Is electrolysis safe? Who can benefit from treatments? How long has it been around?
Electrolysis has been around since 1875, first used by Dr. Charles Michel, an Ophthalmologist who treated ingrown eyelashes. The US FDA reconfirmed in 2007 that Electrolysis is the only safe and permanent method of hair removal. Electrologists often receive referrals from medical professionals to encourage treatments for preoperative surgeries, endocrine imbalances, conditions, syndromes and treatment for our Transgender community. 100% safe for use directly on tattoos, scars, and moles (with medical approval), breastfeeding mothers, diabetics, blood donors, etc. Effective with any hair pigment or skin colour. Even works effectively on fine vellus "peach fuzz".
How does it work? Why does it take so long?
A sterilized filament is chosen to match the diameter of the hair shaft size. Following all public health regulations of sterilization techniques including cleansing skin with an antiseptic, your setting is personalized based on your pain tolerance, moisture gradient and size and density of hair. At the skin's natural pore that encases the hair shaft, a sterilized filament is gently inserted to the angle of the hair, then the specific current. This current navigates down the filament alongside the follicle structure to the lower matrix (germinative cells) and to the dermal papilla that feeds the growth cells with tiny blood vessels.
Not only does this method destroy the germinative growth cells, but it also coagulates tissue in the dermal papilla which ultimately cuts off blood supply to any remaining growth cells. This method does take on average between 12-18 months (more or less), as it works best when treating the active (Anagen) growth stage of your hair. During treatment we don't always catch the Anagen hairs, as some are Telogen (resting phase), or Catagen which is the brief transitional phase between growing and resting; lasting a few days to a few weeks.
Due to these three growth stages, frequent and longer appointments are required to clear the area at the beginning of the treatment. During the course of treatment, usually after 9 months, the visits will become shorter and less frequent as you see the fantastic and satisfying results.
What are the causes of unwanted hair?
While most of us seek Electrolysis for cosmetic or social reasons, there are many other factors to be considered why you may have Superfluous hair (overgrowth) or Hirsutism (male pattern hair growth in women). The three main physiological factors for woman are: puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
There are three other topics to consider as the causes of unwanted hair.
Congenital - Inherited hypertrichosis, growth patterns, racial or genetic factors.
Topical - Manual irritation to skin that increases blood supply which can cause vellus hairs to grow to terminal hairs. (waxing, tweezing)
Systemic (Normal) - Endocrines/Hormones entering into the blood supply. Our bodies catalyst needed for growth, puberty, behaviour, internal processes and automatic processes, regulation of food, electrolytes and water.
Systemic (Abnormal) - Can be caused by:
Endocrine conditions (Hashimoto's Disease, congenital adrenal hyperplasia)
Pathological conditions (Glandular defect, disease, infection, androgen secreting tumour in ovaries or adrenal glands, which is rare)
Syndromes (Polycystic ovary syndrome, Cushing's syndrome, nutritional deficiency)
Surgical (sex gland removal, full hysterectomy causing menopause)
Medicine (minoxidil, Androgel, Rogaine, danazol, DHEA)
Stress (Adrenal glands are activated)
I always encourage you to see your Medical Doctor, an Endocrinologist or specialist that can help determine the cause of your unwanted hair if it's of an unknown origin or of a medical concern or matter.
Galvanic, Thermolysis and the Blend method.
Galvanic is using a Direct Current. When the filament is in the follicle and the current is applied, moisture and salt molecules that are present in your skin break down to produce a chemical reaction which creates Lye. This caustic agent breaks down the moisture rich base of the follicle and its many layers.
Thermolysis uses a High frequency or Oscillating current. It relies too on your body's moisture gradient, as water is the most conductive substance. When this current is applied the molecules of water agitate back and forth. The higher the frequency, the faster the molecules bounce off each other and produce heat. This degrades the follicle by depleting or drying the tissue to hinder it's growth whilst coagulating the tissue which feeds nourishment to the hair growth cells.
The Blend is the baby of Galvanic and Thermolysis. Truly the best of both methods, covering any disadvantages of either single method. While each current works independently, their benefits can be combined for the most effective treatment. The Lye is heated while using the blend technique and is shown to increase the capacity to destroy the hair follicle. The facts backed by science and studies are tremendous, book a consultation today!