Back from Tokyo

Even after having been in Japan several times, I always get myself in trouble with this “high-tech digital/gadget culture.” This time, the “digital toilet” got me!

Actually, there is nothing I’m doing with a toilet that needs to be “digital.” But there it was anyway in my beautiful “Keio Plaza Hotel” suite: buttons, flashing LED lights and a long list of operating instructions. Operating instructions for a toilet?

As I usually do, I just got to it and didn’t read the instructions. I picked the wrong button. Let’s just say I got “the surprise of my life!” I had no idea a toilet would do what that thing did to me! The next time, I read the instructions.

We did several days of hard work and I was impressed with the curiosity and dedication of the TBC group. With 2,500 employees (600 electrologists) this is quite an amazing enterprise.

I did four magazine interviews and a TV spot. These were major periodicals with one having a subscription base of 12 million. As you can see by the photo of the make-up artist … he had a lot of trouble getting the light off my big chin!

It was a fun time, but I’m happy to be home. And, I like “analogue toilets” much better!”

Good to know that even surrounded by such high-tech, electrology still has an important role in Japan.

Digital or not, the man still has basic needs.

Here are a few photos of one of TBC’s Spas (417 in all). I’m enchanted by the “Asian style” that is pure simplicity, elegant design and pure function. I wanted to share these photos with my friends on Hairtell, to show this amazing sophistication in design. Maybe this will give a few of you some design ideas?

This particular spa is in the heart of Tokyo and offers all cosmetic procedures (and all hair removal modalities) available today. TBC is “promoting electrolysis” to the younger market and that is my role as a “new member” of the writing staff. I’m looking forward to a very exciting year of working with these forward-looking people.


I’m going to ask the question I’m sure everyone is thinking.

Splain exactly what that toilet did to you.

Hurrah Michael!!! Tokyo! Well done you!

Oh … well … let’s just say the thing turned into a fountain (fire hose?). The instructions said “not for men to use!” Took me a while to figure the thing out! YIKES!

WOW, leading to 600 (I can hardly 3) This figure is impressive, if only this company has hired all these electrologists, I wonder how many more there will be in this country. And considering that in this part of Asia people are not very hairy. With a population of 127 million people, the average electrologists, per inhabitant is about 1:211.000. In Oslo there are 5 professional of electrology, 1:100,000 inhabitants. Lots of work for five pairs of hands, right?.

Hi Jossie …

Actually, one of the big misconceptions is that “Asians have no hair.” Indeed, compared to Europeans that is true. But also true is that they want NO HAIR whatsoever!

Japanese men typically remove all the (scant) lower leg hair, and under arm hair (most have no upper leg hair). Interestingly, all the 2,000 TBC health professionals are trained in electrolysis (and laser) too. So that does make up a very large group. They are almost like a country, compared to Europe and America. And, they are very busy!

Unlike our hair-removal model that sometimes focuses a lot on PCOS, hormone problems and transsexuals, this is not the case in Japan. They focus on young, healthy and active people (“normal”) who are only looking to improve their appearance. And, this is their primary clientele.

But the Japanese people do have a great attitude towar cosmetic chirurgy either, don’t they?

In that respect, the mentality of people in Japan seems to differ a lot, especially from what i am dealing with in Germany where it is pretty difficult to start even a small business as a full time electrologist.

Love Tokyo! Hope you checked out the Harajuko district.

p.s. Some high end Japanese restaurants have these toilets in the US. Morimoto in NYC for example.

Michael I’m curious to know what type of electrology methods are popular in Japan? For example we have this West Coast v. East Coast divide when it comes to Blend v. Flash. Are there unique peculiarities with Japanese electrology that we don’t see in the U.S. or elsewhere? Also curious to know if Japan has indigenous electrolysis machines or they import the major brands we all know?

Hi Fenix …

TBC manufactures their own machine (and only for their own use). These units are spectacular. They do everything. They rely, mostly, on thermolysis … automatic and computerized. They have mastered this technique to the nth degree. I’m impressed! (The machines look like “Tokyo at night!”)

They have one curious function that I was originally skeptical about. The large computer screen has an illustration of a woman with “touch buttons” on each area of the body. These “buttons” automatically set the machine for the area of hair growth (but you can then make minor adjustments).

At first, I thought this was a preposterous idea: What would happen if the person had a small hair on the underarms and another had a large-size hair? Then, of course, I realized how similar the Japanese population is. They don’t have folks from all types of ethnic backgrounds (like we do in America). So, actually this “pre-set” technology works for them; and works very well. Hair patterns and sizes are probably 90% predictable in Japan.

I have some photos of the machine, but will ask TBC’s permission to post them first. They also have some great innovations, but I’m probably restricted in saying much about these. (They may actually be ahead of us in technique and innovation.) But then you know me AND MY BIG FAT MOUTH? I seriously have to watch myself all the time! I always want to share everything with everybody!

Michael I don’t doubt the Japanese and their innovative potential. Are they trying to keep these innovations purely for domestic market or are they keeping it hush hush because they’re trying to introduce their technologies to our side of the pond some day?

Well, one thing I can say with absolute certainty: they are not interested in anything other than their own enterprise. Believe me, they have their hands full with all they are doing.

HUMOR … in advertising?

I don’t think TBC would mind me sharing these with you. These are glossy “file” handouts and the images are part of their advertising. Frankly, I don’t “get it.” These two I “sort of ‘get’,” but the others (not shown) … don’t “compute” with me at all. Kind of funny? I don’t actually get the one with the guy at all (do you?). I suppose you just have to “be there?” Anyway … as they say “enjoy!”

There are so many things I want to know about the practice of Electrolysis in Japan that I can not waste this opportunity.

Michael, I know that your texts are very popular there, to the point that they were translated into Japanese, but how far your recommendations are implemented? Do they often use the strategy “wait, clear, wait”? Do they use the two-handed technique? Can they predict in advance the TTT? Do they work on large areas of the body such as arms, legs, etc?

New role of Associations (?)

The changes that have taken place in only the last few years are stunning beyond anyone’s expectations. The “democratization” of the world in all areas of human endeavor has moved at the speed of light: well, at the speed of the internet.

If there is ANY role for “professional associations,” these roles need to be reconsidered and clearly defined. Yet, our national associations solder-on with misconceptions about “advertising and getting the word out,” and, for the most part, have not understood the fundamental shift that has taken place. The old plans, conceptions and skirmishes continue on while, at the same time, the very ground on which they stand has completely changed.

It was almost laughable in Japan, because I was the oldest guy in the conference room. The marketing department (mostly kids in their 20s) would, as I spoke, give me big smiles and an occasional “thumbs up.” I could see their eyes “light up.” The older guys didn’t know exactly what I was talking about. Nicely, the company has handed the “next phase” over to the young people and now this “old geezer” is working with the kids! My key message to TBC, was to give the whole project “to the kids!” They DID! A few key themes that I’ve developed:

We must understand that the younger generation is completely immune to advertising. They are unimpressed with celebrity endorsements. Indeed, they are been inundated their entire lives with advertising to the point that NONE OF IT is even seen any more. And, they can see through BS in a New York minute.

Also, nothing “private” and nothing “for professionals only” and nothing for “members only.” A website that has this restriction might as well flush the whole thing down the digital toilet. People want information immediately and it all has to be FREE … or, they go somewhere else. (Again, learned from our own Hairtell.)

The key theme we are using at TBC (and I learned this from Hairtell) is PATIENT EMPOWERMENT! And that means total fact with nothing hidden, nothing advertised, and nothing made to look good. Many other tid-bits I’ve come up with … but I don’t want to write another “book” here.

Have any of our national associations understood these monumental changes? Are they still thinking they need to “get the word out there?” All of our past enterprises are more-or-less becoming obsolete. We all need to take a good hard look at the totally new landscape out there. And, I’m excited about it! Oh yeah!

Historically we know the phenomenal changes that happened to societies with the development of the radio. The INTERNET is MUCH bigger!

You got it! I’m on my chair applauding every word you said. Exciting times!

Not all who are old are geezers by the way. The young will always need , benefit from being in the circle of humanity which very much includes the elders. A real and meaningful connection to those with life experienced is a huge gift especially when they find that person also enlivened by the sharing and still passionate about their craft ! The recipe you spoke of is how we will EVOLVE.

I think it is very simplistic to keep things free and to speak and share together about what we do and want we observe when we disable hair follicles with electrolysis and laser. I like simple and I like free advice. I also like to trip and choke the scammers who prey on innocent people who are trying to get rid of hair. Thus, that is why I hang around Hairtell. Besides, I love all my colleagues here who have the same passion as I do to assist the hairy in their time of need.

Yes, I admire these concepts and I am grateful for the Internet.

Bless the hairy in their time of need. NOW THAT IS a GREAT prayer. And you must be an angel!