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Frequently Asked Questions

Hair Removal By Electrolysis FAQs

Here are some of your frequently asked questions that relate to electrolysis, a permanent hair removing process for both men and women:

How does electrolysis work?

Electrolysis involves inserting a metal probe (needle) into the hair follicle to the Dermal Papilla (the base of the follicle). An electrical current is then discharged to cauterise the follicle, hopefully preventing re-growth. Each hair is probed individually and then removed using tweezers.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatment sessions required varies with each patient. A treatment session can range from about 15 minutes to more than an hour depending on the area being treated.

Many factors can influence the treatment schedule for each patient, for example, hair growth cycles, the amount and type of hair to be treated, previous use of temporary hair removal methods, heredity factors, hormone imbalance, medication and stress levels. Those patients that adhere to the recommended treatment schedule will usually accomplish their goal in about 1 year. However, some improvement should be observed within several months after beginning treatment.

Will my hairs regrow?

The majority of hairs treated will not re-grow. Any that do re-grow are likely to be the deep rooted course hairs. Due to the growth cycle, new hair as well as hairs emerging from a dormant phase will require additional treatments to achieve your desired results. Learn more about permanent hair removers.

What areas of the body can be treated?

Unwanted hair can be removed from nearly all areas of the body by electrolysis. The most common areas are the hairline, eyebrows, cheeks, sideburn area, upper and lower lip, chin, throat, neck, breasts, underarms, stomach, bikini line, feet and toes. It is recommended that the inside of the ears and nose should not be treated. Also, seek medical advice to determine whether hairs in a mole can be treated safely.

Can women have electrolysis during pregnancy?

Excessive hair growth can be caused by hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy. Therefore, medical advice should be sought from your doctor before beginning treatment.

How do I prepare for treatment?

You must discontinue any short-term hair removal method for about a week before treatment. This is so that hairs can begin to re-emerge and more of them will be permanently removed on first treatment. A skin test should be performed to ensure that the patient is not allergic to the metal used in the probe. If you are taking medication you must check with your doctor that this is not going to react to the treatment.

Is the treatment painful?

Most patients who undertake hair removal by electrolysis experience a sensation equivalent to hairs being plucked out. This is uncomfortable but most do not consider it to be unbearable. It is very difficult to minimise this sensation as each hair is surrounded in the follicle by nerve endings. For this reason, it is better to let a trained technician perform the treatment. Also it is worth noting that some areas are more painful to treat than others.

Warming the skin helps reduce the pain as it opens the pores, allowing easier access to the follicle. Moreover, a technician can use some local anaesthetic cream on the area to numb the skin before removing your hair. The cream is a topical anaesthetic cream which has high percentage of Lidocaine and Prilocaine, which are known to reduce pain. However, the great advantage is that it does not interfere with the skin's elasticity.

What can I expect after therapy?

Immediately after a session of electrolysis, the patient will note a tiny red lesion at each treated follicle, much like an insect bite. This lesion will soon disappear and the area will return to normal. Occasionally, small whiteheads or tiny scabs may appear. These small scabs are a part of the normal healing process and will not cause any permanent damage if they are not picked off. If there is continued redness for several days or larger visible scabs, especially on the face, then let the practitioner know as soon as possible. This may be as a result of the patient being allergic to the metal used in the probe.

Are there any side effects?

Electrolysis has been practiced since 1875 and is statistically a very safe procedure to permanent hair removal. The only known side effects are due to allergic reactions to the metal probe. However, the patient may notice some slight redness, swelling, or minor scabbing of the skin, which is only temporary.

If you have had a hair removal disaster or accident then find out what you can do to set things right.

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