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Hair Removal by Electrolysis - Is it Right for You?

By Clive Chansa

Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal technique that works by destroying individual hair follicles so that hair can no longer grow. Here's how it works. Being careful not to puncture the skin, a slender probe is inserted into a hair follicle. Once inserted, an electrical current is passed through to the end of the probe, at which point a chemical reaction takes place. The reaction causes the salt and water molecules located in the follicle to change into lye which loosens the hair and causes permanent damage to the follicle base. The loosened hair is gently pulled out with tweezers. This process is repeated at every follicle where hair is to be removed.

While this process has the best track record for permanency, electrolysis can be painful and expensive. And because it's tedious, this method is not recommended for large areas of removal. In addition, numerous treatments are often necessary. It's recommended that this process is performed by an experienced technician because if done improperly, the skin can be irreparably damaged or the follicle may not be properly altered which can lead to hair regrowth. Because this procedure involves the use of probes, it's of utmost importance that properly sterilized equipment is used to reduce the risk of infection.

Home electrolysis methods are not as dependable as electrolysis treatment provided by experts with professional equipment. Electrolysis can result in permanent hair removal if the right equipment and techniques are used. Read the label and warnings carefully before you purchase or use any home electrolysis equipment. Choose only equipment that comes with a blunt needle that gets inserted alongside of the hair follicle. 'Electric tweezers' do not provide good results. Use a depilatory or wax the area to be treated before using electrolysis. Wait for the hair to start to return and then begin the electrolysis process.

Hair responds better to electrolysis when it is in the growing cycle rather than once it is fully emerged. Keep your equipment clean and sterilized. Serious infection can result from using a dirty needle. Work on only a square inch at a time. Expect skin swelling after the treatment. Because most home electrolysis treatments do not result in permanent hair removal, you may have to repeat the process every other month.

Successful electrolysis usually requires considerable time and money. It also requires a series of treatments over a period of time. The success of electrolysis self-treatment depends largely on the condition of the hair and skin, the equipment, and the level of skill developed.


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