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The Electrolysis hair removal process is the only FDA approved method for permanent hair removal. It can be used on various parts of the body wherever unwanted hair exists other than the ones ears, nose or from a mole or troubled skin areas. The procedure is not a painless one but the techniques and instruments have improved thus providing a better experience from years ago. One should educate themselves on the procedure and what to expect as there are different methods each with its various perceived positives and negatives. I would also recommend finding not only a qualified Electrologist but ask around about peoples experiences with them to ensure your satisfaction. Some areas do not necessarily require a license or certificate for the procedure so it is imperative that you find a good practitioner. Do not be shy to ask any questions or voice concerns if you have any with them.
Why Have Electrolysis?
Many people have hair or excessive hair in areas of their body they would like to permanently remove. This could be a result of a genetic trait, where members of their family also tend to grow the hair in a similar area or it could be a hormonal issue. There is also just the matter of how one perceives the appearance of hair in areas or is tired of trying to shave it away. Many people choose to have areas such as bikini lines, excessively thick eyebrows, armpits, legs, stomach, back, areas of the face etc.
How does Electrolysis Work?
Basically it involves the Electrologist inserting a needle into each and every hair follicle of the unwanted hair. This process is obviously a little time consuming as a result. Once the needles has been inserted, an electrical pulse is sent down the needle and causes damage to the hair follicle in such a way that it no longer grows, or that is the intent, as mentioned it sometimes takes multiple treatments to ensure the hair it truly dead. Some people report some minor pain with the treatment. What tends to dictate the degree of discomfort during the procedure are issues like skin sensitivity, how course the hair is, and a person's overall ability to endure irritation. Generally people are willing to put up with these issues knowing the benefits they will have in the end of having unwanted hair permanently gone. Occasionally additional treatments may be required to completely eliminate the unwanted hair.
How much does Electrolysis Cost?
This is quit a vague question as it can cost different amounts depending on what state/country etc you are looking to have it done in. Also generally speaking a more qualified practitioner will charge more based on their experience and expertise. To give a ballpark idea of costs you could be looking at $25 to $100 an hour. Each body part varies on the time it takes to do. For example an upper lip may take from 4 to 10 hours where as a chin may take from 2 to 12 hours, and a bikini line from 8 to 16 hours. These times tend to depend on the size of the area treated, the curvature of the hair follicle, ones skin sensitivity and the skill/precision of the practitioner.
The Three Methods
A specific current is sent down the needle after inserted. This then causes the fluid by the hair follicle to vibrate quickly thus causing heat, kind of like a microwave oven, but applied vary precisely. This heat then permanently damages the hair follicle. This method tends to be faster but less reliable that the Galvanic Method.
In this method it is not the frequency that directly causes the damage to the hair follicle but instead, the electrical charge causes a chemical reaction creating sodium hydroxide, a strong base (also known more commonly as Lye) that burns it and causes permanent damage.
The Blend Method
This is just how it sounds, it is a combination of the above two methods in hopes that a little of each will help to destroy the hair follicle more effectively. This system may or may not however actually work any better than either one method above, it depends on each individual.
Potential Side Effects
Potential side effects could include redness of the skin, this could also include dryness, blisters, swelling, and scabs. If these issues are bad enough it could lead to permanent damage to the skin or possible infections, however the more severe issues are very rare. Other possible problems could be that it didn't work very well or that you get full or partial hair regrowth.
The American Academy of Dermatology has developed an excellent resource for information about acne and skin diseases. Excellent resources and research articles on skin conditions can be found online at the Archives of Dermatology.
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