Hair Removal - Electrolysis
Electrolysis, laser hair removal and intense pulsed light are the only techniques that may provide a permanent result. Electrolysis involves the insertion of a small fine needle into the hair follicle, followed by a small electrical current that damages and eventually destroys the hair follicle. There are 3 different methods (modalities) to achieve this:
Two types of devices use electric current to remove hair: the needle epilator and the tweezers epilator.
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Needle epilators introduce a very fine wire close to the hair shaft, under the skin, and into the hair follicle. An electric current travels down the wire and destroys the hair root at the bottom of the follicle. The unattached hair is then removed with tweezers.
Electrolysis requires a series of treatments over a period of time. It's not just a one- or two-time thing. For example, the process for a forearm takes a series of appointments once a week for about a year. You may have a first clearing of both forearms in about eight hours of treatment over two months. After that, you have to catch the hairs that are coming in on a different cycle of growth. For the best results, you want to treat each hair during its active growing stage.
Electrolysis may not always be the best approach. Some men who begin electrolysis to get rid of the hair on their back soon stop, because it can be a huge, costly, and very time-consuming job, depending on the amount of hair.
More often men are treated for the area between the eyebrows, around the outside of the ears, and the shoulders.Women mostly come in for facial hair.
Myths About Electrolysis
Electrolysis is painful. The truth is, electrolysis usually does not cause any discomfort. Modern electrolysis methods have reduced any discomfort to a mere tingling. A topical anaesthetic may be used in some cases.
The electric tweezer method is permanent. The truth is, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Medical Association recognize only electrolysis as a permanent method of removing hair. In fact, some states prohibit those who use the electric tweezer - which can also be purchased for consumer use - from claiming it provides permanent hair removal.
Temporary methods of hair removal are better. The truth is, chemical depilatories (liquids or creams) are often used to remove leg hair. These products may work well for the legs but cannot be used on the face. Depilatories contain irritating chemicals, and they also can be time-consuming and messy. Likewise, bleaches contain harsh chemicals and do little to disguise dark hair. They may also discolor the skin. There are electrical electrolysis devices available for home use that try to copy the devices used by professionals. These devices are often unsafe for use by anyone who is not trained in electrolysis.
As with other hair removal options, success and possible side effects of the hair removal will vary by patient.
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