What is Electrolysis and how does it work?

electrolysis in whangarei

We offer electrolysis in Whangarei


Electrolysis treatment is a method used to remove hair permanently. Using sterile, disposable needles which are very fine, this state-of-the-art technique destroys the cells which cause hair growth.  By passing a very low current of electricity through the needle, which has been inserted into the hair follicle into the area which nourishes the hair (called the papilla) this destroys the hair follicle’s ability to regenerate, thus permanently preventing regrowth.

Laser/IPL Treatment

This treatment is not equivalent to electrolysis as it DOES NOT permanently remove hair.

The FDI has researched this method and concluded that laser assisted removal of hair has not been proved to give permanent results and practitioners of these systems cannot claim that they do.  Long term aspects of patient’s health and skin after treatments have not been fully evaluated either at this time.    Some Laser/IPL treatments have been approved by the FDA as a permanent hair reduction technique in that hair growth can be slowed or reduced but not permanently removed.

Whereas electrolysis individually prevents another hair growing in that follicle Laser/IPL treatments tend to cover larger areas of hair growth and will retard growth but not stop it fully, hence further treatments will eventually become necessary and it is called reduction rather than removal.  We cannot endorse any brand of this method nor are we affiliated to any clinic or company which practices it.  No legislation exists in New Zealand at present with regard to this treatment which basically means anyone can purchase and use these high-tech machines with possible unsafe results.  If you are thinking of using this method we can only recommend that you discuss your requirements with a fully qualified Laser/IPL technician.

Look up www.fda.gov for more information on laser treatments.

Can Electrolysis really remove hair permanently?

The FDA has only one method approved for the permanent removal of hair and that is electrolysis.  No other method of hair removal has been clinically proven.

Electrolysis has been used for permanent hair removal for over 135 years and has been clinically proven to be an effective and safe treatment method.

What other temporary hair removal treatments are there?

Other commonly used methods of hair removal include chemical depilatories, waxing, tweezing and threading.  Whilst chemical depilatories can be harsh and irritating especially on people with sensitive skin the other three treatments can even aggravate skin conditions which are already problematic.  Waxing, tweezing and threading can irritate the skin and may result in pimples, pustules or ingrown hair.  To recap, these treatments are still only a temporary remedy.

Frequency of Electrolysis Treatments

Everybody has different hair density therefore every treatment is different, however in general it can take around a year or more to obtain the desired results.  This sounds a long time but although you think you have only 3 or 4 hairs in a certain area there may actually be more like 30 but growing one after the other.  As the hairs get finer over the course of  a treatment the time between appointments will lengthen but it takes about a year for every hair to break through the skin surface.  As well as the thickness of the hair you want treated other factors such as skin sensitivity can impact on the length of time it will take to comlete the process.  Appointments can be anything from a quarter of an hour to an hour depending on the size of the area to be treated.  We recommend an approach of little and often for your electrolysis sessions so starting treatment when you are likely to be away for an extended period or know you will be too busy to keep to the schedule are to be avoided.  We give a no obligation consultation to discuss all these matters with you, we cannot work out a treatment plan or give you advice without meeting you.  One important thing to remember is that although the treatment may take a year you will be able to see the difference with every treatment.

Painful facts!

Everybody has a different pain threshold and when you have your FREE consultation a few hairs will be treated to give you an idea of how much discomfort will be involved.  Different areas of the body and hair type as well as what hair removal treatments you have already been using can all impact on the sensation experienced by electrolysis.  Essentially the treatment is destroying follicle tissue which cannot but cause discomfort, however as well as settings being adjusted there are also topical numbing products which can be used.  Some people just find the pain annoying whilst others feel more discomfort.  It is quite acceptable to use medication such as Panadol which does seem to help.  Our pre-care instruction sheet gives more information.

Can Electrolysis be used on all areas?

The most common areas ladies have treated are chest, face, bikini line, abdomen, toes and fingers whilst men use the treatment more for top areas of the arms, back and nose, around the ears and ingrown hair around beard edges.  Basically any area can be treated safely with the exception of the inner areas of both the nose and ears (ear rims are fine).

Electrolysis during pregnancy

The first priority is to ensure both mother and baby are in good health and the Thermolysis Electrolysis method is preferred as contra-indications are fewer.  This method uses a very weak intensity of alternating current (AC) and poses no risk to either mother or baby but we would not recommend treatment on either abdominal or breast areas.  Speak to your GP or therapist about this issue.

Can I believe the claims – someone I know says it doesn’t work?

Reputable practitioners belong to “The Association of Registered Beauty Therapists New Zealand”, was the clinic they attended a member?  Yes electrolysis does work but the treatment must be done properly and we recommend our free consultation and the treatment of a small area to see what results are achieved.  There will be various reasons why someone is not happy with electrolysis treatment from consultation misunderstandings to sub standard treatment, or perhaps the person failed to complete the full course of treatment but still expected the same final result.

My usual treatment at least keeps my face relatively hair free whereas electrolysis will take months

You can cut or shave (even facial hair) between appointments providing enough is showing on the day of your treatment.

Excessive hair – causes

Studies done on this subject have concluded that three factors cause this – heredity, glandular problems and normal systemic changes.

Normal Systemic Changes are bodily functions such as pregnancy, hysterectomy, menopause and puberty.  Puberty has obvious signs of change in the body as well as hair growth.  With the onset of puberty the activity of hair follicles increases which can darken and thicken the hair shaft.  Hormone levels in women during reproductive changes can cause more hair to grow on the body and face.

Glandular Disturbances are caused by the endocrine system of the body which governs the physical development of the body.  Some medications can upset the balance of this system and one result can be altered hair growth.  Medication such as birth control and  male hormone pills as well as pregnancy can have an effect on the delicate endocrine system.

Hereditary Hirsutism is found throughout the world’s nationalities.  This problem can be solved permanently by Electrolysis no matter what nationality or type of hair growth.  It should be remembered, however, that some cases of high hair growth can be normal due to physiological changes the client is experiencing as conversely going bald is just a normal process usually being a hereditary condition.

Adrenalin release can also alter the condition of hair causing it to coarsen and become more obvious.  Emotional and physical stress can both stimulate the adrenal glands which initiate a reaction in hormone activity.  Tweezing and waxing can stimulate blood supply which can cause hair to grow darker and thicker but can also reduce hair growth in some people.

Hair growth cycle – is there a norm?

Hair on different areas of the body have their own growth cycle.  The scalp hair on people will have a two to four year life span wheras eyebrows and eyelashes fall out after around four months growth.  Once scalp hair has finished it’s life the follicle will rest for anything from several weeks to a few months before starting to regrow a hair.  Because of this time lapse and the fact that only visible hair can be treated each area has a four month initial treatment period.

Taking the above explanation into account it can be seen that perceived regrowth is in fact new hair being produced by a previously dormant follicle.  Electrolysis treatment is at it’s most effective when used on these newly growing hairs as soon as they are visible.

Side Effects of electrolysis treatment

Slight redness and sometimes swelling can occur following electrolysis treatment but this will usually disappear over a few hours following treatment.  Treated areas should be kept as clean as possible for a day after electrolysis as any bacteria entering the follicle may cause whiteheads, tiny scabs may also appear.  Do not pick off the scabs as they are the skin’s method  of healing.  Scabs are caused by lymph fluid being excreted because of underlying tissue trauma then drying on the skin’s surface.  These scabs may possibly be avoided by the application of anti bacterial ointment to areas which have been treated.  Our After Care information booklet will be given to you at your initial appointment so you can read more on this subject.  There should be no permanent damage to treated areas of skin if electrolysis is properly performed.

Cost of Electrolysis

As everybody’s hair thickness and growth is different it is impossible to give a finite cost of treatment.  Our consultant will be able to give an estimate on the cost of treatment you wish to have but this is also affected by the physiology of each person which may result in more appointments being necessary due to follicle resistance being above average.  There are too many variables regrettably to be able to quote a definite figure.