Electrolysis journey, feeling discouraged

Hi everyone! Here’s my story, any help would be appreciated.

I’ve struggled with facial hair since I hit puberty. (I’m now 35). I used to have fine, dark hair on my chin and cheeks which LHR made 1000x worse! I stopped laser and for past 15 years, I’ve been shaving every morning and can still see a shadow.
I finally decided to try electrolysis and had 3 different consultations in the area I live (Bay Area/SF) and decided on one electrologist who has over 50 great yelp reviews and knows what she was talking about. She uses blend method and is very quick. She stays in each follicle for 2 seconds before moving to next and the hairs slide out without tugging. I know this because she hands me a mirror so I can watch her while she works.
The reason why I’m posting is because I don’t see progress. I’ve been on this forum for years and read all about the stages of hair growth and how it is new hair coming in, but shouldn’t I see some difference by now?
We started in September with 30 minute sessions which we increased to hour long sessions. It took total of 4 hours to reach first clearance with all hairs on chin/cheek gone. After that, I would go in for 1 hour sessions every 3 weeks to get full clearance.

09/06/19 30 minutes
09/12/19 30 minutes
09/19/19 30 minutes
10/03/19 60 minutes
11/01/19 45 minutes
11/12/19 45 minutes

12/4/19 45 minutes cleared all new hair
12/21/19 60 minutes cleared all new hair
01/16/20 60 minutes cleared all new hair
02/4/20 60 minutes cleared all new hair
02/28/20 70 minutes cleared all new hair

I’ve had a total of 10 hours over course of 5 months and see no difference and feeling discouraged. I’m not sure if I should be looking for a difference electrologist or if it’s too soon to tell and I should stick with this one. Any advice? I trust her work, she seems very knowledgable with 20 years experience.

This is what I looked like before I started electrolysis:

This is what I look like after 10 hours of electrolysis on chin/cheeks:

I should also mention, my hormones tested normal and I don’t have PCOS according to doctors.

Based on the treatment strategy your electrologist has chosen, (a common approach) it can take up to 6 months before you notice a significant change. If you stopped to shelter in place in February, you have not reached month 6. In addition, from 9/6/19 to 11/12/19, you were not receiving complete clearances (full clearances did not start until 12/4/19) and this slowed things down a bit, perhaps by one month (maybe more), so you are not quite at the point where you can see significant results. Some of my clients see significant results almost immediately, others can take up to six months. A skilled electrologist doing full clearances each visit, it will normally take an average of 12-18 months before you are finished. The majority of my clients are finished after 12 months (some take longer). During the treatment, the hair should be removed without traction. It should slide out and not feel like a tweeze (if you feel a tweeze or traction, I would advise changing electrologists). Do you know if you have a hormone imbalance? Are your monthly cycles regular? Hang in there, give it more time, and don’t get discouraged. The most difficult time for the client is the first 6 months. Keep us updated on your progress.

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Thanks for responding. My monthly cycles are normal. I saw an endocrinologist right before I started electrolysis and we checked my hormones two times and it falls in “normal range” although testosterone levels were higher end of “normal”. And the ultrasound for PCOS came back negative.

So if I’m understanding correctly, I should be going for a session every 2-3 weeks to get full clearance each time? And with that kind of scheduling, it could take 12-18 months to finish.
I see a difference in hairs getting finer but it is still a lot and as soon as I shave, it’s back to course prickly hairs. If electrolysis is destroying the hair follicle, the finer hairs coming out are new hairs? Or they are the same old ones just getting weaker and coming out finer?

I did try out another electrolysis who also used blend method but she was much slower and spent a lot more time in each hair follicle (8-10 seconds). The lady I’m seeing now, she is very quick.
It’s 1-2 seconds per hair. But the hairs do slide out without traction. Some have the black bulbs at end and other do not. Is that typical for blend? To move this fast?
I just want to make sure she isn’t rushing and spending enough time to kill the follicle.

Hello Ihatehair,
i want to encourage you, and it’s very bothering to me that you are feeling discouraged .So I’d like to talk to you a little bit about cycles of growth.
Hair grows in cycles, and the approximate length of one hair cycle, is approximately 4-7 months, but more commonly 4-6 months So When you start electrolysis , you literally, an go thrugh the entirety of the first six months of treatment, and still never treat the same follicle twice. This is why I generally tell most people to not expect a huge improvement , but that after 6-8 months of consstently treating all the visible hair, then they may see some improvement, and that improvement gets more pronounced as time goes by.
So I’m noting the time frames, and you are still within that six month period. , but we’ve also had the complication of a 2-3 month forced pause in your treatment, due to the covid 19 epidemic. LEt me agree with you, that this is not ideal. I however have had many clients pause treatment for a month or two for any number of reasons, perhaps finances, or a trip overseas, a new child in the home, many many other reasons. In general wile it does somewhat delay progress, we still get there in the end and resolve the problem.
Everything in your account points to positive and productive treatments, you’ve stated yourself the hairs release easily and without traction and from your report, your electrologist appears to be an expert in their field and utilizing advanced techniques.

Yes the Covid-19 pandemic came at unfortunate time.There are likely MILLIONS of electrolysis clients facing exactly the same thing right now. But you WILL still get there, and you seem to be absolutely on the right path.And so too are the millions of other electrolysis clients who are consistent with their treatments.

MEnatlly, it’s a really tough pill to swallow for some. I’ve spent most of the last few days consulting with new clients DESPERATE for their first treatment, and for some of them, this can mean the difference between their abiity to cope at all. Unfortunately, I’m aware of at least one transperson who has recently taken their life recently, because of all things, they couldnt live with the hair on their face and the resultant dysphoria. I wish they didnt consider what we as electrologists do as “non-essential” because I can tell you that for some, it’s not only essential but a necessity to face daily life.

If you need to shave or similar during the pandemic as a way to get by, DO IT. Dont feel any guilt about this. We will be there to support you as electrologists the SECOND that we are legally permitted to do so. In some places int he US , I uderstand electrolysis has already begun again. Hang in there, we’re close to the end, you are worth it, and you will overcome. You are taking EXACTLY the right path to get there too.


Is that mean that they did one session per a month or more/less ?

I’m not hairadicator, but I will say, as well, that most people are 90% done by month 12 if the strategy is correct for the first six months. However, there is more to be done when you reach that 90% mark, but It totally depends on many factors specific to your genetics. we always hope for an easy scenario, but we can’t guarantee that every case will follow the easiest path. The face can take two years or more if there is a lot of hair and the hormones are lively. If you don’t get cleared of bothersome hair every time, then you need more frequent appointments. It can take many, many hours and several sessions for some cases. Give it as much time as needed. Stay loyal. We can’t measure how long it will take to finish the face for everybody because each case is different. We can only speak in generalities.

Not necessarily. Each case is different.

Thanks for replying with your encouraging words everyone.
I’ve been feeling so down. I took pictures before I started electrolysis, during electrolysis and current. I stopped electrolysis end of Feb. The pictures I took end of March, the hairs were so fine and there was nowhere near the amount that I have now.I looked like I was making some real improvement, and now 2 months later, I look the same as before I started electrolysis. Are all these new hairs that came in within the past 2 months making me look like I did before I ever started electrolysis?

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dont give up :heart: Just keep looking at all the success stories on here to remind you it will all be worth it, remember it will only be 1-2 years maximum and you will be done!! no more daily shaving.
even when it doesnt seem like youre making progress it should be working if you dont feel the hair being plucked out.

There are a lot of success stories. I assume that if I don’t hear from clients after two years, they were successful. I would love it if I got a text or email from a finished client years later, telling me they are still stable and happy. I only know that they are in good shape if they come back to do another area later on.

The face is / can be very hormonal, so on a persons life timeline, touch ups will be needed, most likely.

Body work stays stable and hardly ever needs any attention.

Looking your before and after pictures I can tell you that you ARE MAKING PROGRESS. Just stay on schedule and you will see big reduction in next couple of months. To have good results, the electrologists has to take into account and consider many parameters, which for each person vary a lot. You can look at this tread to see how many different parameters are involved in one electrolysis treatment:


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Hi ihatehair84,
speaking as a professional and looking at the information you’ve given it seems to me that your treatment has been progressing well. Getting full clearance is the first main achievement: after that it’s just a matter of keeping up regular maintenance until all the hairs are gone. The number of hairs you are capable of producing over a cycle is quite a surprise to most clients as most are removing them daily (shaving, plucking etc) before starting electrolysis, if you left them for a full three months (average cycle length) you would see the true amount. So although you have been attending for some time each hair will only have had two, maybe three treatments in that period. Some will die first time, others will weaken gradually depending on several factors, so patience and dedication is required on both sides. But don’t give up! I have been successfully eradicating hair growth for over thirty years now and not one client has ever said ‘I wish I’d never started electrolysis’. Always ‘why didn’t I have this years ago?’. And don’t forget, shaving cuts off the top of the hair leaving a big blunt edge that makes growth look heavier: the lockdown is frustrating for us all but you will get there! x