Electrolysis is the only FDA,/Medically approved method of permanent hair removal. This life-changing treatment is performed by inserting a very fine, flexible needle into each follicle. A tiny amount of current is released which destroys the lower part of the follicle. Electrolysis is suitable for any gender, any skin tone and any hair colour. It is perfect for dealing with white, grey or non-pigmented hairs that other methods cannot treat. More people have had their lives changed by electrolysis than can possibly be imagined. Electrolysis was discovered by Dr Charles Michel, Ophthalmologist, in 1875 when he used it to remove ingrown eyelashes. Since that first treatment, electrolysis has been refined and perfected into the modern methods used around the world today.
I tried Electrolysis once, it didn’t work
This is a bit like going to the gym once and expecting to walk out with a supermodel body. Not going to happen (sadly) Electrolysis is progressive, it takes time, patience, dedication from both electrologist and client for permanent results which are truly life changing.
I have facial hair. Why? What can I do about it?
Androgen/Testosterone/Hormone Imbalance led superfluous facial hair in ladies.
These are very tricky questions to answer as there can be so many physiological variables. This can depend on so many different things such as – where the hair growth is situated, how much is visible, the type of hair growth, the reason for the hair growth (genetic, hormonal, medical reasons, PCOS etc), how long it’s been there for, what methods of removal have been used so far. Self perception also plays a large part.
At any point in time there is only a small amount of hair growth visible, even though there can be as many as 300-500 follicles per square centimetre of skin, meaning a huge number of follicles lying dormant under the surface out of view. Regular appointments are needed at first as not all superfluous hair is growing at the same time. This is called the ‘Hair Growth Cycle’
If these hairs have been previously tweezed, waxed or threaded at all, this knocks the hair growth cycle completely out of sync. As these hairs have effectively been ‘ripped’ out taking epidermal skin with them and creating a follicular bleed (ever tweezed a hair then noticed a blood spot?) these follicles will be super-nourished by this blood which feeds the hair-growing stem and germ cells. Both the hormonal influences and follicular stimulation produce bigger and stronger hairs which become resistant to treatment.
“When it comes to the hair growth cycle, a good comparison is – you weed your garden one weekend and throw all the weeds into the bin. Next weekend? Loads more weeds have appeared! These aren’t the same weeds that have come back (those old ones are dead in the bin) these are the new batch that have decided to grow. Hair growth is really quite similar”
So how does it work?
Electrolysis is the only FDA/Medically approved method of permanent hair removal. A very fine, flexible needle is inserted into each follicle. A tiny amount of current is released at the lower part of the follicle, destroying the blood supply, stem and germ cells which are all responsible for growing hair.
How much treatment will I need?
Most clients are recommended weekly or fortnightly treatments for the first 2-3 months. This time-frame allows hairs which were previously tweezed to regrow and allows us to see what extent of growth must be dealt with. It is normal to find the 10-15 or so hairs clients thought they had and were repeatedly tweezing, are closer to 100-150 in number.
Within 3-6 months the majority of clients will find their appointments have both greatly reduced in time and have stretched out to monthly timings. We carry on spacing out appointments for the next few months. Appointments become few and far between. We aim to get to the stage where clients don’t require set appointments and only contact us when they feel an individual need.
Every client is given a treatment plan which is constantly reviewed.
I don’t have strong hair, just ‘downy fluff’ What can be done about this?
We don’t treat vellus hair with electrolysis. We would recommend either Dermaplaning or Downy Hair Management using alkaline wash. Please note, although very effective neither of these methods are permanent. They are temporary fixes to give a better cosmetic finish.
What about body hair?
Body hair has a slightly different process. It isn’t generally controlled by hormonal influences so it’s cleared in a different way. However, elements to take into consideration are- The length of time the hair has been there for, how much hair is there, the area in question, the final requested outcome, the age of the client, previous removal methods, the tolerance of the skin and also the tolerance of the client. We also have to take into consideration how often a client can visit and how long for. (body areas can involve up to 3 hours of treatment every week initially) Once all of this has been discussed a treatment programme can be devised. As you can imagine, it is almost impossible to answer this without seeing the area and going through a full consultation. Please note, Tina no longer takes on backs or legs. Underarm and bikini are decided case by case, also taking into account current capacity.
What equipment do you use?
We primarily use the Apilus xCell Pur with Synchro upgrade.
27.12MHz of computerised genius for faster, more comfortable results. With the energy concentration of the Apilus xCell Pur it is possible to obtain results more rapidly with this piece of equipment than with any other epilator currently available.
We also have several Sterex SXB’s, the Nokia of the electrolysis world! Strong, stable and reliable.
We work from a bank of pre-sterilised, single use, disposable needles which all vary in length, girth, flexibility and material. At the start of each appointment the area will be re-assessed and the correct needle chosen. Brands used are Pro-Tec, Sterex, Ballet and IBP
Custom designed and produced Carl Zeiss surgical loupes which bring an unprecedented level of magnification.
Any electrolysis equipment which is not disposable is sterilised using a Prestige Medical Autoclave.
Who carries out the treatment?
Tina, the clinical director is the specialising electrologist within the clinic. She qualified with distinction in electrolysis permanent hair removal over 25 years ago, discovering a true passion which has remained with her to this day. She then furthered her training and achieved another distinction in post-graduate advanced electrolysis, a specialised method of treatment which treats cosmetic blemishes. For many years Tina was the Scottish National Trainer for Sterex Electrolysis International Ltd. She also co-judged their coveted Sterex student of the year award. She was the consultant trainer for their Transgender Electrolysis course which she helped to pioneer. The bulk of her work is pre & post operative face & donor site transgender electrolysis and works with gender affirmation health professionals across the country. She also carries out pre & post skin graft hair removal on behalf of the NHS. She is the current electrolysis advisor to both the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland. She has owned and managed several electrolysis & skin clinics throughout Scotland and now dedicates her time solely to her clinic in Dunfermline, Fife. This clinic continues to go from strength to strength and has an enviable reputation. It was nominated for ‘Aesthetic Clinic of the Year 2017’
Tina is proud to be a member of The British Institute & Association of Electrolysis (BIAE) a UK-wide group of elite electrologists who are passionate about what they do.
Kitty joined the team over a year ago and under the mentorship of Tina she has gradually taken on more and more electrolysis clients. 70% of her time in clinic now involves electrolysis. Originally from a a holistic background she has an empathy which is appreciated by all the clients she meets. She primarily deals with face (PCOS clients in particular) but also enjoys having a couple of underarm or bikini clients on the go! She is currently building her case studies in preparation for the The British Institute & Association of Electrolysis (BIAE)
Tell me more about the British Institute and Association of Electrolysis
The BIAE is our governing body. They demand a high standard of skill and ethical conduct from all of its members in order to provide a professional and reliable Electrolysis service to the public. Candidate Electrologists must complete a rigorous assessment, both theoretically and practically before being accepted onto the register. Members of the BIAE are required to submit a large amount of CPD points each year. Tina has proudly been a member since October 1999, Kitty is currently working on her case studies to enable her to be assessed for membership.
How do I manage between appointments?
You can still remove hair between appointments by cutting or shaving just so long as there is enough to show where the hair is on the day of your appointment but do not be tempted to tweeze or wax. Ideally appointments should be often enough that you don’t even think about any re-growth.
So what about laser or IPL?
We have had a number of clients suffer from Paradoxical Laser Hypertrichosis. We see it most frequently on the face, neck and torso.
Now, in theory, laser creates heat, but while electrolysis specifically target structures within the follicle to a permanent end, the laser isn’t anywhere near as precise. Rather than certain destruction of the structures, we see partial destruction that may extend the duration of the dormant stage. During this stage, the hair follicle regenerates from its thousands of germ and stem cells which is why we are seeing regrowth 3-10 years after laser treatment
This can be a far worse problem than what the client originally presented with. Due to IPL and Laser being non-permanent we do not recommend it for face or any gender work. However, If you are looking for legs, bikini or underarms to be treated, it gives adequate, long term removal.