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  • Writer's pictureHollywood Institute

Exploring the World of Electrology: Unraveling Myths and Facts

When it comes to hair, there’s no shortage of removal methods. Shaving, tweezing, plucking, threading, waxing, sugaring, epilating, lasering, and many other options are now at the consumers’ disposal. The correct choice depends on the type of results someone is looking for — and the amount of time and money they want to invest in hair removal.

One option that’s been gaining popularity lately, thanks in no small part to social media, has stood the test of time: Electrology.

Electrology Explained

Electrology, more commonly referred to as electrolysis, is a procedure that uses a fine needle or probe to administer a mild electrical current into the hair follicle to damage it permanently, if not eradicate it. This causes the hair to fall out — to never return, at least that’s the goal.

Understanding Electrology Modalities

There are three approaches (i.e., modalities) to electrolysis, and the dermatologist or electrologist will determine which approach will best work for your skin color and hair type. These approaches include:

  1. Thermolysis. Thermolysis is the most common, partly because it is less painful than the other options. It’s also quicker. This approach uses a mild electrical current alone to destroy the hair follicle.

  2. Galvanic. Galvanic uses a combination of heat and chemicals to destroy the hair follicle. Unlike thermolysis, this approach can lead to pain.

  3. Blend. Blend is the use of both thermolysis and galvanic approaches to destroy the hair follicle. It’s often used on individuals with thick or curly hair.

Dispelling the Common Myths About Electrolysis

Personal experience, lack of knowledge, and simply inaccurate information are just a few of the reasons why there are so many misconceptions about every beauty product or procedure on the market today. Electrology is no exception. So, let’s try to dispel a few of them:

  • Electrolysis is painful. One of the most common myths about electrolysis involves its pain level. Though the procedure isn’t pain-free, it doesn’t often hurt as much as you might think. Many people liken the sensation to pinching or tingling. The dermatologist or electrologist will administer a topical numbing cream to the treatment area to mitigate any sensation experienced during the procedure.

  • Electrolysis is only temporary. Though some people will require follow-up sessions, electrolysis is the only hair removal procedure recognized by the FDA and AMA as permanent.

  • Electrolysis isn’t for everyone. While the thickness and density of hair play a crucial role in determining the number of required treatments for visible results, electrolysis remains efficacious across all skin tones and hair types. Consultation with a dermatologist or electrologist is recommended to gain insights into anticipated outcomes and estimate the requisite number of sessions for successful removal of unwanted hair.

  • Electrolysis can only treat small areas. Another of the most common myths about electrolysis comes down to the treatment area, with many people believing it’s best suited for the upper lip, eyebrows, chin, bikini line, and other small body areas. While treating large areas (i.e., back, chest, thighs, shins, etc.) can be time-consuming, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities. Virtually any area someone wants bare can usually be treated.

  • Electrolysis can be done at home. While you can find electrolysis devices claiming to be suitable for home use, that’s not the case. For one, they don’t provide the same result. They’re often not safe. Of all the facts of electro hair removal, the most important is that treatment should always be left to trained professionals.

  • Electrolysis will scar. When performed by a licensed professional, there is little risk of scarring — or infection, for that matter. People usually experience some redness in the treatment area after the session, but this usually clears up within a day or two. People with darker skin may see dark spots begin to form. These, too, are only temporary. It’s often advisable to consult with a dermatologist or electrologist when experiencing any side effects.

  • Electrolysis is the same as laser hair removal. Though electrolysis and laser hair removal target the follicles under the skin, the procedures are not the same. Electrolysis relies on an electrical current to eradicate the hair follicle, whereas laser hair removal utilizes heat to impair the follicle. Because of this, the results will be vastly different. Electrolysis is permanent, as mentioned before. Laser hair removal is not. The hair grows back, often finer and lighter color than before treatment.

If you’d like more information about electrology or are interested in enrolling and enhancing your skills in the beauty industry, Hollywood Institute would love to hear from you. Contact us today.


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