Electrologist can't see hair

I’ve been going to my electrologist for about 10 months and 7-8 visits. She’s licensed and been practicing for over 25 years.
My skin is pale and she told me on my 1st visit it would be 4 or 5 15 minute visits to remove all upper lip hair. On my last visit, the 7th or 8th one, I wanted her to work on the middle section of my upper lip since both ends looked a bit better. The hair there is not black, it’s kind of sandy blonde, I can see it easily in a mirror close up or far away, very obvious. Well she claimed that there was no hair in this area!
She uses a bright light, magnified glasses, and another magnified circular lens, she must be able to see my skin quite well. So she proceeded to insist there was no work to be done there and I begged to differ. She then worked on the edges again and in 15 minutes managed to answer the phone once and the front door of the shop twice. All on my $27 for 15 minutes.
So I wonder, is it unusual for an electrologist to not see your hair you want removed? I can’t believe w/ all this experience she can be that incompetent, but the hair is very obviously still there. Also, after all these treatments much of the hair on the edges is growing right back in. Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of it being “permanent” hair removal? I feel like this has been a big waste of money.
Thanks for any input!


I imagine you don’t have a lot of hair or very thick hair. Most women have fine hair called vellus hair which they don’t even bother with. Some electrolygists may not want to remove these vellus hairs since they aren’t readily visible to most people except on a certain angle in a certain light. Vellus hair is considered natural and without it people may look like a manikin.

27 dollars per 1/4 hour adds up to 108 dollars per hour which is a bit steep. I would never go for less than an hour, since the hourly rate is probably cheaper. If my electrolygist was distracted from her job by the phone, etc. she would add additional time to make up for it, especially on a 15 minute job.

You could try coloring the hairs to make them visible? I have white hairs too in places, but some of them are thick enough to string a tennis racquet(mild exageration).


Better to post a link than to repeat myself via typing.


I have not seen you, but I would say that either the hair you speak of is not visible to the average person at conversational distance, and/or is so tiny that the electrologist has a hard time finding the follicle using the vision and lighting equipment she has. Obviously, it would be difficult to pinch up and roll the skin in the center of your upper lip and hold it steady while making an insertion.

This is why I have had people come from the west coast to Buffalo NY just to have their upper lips done by me. I can get the hairs their regular electrologist misses, and they don’t even get any pigmentation when I do it.

Of course, since the equipment I am talking about is very expensive, the overwhelming majority of electrologists will never get them.

Dear James,

I love reading your informative and entertaining posts but sometimes I wonder if you are being humorous or what…

You write, “This is why I have had people come from the west coast to Buffalo NY just to have their upper lips done by me. I can get the hairs their regular electrologist misses, and they don’t even get any pigmentation when I do it.”

I was thinking, maybe it would be a good idea to open up an office in Beverly Hills so that folks don’t have to travel from the westcoast to Buffalo. Hey, if Michael isn’t too busy working on Cher, maybe he can apprentice with you and learn your techniques and purchase the same equipment that you have and then the folks on the westcoast won’t have to travel across the country for great electrolysis!

Dear asylum23,

If you are not getting the service you want from your current provider, try others. Most offer free consultations. Voice your concerns and find someone compatible. There is a Pore-Marker product that some electrologists use when they have trouble seeing very fine nonpigmented hairs. After treatment, it washes away with water.

Good luck!

Thanks for that post Arlene. It is so nice to read about techniques and this pore finder tool. Maybe i should invest in it.

Then there are those of us who end up in the pore house.



lol <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

It is totally outrageous that your electro answered the phone and the door on your watch! You are entitled to a partial refund or an extension of time to compensate. Most electros don’t answer the phone/door while working. That’s why we have answering machines. Did she even put on new gloves or rewash her hands after doing those things? blech. Don’t let her do this again.

What kind of electrolysis are you getting? (galvanic? blend? thermolysis aka shortwave?) It doesn’t surprise me that after 7-8 visits in 10 months you are still growing hair on the edges. You are not even going once a month and it’s possible that some hairs that were removed did not get treated during the most optimal “growing” phase. As long as the number/thickness of the hairs in that area is reduced, you are on your way and those hairs will all be gotten in due course.

Maybe try the pore marker and show her the hairs you want removed. If she says they’re vellus hairs, you really should consider leaving them. When I used to get my upper lip waxed, I always hated the look at first because the skin looked so shiny and waxy. By looking up close in a mirror, I could even see the exact edges of where the wax line was. Although no one else could have noticed that, my lip skin did look unnatural because every last hair was gone. That’s the purpose of vellus hairs.

If she says she can’t remove the hairs and you really want to tackle them (maybe just thin the area out?), then you prob have to switch electros.

good luck to you!

hey there,

i get the same thing sometimes, where i can see hair the electrologist cant. this is what i do. i color the hairs with mascara. so the fine long hairs are not BLACK and very noticeable. usually when i do that, the electrologist doesnt miss them and actually thanks me for making her job easier. so yeah, try that.

and like others already said. sometimes the electrologist will only work on the darker, thicker hairs. the vellus, ligther, thinner hairs might not be her/his concern and think you only care about the more notceable hairs.

i for one began to notice the finer hairs more after my dark ones have been removed and plan to remove even the finer hairs that are pretty long once black hairs have settled down

good luck

Hello, no I did not get a refund or extra time for her unattentive actions. She’s done this before, but this time it felt like she was trying to just waste time. The hairs are quite obvious. I can see them in a mirror either w/ or w/out my contacts in. They are darker and I always wanted them to be removed. I used to was and this may have made them more obvious.

I don’t do an hour b/c usually just 15 minutes I have some problems. She’s had to turn the current down b/c I’ve had infections there after going that didn’t clear up for weeks. Might be from answering the phone or whatnot. That’s also why I don’t go every 4 weeks, I went every 6-8.

She actually did use on of those hair finding markers, I believe it was green, b/c I insisted I wanted those hairs in the middle removed. But she said there was nothing there. These hairs you can see on me from any angle, w/ or w/out make-up, etc. They are darkish and quite obvious. I just don’t understand how someone w/ so much experience could do such a bad job. I will try to find a new one. Anyone w/ any recommendations in Las Vegas please let me know. Thanks!