Follicle A

Suppose there is follicle A.
Follicle A is treated once and it is in the Anagen(growing) stage.
Will Follicle A produce any more hair? OR will that follicle be disabled permanently from producing any more hair?

80% is the average “kill rate” for most electrologists, if I recall correctly. There is approximately an 80% chance it will not produce any more hair. In the 20% of the time where the hair does regrow, it should be significantly thinner/finer, unless the hair was simply plucked and not properly treated.

I was wondering, how important is it for every hair to come out with the white sheath and black bulb? I do not feel any plucking during my treatment but lots of the hairs (mainly my chin) do not seem to have the sheath and bulb. Is damage still being done to the follicle? My electrologist says as long as they slide out ok then all is well.


It all depends on why the sheath and bulb are not coming out when the hair is epilated.

If the treatment energy is on the edge of just enough and not quite enough, it is possible for the sheath to pull inside out, or stay behind when the hair is epilated.

If the hair is treated with more energy than needed, the bulb and sheath can be totally melted, and so they can’t come out with the epilated hairs.

Obviously, if the hair is broken off below the skin, it is leaving the bulb and sheath in the bottom of the folicle.

In the first two examples, the hair would most likely still experience permanent hair removal. In the last example, it is less likely for permanent hair removal to occur. A thinner hair is more likely.

If the Follicle A in anagen is treated with sufficient energy and properly, there should no longer be growth from that hair follicle. If there is continued obvious growth in the area, it is most likely not from follicle A but nearby follicles that are cycling in or finer hairs transitioning to terminal (coarse) hairs.

I do know that some schools of thought teach that a single follicle might need to be broken down and treated several times before growth ceases but I wonder how ONCE a follicle is treated in anagen and properly, if the dermal papilla and bulge can be recreated.

Side note: Kill rate charts are contingent on anagen hair estimations and not electrologist efficiency. Kill rates vary from 10% to 85% depending on where the hairs are located on the body. For example: Some folks say that they feel a slight resistance when eyebrow hairs are being treated. This is most likely because approximately 10% of eyebrow hair is in anagen.

Medical experimentation

When I was doing a lot of work in Holland, a Dutch surgeon invented his own technique for removing stubborn beards: he cut out the papillae! (He lectured with me a few times about his procedure, which I thought was, well — insane!)

The surgeon would cut a flap of skin, fold it over and then cut away the lower half of the hair follicles. After a few years of doing this, he told me “it didn’t work!” Somehow, the “upper follicle” was able to “find” another papilla and reconstruct itself. Besides leaving nasty scars from the incisions, the procedure failed to remove the hairs.

So, can the stem cells in the upper follicle reconstruct another new hair? Well, that’s pretty much want happens anyway with a shed hair regenerates. Does the new follicle have to use its “native” papilla? Funny that there is still so much we don’t know about hair. One thing for certain: the “papilla only” theory is defunct. Which is one concern I have always had for using a fully insulated needle. No crusts, but …

That is a very sad story Michael. I am sorry that you couldn’t get him on the phone with Dr. Schuster.

Yes, destroy the bulge higher up along with the dermal papilla lower down. When we learn to use insulated probes, we need to pulse at different depths. The proof is in the balding.

There are some electrologists who use insulated only and some have interesting techniques which is very impressive if they can do it right - they perform electrolysis with an insulated probe and after they remove the hair, they reenter the now hairless follicle (which they claim they can find easily) and administer more current.

I think that’s an excellent strategy, Arlene. I still use the so-called two-handed technique so when the hair epilates, I already have the needle placed in the bare follicle (no need to re-insert) — and then, of course, a few seconds of DC — or maybe even an extra shot of the HF. It all depends on what I see happening.

Luckily, Dr. Bouman (Nederland) only did his treatment on the neck area; not the face. But I met one of his patients and he had little crescent-shaped scars on his neck (with the hairs still there!). After all my many times in Holland (18 trips in all) Bouman became a big advocate of electrology. He was a super nice guy and very enthusiastic. And then, there was the Perreboom research at Rotterdam University Hospital — some time I have to talk about this — every electrologist will scratch her head in disbelief.

If the hair comes out without resistance, how can you know that the follicle needs a supply “extra” of current (HF or DC)?

Really, is this necessary?

Epilation resistance is only one factor I’m looking for. I’m also looking for a very specific skin reaction (that indicates, to me, full treatment) and really cannot describe it — you have to see it. Beards always get an extra dose … and then, there is “Merrill” (her real name).

Merrill is an OR nurse at our local hospital and spent over $10,000 on (several kinds of) laser hair removal methods on her legs — it didn’t work. She successfully “sued” three clinics and got most of her money back! (Yes, we do live in California. Suing for “services not rendered” is, in my opinion, appropriate.)

She came to me about 3 years ago with thick black hair on her legs (very white skin). Amazingly, the hairs epilated with almost no current; until I simply tweezed out a hair. The tweezed hair came out with no tug at all! It just slid out! Maybe laser had done something? I don’t know, but I was “flying blind.” Ease of epilation could not be my only standard.

I did my normal computation for 60 units and, even if the hair came out immediately, I continued on in the empty follicle to deliver the lethal dose. Actually, she is probably my most unsuccessful client ever because it seems to have taken forever to remove those stubborn (but easily removed) hairs. I think I did a bad job, overall, because that “ease of epilation” continued to baffle me. After a year, I saw Merrill a couple months ago and it took me 10 minutes to remove all the scattered hairs on both legs (full legs and bikini area too).

Michael, that certainly sounds like a “one of a kind” case. I’m certain it had you thinking for quite some time, and extremely pleased when you finally saw the positive results much, much later.

Yes Michael, I think I know what you mean to see a “specific reaction”.

Electrologists really almost have the power to see farther than others can see.

Some time ago I read an article written by a Spanish specialized surgeon in urethroplasty, Dr. Gil Vernet. In that article he was saying that he itself was practising the Electrolysis in his patients a few months before the intervention. Also he said that for him it is easy to see the direction of the follicles due to the transparency of scrotal skin.
This made me smile, nobody said to this man that electrologists do not need to see across the skin to know which is the direction and the angle of the follicles?

If only he had consulted with some electrologist…