been shown to be permanent in over a century of use.  Its permanency has been well recognized by knowledgeable physicians and is also testified to by hundreds of scientific articles published in the medical literature.  In addition to scientific recognition, there are over 1 million happy and satisfied persons who have solved a very personal and embarrassing problem with the help of electrolysis.

How long has Electrolysis been performed?  This question takes us back to 1869 when Dr. Charles Michel, an ophthalmologist in St. Louis, MO, wanted a safe and effective way to remove ingrown eyelashes which frequently led to blindness.  He published his first scientific paper in 1875.  The method was soon accepted by the medical community and the adapted for treatment of excess hair on other parts of the body.  Since that day, the same basic electrolysis technique has been used, only greatly improved and modernized.

How does Electrolysis work? A trained electrologist inserts a small metal probe into the hair follicle alongside the hair.  A small amount of electrical current is then delivered to the probe by a sensitive electronic devise called an epilator.  Depending on the technique used (or method), the electric current destroys the hair either by heat (known as the Thermolysis method) or by chemical reaction (known as the Galvanic method) or by a combination of both modes (known as Blend electrolysis).  All three methods are safe and effective and the technicians at GLE will choose which method is right for you.

Is Electrolysis Safe? Yes.  Electrolysis has over a 137 year history of safety and effectiveness.  Modern well-trained electrologists like the technicians at GLE utilize the most up-to-date, effective methods of sterilization, disinfection and antisepsis and follow guidelines set by a major electrolysis organization in conjunction with the CDC (Center for Disease Control).

Does it Hurt?  Whether there is any discomfort during electrolysis is quite variable depending on a patient’s tolerance, machine settings, modality used, as well as other factors.During most treatments a definite sensation is noticed.It has been described as “slight heat” or “tingling” or a “stinging” sensation and is only experienced during treatment, it does not linger. Some clients elect to apply topical anesthetic creams (such as benzocaine and lidocaine available at GL Electrolgy or your local pharmacy) to the skin prior to treatment. The technicians at GL Electrology are trained to work with each client on their unique comfort tolerance.

Are there any Side Effects?  Like any minor medical procedure, electrolysis does have a short healing phase.  During this time there may be some transient redness or swelling and occasionally pinpoint scabbing—it varies with the individual.  If the client has shaved the day of treatment and the hairs are too short, it can create scabbing and/or whiteheads which can be treated with triple antibiotic. Bruising is not common, but can happen; if it does it's usually the size of a pencil eraser. The technicians at GLE can offer a variety of suggestions and products to help minimize any side effects.

Is it Expensive? Considering the training and physical effort required of the electrologist, as well as the equipment, office space and other such expenses, the fees charged by electrologists are considered by most to be reasonable.  When compared to the prices of other health and beauty-care services and the cost of dealing with excessive hair using temporary means, electrolysis,is very affordable.  Remember that the problem is being dealt with permanently and not just on a short term basis.

How long does it take?  Electrolysis requires a series of treatments over a period of time, the length of which varies from person to person and is dependent on many factors.  The density and coarseness of the hair, as well as the total area to be treated, are very important.  Also, how well you tolerate treatments and the consistency of the treatments affect the overall success. Treatments are typically more frequent at the beginning and less frequent later on. 

What causes unwanted hair? Many factors contribute to the growth of unwanted hair, including heredity, normal physiological changes (hormones), malfunction of the endocrine system, medication, topical influence and stress.

How does hair grow? There are three phases of hair growth: Anagen, Catagen and Telogen.  Anagen is the first phase of hair growth and the most optimal phase for electrolsys because the most moisture is present in the follicle. This phase has a 4-6 week span.  In the catagen phase, the second phase, there is less moisture in the hair follicle.  Electrolysis treatment is still successful during this phase but not as optimal as during the anagen.  This phase is 6-8 weeks from the anagen phase.  In the Telogen phase, the hair is long and no longer growing, like the hair on your arms. Electrolysis treatment during this phase is least effective.