Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Common Questions About Permanent Hair
This FAQ is based on common questions asked of Electrology practitioners. The information below is not intended to provide a diagnosis or define a treatment. Please consult your electrologist before selecting a course of treatment.
What is Electrolysis?
Electrolysis is a method of removing hair from the human body by the application of an electrical current or any other form of energy to the hair-papilla or other source of hair germination by means of a needle or any other instrument or device to cause decomposition, coagulation, dehydration, or other form of tissue destruction, to permanently disable the hair follicle from producing hair.
Different methods of Electrolysis.
Short Wave Thermolysis is a method using high frequency or alternating current. This method creates heat to destroy the papilla and is faster than Blend or Galvanic
Galvanic is a method using direct current. Galvanic chemically decomposes the dermal papilla.
Blend is a combination of Galvanic and high frequency current of low intensity.
Laser/Electrolysis is hair removal by a Licensed Electrologist in Mass using a Laser or IPL device. Laser Hair Removal and IPL use different wavelengths of light to target melanin (color) in the hair follicle. The light is absorbed by the melanin in the hair and generates heat in the follicle. The heat causes vaporization, coagulation and thermal destruction within the follicle.
The hair must be dark in color. It is not an effective modality for people with red, white or blonde hair.
Why do I have excess hair growth?
Superfluous hair growth is often the result of normal biologic changes which both males and females undergo throughout life. As humans advance through puberty, pregnancies, menopause, midlife and ageing, fluctuations in hormone levels in both genders may cause increased hair
growth in areas which have never been affected. Excessive hair may also be due to such diverse causes as heredity, medication side-effects and stress. It can be associated with endocrine dysfunction which may cause irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian disorders, diabetes, or thyroid
How does it work?
The process of Electrolysis results in the permanent destruction of the germinating cells at the base of the hair follicle. Your Electrologist is trained to insert an ultra-fine probe into the opening of the hair follicle and once inserted, releases a measured amount of current to the root of the hair follicle. This process causes cellular destruction, dehydration, and coagulation of the hair root. After a series of treatments, this process will result in permanent hair removal results.
Electrolysis vs Laser/IPL?
Electrologists are often asked what method is best, Electrolysis or Laser/Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). An Electrologist is trained to determine the best method for each client’s unique hair removal problem. The information below can help you understand some similarities and differences between the two.
Electrolysis is a recognized method of permanent hair removal for all hair and skin color Electrolysis costs less per session, but on large areas of the body will cost more as you will need more sessions. Laser/IPL hair removal treatments cost more per session but can cover large areas in less time and will require fewer sessions.
Laser/IPL hair removal treatments do not work on hair that is void of color or pigment, ie. Red, Blonde, or white hair must be treated with Electrolysis.
Electrolysis is most always used on facial hair although in many cases Laser/IPL can be combined in the same treatment for optimal results.
Laser/IPL and Electrolysis are approved by the FDA. Both are effective methods to remove hair, the choice is often dependent on the extent of the area and cost to the client.
Are there side effects with Electrolysis?
After an Electrology treatment, the client may experience some edema, or minor swelling in the area that was treated. The extent of the swelling will depend on the amount of hair removed in the area. In many cases there is no swelling and most edema caused by Electrolysis is resolved from within minutes to a few hours, depending again on the extent of the amount of hair removed. An area with dense course hair will take longer for edema to subside than a few hairs scattered in an area. Your Electrologist is trained to recommend aftercare for after treatment.
Are Electrologists licensed in Massachusetts
Yes, a minimum training of 1,100 hours, at a State Board approved Electrology school, consisting of both didactic and practical education, is required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Upon successful completion at a state approved Electrology school, each candidate must pass a written and practical State Board examination. Successful completion of the state examination results in the issuance of a state license which allows the candidate the designation of Registered Electrologist and “Laser Electrologist.” Currently, Massachusetts is the only state that requires Electrology Schools to include Laser education in their Electrology training program.
Continuing Education: Electrology licenses are renewed every two years at which time the Electrologist must have satisfied the requirement of 10 hours (1.0 CEUs) of continuing education for license renewal. Three hours of CEUs must be on Sterilization. The Massachusetts Association of Electrologists offers a large base of educational seminars for Electrologists to participate in.
Why should I choose Electrolysis over temporary hair
Caution should be exercised when choosing a temporary method of hair removal. Temporary methods can irritate the skin and may result in skin irritation, ingrown hairs, and increased hair growth. These methods include tweezing, shaving, waxing, and depilatories. These temporary methods require a never-ending amount of attention and in most cases compound the problem. This is very frustrating and disappointing to the consumer. A consultation is highly recommended with an Electrologist in Massachusetts who is an expert in determining a treatment plan that is
best for your hair removal problem.
Will I have a consultation before treatment?
Your first visit should include a confidential consultation during which time your Health Assessment will be noted. Hair growth and the electrolysis procedure will be thoroughly explained, and all your
questions will be answered. Your practitioner will always welcome further discussion or offer clarification about your treatments. A Consultation is the most important step to understanding how your Electrologist will determine your treatment plan.
Do Electrologists follow appropriate infection prevention procedures?
A professional Electrology office can be recognized by a clean, professional environment, and consistent use of sterile, disposable probes, and sterile forceps (tweezers). Your practitioner will wear a fresh pair of examination gloves for each treatment and will welcome a discussion regarding the office's sterilization procedures.
All Electrologists licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are required to follow sanitation and sterilization procedures consistent with universal precautions. Massachusetts Electrologists must follow Infection Control Standards which were developed in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Members of MAE as affiliates to AEA adhere to the AEA Infection Prevention Standards.
How many treatments will I need?
Permanent results are best achieved by the faithful participation of each patient in a planned program that has been tailored to her/his individual needs. The time in which one achieves permanent results is dependent on such factors as one's medical circumstances, age, previous temporary hair removal methods used, the size of the area to be treated and the density of hair growth. An electrologist is trained to determine the frequency and treatment time necessary for each person to achieve permanent results.
Does Electrolysis hurt?
Some people may experience minimal discomfort with Electrolysis treatment. Since certain areas of the body are more sensitive to treatment than others, and each person interprets these experiences differently, the sensations associated with electrolysis will vary. Though most Electrology clients experience little discomfort, there are several very effective topical anesthetics available over the counter for those who do.
Does Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) cause excess hair growth?
Electrologists often see clients with PCOS. At your first visit, during the consultation, your Electrologist will review a Health History Assessment filled out by you. If there are signs of PCOS that are recognized in the Health History Assessment, the Electrologist will suggest scheduling an appointment with a physician or Endocrinologist, however, treatment can certainly begin prior to a physician’s diagnosis.
Proven safe and effective since 1875, electrolysis provides the best answer to the problem of unwanted hair.
Why do I have excess hair growth?
Superfluous hair growth is often the result of normal biologic changes which both males and females undergo throughout life. As humans advance through puberty, pregnancies, menopause, midlife and aging, fluctuations in hormone levels in both genders may cause increased hair growth in areas which have never been affected. Excessive hair may also be due to such diverse causes as heredity, medication side-effects and stress. It can be associated with endocrine dysfunction which may cause irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian disorders, diabetes, or thyroid irregularities.
Can hairs be removed from a mole?
Massachusetts-imposed rules and regulations appropriately preclude hair removal from mucous membranes, the breasts of a pregnant woman, moles (unless you can provide a written release from your physician), and any known area of communicable or suspicious skin conditions.