Electrolysis in Austin
Electrolysis is the only FDA approved treatment that can tout being permanent hair removal (versus hair reduction like laser hair removal). It has been around for a very long time, and its tried and true nature has kept it at the forefront of the hair removal treatments we provide — even with the rise of laser hair removal.
Electrolysis can be used on most parts of the body and on all different skin types. Electrolysis is a method of removing individual hairs from the face or body. Today’s medical electrolysis devices destroy the growth center of the hair with chemical or heat energy. After a very fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle, the follicle releases it’s grip on the hair, and the hair is then lifted out with tweezers.
Most areas of the body can be treated with electrolysis, including the eyebrows, face, abdomen, thighs, breasts, and legs. There are generally no permanent side effects, but sometimes a temporary, slight reddening of the skin may occur. Electrolysis is especially beneficial when used in conjunction with Laser Hair Removal as lasers are only able to treat those hairs that have melanin or pigment present. For any remaining hairs that a patient would like to have removed, electrolysis is the way to go!
Is electrolysis safe?
Electrolysis has been used for over 130 years, it has been approved as a safe and legitimate permanent hair removal method by the FDA, the US Food and Drug Administration, who are responsible for public health and safety.
Millions of people have been treated with electrolysis and it has by far the best track record for both results and safety.
To put things into perspective, laser hair removal has only been around for 30 years, just a quarter of this length of time. So, whereas the long term side effects of laser hair removal are still being monitored, electrolysis has a proven track record.
Does Electrolysis Work on All Hair Types?
Unlike laser hair removal, which is mainly suited for dark hair and light skin, electrolysis is suitable for all types and colour of hair.
The color of the hair or the skin bears no relation to the effectiveness of electrolysis.
What Types of Electrolysis are there?
There are three types of electrolysis: thermolysis, galvanic and blend. Here is a brief explanation of the three types:
- Thermolysis – a tiny needle (about the thickness of a hair) is inserted into the follicle of the hair being treated and a high frequency alternating electrical current is applied. The electrical current heats up the surrounding tissue and disables the follicle, causing the hair to fall out.
- Galvanic – This is a similar process to thermolysis, except a direct electrical current (as opposed to alternating) is applied which causes a chemical reaction in the salt water solution that surrounds the root of the hair, which in turn denatures the follicle. Galvanic is slower (taking up to 30 seconds) for each hair to be treated and is the least favored option for most electrologists.
- Blend – This is simply a mixture of the two types of treatment. With this method, more tissue can be destroyed but drawback is the time required to treat each hair is significantly longer than thermolysis.
Are there any types of electrolysis to avoid?
Some clinics may claim to do transdermal electrolysis which works by applying electrical current above the surface of the skin rather than to the follicle directly. This is not a very effective method of electrolysis because hair is a poor conductor of electricity and, consequently, only a small amount of the tissue surrounding the hair follicle is affected.
This is the type of electrolysis used in home devices.
We recommend avoiding this type of electrolysis due to its being a largely ineffective method of hair removal.
I’m afraid of needles. Will I be all right?
Whilst it is true that a really thin needle like device is slid into the hair follicle, the size of the needle is so small that the skin is not even punctured.
It is nothing like having an injection or giving blood, where the skin is punctured and often a bruise may remain for a number of days.
Most people who are scared of needles and injections have no problem with receiving electrolysis treatment.
Can Electrolysis give me Permanent Hair Removal?
In a word – yes.
Electrolysis is the only method of hair removal that has been medically proven to give permanent hair removal in all cases providing the procedure is correctly delivered.
The FDA has even approved electrolysis for permanent hair removal. Here is what the FDA says about electrolysis:
“Electrolysis is considered a permanent hair removal method, since it destroys the hair follicle. It requires a series of appointments over a period of time.”
The US Food and Drug Administration have deemed that electrolysis is the only method of hair removal that can be considered permanent on their Removing Hair Safely page.
How long does it take to achieve permanent hair removal?
There are many factors at play here and so it is very difficult to give an accurate prediction.
Electrolysis can only be applied to a hair if it is in the anagen (growing) phase. These phases occur months apart – therefore it’s impossible to have a single electrolysis session on its own and achieve complete hair removal.
In most cases you’ll need to have a number of electrolysis sessions over the period of least 12 months to achieve full permanent hair removal.
I had permanent hair removal by electrolysis performed years ago, but now I am having hair grow back. Is it really permanent?
In reality, these aren’t new follicles (they’ve always existed) but are simply triggered into producing hair through various triggers in your body.
Even after electrolysis, new follicles that weren’t active during the treatment (thus were not treated) can become active, leading to the appearance that old follicles have been reactivated.
Changes in hormone levels are a common trigger for bringing to life a dormant follicle. This is why it’s sometimes difficult for the consumer to understand exactly what “permanent” means when it comes to reduction and removal.
Here are some other triggers for hair growth:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Insulin resistance
While electrolysis is the only method of hair removal that has been approved by the FDA as being “permanent hair removal”, it still does not prevent the activation of new follicles that weren’t previously active at the time of treatment.
With that in mind, it’s still physically possible to grow new hairs in an area that was treated – they just aren’t coming from the previously denatured follicles. Of course, to the average consumer, this is not often fully understood, and most salons are not always keen to run through the finer points, of which this is one.