Anyone know if it's true, that plucking 'distorts' follical....


and therefore makes electrolysis harder (becuase it would be harder for them to find/manuver the tip into the follicle? Most electrolysist says this, but sometimes i just gotta pluck so that i don’t see those black dots on my chin. Thanks.


This is definitely an often-repeated claim with little hard data to back it up.

It is possible to injure a follicle by plucking a hair. It’s kind of like pulling a dandelion from your yard and having part of the root stay in the ground. It will keep growing, but depending on how it got torn out, it might grow at a slightly different angle, etc.

Repeated plucking causes minor scarring and even skin coloration changes in some people. I know an African-American woman whose skin around her eyebrows had a slightly different color due to a lot of plucking.

Wheter or not the ditorted follicles claim is true or not, it’s definitely in your won best interest not to pluck while getting professional electrolysis. All it does is increase the time to completion. If possible, schedule treatments at regular intervals so you can get hairs as they come in. It’s better to go 15 minutes once or twice a week than an hour a month and pluck in between.


I think you just answered another question of mine. What colour was that change, did it turn into a light green? That’s what i’m getting around my lip. I’m AA as well, although more light skinned. Now, if there is scarring, then wouldn’t you consider that damage? or is that damage closer to the top of the skin, and not the follical. What could be causing that damage, the root being wider than the pore opening? (?)


There are lots of little skin structures around the follicle that can get damaged when you tear or burn a hair out. One of them is called melanocytes, which produce pigment in skin and hair. Plucking can stimulate or destroy melanocytes. That’s what can make the skin look lighter or darker than non-plucked areas.

The same effect can happen from laser or electrolysis. The color change is usually a temporary thing, but repeated damage to melanocytes can cause permanent change in pigment.

This may be happening from plucking, but the greenish look might also be from hairs under the skin, or possibly debris for hair removal treatments (called “tombstones”) which can get embedded under the skin.

People with AA heritage face some of the most difficult hair removal challenges, which is why it’s important to take extra care in choosing methods and practitioners. A lot more can go wrong for those with darker skin tones.


Thank you very much again Andrea, i have never heard of those two things. Great. Is there anything other than time that will heal these things (the mecolites or tombstones) or are the too deep within the skin. I just bought a really expensive collagen stimulator fluid, maybe that would help.


Moisturizing and exfoliating will help bring these to the surface sooner. Never try to pick or squeeze them out, or you could cause a lot of skin damage.


Okay, i will try adding a chemical exfoliant to this area on a regular basis, along with being sure to moisturize. I usually just shave now, so that should prevent more of this from occuring. Thank you.

[ July 15, 2002, 07:26 AM: Message edited by: Tonic ]


Oh, but one more thing to add to this, my experience with Electrolysis on my Bikini line is that the hairs towards the back (that had not been waxed as much) had an easier time being removed, as in, less incidents of having to go back in with a needle a second or third time before it came smoothly out. Maybe 15-25% of hairs on a given session were hard to find the follicle, zap, and remove, vs. the back hairs (rarely waxed) maybe 5%-10%. So maybe there is something to this truth.


True, and since thermolysis is supposedly not as effective on distorted follicles (according to the conventional wisdom, anyway), it might be better to go with galvani or blend if you’ve plucked or waxed a lot.


Okay, i’m gonna give blend another shot on lip and chin. What about cheeks? Do you think that would be an okay place for blend? and are the needles the same, (i usally request insulated bulbous tip). thanks again.


The needles are the same, but they might use a narrower gauge if the hairs are thinner there.