Frequently Asked Questions
about Hair Removal
General Hair Growth
What causes excessive hair growth?
Unwanted hair growth can be caused by a variety of reasons including:
- Hormonal Changes
- Reactions to certain Medications
- Psychological Issues
- Glandular or Hormonal Imbalances
- Normal Hormonal Changes at Different Stages of Life
- Excessive Waxing, Tweezing, and other Temporary Methods of Hair Removal
What is the normal growth cycle of hair?
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.
What are the stages of hair growth?
There are three phases of hair growth – Anagen (active), Catagen (regression) and Telogen (resting). Electrolysis is designed to treat the hair during the Anagen phase of growth. Laser treatment is designed to treat hair in the Anagen phase as well.
What happens when you shave?
You are just cutting off the end of the hair – an outgrowth from the follicle. The follicle is still alive and will regenerate more hair over and over again.
What effects the length of hair treatments?
Length of treatment can be effected by age, ethnicity, weight, hormones, diet, medication and metabolism.
Is electrolysis permanent?
Yes, because it permanently destroys the hair root, which is the part that makes the hair grow back (regenerate). It is the only truly permanent method of hair removal.
How does electrolysis work?
A very fine sterile probe is inserted along the side of the hair in the follicle, and a very quick electric current is directed to the hair root, destroying the hair growth tissue so each hair can be easily removed. The regenerative ability of the hair follicle is permanently eliminated so hair will not grow back.
Since hair grows in stages, additional growth may reappear, but subsequent follow-up visits and following the suggested regime will result in permanency.
Is electrolysis painful?
Discomfort during electrolysis is relative to each individual and the area(s) being treated. There is a pinch sensation when the hair root is destroyed because each follicle is surrounded by a network of nerve endings. Some parts of the body are more sensitive than others. Some people find treatments on the upper lip and inner thigh slightly uncomfortable, while others say they feel nothing more than a slight tingling or heat sensation. There is less discomfort on the legs, forearms and chest. Topical anesthetic cream (which numbs the skin) is an option for more sensitive areas or for people who have very sensitive skin.
Does electrolysis work for men?
Yes, it can permanently remove face and neck hair, bushy eyebrows, and hair on the back, neck, chest, fingers and toes. It is especially effective for areas that are prone to have ingrown hairs.
Is electrolysis safe, effective, and approved?
Probe (needle) type electrolysis is the only safe method of permanent hair removal that is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What do I do about the hair between electrolysis treatments?
Do not pluck or wax! If necessary, trim the hair with a pair of scissors or nip the hair with a razor (depending on the area on the body). Some women bleach the upper lip and sides of their face. Bleaching is acceptable as long as it is done the week before your next appointment. This time allowance is necessary because bleach can sometimes cut some hairs, so it is possible that not all the hairs in the area will be raised up enough above the skin's surface less than a week after you bleach.
What are the side effects from electrolysis?
Immediately following treatment, there may be a slight redness and/or swelling which usually disappears within a few hours. For some individuals, it may take slightly longer. An ice pack or cold compress can reduce side effects.
For 24 hours after a treatment on the face, it is best to apply the least amount of cosmetics as possible. Be careful with sun exposure. It is always recommended to avoid UVB/UVA rays. Apply sun block (with an SPF of at least 15) every two to three hours for maximum results.
How long does electrolysis take to achieve permanency?
An electrolysis treatment program must be tailored to meet the needs of each individual. Certain factors determine the number and length of treatments:
- Number of hairs in the area
- Sensitivity of the skin
- Area to be treated
- Previous methods of hair removal – tweezing, waxing or depilatories
The closer you adhere to your treatment schedule, the more effective your treatment program will be in helping you free yourself of unwanted hair forever.
How many electrolysis treatments are needed?
Treatments will be more frequent in the beginning and less frequent as your course of treatment progresses. Eventually, the hair in the area being treated will cease to grow from the follicles in that particular area. For example, work on the chin, sides of face, eyebrows and upper lip areas require one or two visits per week in 15 to 30 minute sessions. This regime is continued for approximately two months to avoid the temptation of plucking or waxing.
Are all hairs eliminated from one spot after electrolysis treatment?
Deep, coarse hairs are not always eliminated after one treatment. Due to the cyclic nature of hair growth, new hairs, as well as hairs emerging from a dormant phase, will be treated at the same time; thus, it will take several treatments of an area to ensure that most hairs in the area are eliminated.
Why should I choose laser over electrolysis?
Laser is a quick and effective method to permanently reduce and remove unwanted hair, especially on larger areas of the body such as the legs, back, bikini area and underarms.
How does laser work?
A gentle beam of light is emitted and passes through the skin to the hair follicle and is absorbed by the follicle (which is underneath the skin’s surface) and disables it. The laser destroys the follicle with the heat that it generates. The destroyed hairs are either dissolved within the skin or rejected by the body (fall out) within a few days.
Unlike hair removal methods that focus on removing individual hairs, laser treatments quickly treat a larger area of hair at one time.
Is laser permanent?
Results vary depending on skin and hair type. It is approximately 80-90% effective for permanent hair removal, and for hair that does return, it is lighter and softer.
Is laser painful?
It depends on the sensitivity of each individual. There is a pinch sensation when the hair root is destroyed. Some parts of the body are more sensitive than others. Some people describe the sensation as feeling like a snap of a rubber band. Others say the feel a slight stinging sensation as laser pulses are applied. Many say it is much less painful than waxing.
How many laser treatments are necessary?
Several things affect the number of treatments and they vary from person to person. Since laser hair removal impairs the growth of hair follicles only when they are in the growth cycle (Anagen phase) at the time of treatment, not all follicles become impaired.
In addition, not all hair follicles are at the same stage at the same time. Thus, for effective permanent hair removal, most people require at least four to six treatments to achieve their desired results.
The number of treatments also depends upon the area being treated, density of your hair and the growth cycle. It is also affected by age, ethnicity, weight, hormones, diet, medication and metabolism.
How long does each laser session take?
The length of time depends on the area of the body that is being treated and the density of the hair in that area. For example,back and legs take longer than underarms and bikini area (close to one hour vs. 10 minutes).
Are their any side effects to laser treatments?
After a laser session, you might experience a slight reddening of the skin (like a faint sunburn) which will dissipate anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on area of body that was treated and the person’s skin sensitivity. People with darker skin may experience a temporary change in pigment that will dissipate after a few days.