Electrolysis

Electrolysis

Basic facts

Permanent hair removal for most consumers if performed correctly (which requires considerable training and skill).

Description

A hair-thin metal probe is slid into a hair follicle.

Proper insertion does not puncture the skin.

Electricity is delivered to the follicle through the probe, which causes localized damage to the areas that generate hairs.

Advantages

By far the best and longest track record of results.

Over 125 years of clinically proven safety and effectiveness. [1]

Disadvantages

Can be expensive.

Can be painful.

Can be tedious.

Can be difficult for large amounts of hair.

If done improperly, it can result in:

partial to full regrowth

lasting skin damage

spread of infection

Regulation varies by state, so inadequate controls exist to ensure competent practitioners.

Regrowth rates have not been accurately established and cannot be predicted due to numerous variables.

Some consumers do not respond to treatment.

Quack claims

"Painless" or "virtually painless"

While many clients tolerate electrolysis without requiring pain relief, it's overpromise to state that treatment will be painless for all consumers.

"100% permanent"

The vast majority of patients experience permanent removal of treated hair over the course of treatment, but published studies have observed that between 7% and 10% of consumers did not have satisfactory results.

"Guaranteed 0% regrowth"

There is no published clinical data to substantiate this sort of overpromise.

“Easy to use” personal units

Small battery-powered probe units like the One Touch may claim to be easy to use, but performing electrolysis on yourself is very difficult and not recommended. [2, 3]

Items in this section:

> Electrology background, history, and clinical data

> How to choose an electrologist

> Pain management tips

> Do-it-yourself electrolysis

> Clinical data on electrolysis

> FDA clearances of electrolysis

> Electrolysis machine manufacturers

> Needle manufacturers

References

  1. Please see my selected list of published electrolysis medical literature.
  2. Caldwell IW. The electronic pencil. British Medical Journal, 1972, 03 Jun(813):591-592.
  3. Please see hairfacts.com for a discussion of home-use personal electrolysis units: cons and pros.