epidermis & hair root are continuous

From time to time we talk about “fat” sheaths and “tight” follicles. This misconception is based on very poorly drawn follicles … AND, what an anagen hair “root” looks like when you pull it out. I did a simple drawing to illustrate this. (Basically, nearly every textbook in electrology has this drawn incorrectly … so, it’s no wonder most get this wrong!)

In the first drawing (as in most books), it appears that the “root sheath” is a separate structure somehow “stuffed down” in the follicle. It would make sense that if the follicle “opening” were too small you would have trouble pulling the “fat” root out. But that’s not the physiology.

The root sheath AND the epidermis are continuous … they are NOT separate layers but both form the same layer (as you see in the second drawing). When you tweeze (or zap) a hair, you dislodge the root at the “tear point” (the weaker margin where the epidermis “becomes” the harder “keratinized” root sheath). In this way the root sheath tears away from the epidermis and the whole root comes out in one piece. In a sense, the root sheath is “keratinized” epidermis; if you want to think of it that way.

There is no such thing as a “tight follicle opening,” because (except for the infundibulum) there is no “follicle opening.” These seemingly separate structures are not separate; they are continuous. Thus a difficult epilation means that current has not yet gotten high enough in the follicle to “tear” it loose from the epidermis.

That is SO going on the learning resource list. Thanks Michael. As always, you demonstrate your incredible aptitude to teach.


“(except for the infundibulum) there is no �follicle opening.� These seemingly separate structures are not separate; they are continuous.” -Bono

Why do so many electrologists say that blend or pure galvanic is better for distorted follicles since the lye can reach the papilla more easily if the epidermis is contiguous to the hair? I could understand the lye travelling verticially upwards towards the papilla in a distorted follicle if the infundibulum was three-thirds of the follicle instead of just the reality, which is only the top one-third. In other words; wouldn’t there need to be an empty space in order for the lye to travel in the direction opposite of gravity, like a soda or other beverage being sucked up a plastic curly straw?

The Montgolfier brothers are given credit for inventing the hot air balloon in the 1700s. Observing fires in the streets of Paris lifting clothing that was hanging out to dry, they speculated that if they captured smoke in a paper balloon they could fly. It worked!

It worked; but their theory was wrong. They assumed that the black smoke was the key factor. Actually it was the hot air. So, they burned oily rags, meat and everything that could create black smoke. It worked and they therefore confirmed their theory … except we now know their theory was wrong.

And, that’s what all of us are doing in the electrolysis field. We find that something works … and then we develop some theory as to why it’s working. Maybe observation has created the idea that the production of lye (DC) is better for distorted follicles? Once the theory has been published, it seems that we all believe it and "go with it.’ However, it might not be true in actuality. Just because something is in a book, does not mean it’s true.

For example, the way I use "the blend’ is completely wrong as per "blend theory.’ I use high HF and 1.0 mA of galvanic for about 1-second exposure. In theory, this timing is not enough to produce lye of any concentration. My critics say that I’m really only using thermolysis; and that could very well be true.

There is another large group of zappers that insist you should shave between treatments so they can treat only anagen hairs. I think the idea is utter nonsense (and can prove it). Problem is, what they are doing works just fine. However, because it works does not mean what they are doing is based on fact, but they observe good results and so their theory “must be correct.” It’s not!

What I do care about is the confirmed results I (or others) achieve: results that can be observed and repeated. I can attempt to dissect what I’m doing, and create a long narrative or theory … but, in the last analysis … it’s not all that important.

In the time you are wasting trying to dissect "this thing’ you could be getting your hairs removed. Don’t waste your time, just get off the "pot’ and go for it!

Excellent !

Did you ever try experimenting by not using DC but only using manual AC in blend to see if you were achieving same kill rates as with DC? Wouldn’t that show if lye production from 1 second plays any role in your unorthodox blend?

Ok Michael, you have me insanely curious about your unorthodox blend method. Your say “high HF” what kind of ratios are we talking here? Myself I’ve been using .1/10 RF with 20/.2 on some of my own difficult chin hairs and been getting good results.

Indeed Fenix, I have.

Without the DC: insertions are not as nice (I use “live probing,” i.e., insertion with the DC on all the time.) Lots of DC 'froth" does form. The needle stays clean. How many units? I don’t know and I don’t care.

Without the DC: not so sure if the results are much different. However, if, for example, the client forgets to hold the “ground” I will suddenly notice epilation time increases and insertions are not as lovely and release takes longer.

Julie, I cannot give you settings, because I’m using a Clareblend and a Hinkel: the numbers would not be relevant. But you can turn up the HF until you get a 1 - 2- second release and then 1.0 mA galvanic. (body work only)

Actually what I’m doing is not so unorthodox, but not clearly outlined in Hinkel’s (or my) book. Why? We both considered that people buying our books were total beginners and didn’t want them to use advanced techniques and injure people. So, what we presented was the very basic “blend grammar.” (And, I have some regrets about doing this because it sent most zappers off into doing units-of-lye computations instead of actually watching the skin.)

If I can muster the energy from my increasingly flagging old body (that looks disgusting), and Youtube stops its nonsense, I will do a few videos on this to (I hope) correct my mistakes about this nonsense I created.

BTW, the term “Live Probing” was coined by Neill Block (New Zealand). Lots of the old-timer blenders use this, but Neill was the first to give it a name (I like the name). He was a funny and an acerbic Dutchman (Lots of times I couldn’t make sense of what he was talking about). He died about 10-years ago in Australia. I think a brown snake got him?

I was fascinated by a post by Dee Dee on another site. Using her machine, she noted that it delivered 90 pulses of HF in 0.2 seconds. That would be 90 tiny zaps of thermolysis delivered in 2/10ths of a second? (That’s how I read it, but I could be wrong.)

I’m specifically asking Fenix or Dr. Beate (our resident “science types”) about “relax time.” I believe that in laser application for example, they deliver a pulse of laser and then compute the “relax time,” i.e., time when the skin cools … and then deliver another pulse. Were they to deliver the pulses too closely and not allow for cooling, they would burn the skin.

Obviously what Dee is doing works beautifully, but my question is this: if you are delivering 90 pulses of HF in 1/10th of a second, there does not seem to be any possibility of “relax time.” As the skin heats up there would be no “cool off” time for the next pulse and the ability to maintain a constant temperature? Maybe that’s the goal? Maybe the pulses gradually increase in temperature? Still, 0.2 seconds is a minute period of current exposure. What you you think? What does Dectro say?

Questions is about “relax time.”

I’ll just sneak in here and say that the pico pulses with Synchro thermolysis are 2-5 milliseconds each and there is a period of thermal relaxation, but I can’t say how long, but Jean-Louis or Clement at Dectro would know. Fenix and Beate would probably know, too.

For SynchroBlend there is a galvanic current where several pico pulses of 2 -5 milliseconds are scattered between the pulses, with a period of thermal relaxation.

Julie, I do not understand your notations about current levels:

.1/10 RF with 20/.2 (DC?)"

Dectro also gave us the option to shorten or lengthen the relaxation time between each impulse by enabling another function. If you use 2/1 value the relaxation time is shorter. If you choose to enable 5/4 value the relaxation time is longer. I like 5/4 with a big Laurier IBP. My observation is the client seems more comfortable. Probably because the shorter the thermal relaxtion time between the pulses, the more sensation the client will feel. It’s amazing how fast things happen. If the hair had a brain, it wouldn’t know what hit it.

Amazing … I like the ‘brain’ thing too.

Michael I kinda do the “live probing” with DC current as well and love the fact that it definitely assists in smooth insertions especially with #5 size needles. The needle slides in like hot knife through butter as the lye dissolves the tissue and maybe acts as a lubricant as well?
I don’t have much knowledge of Dectro’s machines or how they’re designed. Electrolysis texts in general are very vague on themolysis currents and treatment patterns since there is no universal standards of measurements on HF.

I’d speculate that Dectro’s machines produce such tiny/narrow heating patterns that they can get away with multiple releases with short “relax times.” 90 bee stings vs. 1 alligator bite.

“90 bee stings vs. 1 alligator bite.”

GREAT analogy and I promise I will be stealing the phrase!

Dee could you tell me what the name of the setting is for that, or where to find it?


On an Instantron Elite Spectrum it’s blend with .1 seconds at 10 ma thermolysis and 20 seconds 0.20 ma galvanic (direct current). Sorry for the shorthand, just my personal way of writing down the settings I’m using.

Further questions for anyone to answer if you don’t mind me please :slight_smile:

Isn’t the theory that RF desiccates the follicle? If that’s the case on your 1.0 ma DC method, wouldn’t you reverse the distribution to deliver the dc and the ac?

Why use this method for body work only, risk of pitting?

For the Live Probing with the DC unit on, is that body work only, for just self treatment or are you having clients that are able to tolerate this?

Oh, 1/10th of a second for the thermolysis? (That is "0.1 seccond?)

The point is that it’s completely worthless to discuss settings and contemplating what any technique would, or would not, do.

Just like a menu in a restaurant … the proof is in the eating. In this discussion, the proof is in what results are achieved from the treatment.

Again, theory attempts to explain what is “in the flesh” happening; not “theory first.”

Indeed, that’s what happens. And that’s why it cannot be simulated through the “pulse repeating function” of older machines. Interestingly, the intensity is mostly the same as the one needed for a continuous pulse of the same total time, so it actually appears to allow to release a hair with less energy than in normal flash thermo mode.

BTW: the signal of that modality is 100 pulses per 0.1 sec duration. Every pulse is 3 wiggles of a 27 MHz sinusoid followed by a short gap (on the older 27MHz machines like mine).
And it would be interesting to see how the impedance of the target are varies through that time (it should), because the output stage of the Apilus seems to be a simple voltage source, and the actual current depends on the impedance of the skin.