Electrolysis FAQs: What Clients Want To Know About Los Angeles Permanent Hair Removal


1. What is Electrolysis?

2. What causes excess hair?

3. What is a normal hair growth cycle?

4. How long does it take?

5. Are all hairs eliminated in one treatment?

6. What are the side effects?

7. How much does it cost?

8. Is it painful?

9. What about Laser?

10. How does Electrolysis using the Thermolysis method work for persons with darker skin?

11. Does shaving make more hair grow?

12. What is the difference between waxing and shaving?

13. What is the difference between threading and shaving?

14. Does electrolysis work on men?

15. What do I need to do before my electrolysis appointment?

16. What do I need to do after my electrolysis appointment?

17. What causes ingrown hairs?

18. How can I get rid of ingrown hair?

19. Does electrolysis really work on ingrown hair?


1. What is Electrolysis?

Electrolysis is the science of permanent hair removal utilizing a probe device. A fine, sterile probe is inserted into the hair follicle and a small amount of current or heat, depending on the modality used, is discharged destroying the hair follicle and preventing it from producing another hair.

Modern Electrology began in 1875 through the efforts of Ophthalmologist, Dr. Charles Michel. He accidentally discovered electrolysis while removing an ingrown eyelash from one of his patients. Through his initial efforts and continued research, permanent hair removal through Electrolysis is a reliable and safe method for halting excess hair. For the last 100+ years the medical community has recognized the three methods of electrolysis as the only process for permanent hair removal:  Galvanic, Thermolysis and Blend.

A. GALVANIC: A DC (direct) current passes through the needle charging the moisture (H2O) and salt (NaCl) naturally found in the follicle causing a chemical reaction. Sodium hydroxide (lye) is produced. The lye destroys the hair follicle by chemical decomposition. This method precedes Thermolysis and is generally somewhat less effective and more uncomfortable for patient, requiring higher voltages.

B. THERMOLYSIS: An AC (alternating) current passing through the needle causes vibration in the water molecules surrounding the hair follicle which produces heat. The heat damages the hair follicle. This is the quickest method, but areas will need to be covered more times than with Galvanic or Blend.

C. BLEND: This method combines the benefits of galvanic and thermolysis by passing a DC current through the needle, producing lye, which is then heated up by the AC current. The heat spreads the lye around the follicle, ensuring proper damage to the hair follicle tissue. This is faster than Galvanic alone, but still more time consuming than Thermolysis.

I use the proven Thermolysis method and choose the appropriate current for the client after analyzing the skin, texture, moisture gradient (dry or moist), hair type, and client sensitivity.Thus, your Electrolysis treatment can be customized for maximum comfort, swiftness, and most importantly, permanency.

2. What Causes Excess Hair?

According to current medical science, excessive hair growth is primarily caused by three factors: Normal Systemic Changes, Heredity and Glandular Disturbances.

Normal Systemic Changes can be caused by puberty, pregnancy, menopause and hysterectomy. Puberty stimulates change in both the body and hair-growth patterns. Common pattern changes include an increase in hair follicle activity and an overall darkening/thickening of the hair shaft. The diminished hormonal levels in a woman¹s body following menopause and/or a hysterectomy can promote new hair growth on the face and body.

Glandular Disturbances originate in the endocrine system, which is responsible for our physical development. Certain specific medications, such as male hormones, birth control pills, and even pregnancy can disrupt the delicate endocrine balance and produce unwanted hair.

Hereditary Hirsutism, excessive and abnormal growth of hair, is found in all nationalities, some more than others. Electrolysis can permanently solve this problem regardless of nationality or the amount of hair. However, many cases of “excessive” hair growth are actually normal in relation to the physiological changes the client may be going through, just as it is normal for many men to go bald. Most instances of baldness are cause by heredity and are considered normal.

It is worth noting that stress, both emotional and physical, can stimulate the adrenal glands to initiate a hormonal reaction that can cause finer hairs to become more coarse and noticeable. Increased blood supply can also stimulate hair to grow thicker and darker. Waxing and tweezing can cause an increase in blood supply in many clients while others experience reduction of hair growth.

3. What is a Normal Hair Growth Cycle?

All hair, regardless of the area of the body, has a different growth cycle. Eyelashes and eyebrows, for instance, grow for about four months and then are shed. The life span of a human scalp hair is from two to four years. After the hair is sloughed off, the follicle becomes dormant for a period varying from a few weeks to several months, and then begins once again to produce hair. Since only visible hair can be treated, the initial treatment period for any given area is four months.

Much of the perceived “re-growth” that occurs during treatment is really hair emerging from dormancy. Once this hair becomes visible, it can be treated for the first time.

4. How Long Does It Take to Be Rid of The Hair?

Although the number of treatments required varies with each client, those that adhere to the recommended treatment schedule usually accomplish their goal between 12-18 months. Some improvement should be observed within several months after initiating treatment, provided the client adheres to the recommended treatment schedule.

Factors such as hair growth cycles, the quantity and structure of the hair presented, previous uses of temporary hair removal methods, heredity, hormone function, normal physiologic changes, certain medications and stress may influence the treatment program. Hairs that have been tweezed, waxed or are very curly often have a good chance of coming back as a finer hair. It can then be epilated for good. This is due to the follicle distortion, which means it is not growing straight under the surface of the skin. Since the probe is straight, with a bent root, only part of the hair (and germinative cells) is treated on the first treatment.

5. Are all hairs eliminated in one treatment?

Deep, coarse hairs cannot always be eliminated with one treatment; thus breaking down the hair germ cells may require additional treatments. Due to the cyclical nature of hair growth, new hair as well as hairs emerging from a dormant phase will be treated and may be visible the same time as finer re-growth hairs.

6. What are the side effects?

Immediately following treatment, there may be a slight redness and/or swelling which usually disappears within a few hours. Occasionally, small whiteheads or tiny scabs may occur. Whiteheads usually are indicative of bacteria entering the follicle after treatment. Remember to keep the area as clean as possible for the 24 hours immediately following treatment. Scabs are part of the normal healing process and will not cause any permanent damage if they are not picked off. Trauma to the underlying tissue will sometimes cause lymph fluid to seep from the follicle. The lymph fluid seeps to the top of the skin and in a dry environment will harden forming a scab. Applying anti-bacterial ointment on the treated area will often deter the scabs from forming. You can read more about this in the After Care Instructions on this website. You will also receive a copy from me at your first appointment. When electrolysis is correctly administered there should be no permanent skin damage.

7. How much does it cost?

Cost is based on how much hair you have to begin with and how much of it you want removed. Since each individual¹s physiology is not the same, some clients require more treatments than others because of stronger follicular resistance. Upon your initial visit I can give you an estimate but it is simply an estimate. I wish there was a cut and dry answer to this question, but unfortunately there is not.

8. Is it painful?

Each person¹s individual pain tolerance plays a major factor in the degree of sensation felt by the electrolysis treatment. Because we are in essence destroying tissue in the follicle there is sure to be an uncomfortable feeling. For some it is merely an annoyance, for others it is less tolerable. Fortunately there are topical numbing solutions that can be used, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers, which seem to help. I can assist you with selection of various creams and topicals as needed.

9. What about Laser?

While laser promoters compare laser to electrology and some laser devices have been cleared for permanent reduction, laser assisted hair removal is considered a temporary method of hair removal. Additionally, laser hair removal has not been evaluated for long-term safety of the patient’s skin and health. For more information on lasers and the effects of high energy on varying skin types, visit: www.fda.gov.

10. How does Electrolysis using the Thermolysis method work for persons with darker skin?
Electrolysis is compatible with all skin types and hair types.

11. Does shaving make more hair grow?
No, it does not – it is a myth that has been around for a very long time. Your hair cycles stay the same and actually, when we begin electrolysis with a shaved area, your hairs die faster than if you had previously done anything else such as waxing, threading, laser, or tweezing.

Areas of your face and body that have been shaved results in less time required for the electrolysis treatment. If you shave before and during the electrolysis process, the hairs will die faster.

If you have certain hair types on your face such as vellus, light or dark coarse hairs, we recommended that you shave first for faster electrolysis treatment results.

12. What is the difference between waxing and shaving?
Waxing stimulates your hair roots and creates a new hair root to grow each time you wax an area. So your hairs multiply and may also grow back thicker and coarser than what you had prior to waxing. Also waxing can be hard on the skin, while shaving is usually not.

Each time you shave, the hair stays the same and it does not get stimulated. It is the same root, and not a new hair, but shaving may change the stage of the hair from tellogen to anagen.

13. What is the difference between threading and shaving?
Threading achieves the same goal as waxing by stimulating hair growth. There is a new hair each time it is pulled out, but threading is easier on the skin. Shaving does not stimulate the growth of hair.

14. Does electrolysis work on men?
Men definitely benefit from electrolysis. The most common areas of male electrolysis are
the chest, arm, upper shoulder, back, chin, sideburns, face, eyebrows, ears, neck, and hands.

Electrolysis is the preferred method for ingrown neck or beard hairs to achieve smooth, attractive skin.

15. What do I need to do before my electrolysis Los Angeles appointment?
There are a number of things that you can do prior to your appointment at Electrolysis by Alison which will help achieve optimal results and keep you comfortable:

• Drink lots of water the day before and the day of the electrolysis session. Stay hydrated and do not drink caffeine the day of the electrolysis session.
• Eat a meal before the electrolysis session – Do not come hungry.
• Apply numbing cream (Dr. Numb, lidocaine, procaine, or EMLA) onto the treatment area 45 minutes to an hour before the electrolysis session. Apply thick layer and do not rub it in and apply cellophane or plastic wrap to treatment area. This assists the electrolysis treatment.
• Do not work out or go to the gym or exercise within two hours of your appointment at Electrolysis by Alison.
• Any skin treatments including facials, microdermabrasion, skin rejuvenation treatments, or peels should not be performed within one week of the electrolysis session.
• Do not use Retin-A or any acne cream 3-5 days before the electrolysis session.
• Do not wear make-up, foundation or sun block to the electrolysis session.
• Skin should be cleansed the day of the electrolysis session. Loofah or lightly scrub the skin a few days before the electrolysis session.
• Do not pick at your skin before your treatment.

16. What do I need to do after my electrolysis appointment?
To maintain comfort and promote the best results, here are some aftercare recommendations:

• Ice the treated are for two minutes or less each time for as many times as you can within 12 hours after the electrolysis treatment.
• Lightly apply Neosporin or polysporin if you have dry or combination skin. Acne-prone or oily skin should not use Neosporin or polysporin. Another option is aloe vera directly from the plant or organic, all natural aloe vera gel. Bacitracin and hydrocortizone can be applied if you know you’re are not allergic to its contents.
• Drinks lots of water to stay hydrated.
• Eat within one hour after the electrolysis. This will keep you grounded and the nervous system will balance itself automatically.

Following your treatment, there is a possibility of redness in the treated area. This is both normal and temporary and is part of the electrolysis process. Different body and face hairs have different frequency levels. Redness will depend on your skin type and on the areas of your body that have higher or lower frequency to remove the hairs. For relief, you can ice the area and/or apply aloe vera gel or Neosporin.

17. What causes ingrown hairs?
Irritating, sometimes painful ingrown hair can occur after waxing, laser treatments or even shaving, which can cause ingrown hair in the bikini area, inner thigh, upper leg (front or back), knee, lower leg, chin, and neck.

What types of skin are prone to ingrown hair?
Some skin types are more likely to get ingrown hair than others. These include:

• African American
• Olive skin or darker
• Indian

What areas are more likely to have ingrown hair?
Though ingrown hair can happen anywhere, it is more likely to occur on:
• Male beard
• Male jaw line
• Male neck

• Female chin
• Female neck
• Female jaw line
• Female bikini area
• Female inner thigh
• Female upper or lower legs

18. How can I get rid of ingrown hair?
Irritating, sometimes painful ingrown hair can occur after waxing, laser treatments or even shaving, which can cause ingrown hair in the bikini area, inner thigh, upper leg (front or back), knee, lower leg, chin, and neck.

What types of skin are prone to ingrown hair?
Electrolysis treatment remains one of the most effective ways to eliminate irritating ingrown hair. To achieve optimal results, you should:

• Tend your skin right before electrolysis session
• Loofah the area twice during the week before the electrolysis session
• Use a facial or body scrub 2-3 times during the week before the electrolysis session

19. Does electrolysis really work on ingrown hair?

Ingrown hair sometimes goes away without treatment, however, ingrown hair has the potential to be a serious health hazard. If not properly treated or removed, ingrown hair can become infected and may require medical care. Without proper attention, ingrown hair can lead to scarring or “razor bumps.”

Recurring incidents of ingrown hair is often called folliculitis. This condition occurs when new hair fails repeatedly to grow straight out of your follicles and instead grows curly or crooked just under the skin before it emerges. Though ingrown hair could affect anyone, people with coarse or curly hair are more apt to suffer from ingrown hair or folliculitis.

Though it has since been used to treat all unwanted hair, electrolysis was originally developed to remove ingrown hair and is a very effective solution. In fact, electrolysis is is the only hair removal technique approved by both the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association (AMA).

Electrolysis for ingrown hair is completely safe and effective for all hair and skin types. During the treatments, electrolysis restricts the follicle from growing another unwanted hair. Electrolysis should not be confused with laser hair removal, which is not a permanent removal treatment for ingrown hair.

Alison wants you to experience the freedom that comes from permanently removing ingrown hair to help you maintain good health and help you feel more confident about your appearance.

For more information about how electrolysis can help remove your ingrown hair, feel free to schedule a free initial consultation for first-time electrolysis clients.

Get smooth, beautiful skin
For over 15 years, Electrolysis by Alison has been providing Los Angeles area clients with expert electrolysis to create smooth, beautiful skin. We can help you, too! Call today: (323) 875-4425 or click here to reach us online.

Special offer: Free Initial Consultation For First Time Electrolysis Clients