Dear Hairtell consumers:

Please think very hard before paying for electrolysis services in advance. If you have never had treatment with a practitioner before, get to know them, check out their office, get some smaller sessions behind you, so you can KNOW that this is the real deal for you. With this plan, you will know if you want to reserve large blocks of time with this person and then perhaps you can pay in advance a certain amount of time, but it shouldn’t be several thousands of dollars, in advance!

If it feels wrong, then DON’T DO IT!

There are plenty of us that don’t ask for payment up front and we know how to remove hair permanently. Find someone like that! Take it slowly, gather some information, experience a treatment or two and then decide if you will advance someone a lot of money to do your work.

We do occasionally get clients that pass bad checks or bring credit cards that are denied. We do get people that reserve time in large blocks and when they cancel, it leaves big gaps in our schedule that we may or may not fill. I can see asking for payment up front for those who chronically abuse and disrespect us, but those people are few, far and in between.

Don’t let the emotion of being hair-free someday cloud your decision making skills. It can only bring additional expense and sleepless nights.

Paying in advance is not a common practice for services rendered in this profession.

I agree 100% with you. Thank you very much for this warning.

Dee Dee, there is a gigantic dividing-line … well, a “geological rift” really, that describes two types of practitioners (in ALL fields).

The first class of person is truly concerned with their patients. These are the “mother goose” types that believe taking care of their patients is their “calling.”

You and Josefa are in this class. You both genuinely worry about your “kids,” give them more than 100% and often work yourselves to death. You “guys” are so “mother goose” you don’t even realize it! Think St. Francis or Mother Theresa!

Both you and Jossie are not even able to understand that “others out there” have a very different agenda. But they are out there!

Indeed, this next class of person is concerned with themselves only: making a “name” for themselves and collecting as much money as possible … and laughing “all the way to the bank.” What’s particularly troublesome is that these people fool YOU! You can’t imagine that anyone would have different ethics, so you discount what you see and go against your (female) instincts.

Thank God this egocentric type of person is very rare, but they can be, and are, VERY hurtful and damaging to innocent vulnerable clients.

Dee, you bring up a point that I always talk about: the patient being desperate! A desperate person often makes the wrong decisions. Desperation causes the patient to “believe the impossible!”

The rip-off practitioners feed on desperate people! I see this ALL the time; over-and-over. Not just in our field, but in all fields. And, you don’t have to be stupid to be desperate and therefore gullible.

How many intelligent patients, who got a cancer diagnosis, journeyed off to the Philippines for that “magical miracle cure?” (They were only “cured” of their money.)

As my much-loved Jossie and Dee have just stated, CLIENTS: take your time, do your homework. Test the waters (do a test patch) before you throw your money away. Sending large sums of money to someone you have never even met? Just don’t do it!

(BTW my laser client … American Laser … has yet to get her $1,500 refund for work never even started. It’s not going to happen either.)

Let me say additionally: we don’t give ANDREA enough credit for the work she has done!

Andrea is “ALL ABOUT THE CONSUMER!” Both of her sites, when read carefully, are the real deal. Consumers can get an unbiased look at “all the methods” and hear from all of us that dare put ourselves “out there to public scrutiny.”

Hearing many (even opposing) opinions is the life-blood of this site.

The AEA should take a look at what Andrea has done and should produce a product like hers: open, public and free!

I offer a prepaid discount (roughly 35% off) to clients getting a lot of work done to help make it more affordable to them. Usually they’ll prepay for 5 hours worth of time and most of them come in for 2-2.5 hours at a time so it basically covers their current appointment and the next.

On my part, having just started my business a few months ago, it helps me knowing I have that cash in the bank to pay my bills and to buy the “nice to have but aren’t critical to open” items like a water cooler, automated paper towel dispenser and, frankly, more marketing and advertising, even if it means I’m making a little less off them.

I had one client come in and put down enough money to cover 30 hours of time… which, honestly, made me uneasy since I hate the feeling of owing people something. But, she did it because she would have spent the money on other things and wanted to commit to getting her work done (trans* face). At 4 hours per week, we worked it off pretty quickly and she was very happy (and now waiting for her tax returns to finish it off).

That said, everyone that wants to prepay is an established customer that likes my work and I generally don’t like to take more than 5-10 hours ahead of time even in that case. Those who do prepay like it because of the discount and because they know that, if they have time available and I have an opening, they can scoot in any time to get work done without thinking about spending more money.

I’m more than happy to get paid per treatment, and generally prefer it that way, particularly now that the business is established and is covering its bills, the additional things I want to do in terms of client experience and bringing in new clients, and paying me a little something.

I think that’s a VERY excellent way to conduct business “Emancipated.” The client already knows you and you are helping them … and you too. Such practices are fine and common in the field.

I’m sure that if the client suddenly were unable to fulfill all the pre-paid hours (for whatever reason) you would gladly refund their money.

I see nothing wrong with your business plan of accepting pre-paid hours, Emanci. My point concerned handing over thousands of dollars to someone you have never had a treatment with! Get to know the practitioner first! I have accepted pre- paid appointments before. A week before Christmas, I had an employer call me asking if they could send me $1,000 for electrolysis treatments for their beloved employee, as part of their Christmas bonus.

So, there are all kinds of creative ways to do this, but at least lay on the table and get to know the practitioner before you commit to handing over a lot of money up front!

Yes, I’m thankful to Andrea, too, for this forum. It’s a great way to communicate with the consumers.

Good luck in your new business, Emani!

As a consumer, I’m having rather difficulty assessing my local electrolysis providers. For example, how exactly am I supposed to assess their honesty and skill, based on consumer rating websites (e.g., For all I know, they could be writing the reviews themselves (and, I wouldn’t blame them - they have a business to run after all).

That one electrologist with raving reviews, seemed pleasant and nice, but she did say I’d have to end my laser treatments (hmm). Well, that’s funny, the same day I called two other reputable electrologists in the area (again, based on Yelp reviews) and they said it’s perfectly fine to do laser and electrology.

I’m having trouble finding the right fit - but, you’re right, I think I’m just going to start off with sessions and see from there.

I have had a couple of negative reviews on YELP over the years AND I DIDN’T EVEN DO ELECTROLYSIS ON THEM! They were angry at me because of what I said to them here on Hairtell. One was another electrologist from a state out West.

I never ask my clients to write about my work. If they decide to do so, then I am pleasantly surprised.

Back to the subject. I am strongly urging hair removal consumers to trust their business instincts and not be taken in by their desires and emotions to be smooth. Get to know someone, just as you would if you were thinking of dating someone. Go slow at first and don’t get trapped into having to beg for your money to be refunded. People don’t usually purchase expensive items without seeing, studying and evaluating the pro’s and con’s FIRST!

I absolutely have no problem refunding the money if I couldn’t fulfill my commitment after accepting it or if the client changes their mind.

As far as my cancellation policy goes, I ask people to give me 24 hours notice, though I completely understand things like “I woke up sick and don’t want to spread it” or “I got into a car accident and I can’t make it.” I don’t charge for missed appointments unless it is a routine problem. I ignore the sick/accident type events completely (unless it is an every week type thing), but if someone doesn’t call and doesn’t show, they get two strikes and only after that, they need to prepay a non-refundable deposit to get on my schedule. After all, that’s time I couldn’t book and generally can’t fill if they couldn’t even bother to call and say they weren’t coming in. That hasn’t happened with anyone yet.

Other than the chronic no call/no show problem people that I haven’t had yet, nobody has to pay anything up front to reserve my time.

All very reasonable and understandable business practices

I don’t get into stiff policy stuff (rules)… I just suck it up and hope that when I accidentally double book clients that they will suck it up and forgive me, just as I forgive them if they forget their appointment or come on the wrong day. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, we’re only human.

Funny stuff Alex. As per your “stop laser” electrologist? I say the same thing. Laser and electrolysis, in the same area, only delays the success of electrolysis. I’m starting to not see people that had a lot of laser (that didn’t work) … it messes me up “big time!”

In the good old days, customers relied on what friends, physicians or others told them. The internet has too much information and it’s often difficult to weed out fact from fiction … not to mention “out-and-out” lies! You can’t even believe your own eyes these days!

Example, Justin Bieber!

My cancellation policy is … “YIPPEE!” I just go to the beach!

I have never charged for any missed or forgotten appointments. I mean, they still have the hair so I’ll zap it later on.

Ahhhhhhahhhhaha! I laughed for five minutes when I read your comment, Michael!

I like that YIPPE cancellation policy. That’s my view, too! When I was younger, I could jump up and click my heels when someone forgot their appointment. Then I was out of here like the Roadrunner on steroids! What is really crazy is when you think you were finished for the day and a client shows up at the door? You search your mind on how you could miss this and then you have to act like you knew they were coming and get on with it!

Ha ha … I thought only I do that! Dee, you’re to young to be doing that.

Yeah, I always pretend that “oh sure … I remember you were coming.” But then, it’s hard to fake it when you have a half-eated bagel in your mouth!

Biggest factor in my stiff policy right now, is me just being new… I don’t have the client base to pay myself yet (ok, I’ll be paying myself something for the first time this month). It hurts when I’ve got someone booked, to turn down a client that could only come in at that time, and then not have the first client show.

It happened to me two weeks ago, where a consult that booked two days prior didn’t show, claiming she forgot about it, and I lost out on a two hour session with a client that could only show at that time. I got that latter client done this past Friday, but it’s possible that, with the snow in the northeast, he might not have come in again until spring (he’s an older guy that doesn’t like getting out in the snow and he almost canceled Friday morning because of it, where the previous time he wanted to book, the weather was fine).

This warning comes too late for the German Girl, who by the way, is almost completely finished. To learn this hard lesson, she has paid twice the corresponding amount for electrolysis treatments. And she was about to pay the same indecent amount of money (almost $ 9000) for a second set of treatments, even before getting the first minute.

It’s too late for her, but it’s not for you!


I’m glad GG is doing well, Jossie.

it’s unfortunate Dr Ellen at 2 pass decided to withdraw her comment, I was looking forward to finding out what it was. That said, to Dr Ellen, I encourage you to contact me privately as I have a topic of discussion that is directly related to your clinic and some feedback you SHOULD be aware of and that shouldnt be out in public.

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Hello, I am new hair and wanted to post a question on electrolysis but I am having difficulty understanding this forum any help is appreciated.