DIYer with Professional Machine

My husband is a medical student and thought I might be able to learn electrolysis on my own. He bought me a professional electrolysis machine (Gentronics MC140), a couple of electrolysis textbooks and all of the necessary accessories (sterile electrolysis needles, magnification equip, etc.). I read through the texts which was mostly history and theories but no practical knowledge on things like needle insertion and setting the machine. Basically, I’m asking if it is possible for me to learn enough to be able to use a professional machine on myself and husband or do I just need to give up! We are moving to Israel in 2 months. I will have plently of spare time to educate myself on electrolysis but I’m feeling in over my head at the moment.
Looking for advice!

is it possible for you to take a couple courses to learn the basics?

I don’t have the time or the money to take any courses before we leave and I’m unaware of any in Israel at this time. I’ve figured out how to set up the machine…my main problem is not knowing how to insert the needle properly in the hair folicle. I have fine, blonde hair except on my lower legs where it is brown. I also don’t have the settings right because I just create a tiny burn but it doesn’t release the hair. Is there a dummies guide to electrolysis…a step by step how to book…that’s not so technical?

the thing with electrolysis and correct insertions is that it takes practice for one, and also I think you need a professional to show you how to do it correctly and watch that you make correct insertions as well so that you’re not merely plucking. It’s not the type of thing I would want to experiment too much with myself without any professional’s help because even some professionals can cause scarring, pits, infections etc. also, making EXACT insertions is the part that you need practice with. and it’s hard to know if you’re doing it correctly yourself without having any professional show you and watch you do it to confirm. For me, it wouldn’t be worth the permanent scars that you can create.

Israel is pretty advanced and unwanted hair is an pretty common issue there. i would be inclined to assume that there are electrolysis practitioners there as well, although i haven’t researched it to know for sure.

I really appreciate your help. It sounds like I need professional training so here’s my next question…would the machine I have be out of date when I return to the states in four years? How quickly is the technology advancing…I don’t want to hang on to something that is going to be obsolete in a few years. I was thinking that maybe I should sell it now, then get training, and buy equipment later. What does electrolysis training entail in the U.S.?
Not giving up just getting new ideas!

There are 3 electrologists in my family. We all went to school. Proper insertions are something that can only be learned through supervised practice.

As far as your epilator goes, keep it. If you’re not in business, whatever changes could happen in the next 4 years, it would not be significant enough for a do it yourself-er to upgrade.

As a self taught DIY’er, I learned insertions without supervised practice, so you probably can too. You can practice insertions without applying any power so that there is no risk to damaging yourself. Pick large, deep hairs at first. Follow the angle of the hair and have a light feel for when you reach the bottom. Then try other hairs in the area. Then move to shallower hairs and hairs at different angles.

If you start with low power galvanic, then you can kill hairs with less risk, before moving on to more advanced and faster methods.

I’m sure there are books out there that have information that yours may be lacking that can help you with this aspect.

As a short course, have a professional electrolysis do some work on you in an area that you can observe when you get to Israel.

The best books for a sole person with no pro help are “The Blend Method: Real World Electrology” by Mike Bono and “Cosmetic and Medical Electrolysis” by Meharg and Richards. If you can only buy one of these books, get Bono’s.

Thanks so much for your help. I’m going to get my hands on Mike Bono’s book. I’m feeling more hopeful…like maybe I won’t sell my machine yet! I think it is a great idea to practice insertion without the power…just to get the feel of things. Does anyone have a suggestion on opening up my hair folicles? My pores are so tiny that it’s hard to tell if I’m even in the hair folicle.
Thanks again,

Dear Kaitlin,

If you feel that your follicles are very tiny, exfoliate a few days before treatment. Also, what type of magnification are you using? Also, if te hairs are long and falling on top of eachother, shave the area a week before you work on it.

I have owned several machines and among them, the Gentronics MC140; it is an okay machine. Why did your husband choose this machine? What was his criteria? You have to understand the machine before you go poking around your skin.

The American Electrology Association has a member who will be retiring to Israel soon. Even though she does not use the Gentronics machine, she uses Apilus, she might be interested in guiding you through. Israel is a small enough country and you might enjoy your new friendship should she also be interested.

If you send me an email, I will forward it to her.

The MC-140 was the only one available to my husband at the time. We jumped into this without knowing anything about the machines. Both of us like to learn new things as long as the risk isn’t too great. From what we could tell from reading about electrolysis and the machine, we thought we couldn’t cause any harm…granted, I realize now that you can create burns etc.

I’m using a jewelers headset as my magnifier. Tell me if that isn’t enough magnification or at least what you would recommend.

I also realized from reading your post that I have no idea how long the hair is supposed to be. We have experimented on hairs that are about 2 weeks of growth after shaving…longer than stubble but not laying over each other. I haven’t tried arm hair, just leg hair.
Thanks so much for your help!

Depending on many factors, you could need higher magnification, brighter lighting, smaller, or larger probes.

Do-Each-Other Home Electrolysis Operators would do well to find a halogen light source with dimmer switch (mechanically inclined folks can make one very cheaply) and load it with a 12volt 100watt (no, not 100PicoWatt) Halogen Lamp. The Lamp-Lite International company product number is LC-EFP and it is called and FX SERIES light. These are the lamps loaded into the DJ lights in clubs and special effects rigs in theaters. They cost around $8 to $10 each… OR, you could buy the bulb that is sold to medical people, that has the same specs but a different box, and sells for $50 each! It is the same bulb people! It is a light bulb, and they want $50 buck each <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> Oh, sorry, I was momentarily possessed by the spirit of member Poonani… must have been a left-over from the 06-06-06 curse.

Seriously, if you can’t see the follicles well, you won’t be able to make a good insertion. You should also be practicing working on someone other than yourself, because you really can’t make the best insertions working on yourself. If you could, my face would be smooth as a babies bottom by now.

However, you can practice on yourself on areas other than your face. Working on your own legs where access is easy should not be much more difficult than working on another person.

Although not an ideal situation, I was able to DIY my own armpit (with a wall mirror) and pubic hair myself, which are now completely cleared.

I used a desk lamp that has one of those new fangled florescent bulbs that screw into a regular socket. The long, articulated arms allowed me to position it very close and the florescent bulb is not as hot as an incandescent.

The cardinal rule is that if you can’t properly see what you are doing, don’t turn on the power. Figure out a way to know that you’ve done the insertion well first.

That is one of the main keys, without a good insertion, the treatment will not go well.

Thanks to everyone for being so helpful!!! I’m sure some of you think I’m crazy for trying this without professional training. I do hope to get trained in the future…just can’t afford it right now and I needed to make a decision about keeping the machine I have. I will have plenty of time on my hands in Israel so I felt this might be rewarding if I can ever learn enough to at least remove my leg hair!!! I am going to practice on a friend next week and she on me.

Thanks so much for the advice on lighting. I’ll see what I can rig up. I was just using a small lamp!

More questions next week when Annie and I start practicing!!! Thanks again for indulging a very determined girl!