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Frequently Asked Questions

The History of Electrolysis

1875- The first person to use electrolysis for hair removal was Dr. Charles E. Michel (1833-1913), a St. Louis, Missouri ophthalmologist (eye doctor) who, in 1875 reported the results of his use of electrolysis in trichiasis (ingrown eyelashes) (St. Louis Clinical Record, October, 1875, 2:145-148). He had been performing electrolysis since 1869.

What is Electrolysis?

Electrolysis is the art of permanent hair removal. Using state-of-the-art technology, a minute amount of electricity is gently applied to the base of the follicle. This process destroys the hair growth tissue. Therefore, the regenerative ability of the hair follicle is permanently eliminated.

There are 3 modalities used in electrolysis:

Galvanic (direct current) electrolysis: the hair is destroyed by chemical action.

Thermolysis (high frequency) electrolysis: the hair root is destroyed by heat production.

Blend Electrolysis:

A combination of the above two modalities where the hair root is destroyed by both heat and chemical action.

How Does Electrolysis Work?

A very fine sterilized filament is inserted into the hair follicle, which is a natural opening in the skin. The skin is not pierced or broken. Once the filament has been inserted, a small amount of current is applied. The current cauterizes the papilla, which is the tiny capillary responsible for causing the hair to grow. The current loosens the hair within the follicle, so with tweezers the hair slides out effortlessly. It is important to note that the hair is not being tweezed by force. You do not feel the insertion into the follicle or the removal of the hair. The current is felt, but is tolerable for most people. The procedure is repeated for each hair in the area. The blood supply to the hair is diminished with each treatment, and subsequent hairs grow back finer. Eventually the blood supply to hair is completely destroyed, and the follicle cannot produce another hair.

Is Electrolysis Safe?


At Glow Electrolysis we follow the American Electrology Association (AEA) standards for infection control which ensure electrolysis is performed under the highest standards of cleanliness and safety and supersede California State Standards.

Unlike other practices we utilize only sealed pre-sterilized probes for all treatments, we NEVER re-process and reuse probes! We always utilize fresh, latex-free medical grade disposable gloves for each treatment.

What Does Electrolysis Feel Like?

Every client reacts differently to treatment. Some clients feel nothing more than a warm sensation while others may feel the procedure is somewhat uncomfortable. Very rarely is electrolysis intolerable.

Your electrologist will adjust the amount of current as much as possible to accommodate each individual. A topical anesthesia can be applied if desired.

Topical anesthesia is available over the counter (check with your physician).

Are There Any Side Effects?

Immediately following treatment, there may be a slight redness and/or swelling which usually disappears within a few a minutes to a few hours.

Though not desirable on face work, small white dots or tiny red dots may appear. On body work a pinpoint film or crust may develop. Ideally by the next day no one should be able to tell you have had treatment.

It is important to remember that scabs are a part of the normal healing process in some people. If this does occur, the client is advised to not pick them off.

Be sure and tell your Electrologist about any skin reactions so they can work with you to minimize their occurrence. 

Why Should I Choose Electrolysis Over Other Hair Removal Methods?

If you want permanent hair removal, electrolysis is the ONLY way to achieve this goal.

Fact: Electrolysis is the only FDA-approved permanent hair removal treatment. Laser hair removal treatments are not approved by the FDA for permanent hair removal. They are approved for permanent hair REDUCTION. Laser hair removal is also temporary.

Fact: Waxing, plucking and shaving are temporary and these methods can actually increase hair growth in hormonally dependent areas such as the upper lip, chin, breasts, and abdomen.

Can Pregnant Women have Electrolysis?

It is perfectly safe to treat pregnant women, but the breasts and abdomen are avoided after the sixth month of pregnancy.

Can Hair Be Removed from Anywhere on the Body?


Hair can be removed from almost any part of the body.

Some common areas include the hairline, eyebrows, top of the nose, cheeks, side-burn area, upper and lower lip, chin, throat, neck, shoulders, back, chest, breasts, abdomen, arms, legs, bikini line, hands, feet, toes, fingers, and ears.

Hair on the eyelashes, inside the nose and the ear canal are only treated under the supervision of a physician.

Can Hair from Moles be Removed?


Your electrologist may require a note (on a prescription pad is fine) from your healthcare provider stating it is a typical hairy nevus (mole with hair) and safe to treat.

The potential side effect of treating a benign nevus with electrolysis is a flattening of the mole to the skin surface and a lightening of the color.

If you love your beauty mark to be prominent and dark this may not be the method for you.

Hairy moles may be treated with written permission from a physician.

Are there any Circumstances when Electrolysis is Not Safe?


I cannot work on clients that have pacemakers or defibrillators.

I cannot work on the lower body of diabetics due to poor circulation.

How Many Treatments are Necessary?

Electrolysis requires a series of treatments given over a period of time. The length of time varies from person to person and is dependent on many factors.

The density and coarseness of the hair, as well as the total area to be treated, are very important.

How well you tolerate treatments and the consistency of the treatments affect the overall success.

Many hairs will be permanently removed after the first treatment while some will require additional treatment to achieve permanency.

Treatments will be more frequent in the beginning and less frequent later on. The overall results are permanent. Hair-free skin is well worth the time spent.

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