1. What is electrolysis?
Electrology is the science of
permanent hair removal. Using state-of-the-art
technology, a minute amount of electricity is gently
applied to the base of the hair follicle. This
process destroys the hair growth tissue. Therefore,
the regenerative ability of the hair follicle is
The term electrolysis is used to
describe all methods of permanent hair removal
consisting of Galvanic, Thermolysis and the Blend.
The Galvanic electrolysis modality was the first
method used to remove hair permanently back in
1875. The term electrolysis branded the process of
permanent hair removal.
An electrologist inserts a very fine
needle into the natural opening of the hair follicle
(the pore) alongside the hair shaft. A minute
amount of current is then applied to destroy the
hair growth cells.
The medical device used, called an
epilator, destroys growth cells with chemical and/or
heat energy. The modality used is the preference of
the professional electrologist.
There are three modalities used today
that fall under the heading of electrolysis:
electrolysis is a chemical process. The
current produces a chemical reaction with
the salt and water fluid in the base of
the follicle eliminating the
hair growth cells. Multiple needle galvanic
electrolysis can utilize up to 16 needles
(short-wave or flash) produces heat. When
this modality is used it heats
the hair growth cells in the follicle.
This modality can be utilized in two
ways: (1) the shortwave
current is used at a lower intensity and
(2) the flash method of
Thermolysis uses high intensity current for
less time in the
method combines galvanic current with
Thermolysis current. Thermolysis heats up
the chemical reaction in the follicle
destroying hair growth cells.
2. Why should I choose electrolysis
over other hair removal methods?
Unlike all other hair removal
methods, professionally performed Electrolysis
eliminates all unwanted hair – permanently – with
unsurpassed results. Moreover, it does so for all
skin and hair types and colors. No other hair
removal method can claim such universal
acceptability and success.
3. Why should I choose electrolysis
over temporary methods like laser, waxing,
threading, tweezing, shaving and depilatories?
Laser promoters compare laser to
electrolysis although laser assisted hair removal is
considered a temporary method. Some laser devices
have been cleared for permanent reduction by the FDA
not to be confused with permanent removal. Permanent
reduction is an unclear term referring both to the
number of hairs and/or the thickness of each hair.
Additionally a “paradoxical effect” could occur
which means increased hair growth. Laser hair
removal has not been evaluated for long term safety
of the patient’s skin and health.
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Additional temporary methods of hair
removal like tweezing,
waxing, and threading will seriously hinder the
success of the process due to the following fact:
the removal of a hair that’s pulled from the root in
an androgen (male hormone) dependent area,
stimulates the root causing more blood supply and
androgen hormone to the area. This causes hairs to
re-grow and surface thicker and darker and
stimulates other follicles to produce coarser hair
which will continue to spread. An androgen dependent
area consists of all facial hair( except the
eyebrows) and the neck, breasts, sternum, stomach
and bikini area.
Other methods of temporary hair removal not
contributing to additional hair growth would be the
use of depilatories (like Nair and Neet) and also
shaving. Depilatories chemically dissolve the hair
slightly below the skin surface with the potential
to irritate the skin. An old wives tale that
cutting or shaving will increase the rate of hair
growth and thickness of the hair shaft is just not
true. The shaft appears thicker and causes stubble
because the tapered end is missing. Even among
educated skin care specialists, there remains a
belief that by shaving the hair it becomes thicker
and darker. Again, this is just not true and
shaving is therefore the preferred method of
temporary hair removal. In conclusion, all of these
above mentioned temporary forms of hair removal
could result in mild to severe skin irritation
depending on individual skin sensitivity.
Additionally, devices are marketed
claiming to permanently remove hair by means of
electronic tweezers and/or home electrolysis/laser
units. Electronic tweezers which supposedly conduct
electricity through the hair shaft are based on a
flawed scientific principle. Hair is not a
conductor of electricity and this device is no more
effective than ordinary tweezers. Home electrolysis
units in an untrained hand run the risk of pitting
and scarring from improper current application and
4. Do electrologists follow
appropriate Infection Control Precautions?
In New Jersey, electrologists are
licensed under the State Board of Medical Examiners
and are additionally required to obtain an Office
Premise License following strict inspection rules
and regulations. The Standard Precautions include,
but are not limited to, handwashing, the use of
gloves, sterilization of critical items used in
electrolysis treatments, the proper disinfection of
semi-critical and non-critical items, and the proper
cleaning of environmental surfaces.
5. How many treatments are required?
The number of treatments necessary
varies with each patient/client. Factors such as
hair growth cycles, the quantity and structure of
hair presented, previous use of temporary hair
removal methods, heredity, hormone function, normal
physiologic changes, certain medications and stress
influence the treatment program for each individual.
It is very important to adhere to the recommended
treatment schedule to achieve optimum results in the
shortest time frame. Some improvement should be
observed within several months after initiating
treatment, provided the patient adheres to the
recommended treatment schedule. The client’s role in
the treatment process is important to the overall
success of treatment. Consistency in maintaining a
scheduled course of treatment will significantly
impact results. As treatment develops with the
decrease of hair growth, sessions will become less
frequent and for shorter periods of time until
6. Are all hairs eliminated in one
No. Electrolysis involves labor
intensive, intricate procedures, which require
professional judgment, and which must be performed
in a sanitary environment by a skilled, licensed
Factors to consider are:
three cycles of hair growth surfacing over a
period of a year.
Previous methods of hair removal like
tweezing, waxing, threading or laser which
could take two to four months to resurface
depending on how fast an individual’s growth
cycle is. These previous methods can also
increase hair growth.
Medications and hormonal issues.
Maintaining a consistent schedule of
7. What is the normal growth cycle
of a hair?
All hairs have differing cycles of
growth and are not visible on the surface of the
skin at the same time. Hair normally grows for its
usual cycle and then naturally sheds and replaces
itself. Following active growing periods, most hair
follicles go into a dormant stage. The period of
dormancy may last for an indefinite period of time,
however, replacement hairs usually appear within 3
to 12 months. The appearance of these coarse
replacement hairs from dormant hair follicles should
not be mistaken as regrowth from previously treated
8. What does electrolysis feel like?
Electrolysis treatments sting, but
individual tolerances vary greatly. Different areas
of the body have different sensitivities and this
varies from person to person. Even the most
sensitive patient/client should be able to tolerate
9. Does electrolysis have any side
effects on the skin?
Immediately following treatment,
normal side effects may be a slight redness and/or
swelling which usually disappears within a few
hours. Occasionally, small whiteheads or tiny scabs
may occur. It is important to remember that scabs
are a part of the normal healing process in some
people. If scabbing does occur, the patient is
advised not to remove them prematurely as
hyper-pigmentation can occur. Post treatment care,
as instructed by your electrologist, will ensure
10. Can unwanted hair be removed
from anywhere on the body?
Electrolysis works on all skin, hair
types and color. It can be applied to facial and
body parts, including: Hairline, Eyebrows, Ears,
Nose, Chin, Upper & Lower Lip, Jaw line, Cheeks and
Sideburns, Neck, Sternum, Breast, Abdomen and Back,
Underarms, Forearms and Hands, Bikini line, Legs and
Feet. Based on a personal and confidential
consultation, your electrologist will design a
treatment plan that addresses your specific hair
11. Can women begin or continue
electrolysis treatments during pregnancy?
Unwanted hair can be caused by
hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy.
Electrolysis can be performed on any normal skin.
This includes pregnant women. During the first
trimester, areas above the abdomen can be safely
treated. After second trimester, areas above the
breast can be safely treated. However, written
approval from your physician is required before
Can hairs be removed from moles?
Hairs can safely be removed from
moles with required written approval from your
physician before beginning treatment.
should I choose an electrologist?
All electrologists in New Jersey
must be licensed under the State Board of Medical
Examiners. By law, each electrologist is required
to hold a valid Personal license and each practice
must hold an Office Premise license. The State
mandates 20 hours of continuing education biennially
to maintain licensure.
Although not required, membership in
the Electrologists Association of New Jersey
indicates the electrologist is keeping current with
their field. Look for licenses and certificates,
with current dates, as evidence of professionalism.
Many electrologists assumed the added
commitment of International Board Certification,
which is a separate credential from the NJ State
Licensure Exam, by passing a voluntary certification
Certified Professional Electrologists
(CPE's) are challenged to improve their knowledge
and practice through the American Electrology
Association Continuing Education and Recertification
programs, which requires 75 hours of approved
continuing education every five years to recertify.
The Certified Professional
Electrologist (CPE) credential signifies that the
electrologists’ knowledge has been tested and
measured against a national standard of excellence.
The commitment to keep the credential, through
on-going continuing education, exemplifies the
highest degree of professionalism.
Information above is provided by Electrologists Association
of New Jersey
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