Electrolysis is a way of removing individual hairs from the face or body. Today's medical electrolysis devices destroy the growth center of the hair with chemical or heat energy. A very fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle at the surface of the skin. The hair is then removed with tweezers.
What Causes Unwanted Hair Growth?
Hair growth is the result of heredity and hormonal levels. Also, some drugs, temporary methods of hair removal, and some illnesses can stimulate hair growth. Usually, hair growth is desirable. But when the hair is the wrong part of your body -- a woman's upper lip or chin or bikini line, for example -- you may be considering electrolysis.
How Many Electrolysis Treatments Will I Need?
Since many factors influence hair growth, you will need to return for several electrolysis visits. The total number of sessions needed to remove hair permanently from a particular area will vary from person to person. Most clients return once a week or every other week, as necessary. But the unwanted hair will be gone forever once the series of treatments have been completed. Each treatment lasts between 15 minutes and one hour.
Myths About Electrolysis
Electrolysis is painful. The truth is, electrolysis usually does not cause much discomfort. Modern electrolysis methods have reduced the discomfort to a mere tingling. A topical anesthetic 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.
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Temporary methods of hair removal can be better. Chemical depilatories (liquids or creams) are often used to remove body hair. These products contain irritating chemicals, and can be time-consuming and messy. Likewise, bleaches contain harsh chemicals and do little to disguise dark hair. They may also discolor the skin. Waxing is another temporary method of hair removal and is usually done in salons. A hot wax is applied to the skin and removed once it has dried over the hair. The hair is stripped off when the wax is removed. Waxing can be painful and costly. Home waxing kits are available, but they can be difficult to use and messy. 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.
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