The battle with unwanted hair, and the removal of it, is for many an ongoing one. Waxing and shaving, the most popular methods of hair removal, offer good results, but unfortunately not permanent ones. The effects from these procedures are only temporary, meaning that the hair will always grow back within a matter of days or weeks. Maintaining the hair removal is therefore a continue process.

However, Electrolysis is one form of hair removal which gives permanent results. The British Institute and Association of Electrolysis (BIAE) recognises that “Electrolysis is the only medically approved form of permanent hair removal.” Electrolysis works by completely destroying the hair follicle, so that it will never grow back again.

This hair removal method involves inserting a metal probe (needle, a disposable sterile needle for each treatment) into the hair follicle to the Dermal Papilla (the base of the follicle). An electrical current is then discharged to cauterise the follicle, preventing re-growth. Each hair is probed individually and then removed using tweezers.

The sensitivity of the skin and the condition, strength and location of the hair determine the treatment plan. The time between treatments will vary depending on the area of skin to be treated and the density of hairs. For example, for treatment on the face, an average time of about 2 weeks should be allowed between treatments.

For most people 1 course of treatment will not be sufficient to permanently remove all unwanted hair, this is due to the following reasons:

1. Wavy hairs: if the hair is naturally wavy, the follicles are often distorted and difficult to reach with the tip of the probe. A number of treatments are often required to ensure that the follicle is fully destroyed.

2. Previous epilation: if a patient has been tweezing or waxing prior to the electrolysis treatment, then it is likely that some of the active follicles will not be noticed during treatment (as they will be hairless). Hairs from these follicles are likely to emerge after the treatment and give the impression that the electrolysis treatment was ineffective.

3. Sensitive skin: if the client has sensitive skin, the treatment will need to be done in stages so as to prevent permanent skin damage.

4. Hormone imbalance: this is often the reason for excessive hair re-growth. If this is suspected then it is advisable to consult a doctor prior to further treatment.

Electrolysis can be used on any area of the body but it is most commonly used to remove small areas of unwanted hair that cannot be removed by other methods, such as hair on the upper lip, arms, toes, the chin and sides of the face. There are no side effects from electrolysis. Some people may experience some redness on the skin immediately after the treatment, but this will soon subside. 

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