1year later and still taking the same amt of time?

Hello hairtell,

I have always lurked these forums for years and it is time for me to reach out!

I started a committed electrolysis schedule one year ago on the upperlip. I went in for full clearances, which took 2 hours. I go in every 3 weeks (sometimes it has been 2, sometimes 4, but never more than 4) for a full clearance each time. It still always takes 2 hours. I wish I had taken pictures at the beginning, but I have only now done so since a month ago. My electrologist says my tolerance is very good and the most reaction I have received has been some redness. Within a few hours you cant tell anything has been done. I believe she used galvanic because I held onto something. She had mentioned once that she uses blend for larger diameter hairs and uses thermo for fine ones.

One month ago I had to move out of state and search for a new electrologist (painful!). She uses flash and I said I like to do full clearances, so she said this would be quicker. We booked an hour because she said 2 hours seemed like a very long time to work on the uppelip. As she worked on me, after a half hour she said my skin looked pretty good, was amazing, and I tolerate it really well so she slowly added on another hour (in 15min increments “maybe another 15min”). She cleared the area in 2hours, I got a little red immediately after as usual. However the days after Ive had a lot of what I think is scabbing, which Ive never had before. This got me to rethinking everything!

-why does it still take 2 hours for me to clear my upperlip if I go in every 3 weeks? it has been 12 months and I was hoping that by this time, each time I go in would be shorter and shorter.
-should I be concerned that with a different practitioner Ive had a much different reaction? The skin feels really dry, tight, and lots of pinpoint redness, white dots, and it leaked out some yellow stuff which Im hoping and guessing is normal-but Ive never had this in the past 11 months of treatment. It is different. Does this mean the past 11 months werent working? Or is this method just too harsh?

I would like to say that I think most of my hairs are finer now, and I know I had thicker ones before, but the density is still the same to a year ago. Again I wish I had kept pictures at the beginning but they depressed me at that time. I am usually hairless one week after treatment, I start growing hair the 2nd week, and by the third week I feel that there is enough to work on.

Thank you all for your help.

I know colleagues will not agree with me … but, the following is based ONLY on my professional experience.

2-hours on an upper lip is too much. From my experience, you would only have two outcomes in doing such a long session: 1) the hairs are basically tweezed, or 2) you get overtreated.

Being “at it and committed” for a year, and having no results should answer your question for you.

Check the following website (link below). My hours of completing electrolysis work match Fino Gior’s, even though we use different electrolysis methods.

Look at what his average is for completing the upper lip. Unless you have a real “male beard,” your TTT (total treatment time) should generally match what you’re seeing on his chart.

I think your new electrologist is probably killing hairs … but please do not micro-manage the treatments by demanding more time on the table. Two-hours with a real “hair killer” is too much time (my opinion) and will give you the side-effects of which you speak.


I agree that, unfortunately, the previous electrologist was under-treating the area. Two hours in the upper lip can not be done without getting a lot of swelling for the next 2 or 3 days (if the hairs were actually being killed), but this does not mean that the area is being overtreated.

I feel quite defeated now. I really hoped after a year that things would be different. I have seen a handful of electrologists and they all told me my skin and I seem to tolerate it very well and I believed them.

Ive attached pictures if that is helpful to see what 3-4 weeks growth looks like and what my side effects looked like. Im not sure what I want to do now. The thought of spending hundreds every month for another year at least is hard to take in at the moment.

qwerty Attachments

9.9.14 taken 6 days after full clearance - old electro.JPG

9.29 26 days after full clearance zoomed up right before treatment with new electrologist - Copy.JPG

9.29.14 1 hour after treatment - new electro.JPG

9.30.14 morning after treatment - Copy.JPG

10.2.14 3 days after clearance with new electro - Copy.JPG

I see nothing out of the ordinary. There inflammation concentrated in the central area where it seems that there were more density of treated hairs.
There are obvious bald spots on the sides of the lip where the hairs are usually thicker, which means your previous electrologist did a good job. A damn SLOW and EXPENSIVE work, but good work, after all.

Are you male or female?

All I can say is, I work on upper lips for longer than 15 or 20 minutes routinely, using PicoFlash thermolysis, mixed in with some Synchro thermolysis, depending on the hair structures presented. The upper lip has all sizes of hair structures in those beginning treatments especially, so I switch back and forth between modalities routinely.

New cases for first full clearance does reach the hour mark, sometimes 90 minutes. Swelling lasts for 1-3 days. Scabbing is not a huge problem. There may be some pin point scabs, but many times, there are none. I use the biggest probes possible.

All this is possible to do as long as specific skill and equipment is used, otherwise, one should go slower. We always stress to consumers that electrologists present with different strategies and skill levels. Do not push for them to do what they are not comfortable doing. There are many paths for removing hair with electrolysis. The purpose of me posting on this subject is to explain what I do and my way is not the only ‘right’ way. Here some pictures to help with this discussion:

Then (pre-electrolysis on upper lip):

(Note: the redness on the right area below the right lower lip shows where I removed the hair before I started working on the upper lip)

Now (September 2014). ALL DONE WITH FLASH THERMOLYSIS, SPECIFICALLY, PICOFLASH AND SYNCHRO. These modalities offer ‘one and done’ treatment on each follicle. The hair slides out without traction (no under treatment and no over treatment, all accomplished with less than a second burst of energy per follicle).

All modalities of electrolysis work. Flash thermolysis works, too, specifically, the ones I choose to use on the epilator I choose to use.

Pre-electrolysis session on middle upper lip:

After 52 minutes of treatment - cleared.

It should not take two hours to clear your upper lip after a year of regular treatments if energy levels were adequate and insertions were perfect.

Thank you so much for your responses. I feel like I am talking with celebrities!

I am a female in my 20s. I have ovarian failure (it is like premature menopause) and I take estrogen for it. My testosterone is fine. I mostly blame ethnicity. I remember being made fun of for having a mustache when I was in first grade (6 years old)!

Based off of many helpful threads in this forum, I realized my “side effects” were normal, but that was not my concern. My concern is that the time to clear was not going down. Since I had side effects it was just a time to reflect on how long I have been doing this all.

When I went in to my first appointment with my old electrologist, I had actually only booked a half hour? Maybe an hour? Definitely not more than that. It was her who chose to do a full clearance in the 2 hours, so I thought that this is the norm. I remember lying down on the table feeling like “wow this is going on for a long time” but I did not want to speak up. An electrologist prior to her that I did not see routinely had told me 30min is the max so I wasnt expecting more. After she cleared it, of course I loved the look of it so I figured this was the way to go. The new electrologist when I told her I was doing 2 hours seemed very surprised, so I said lets just book an hour. As the appt went on, she said my skin looked fine and was tolerating her treatment well, and that we can do another 15 min. Then another. Then another. So it came up to 2 hours.

In any case, I really hope the past year has not been useless. I want to do the right thing and I want to believe in electrolysis. I feel that most of the hairs are fine but dense so it gives a dark color when left.

Should I just go in hourly now? Should I give electrolysis a break to see how much growth happens? Thank you!

I’m so happy to have seen my post and Dee’s post juxtaposed right here together. And, here’s the point you should be gleaning from what we have both connoted.

You must find an electrologist that “specializes” in doing soft fine hair … the type you have on your upper lip. If you interview other “zapperettes,” please be sure to ask them what their basic practice encompasses, specifically: fine upper lip hairs on women.

My own practice focuses on heavy male (and female) hair. All body work and nice “fat juicy” facial hairs: beard or near-beard diameter. My entire practice is set-up for long procedures and full clearances of tough hairs.

When clients come in for a consultation, and have the type of hairs you have, I send them to Karen Stathis who does wonderful work on women’s faces and eyebrows. I send Karen a LOT of clients. She sends me the backs and underarms.

A worthy electrologist will have only ONE concern (and professional directive): Satisfy ONLY the client’s needs … above everything else! If you know someone else will do a better job than you … send the client to the best person for the specific job. It’s ALL about the client!

So that it’s clear, the treatment time of a single session in any particular area is not what determines whether one is left with permanent marks or over-treatment. One can be left with marks after a session of just fifteen minutes and on the other hand, after a session of two hours, be eventually left with a skin that is perfect.
A client came to me having had a session of less than fifteen minutes on the upper lip which left a permanent scar. Since then, we have worked on the area for much longer sessions without any problem.

I am curious to know if you ever felt a lot of traction when the hair was tweezed after the treatment with your old electrologist. Or did the hair just slide out?

I had the worst session today where the place I am a regular at substituted my electrologist with someone else without telling me. The lady basically gave me a very expensive upper lip tweeze. The funny bit was when she kept mentioning the fact that she was one of the top students in her class and had won some awards. Another strange thing she did was to tweeze hairs without zapping them first.

I did not feel plucking with my previous electrologist. I mean, its hard to say. What I would feel is the insertion, then a slight burning sensation (I believe this was the current being applied), then the coming out feeling. I dont think she even used tweezers (whereas I know the new electro has this switching method between the electrology probe thing and then tweezers after every single pulse). Every so often it felt like something is coming out, but its not really a pluck sensation. I actually think it wouldve been more painful if it was all plucking. I do feel like my coarser hairs arent as plentiful, but the density of hairs are the same it seems (kicking myself for not keeping pics!). She also mentioned to me during sessions that the goal is for the hair to slide out so she was aware of it. I dont believe she was trying to rip me off at all. I cant really explain whats happened.

Sorry estee about your session. That really sucks. I wish there was a good way of choosing a proper electrologist. It has started to make me paranoid =( If anyone recommends someone in my area, please let me know!

Thanks dfahey for the pics-the second pic showing the middle upper lip shows the kind of texture I have as well. Too bad you are in the midwest. What are you doing out there? =)

Thanks Michael for summarizing and giving me advice I can be proactive about. Im not sure how I will ask the new electrologist “do you even specialize in facial hair!” without offending her, but I can ask her if she feels comfortable doing this project? And ask her if she thinks we are doing the right thing? I asked the old electrologist if she could do my legs, and she said that no, it would be too big of a project for her. So at least I know my old electro was more comfortable with the face.

Josefa, I think you were trying to clear something up but I think it left me more confused. So if my 2hour session with the new electrologist left me with normal side effects that cleared after a week, I could safely and effectively continue doing this since it doesnt matter the time taken as long as the strategy and skill is proper?

Ive decided to post 1 week pics. The scabbing is all gone now but the area feels a bit dry. There are definitely hair patches coming through already. There are “bald spots” but well see how it looks in 2 weeks before the next session.

I really wish the people on this forum lived near me. Or you all can form a mobile electrology van and help us all over the world. Could be a fun way to travel and explore!

qwerty Attachments

10.6.14 1 week aftr clearance with new electro diff lighting - Copy.JPG

10.6.14 1 wk after clearance with new electro - Copy.JPG