Galvanic: When the probe is inserted it produces an electrical current in the body; the salt and moisture in the tissue convert to a product called lye (sodium hydroxide). It is the lye that does the destruction in the hair follicle. Therefore, Galvanic is a chemical process.
Thermolysis: When the probe is placed into the hair follicle, a tiny amount of heat is applied to destroy the hair follicle. Therefore, we are using heat in Thermolysis.
Flash: Flash uses Thermolysis at high intensity for a shorter time, typically half a second or less.
Blend: Blend is when both Thermolysis and galvanic currents are available at the probe, separately or at the same time, to destroy the hair follicle
Electrolysis is a simple procedure that is highly effective in permanently removing unwanted hair. We use Thermolysis on the body and both the blend method and Thermolysis on the face; it depends on what is most suitable for the skin type and hair texture we are treating. Electrolysis is the only scientifically proven method of permanent hair removal.
Electrolysis on the face does not hurt very much. The odd hair might cause you to wince, but overall we find that our clients are relaxed throughout the treatment. The one exception is the area right under the nose, it is uncomfortable because your eyes might water and it makes you want to sneeze. It is not unbearable though, just uncomfortable.
Electrolysis on the body is often done in blocks of 2-4 hours, so we generally recommend the use of a numbing cream and/or a pain reliever of some sort. We use higher currents on the body and there is less down time between hairs, so certain areas are best prepared with numbing cream before treatment (legs are usually ok; bikini line can be sensitive).
Scarring is so unlikely. The one area where you must proceed with caution is the upper lip. You can’t do marathon treatments in this area because the skin is so thin. Other than that, it is a misunderstanding of electrolysis is behind this fear. We don’t break the skin during treatment. The electrolysis probe slides into the hair follicle and the most intense energy is delivered under the skin. Swelling and redness are common side effects but it clears within a few hours to, in the worst case, a few days. It’s also important to note that post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a common side effect on the body, but you should not mistake that for scarring. PIH is temporary. Nor should you mistake a pimple in a treated follicle for scarring. It’s a pimple. Sometimes they happen in a few follicles, but adjustments to treatment energy or using the blend method for acne prone skin will limit the likelihood of irritation.
Thermolysis vs. Blend
We use Thermolysis almost exclusively on the body; however, we use the blend most often on the face because we find it to be less painful than Thermolysis on the face. Both methods are effective in removing unwanted hair permanently.
Amount of Time Required to Clear an Area of Hair
Many people dramatically underestimate the amount of time it takes to clear an area of hair. This is because it is very difficult for you to know how much hair is actually present on your face or body unless you have an understanding of hair growth cycles. The hair that you see is not all the hair that grows in a given area. For every hair you see now you can probably count 2 or 3 that you can’t see because they will not reach the surface of your skin for months. This is especially true on the face, where there is a much higher density of hair growth than on the body.
Electrolysis treatment needs 12 to 18 months of regular treatment in any given area. Results are noticeable around the 4-6-month period, provided you’ve kept up with your appointments and have not done any temporary hair removal on the treated area. The length of treatment time can’t be reduced, simply because it takes this amount of time for most of the hair to reach the surface of the skin. Some hair follicles can lay dormant for months or even a year or two and then up pops a hair you didn’t even know you had! After this 12-18-month period the bulk of the hair will be gone and you will come in every few months to treat the few strays that appear.
Is it Painful?
Well, everyone’s pain tolerance level is different. It is a warm feeling and is a kind of uncomfortable. The more warmth you receive, the faster we remove your hair.
Every client receives a new probe at every treatment – probes are never reused. Tweezers and scissors are cleaned with a CS-20 cleaner and sterilized under medical-grade UV Light after each use. We use a fresh pair of gloves for each client, as well as a new surgical mask each time.
You should stop tweezing and shaving once you start electrolysis; you can maintain the area by trimming the hair on the surface ONLY.