Electrolysis is the only permanent method to elimina
te unwanted hair. The first person to use electrolysis for hair removal was Dr. Charles E. Michel in 1875.
3 Types of Electrolysis
This method is named after Luigi Galvani and uses a person's body as an electrolytic cell. Galvanic electrolysis was first reported in the medical literature by ophthalmologist Charles Michel in 1875 to remove ingrown eyelashes in patients with trichiasis. A galvanic epilator is essentially a positive ground power supply that delivers 0-3 milliamperes through the body.
This involves chemically destroying the lower portion of the hair follicle by sending a small amount of electrical current to the follicle. This causes a reaction between the naturally occurring salt (NaCl) and water (H20) in the follicle to produce sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or lye. Because this is caustic, the sodium hydroxide destroys the germinative cells and the dermal papilla. Galvanic electrolysis is the most certain method of electrolysis-induced permanent hair removal. However, it is slow and can require a minute or more of treatment for each hair. However, multiple-needle machines, which can utilize up to 16 needles simultaneously, are popular with a minority of electrologists. Most electrolysis devices advertised for home use are battery operated galvanic (direct) current devices. In experienced hands, they are safe and effective but slow.
Thermolysis (High Frequency, Short Wave)
Also known as Radio frequency, shortwave or diathermy. Thermolysis was developed in the 1920s and first reported in medical literature by Henri Bordier. A thermolytic epilator is essentially a radio transmitter, usually with an output of about 0-8 watts at a frequency of 13.56 MHz. RF energy emanates from the probe tip to tissue within about a millimeter. Thermolysis works by heating the hair matrix cells to about 48°C (118.4° Degree Fahrenheit), causing electrocoagulation.
In this method, passage of a high-frequency current down the needle produces destructive heat in the follicular tissues by molecular vibration. This heat then destroys the hair structure and dermal papilla. Thermolysis is much faster than galvanic electrolysis and requires only a few seconds. In high-speed “flash” thermolysis the higher energy current is applied for only a fraction of a second. The flash method is best used with insulated needles, which protect the upper hair follicle and permit higher energy directly into the lower follicle. This method is not suitable for coarse hairs and may have a slightly higher risk of skin damage.
Galvanic and thermolysis are often combined in a method known as blend, developed by Arthur Hinkel in 1948, which uses both RF and direct current, combining many of the advantages of galvanic and thermolysis.
As the name implies, this is a blend or a combination of Galvanic Electrolysis and Thermolysis methods. Blend electrolysis kills hairs chemically just like galvanic electrolysis but it takes only a few seconds to kill each hair. It works on coarse hairs and fine hairs equally well, although it involves more pain than thermolysis. It is also more complicated than the two methods, requiring a very qualified practitioner.
All three of these methods use a metal probe 50 to 150 µm (0.002 to 0.006 inches) in diameter which is inserted into the hair follicle to the depth of the dermal papilla or hair matrix, which is the site of formation of hair from highly mitotic and keratinized cells.
Shaving /Trimming prior to electrolysis
Shaving or trimming 1-5 days before electrolysis greatly increases efficacy because it ensures that only growing anagen hairs are treated. This may be particularly important in some areas, such as the arms, legs, thigh, and pubic area, where as many as 80% of hairs may be in telogen phase. Telogen hairs are not easy to permanently get rid of because precise needle insertion is difficult and because the matrix cells and papilla are in a dormant stage. Because the telogen follicle is so short there is a much greater risk of destructive energy being delivered closer to the skin surface and therefore undesirable side effects such as discomfort and superficial skin damage are more likely to occur. Although many individuals are resistant to shaving, it should be emphasized to clients that shaving has no effect on hair growth.
Precise needle insertion is the cornerstone of electrolysis excellence. Careful consideration must be given to correct needle direction, angle, and depth. In the sphere of electrolysis, treatment energy is defined as the intensity x duration of the delivered current. Modern computerized machines make it easier to produce hair destruction by the correct combination of intensity and duration of the current. Regardless of the electrolysis method utilized, the purpose is to deliver adequate current (intensity) for a sufficient time (duration) to destroy the growing portion of the hair follicle. There is no “always perfect” combination of intensity and duration. One can use any combination of intensity and duration that is suitable, as long as the combination outcome is enough treatment energy to destroy the hair roots without producing unwanted side effects.
When electrolysis is undertaken in a correct manner, no resistance should be felt when the hair is removed with gentle forceps traction. The hair bulb should be present. If the hair does not come out easily with gentle forceps traction then it is being plucked rather than destroyed by electrolysis. Unfortunately, with all methods, there will always be a percentage of regrowth. The post-electrolysis regrowth rate has been estimated to be 20-40%. However, it is important to distinguish between apparent regrowth and actual regrowth. “Apparent regrowth” is the growth of hairs that have been previously treated with electrolysis. The most common causes of actual regrowth are imprecise insertions, inaccurate intensity, inadequate duration, curved or distorted follicles, and/or insertions into telogen follicles.
Electrolysis Side Effects
Essentially, if electrolysis is performed improperly, you can expect partial or full hair regrowth. Poorly performed electrolysis hair removal can cause long-term skin damage and can also spread infections. Make sure your electrologist properly sterilizes all equipment. Most side effects of electrolysis are mild but may include redness, swelling, blisters, scabs, dryness, and ingrown hairs. Redness and swelling should disappear in a few days. Scabs could be a sign of healing but severe scabbing may lead to pigmentation changes and permanent scarring. Bear in mind that an electrical hair removal treatment is basically an invasive process intended to destroy hair follicles. That’s why it's imperative that you know you're in good hands before choosing to undergo any type of electrolysis treatment.
Initial clearing versus permanent removal
Initial clearing is defined as the removal of visible hair. For example – electrolysis can clear an average (preshaved) leg of hair in about eight hours. However, about 80% of leg hairs are in the telogen stage. Such hairs may not be visible. Therefore, a single electrolysis session only impacts on about 20% of the hairs. Even with expertly performed electrolysis there is a regrowth rate of 20-40%. In addition, in individuals with hormonal problems, new hair follicle growth may be activated in adrogen-sensitve areas thus, necessitating further increase in the number of treatment sessions required.
Is electrolysis suitable for everyone?
Electrolysis can be performed on adult patients of any age although care should be taken if treating very mature skin. There are no limitations as to body sites (as long as external), hair size, or hair colors. Electrolysis is also safe even for diabetics, immuno-compromised patients, or those on other drug therapies. However, electrolysis should not be performed in areas of inflamed or diseased skin or very sensitive skin. As electrolysis is suitable for all skin colours, it is more flexible in terms of application than laser (laser is not suitable on dark skins).
Home Electrolysis Treatment
Electrolysis is best done by a professional. Sessions can be lengthy and you must return numerous times to get the desired result, requiring commitment on your part. How much time and how money it will cost you depends on how much work you need done. You can figure out how much your treatment will cost by multiplying your electrologists hourly rate by the hours for a particular area. So it can really get very expensive. Furthermore, some people want to get rid of hair in areas of their bodies which they are believe should not be seen by anyone other than themselves and their partners. Many are not comfortable having body hair removed in the salons. Luckily, home electrolysis is now an option for people who wish to have hair removed discreetly.
Quality home electrolysis kits can offer equal results to professional treatments and can remove hair permanently if done the right way. It is a lot cheaper, more convenient, and done in the privacy of your home. With practice, you will be able to remove unwanted hair fast and effectively. One such product that you can use at home is Clean and Easy Home Electrolysis – it is gentle and guaranteed effective to remove unwanted body hair. It is perfect for home use, yet it is economical with professional results. Clean & Easy Electrolysis is ideal for use on individual stubborn hairs on the face, bikini line or other body areas on both men and women. It works best on a few hairs at a time making it perfect for hairs on the chin, upper lip, and bikini line. This particular kit also comes with a spare stylet and replacement stylets can also be bought allowing for long term usage.
Ways to help you in the process:
1. Read the instructions carefully before your begin.
2. A warm shower will help your pores to open.
3. Sit in a comfortable chair.
4. Thoroughly clean the body area that you will work on.
5. Sterilize your equipment.
6. Have a rubbing alcohol nearby to repeatedly clean the needle
and the tweezers.
7. Be sure to work on a brightly lit area.
8. Some find that having something dark behind them makes it easier to see fine hairs.
9. Use a good magnifying mirror.
10. Only do a small area at a time and do not rush.
11. Take breaks from regular treatment after a few sessions.
12. Moisturize the skin after the treatment.
13. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin.
Clean & Easy Deluxe Home Electrolysis is guaranteed to be a superior quality product manufactured by American International Industries whose beauty products are found in 150 countries and counting. Many of their products are featured in top fashion magazines and beauty trade publications. With 30+ brands, their products reach all segments of retail, beauty supply, grocery, boutique and specialty markets all over the world.
With commitment to quality, value and innovation, American International Industries is at the forefront of the beauty and personal care industries, with highly visible, category-leading brands. In the world of professional hair removal, Clean & Easy is synonymous with innovation.