Beginning Electrolysis on Face

After doing quite a bit of research, I decided to go for electrolysis to get rid of my facial hair. I’m basically looking at doing my entire lower face - sideburns, cheeks, upper lip, & chin. I am 22, and have been previously waxing/threading/tweezing since I was 16 or so. After trying to look for an electrologist in my area (Toronto), I decided to just jump in for a consultation and go from there. So I went to this one lady downtown, and she basically just asked me if I’ve ever had electrolysis done before. When I said no, she took me into the room where she does it to show me what it’s all about, and just went at it for 3-4 hairs. She told me she’s been doing it since 1989, that it may take up to several months for the hair to be permanently cleared, and she also told me about the hair growth cycles, etc. She then told me she could do an hour on me right then and there, and I can think about buying a package of treatments afterwards if I wanted (5 hours for $300). After asking a couple more questions, I let her go ahead. During the treatment I asked her about the three different treatments (thermolysis, galvanic, and blend), and how she determines which one to use in which case. All she told me was the she is using blend on me, and blend is “the best”.

Now, after doing an initial clearance of the thicker, most noticeable hairs, I really liked what I saw (obviously, lack of hair is pleasing to my eye for a change!). She told me how to take care of it afterwards (no shower the same night, no make up until the next day, and she put some lotion on it for soothing purposes). I developed small red bumps that day, but by the next morning it was all clear and there was no sign of treatment on my face at all. My concern is being voiced by the big skeptic in me: it all seemed very rushed, and that worries me. Also, I did not notice how long she kept the needle inserted (I believe with blend it should be about 6-7 seconds or so?), because I only felt the pin-like feeling for a second at a time and she moved quite fast it seems. She wants me to come in after a week for the second treatment. I did notice she was plucking some of the finer hairs. HOWEVER, my skin did not react in any negative way, so that’s good? I just do not want to waste my time or money and am looking for some feedback on what to watch for.

Well, that reads ok, doesn’t it? 6-7 s insertion time is typical for traditional blend. If done properly and professionaly - and Your description indicates that - You are on the right path toward reaching Your goal.

The thing is, I am not sure if the insertion was 6-7 s long … I only felt a sensation for about 1 second per insertion. Is that a big deal, should I talk to her about it, or am I just overreacting haha? I don’t want to go for more sessions than I need to just because of her technique, ya know?

She may have been plucking some of the hairs because she saw they were in the telegen phase (dead and dried out bulb right near the surface). They would have been wasteful treatments (most likely) and it generally doesn’t hurt at all to pluck a telegen hair.

Hi limes,

It sounds okay. If the client is happy with the consultation, they often opt for 15-30mins of initial work. You can’t really assess properly from just a few hairs.

To be honest, unless you are confident, or can spare the $300. I’d do a few more of these until you are happy that she is doing good work - both in respect to treating the hairs and also not causing an unwanted reaction. Sometimes people find the initial treatment is fine but then the next time the settings are too high and the skin reaction is too severe. I guess you need to make sure she is consistent with her work on you.

Other than that, blend can be faster. It’s a combination of both the galvanic and thermolysis current and some electrologists turn up the thermolysis a bit, so it’s quicker. My electrologist does blend about 3-4seconds per hair but you feel the sensation for less than this time.
Try to listen out for the foot pedal (if she uses on) and the beep (if there is one, again). You can usually time how long the current actually is from this.

Do ask her about it if you want. I asked my electrologist a lot of stuff and she’s really friendly so she didn’t mind or take it in a critical way. Tell her you’ve been doing some research and are wondering why it’s different. If you’re worried you might offend her, do it in a way that sounds like you’re interested in how and why her technique differs (which is true anyway).

As for aftercare, apply tea tree oil to the area as soon as you get home and once more before bed. Use witch hazel as much as you want in between and for a few days afterwards. I use it as I leave my electrologist’s because it really helps to cool down the area and reduce the redness and swelling faster.

There are basically two things you should be looking for. The main one is that the hair slides out without resistance after it’s zapped. If it feels like it’s being plucked with resistance, then it probably is and that’s not good.

The other thing is quick healing and little reaction after the treatment. You should be applying witch hazel during the day and tea tree oil at night.

Blend is not “best”. All methods work well, but thermolysis is faster. This means you can get a clearance faster with thermolysis even if she continues after that with blend.

I would call around and sample others too. Ask over the phone what method and machine they use.

Thanks for the responses, everyone! I really appreciate the guidance. I called another place and asked about their machine & method, and they lady said she uses a machine from the UK as she is originally from there (it sounded something like Glam Wee…, but not sure 100%), and she said she uses the shortwave thermolysis method. The place where I already had my hour of treatment uses the Fischer machine and she uses blend on me.

Any thoughts?

I’d check out the thermolysis place for a sample treatment and would see how you feel about their technique.

So I went to the thermolysis place I was talking about for a consultation yesterday and first session today. There is a significant difference between the two places I have tried. The thermolysis lady sat with me patiently and we talked about the process and her experience, etc. She answered all my questions and offered other explanations as well. I felt an instant comfort level with her. She has been at her current office for 30 years, so has a lot of experience to her name. She told me to think about it if I wanted (as opposed to the other lady who basically thrust the treatment upon me). I went back today for an initial treatment and there was a HUGE difference in her technique. She says she uses Flash Thermolysis, and her insertions are painless and last about a second; they seem to last as long as the other lady’s even though the latter uses blend! This was my prime reason for doubting the first place, because the insertions seemed incorrect/insufficient. I found that the pain with the thermolysis lady is more tolerable than the other place, and I feel nothing when she simply slides out the hairs, whereas the first place I could feel tugging. Overall, I am much more at ease and satisfied with the thermolysis technique done by the second place. My skin did react considerably more so after this thermolysis treatment than with the blend, with redness and bumps, but it has calmed down after a few hours to the point where it is not really noticeable. I am actually HAPPY that my skin reacted because I feel its normal, as opposed to barely any reaction with the first treatment. But the biggest thing for me was my interaction with the electrologist. The first one did not explain a thing to me about what she was doing or anything else, but the second one explained what she was doing, what her goals were, showed me the hairs along the way, said i could watch her do it in the mirror, etc. and told me stories of her experiences as well.

She told me she doesnt want me to tweeze, wax, shave or even touch my face a lot between treatments, but told me to clip the hairs if I want as she told me to wait until I get enough growth to do an hour’s worth of treatment again. She also said that she wants to get the hairs in the same growth phase eventually. She applied witch hazel after the treatment and some other thing to cool down the face, and gave me ice for my face. She invites a lot of conversation and questions, so I feel much happier with her technique.

sounds great! good luck :slight_smile:

Hi everyone,

It’s been almost 2 days since I got the flash thermolysis treatment, and the sides of my face are nearly back to normal now, my chin is still bumpy and stiff to the touch (and also a bit red). I was wondering if this is normal at this point? Should I be applying witch hazel & tea tree oil regularly to help with this? Oh, and I’ll add this to my signature from now on but just for info - I’m 22 years old, of East Indian descent so my Fitzpatrick skin type is probably between III and IV as I’m on the lighter side of the spectrum (with dark hairs!). I am getting treatment done on my sideburns, cheeks, upper lip and chin.

Yes I would think the chin was normal. When I have mine cleared it stays red and “firm” for a while.

Hey everyone … I think I may have a problem. I was looking at my face today to see how the healing is coming along (since my treatment on Saturday), and I noticed that while the rest of my face is fine, there is some discolouration, or more specifically, hyperpigmentation, on my chin. I don’t know what to make of this. Could this be overtreatment (although she did not treat too many hairs, only the coarsest ones, and I didn’t feel too much pain)? Is this a long-lasting result? I am kind of concerned as it’s noticeable if I stand back and look at my chin as a whole. Is there something I should change for next time?