Flash same as Thermolysis?

This has probably been asked before, but I want to make sure. The electrologists I’m going to says that since the hair on my upper lip is fine but there are alot, she’ll use Flash-- which is another word for thermolysis right? It uses heat to kill the cells.

Another electrologist I used to go to, used the Blend method which made that area really red and I had lots of scabs as a result. But I guess she thought it was more effective.

So which one is better?

Flash is great for fine hairs, not to mention, that more hair can be removed per session with flash thermolysis because it is quicker.

Basically, flash thermolysis is high intensity heat with timing at less than 1 second. Manual thermolysis is low to moderate heat lasting for more than 1 second. Manual can be 1,2,3,4,5,6,etc., seconds depending on the size and depth of the hair being treated.

Your electrologist has chosen a great strategy for the area you describe. You don’t need the blend method for those fine hairs. Flash, manual thermolysis (heat) and blend methods (heat + chemical) will get you permanency, but for those fine hairs, that are numerous, flash will serve you much better.


Thermolysis, Flash, MicroFlash, Diathermy, and Thermocoagulation are all the same thing. If I have missed any, feel free to add them here.

how can they be the same? there is no difference between flash and microflash?

Vanessa, I think James meant same in terms of modality. Meaning that in all those methods, it’s thermolysis (or heat) that kills the papilla rather than a chemical as in the galvanic modality.

The difference between Flash, Microflash, and Picoflash are the intensities and duration of the Radio Frequency treatments. It is all the generation of a radio wave that causes vibration, that leads to the transformation of the moisture in the follicle from liquid to vapor which flash cooks the protiens in the follicle as the gaseous vapor escapes through the opening of the follicle.

thermolysis timing is in tenths of a second, with lower intensities. Flashtimings measured in hundreths of a second. Microflash has timings in the thousands of a second with higher intensities, and PicoFlash can have a timing set to ten thousandths of a second with super high intensities.

It is kind of like showing the difference between a water hose, a fire hose, and a water drill. Its all water projectiles, but oh what a difference the delivery system makes.

The quicker the treatment happens, the less there is to feel.

How is flash used, though? Is there a probe? Also, how available is it to privately own a MicroFlash machine?

All electrology is done the same way. A fine metal probe is inserted into the follicle and the treatment energy is introduced to the area, thus destroying the growth cells that make the hair.

If you have the money, you can get a machine that does MicroFlash, but they are more expensive than the regular machines, because they must be computerized machines to do MicroFlash.

Any newer Apilus Machine would have MicroFlash as would the later Silhouet-Tone Machines. I honestly don’t remember if the Fischers do MicroFlash, as it has been at least 10 years since I used one.

Great explanations from dee and James. I thought flash and thermolysis were one and the same but now I see there is a difference. It’s just part of the scale from manual thermolysis up to picoflash. The water drill analogy was great too.


Okay, because I’m going crazy becoming familiar wuth all these machines and techniques, I’m finding this thread a wisdom nugget. What I need to understand is:

Given the operator is willing to invest the hours in refining technique to maximize the technology, is using a flash capable machine like a Hinkel UC-3 or Silhouet-Tone Servo-blend really a huge jump in performance and decreased pain over something like a lesser expensive blend-capable only machine? Do you experienced regulars here consider it something like a wasteful shame that beginners are hesitant to spend a few more dollars to get a much more capable machine?

I ask this because I really want to buy whats going to be the best years down the line.

See, I’m really thinking now because I thought of blend as tried and true, and Flash more experimental. Why? becuase the pro I go to for my own treatment uses blend and swears by an older basic Hinkel Classic, and yes, the sessions can hurt. At this point, in that I want to clear large areas, should I be looking at a CPE/RE that is willing to invest and learn the benefits of a Flash machine? Will I make quicker progress with a good Flash operator?


One thing to consider when contemplating either a new epilator or finding a new electrologist is the following:

The most important thing is that the operator know how to make proper insertions and apply the correct amount of energy for the hair being treated.

While the new machines can do the job quickly in the hands of a good, well-trained operator they can be just as ineffective in the hands of an inexperienced or less competent operator as an older machine. Also, if used at too high of settings, they can cause a lot of over-treatment and skin damage a lot quicker than the older machines.

Quantity can never replace quality, although you can have a good compromise between the two with a good operator. I wish I lived close to James!


Okay the math teacher cringes. I have also done equation proofreading for the micro chip industry.
James I know you didn’t create these misnomers but I can’t take it.

A millisecond is 1/1000 of a second or 1 x 10^-3 (ten raised to the power of negative 3.

A microsecond is 1/1,000,000 of a second or 1 x 10^-6.

A nanosecond is one billionth.

A Pico second is 1/1,000,000,000,0000 or 1 one trillionth of a second that is 1 x 10^-12.

Would you hand some one a Ben Franklin and say here is a million Dollars?

Would you expect to live in luxury in a $10,000 House?

These differences are greater then that.

These are in fact scientific terms with a definite value used in the microchip industry. They were also bonus questions on my math tests.Just couldn’t take.

I concur with Joanie the skill involved is most important. A high-tech. epilator doesn’t compensate for lack of skill.

Hey, thanks for re-emphasizng something that has already been said repeatedly here on hairtell long before both of you arrived at the unwanted hair party. I don’t think you will get any arguments on practitioner skill being the number one requirement for a good treatment whether one gets electrolysis or laser. Since James is out of the house at the moment, allow me to speak for him. He has said practitioner skill is job number one in regard to electrolysis, as have I, until we are cyanotic and almost to the point of death. To prove this, go back and read posts from the past three years. You will become quite bored or dizzy at the redundancy of emphasizing practitioner skill as the number one bullet point. All electrologists agree about this, duh, because that is where it all starts.

Now if we ante this up and combine that perfected skill with quality microflash equipment, then you got the speed factor clicking in high gear to actually get a client to completion before the next decade, with a good measure of comfort to boot and great looking skin when it’s all over. Quantity can mean quality, in regard to electrolysis outcome. Deadly speed can be attained with the best tools of the trade combined with practitioner skill. How do you think the client feels about electrolysis after an experience like that? They’re probably thinking, Pain? - not too bad at all, Time to completion? - not as long as all those brochures and internet commercials led me to believe, Costly? - much cheaper than laser and the hair is permanently gone, Skin condition? - no scarring or infections like I was led to believe in all those Oprah-like magazines.

An unskilled and half blind electrologist will damage a clients skin no matter what kind of epilator they use. If you’re in business, use the best tools in conjunction with those super honed practitioner skills and the clients will keep coming and referring their friends and relatives and life will be so happy.

IS IT NOT okay to report what works well from the other side where computerized microflash or maybe a picoflash epilator is used with extreme success for both client and electrologist? Let’s do some more math: more hairs removed permanently per minute by a skilled electrologist + client compliance to actually come to appointments on schedule = happy satisfied clients who are finished in an acceptable time frame and do not doubt their decision to choose a viable option for hair removal called electrolysis. If an electrologist is too pokey, the client may give up, and who can blame them.

Ask me if I would want to type my thesis on a 1970 model Smith-Corona typewriter with a ribbon to correct misspelled words or would I rather do the job on a computer? Ask me if I would ever buy a non-computerized epilator as oppossed to a computerized epilator? My answer is simply…No.



Have you sampled a treatment with a SKILLED electrologist that uses microflash thermolysis using a Silhouete-Tone VMC or an Apilus SX-500? There are other good brands, too. Only you can decide which modality and equipment feels good for you. Blend? manual thermolysis? flash? microflash? and some may have a picoflash epilator? All work, but some are more comfortable and faster than others.

I know you will not sample laser again and you have large areas of hair to remove, so at least focus in on a practitioner that has decent speed, utilizing the best tools that are available in 2006 with SKILL and KNOWLEDGE. The hardest part is shopping and comparing, but you won’t regret your efforts when you settle on the right practitioner for you. If you only have one practitioner in your locale, then so it is, you will need to go with whatever they offer.


Nobody is disagreeing with anything in your post or in James post either.

We are, like you say, reemphasizing what has been posted over and over. Every post, as I read it, agrees with and adds tothe last.

“An unskilled and half blind electrologist will damage a clients skin no matter what kind of epilator they use. If you’re in business, use the best tools in conjunction with those super honed practitioner skills and the clients will keep coming and referring their friends and relatives and life will be so happy.”

I am glad you said this. It can’t be said enough.

We all love word processing over typewriters.

In many areas people don’t have access to an electrologist period. So they hardly have the option of choosing the equiptment used by the nearest electrologist. I don’t think a person should forgo electrology because the lastest isn’t available to them. Nor do I think that they should do it themselves because the local electrologist doesn’t have the latest. BUT THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Sorry you took it so personal. Or perhaps you should go back and reread. As I qualified my post with a disclaimer saying I am not blaming James:he is not resposible for the misnomers. Have I emphasized this enough?

So here it is again. Micro is generally used, accurately, to describe something very small. But when used in the denominator of a fraction it has a very specific meaning. So here they are again.
millisecond 1/1000, microsecond 1/1,000,000. nanosecond 1/1 x 10^-9. picosecond 1/1 x 10^ -12.

This absolutely has no bearing on anybodies ablility to do electrolysis what so ever. Nor does it change the “greatness” of any epilator. It just grates on my nerves like something like “ain’t got no” might annoy an English teacher. Example: I ain’t got no money for a new epilator (so I am considering a loan, but I very much want a second generation so I am waiting).
I’m defining terms thats all, least they should be misused.
As James seems to be a stickler user, or lover of vernacular, I suspect he will adopt these new terms into his vocabulary.

Now, see how easy it is to misconstrue a post? Potential clients misconstrue all the time. And so do I. That is why it is reasked and reposted.

Is it my fault that Apilus calls their setting PicoFlash, but doesn’t allow a practitioner to make a setting of one billionth of a watt for one billionth of a second? Take it up with them what they called their product.

That is all I have time or inclination to say on this subject at the moment.

Since this is a consumer hair site, I really see little value of defining in detail, complete with math symbols, the breakdown of microsecond,nanosecond,picosecond, etc.so I’m thinking that kind of discussion is fruitless because consumers care about hair, not engineering terms. Well, okay, maybe RJC2001 cares about engineering stuff, but he’s probably the only one here on hairtell that does.

Parts of your posts are hard for me to follow and I’m not sure what you are trying to say to me most of the time, viewer. I simply have to apologize for being so obtuse.

I think I have figured out though in recent years, that potential electrolysis clients that do not have access to a skilled and hopefully modernly equipped electrologist, will in this day and age, most likely have plenty of choices in LASER clinics that will do the job, no matter where they live and will choose the LASER option before they DIY themself anyway. OR… even if they had access to an electrologist and his or hers speed factor was just three hairs per minute and skin condition left them unsuitable to be seen for days, they would still consider the LASER option, and who could blame them?

You see, the new kid on the block, called LASER, makes us have to work harder and smarter to satisfy the impatient consumer. That’s why decent(and deadly) speed combined with a level of comfort has entered the scene like no other time in the history of hair removal. Computerized equipment, with all the bells and whistles, allows us to work smarter and harder just to maintain a competitive edge.

I am grateful that consumers have the LASER option, but I also recognize that in today’s world, the modern electrologist better step it up if they want a livlihood. Clients still need electrolysis even with all the LASER hype and my point to you is, just give them the best to get them bare as fast as possible. I wonder how many electrology schools recognize that king electrolysis has competition now and are preparing students to understand where they will fit into this new world? I think the American Electrology Association gets it, but then again I’m not really all that sure.


Thanks all, of course, but Dee, do you really feel that Flash unit of yours has notched up your efficiency past anything you could get done with a conventional electro/thermo/blend unit? How long did it take you, and everyone here really, to get down the flash timing? How long before you stopped using the pedal and went straight to auto? See, this is what I’m curious about, because I see flash as this brand new format that takes years to learn, I mean, develope a skill level that can harness it.

And the good thing about laser clients is that they will always have hair coming back so they can get electrolysis!! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Whoops, your original question almost got lost in the shuffle. The answer to your first question is, yes, for me, most definitely. And by the way, my epilator still has conventional abilities, too.I can do single needle galvanic, blend, manual thermolysis and microflash in preset programs. I can design my own formula for intensity and timing or I can rely on the computer preset program and tweaked it up or down in the smallest increments until I have a perfect setting for each individual client. So it can be used as a conventional machine or something even better.

I think I understand that you are going to purchase a professional epilator and DIY or have a buddy work on you? Is that the case or am I way off?

Using automatic timing without a footswitch is not something I started with until I felt comfortable and confident and I can truthfully say it was several months after I got my new epilator before I mustered up the nerve to go for it. Performing flash or microflash without a foot switch is something a professional electrologist needs to work up to, step by careful step over time, starting with making those perfect insertions and allowing the full strength of the current to discharge automatically when the probe is placed at the bottom of the follicle. Otherwise, if one is not comfortable with all the physical and visual manuvering of the electrolysis insertion and how to set the levels on the machine, the skin can be damaged. It’s not something you want to do as a newbie without proper training. All my above comments were directed to the professional electrologists.

There is no doubt though, that when a professional uses good judgment, skill and modern equipment that the speed factor is very satisfying to the client because this affects them looking finished within a short time, even though they are not to the end yet. The psychological happiness they feel when the hair is “gone” in those early weeks is uplifting to client and the electrologist. The level of client compliance to actually keep grabbing those new hairs as they pop out is awesome. Throw in the level of comfort/tolerance factor, too, and we’re into something good.

If I didn’t answer your question well, please let me know and I’ll try again.


if laser clients always had hair coming back, laser wouldn’t be competition to electrolysis like Dee said.