Frequently Asked Questions
What is Electrology?
How electrolysis works:
Is electrolysis really the only method of permanent hair removal?
Lasers and other devices?
How long does it take?
Does the frequency of treatments have bearing on success?
Are all hairs eliminated in one treatment or is regrowth to be expected?
What is the normal growth cycle of a hair?
Do electrologists follow appropriate Infection Control Precautions?
Does electrolysis damage the skin
Can unwanted hair be removed from anywhere on the body?
Who receives electrolysis?
Why do I have excess hair?
Can women begin or continue electrolysis treatments during pregnancy?
Is the cost effective?
Does electrolysis hurt?
Will my treatments be confidential?
Q: What is Electrology?
A: Electrology is the ONLY medically recognized method of permanent hair removal by the AMA. Electrology is the science of permanent hair removal utilizing only solid needle/probe devices.
Q: How electrolysis works:
A: An electrolysis treatment involves the inserting of a sterile probe, the same size as the hair, into the hair follicle opening down to the DERMAL PAPILLA. The dermal papilla is the electrologist's target. It is the part of the follicle that contains blood and nerves and feeds the growing hair. When the probe is in place, a low-level electrical current is applied that will destroy the papilla and surrounding cells and loosen the hair in the follicle. The hair is then removed. Once the dermal papilla is completely eliminated, new hair growth will not regrow. Many hairs will be eliminated with only one treatment, but some will need two or more treatments to achieve permanency. Electrolysis involves a series of treatments over a period of time. The length of time depends on the amount of hair, its coarseness, the cause of the excess hair and many other factors, but once the dermal papilla has been eliminated, the hair is dead and will not regrow. All other methods of hair removal are not permanent. Tweezing and waxing will remove the hair shaft from the follicle, but will not destroy the life source of the hair, thus return growth is certain.
Q: Is electrolysis really the only method of permanent hair removal?
A: Yes! Many unethical claims are being made that Laser has been approved as permanent by the FDA. Laser has not been approved for permanence! Electrolysis is the only scientifically proven method of permanent hair removal. Temporary methods such as laser, shaving, tweezing, depilatories and waxing, require frequent time consuming maintenance. Skin irritations, ingrown hairs, discoloration, and scarring may result. Some of these methods even contribute to an increase in hair growth activity. We are constantly monitoring the progress of other methods in order to stay on top of our field. When another method is able to demonstrate effective results without harming our clients, we will be glad to offer it
Q: Lasers and other devices?
A: Some practitioners, quick to increase their profits are jumping into the latest fads in hair removal by purchasing expensive lasers and other devices that promise permanent hair removal. Once this investment is made they often become willing to sell you on modalities that have not proven effective simply to recover their costs. Some practitioners place ads under the Electrolysis section of the phone book as a way to lure you into these other methods. Needle-type Electrolysis is the only method that has been approved by the FDA for the right to claim permanent hair removal and has been used safely and effectively for over 150 years.
Q: How long does it take?
A: Although the number of treatments required varies with each client, those clients that adhere to the recommended treatment schedule usually accomplish their goal between 12 to 18 months. Some improvement should be observed within several months after initiating treatment, provided the patient adheres to the recommended treatment schedule. 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 may influence the treatment program. It is very important to adhere to the recommended treatment program set up by your electrologist. Those who do so will achieve permanent results in the shortest time frame.
Q: Does the frequency of treatments have bearing on success?
A: The more frequent the treatment, the better the results! Regrowth is most vulnerable when it first reappears. If the hair is not immediately treated, the hair will rebuild its strength and negate the effectiveness of the initial treatment. Therefore, it is very important for a client to participate in a planned program of electrolysis.
Q: Are all hairs eliminated in one treatment or is regrowth to be expected?
A: Deep, coarse hairs cannot always be eliminated with one treatment; thus breaking down the hair germ cells may require additional treatments. During the course of treatment and due to the cyclic nature of hair growth, new hairs as well as hairs emerging from a dormant phase will also be treated and may be visible the same time as finer regrowth hairs.
Q: What is the normal growth cycle of a hair?
A: 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 follicles.
Q: Do electrologists follow appropriate Infection Control Precautions?
A: The American Electrology Association (AEA) with the assistance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) developed national Infection Control Standards which include sterilization of all electrology instruments. At Laurel's Electrolysis, we use new pre-sterilized disposable probes for every treatment and sterilize all instruments.
Q: Does electrolysis damage the skin
A: 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. It is important to remember that scabs are a part of the normal healing process and will not cause any permanent damage if they are not picked off. When electrolysis is administered by a competent electrologist using modern equipment and current techniques, there should be no visible skin damage. At Laurel's Electrolysis, we discuss with you specific post treatment care to promote proper healing.
Q: Can unwanted hair be removed from anywhere on the body?
A: Unwanted hair can be safely removed from most body areas. The most common areas include the hairline, bridge of nose, eyebrows, upper and lower lip, cheeks, sideburns, shin, neck, shoulders, arms and underarms, breasts, abdomen, bikini line, legs, back and chest. Electrolysis is very helpful for treating ingrown hairs, which frequently cause irritation in the beard area. The inside of ears and nose should not be treated. A physician's approval is necessary before an electrologist can remove hair from a mole or a birthmark.
Q: Who receives electrolysis?
A: Electrolysis is a safe, permanent process of hair removal that can be applied to anyone. You are not alone if you are embarrassed by unwanted hair. As many as 90% of men and women may be affected by unsightly hair.
Q: Why do I have excess hair?
A: There are many causes of excessive hair growth stemming from puberty to normal system changes (pregnancy and menopause can also create problematic areas on women). Other reasons for this condition can be medication, stress, systemic, skin irritations and even genetic. These are just a few of the causes, and you will find that electrolysis is the most effective cure.
Q: Can women begin or continue electrolysis treatments during pregnancy?
A: Although electrology has never been proven harmful to pregnant women, we suggest that you seek the advice of your physician before beginning treatment.
Q: Is the cost effective?
A: The over-all benefits from permanency outweigh the cost. Regained self-assurance and individual confidence along with other psychological benefits can mean a new life for you. Continuous use of temporary methods over a period of many years will cost you more in dollars, time and embarrassment. Permanency means forever, and something which lasts forever means an investment. What better investment in one's self than a lifetime of freedom from unwanted hair?
Q: Does electrolysis hurt?
A: One of the greatest fears of someone considering this process is that there is pain involved. Although there may be some discomfort, this varies with the individual undergoing the treatment. Even though some parts of the body are more sensitive than other, topical anesthetics can be used to make the treatment more comfortable.
Q: Will my treatments be confidential?
A: As your electrologist, I know that your treatments are a private, delicate subject for you. Therefore, you can depend on the utmost privacy throughout and after your treatments