Getting Started with Electrolysis

I get so into reading some of these excellently informative posts that I go days without posting. But since now I have my own pro-machine I want to say that all these tips on books, lamps, magnifiers, and hints are so motivating to cough up more cash to donate to this board as it has given so much to me.

Anyway, the Bono book is a tough cookie to find. Amazon has something like two copies for $175 each. I’m seriously considering buying it at that price because waiting for it to appear elsewhere seems like it’s never going to happen. I wanted to read it before I start.

I’ve gone through all the manuals I received with the machine and learned how to adjust all the parameters. I’ve learned that understanding the machine completely is a pure necessity. As mentioned by James, a programmable machine with presets really helps the beginner. I think getting started with something like a Hinkle Classic or Instatron, with the two analog knobs, that may have came with no manuals would be far harder to start out with.

I have a video that was given to me when I purchased the machine and apparently Silhouet Tone has more instructional items that can be purchased. Videos/ DVD’s are great and are very, very helpful. Use of the machine is okay learning from the book, theory is best learned through a book as well, but improvement in actual technique can really takes watching a pro-level operator which the DVD’s help alot!. I watch my Electrologists hands very carefully, finger positioning, angle, speed, movement with the tweezers. I’ve practiced on a banana to get the pedal feeling down, and don’t plan on using Sensor/Delay until 30 minutes with all first attempts completed can be accomplished(unrealistic?). This is all with galvanic of course, because now, studying on how Thermolysis/Superflash depends so much on good, close insertions, I see it’s something left to later days. This is only with magnifying reading glasses and a flourescent light on a swingarm, latex gloves, and with the patient (the banana) on the kitchen table.

My next purchases are going to be a magnification headset, a good, solid swingarm lamp with the high intensity light bulb that James recommended, and a cart for the machine. At first I thought it could just be set on a small table, but the low stable cart/tray with rollers now seems like something of a necessity. I do not want this thing to ever tip over or get bumped as the machines are set to a calibration that needs to be rechecked every so often, and I need a place to put the accessories, needles, and mount a good sturdy swing arm light.

I think this is definitely something to work at to get that confidence in performing those good, clean, first attempt insertions down, but do feel it’s something realistic. Other beginners reading this should keep in mind I have a formal medical background and experience working with advanced equipment, and a healthy supply of caution. I just wish there was a course I could take somewhere other than the Long Beach, California school 150 miles to the north. I really wouldn’t dream of stopping my visits to my electrologist, and she is always helpful in giving out advice.

Personally? I think the American Electrology Association should takes steps to promote their science. Already sharing customers from the the laser and wax markets, making people take massage and beauty courses, if they can get to a school, seems an unneccessary hinderance. It should be offered at the junior college level, and maybe one JC per city, like police academies or Physical Therapy Assistant courses. I think in making it an exclusive profession, they’ve haven’t positioned themselves for growth. There’s no more than ten electrologist available in San Diego, and it’s such a time intensive trade. This scarcity is what makes some consider buying their own machines.

Anyway, just my thoughts now that I’ve come to learn more about the trade, the skill, and the machines.

Items gathered from some posts by DIY, James, Dee, Rhonda, and myself that are on the necessary list:

A good machine that an operator has complete knowledge of it’s operation and settings
#3 Needles (I have Ballets, my Electrologist uses them as well)
A sturdy swivelling lamp with a very bright white light
Reading glasses (1x)
Binocoulars (aka ‘Loupes’) 1x or 2x (?)
A cart to put all this stuff and keep it stored in good working order.
Alcohol with a sterile container for swabs
Latex gloves
A little red sharps disposal

…and no coffee, or funny movies on TV


Bono’s book can be found at, that is, the newer edition. Hopefully, they still have stock left?

Probes come in all sizes. I use the smallest “2’s” to the largest, “6’s”, depending on the diameter of the hair.

I’m finding it hard to believe there are maybe only 10 electrologists is San Diego, but I believe what you say. It is no wonder you are attempting this on yourself. We don’t recommend self-electrolysis, but you sound better than others as far as being cautious. Maybe you will find it desirable to join the professional ranks and become an electrologist??? hmmm?

As far as the American Electrology Association is concerned, they are aware of what you are saying and are working hard on several issues at this time, as I and others have been assured. They are not unaware about certain weakness’s. Have you seen their new “Working Wonders” campaign marketing information? Go to and tell us what you think!

Thanks for your thoughts and do be careful. Performing electrolysis is not as easy as you think, without proper training, as I’m sure you are discovering.


The best source for the Bono Book from what I have found is Texas Electrolysis Supply 16627 Sea Lark Road, Houston, TX 77062 Telephone: 1-800-626-6025 Fax: 1-888-508-8508 They had the new version hot off the presses. There is no reason to pay Amazon’s price when you can get a new one for about $50 from TES. (well, no reason unless it is the first edition with all the extra pages that have been taken out of the newer version.)

I tell people about that easier to get the hang of thing, and I get accused of trying to sell expensive epilators all the time. Thanks for making it real to some people.

As for the Junior College thing, we have been trying to get that done for years, but we have an image problem. JC’s don’t think Electrolysis Training is Glamorous enough to have on their campus. They will do Dental Hygienist courses to death, but they think that an Electrology course would “cheapen their image”. We even had a course with nearly 30 paid students canceled prior to graduating the group who expected to get a two year course because the incoming college administration was horrified to find such an embarrassing major in the course listings. That same year, they continued a Dental Hygienist Major that had 7 participants.

This industry is stuck between trying to convince these JC’s to make money on a course that would have at least as many members as any Dental Hygienist course, and trying to create a network of independent schools offering good training.

At least you have a school you could conceivably attend, most people don’t have a course they could attend in driving distance from their homes.

Dear Mantaray,

You mentioned 1X and 2X magnification.
If you haven’t purchased yet, look into at least a 2.5X or 3X. This provides good magnification at a comfortable working distance.

Good luck.

Dear James,

Which school ended the electrology program while 30 students had pre enrolled?

I know that Union County in NJ, temporarily suspended its Electrology curriculum recently but I wasn’t sure why.

I do know a number of Electrology Schools, not related to any colleges, that have closed their doors over the past decade and that Esthetic and Cosmetology Schools have lost interest in developing their electrology programs because of a lack of student interest. I know this to be true because over the past 2 years, I have spoken with school administrators from several schools in NYC. This had been earlier confirmed when I personally interacted with beauty school students who showed very little interest in the electrology program and much more interest in the laser course. (The laser course is cheaper and requires far less training and hours. The students also felt that they were more marketable if they had laser training.)

Electrolysis has had a brutal history and we need everyone to become a master of PR.

  1. Although Electrolysis was discovered by a physician, physicians in this country have shown little interest in offering it as a service. For the most part, they don’t even want to have a trained professional in their office to administer the treatment because… it is not economically sound. Why should they have an office devoted to one patient when the most they can charge is about $100 an hour, high end. These docs can use their space and workers to generate far more than $100 an hour.

  2. Electrolysis has been viewed as ineffective because lots of non needle methods have been called electrolysis along with home gadgets and the public has been confused and fooled.

  3. Its a service that is being primarily administered by women. Believe me, if we were a profession dominated mostly be men, um, I think most electrologists would be out of the basement.

I would like to share something very interesting with you… lately, I am noticing that more and more of the people showing an interest in having electrolysis services offered are those who are already in the laser hair removal business as they want to have, on hand, a trained electrologist to do, what they refer to, as the white hair clean-ups.

I have seen so many of these white hair clean-ups and I tell you, I end up treating a lot of hair that is quite dark too.

In any event James, would you let me know more about that Junior College situation? Either here or via email or phone, all fine.


Arlene R. Batz, CPE
718 206-2744

The doctors I have spoken to don’t want electrologists in their offices because they can’t find current professionals who do good work, who would come into their practices at the rates they are willing to pay. This leaves them needing pay for someone’s training, and count the days till the person they trained “runs off” with all their clients and opens a stand alone practice because a trained practitioner CAN buy all that is needed on credit or out of the funds they earn working for the doctor. LASER techs don’t have the credit nor the money for purchase of a LASER, and furthermore, the law states that a Doctor must have some accontability for each one out there. On top of that, there are lots of LASER ads out there advertising the idea of LASER service. There is nothing in the mass media making Electrolysis “hip” in the minds of the general public.

Many men would have lots of hair removed if they could find anyone skilled and fast enough to do it. This is a man’s problem, but that still leaves many men hearing “I don’t treat men! <Click!>” when they call around looking for someone to do their faces, backs, chests, and other areas.

Dear James,

You wrote:

As for the Junior College thing, we have been trying to get that done for years, but we have an image problem. JC’s don’t think Electrolysis Training is Glamorous enough to have on their campus. They will do Dental Hygienist courses to death, but they think that an Electrology course would “cheapen their image”. We even had a course with nearly 30 paid students canceled prior to graduating the group who expected to get a two year course because the incoming college administration was horrified to find such an embarrassing major in the course listings. That same year, they continued a Dental Hygienist Major that had 7 participants.

I was wondering if you could confirm if this is what happened at Union County recently or elsewhere.

Thank you.

I have asked someone who was on the inside on that situation to call you. It is up to that person to tell you, or not tell you.

Oh, why would you mention it at all and not want to mention the name of the school? Why would it be up to “that person” to tell me?

If a school is taking such a stand against electrolysis then wouldn’t it be a good thing to advertise this, that a school is exhibiting an act of discrimination.

In any event, if it is indeed Union in NJ, as I suspect, then the NJ people should be informed and perhaps take some action. Afterall, if it is indeed the community college in NJ, and there really were that many students who wanted to take the program but were unable to because of a school’s perception of a problem that is often the result of a metabolic disorder, then this is a political issue as the school is partially funded by the taxpayers.

People like me take action. We support what we believe in. We write letters to politicans. We demonstrate. I am not alone.

Thanks anyway

Oh, why would you mention it at all and not want to mention the name of the school? Why would it be up to “that person” to tell me?

Because they are not alone. I was pointing out just how far reaching this attitude goes. There are many more Junior Colleges that have turned down the idea out of hand and flatly refused to even give it a try than have started one and dumped it. I personally went to JC’s in my area, and even two places that did job training in conjunction with colleges in my area, and even though money was available for such a program, no one wanted to host it.

Sure we can condem one place here or there, but the real problem is larger than that.

Hmmm, let’s see.
A market need.
A whole in the market.
Seems like a good opportunity for some entrepeneur.
Is it necessary for a JC to offer the curriculum?
A private trade school unacceptable in NJ?
There are certainly enough esthetic schools throughout NJ. I actually spoke with an administrative decision maker at Christine Valmy about 2 years ago, about developing an electrology curriculum. Their main office is in NJ.
The idea was blown off and I was told that they have a laser, are teaching about laser but were not actually doing hands on, just observation and theory. I was told that they didn’t feel like devoting space for an electrology course.

It is a shame that one would not shout out the names of the schools that reject the curriculum.

As a person who’s life has been dramatically affected by PCOS, it becomes very personal. At least those who want the course can come to NYC and take it - pending approval.

So once again, it is really up to consumer education to drive the market forces, as no one will want to invest in training electrologists until they see people turning down LASER, Waxing, and Threading and demanding the Gold Standard

Oh, and by the way,

I will use the word LOSE and LOOSE in a sentence to help distinguish the difference:

First example: As a LOOSE maiden, she is likely to LOSE her virginity before she weds.
…A market need. A whole in the market.

I will use the words WHOLE and HOLE in a sentence to help distinguish the difference:

When someone makes an issue out of a typographical HOLE in someone’s fast typing, they miss out on the point that most people understood the WHOLE truth of what the person was meaning to say. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Don’t think that I don’t believe it is a personal issue. I know what it is like trying to find someone who can take care of the problem, and finding that services are very limited or not available in one’s area. The more consumers who read enough to get past the Televised hype, the better off we will all be. It is not like we can accept this situation in the way we accept the fact that modern appliances are made to fail in 3 to 5 years, due to the fact that the options in newer appliances changes so radically in 3 to 5 years, everyone wants an excuse to buy a new one anyway.

No one will march on washington for iron to re-replace aluminum parts in say, washer dryers. Now if people would make their desire known for real results for permanent hair removal known with more than their willingness to spend $19.99 plus shipping and handling for every quack device that gets shown on late night TV, we might have something going on here.

First of all, thanks to all the pros. We’re lucky to have you.

Anyway, Dee, I did read up on the campaign that is launching. I think it’s good that they have the internet option. More of interest was the institution links that list the curriculum topics. Although I live in California, it’s tempting to give my sister’s Texas address to qualify for online education. $5,000 or so is not a whole lot for gaining the ability to have an additional pro-level skill. I’m really fascinated by the simplicity of electrolysis and the way one can get absorbed in jumping from follical to follical and being able to tune out and relax. I feel for the bigger machine manufacturers that have put time into making state of the art machines, just to face such a user-drought. They should require you guys to buy a machine each year just to keep them in business <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> No wonder Hinkle and Fischer merged. It’s just survival. I did go over to but I guess the site is undergoing something. I’ll try back later. And, yes, I need to get some #2’s myself.

Arlene, thanks for the loupe pointer. I hadn’t purchased loupes yet, and did get some B&L 1.8, 2.2,2.6’s. Can’t they be increased by wearing 1x or 2x eyeglasses with them in conjunction? If those don’t give me a good working distance then I’ll scout a pair like my electrologist. She has this real light-weight skinny frame type that has a flip-upable lensmounted to just one stick coming out. I like those, she works about ten inches away. I like the surgical type that has the little individual refractor lenses for each eye. Anyone use those? Nice, but at $189 they’ll have to wait.

James, thanks for the tip on the book, that saves me money so I can buy more Neosporin, and that’s a great supply resource because there’s nothing that I know of on ebay or driveable around here. I plan on putting in an order within the next few days with them. I want to get started on that book. I need the book, the encyclopedia, and some fresh expired stock #2’s and #3’s. I recieved samples of gold Ballet needles (F3G’s) along with the standard F3’s. I’m wondering if those give a better delivery, gold being a good conductor, and easier insertion?. My electrologist uses standard silver, but then again she doesn’t have any good magazines in her waiting area. I got a better swingarm lamp (center halogen/ with a circular flouresent, …no, no magnifying glass, thank you) and it’s way better than the cheap Ikea lamp I was using. I found the FX bulb too, but am going with a type A 100 watt Halogen for now. Comfort, it doesn’t get as hot.

Yesterday I set everything up, sanitized everything, got it all ready to go. Now I find there’s a lot of minor points I need to address; which handle size is best, big or small? Do I have hair roots that curl? Doing cataphoresis, depth guaging, using a slightly bent needle, etc. Just lots of minor points I want to get resolved by reading the Bono book, nagging my electrologist, and looking in the forum archives. Actually not so minor as these are things i need to know down pat. I’m still at least a month away from any kind of attempt. And won’t do so until I can do a few insertions with my electrologist monitoring Anyway, thanks to all who contribute, with wisdom and money!


Thank YOU for making such detailed posts. Perhaps some people will read these and get the idea that they have to rethink their position that electrolysis is something that a well trained Circus Chimp could perform.

And if those same people do enough research, they’ll also discover that not everyone needs to be so particular as Mantaray to do successful DIY electrolysis.

With no training, $2 reading glasses, a florescent desk lamp, decent tweezers, and a One Touch or upgraded home built unit ( ), I was able to remove all my pubic hair and under arm hair.

I find it amazing that it is possible for people to rid themselves of hair so simply. DIY can be tedious, but rewarding and affordable for those that can’t spend the time and money to go to a pro.

I don’t think Chimps can do it, but many people can do DIY without extreme measures. Yes, there are many that don’t have the patience, eyesight, and steady hands to DIY, but I bet there’s many that can once they’re done enough research and enough practice. Those with special health problems are another matter entirely.

It never hurts to be cautious and learn all you can. But in my first month of not waiting, I already had made good progress in establishing that DIY (Galvanic) wasn’t all that tricky and I was well into getting clearance and satisfaction. Maybe I was in a circus in a past life.

James, (TES) had the new edition of Bono, ‘Real World Electrolysis: The Blend Method’ for $36 dollars. I got that, and a copy of the old standard Hinkle book ‘Electrolysis, Thermolysis, and the Blend’ and some other things good to have around. The hinkle book is older, but I was browsing it while getting treated yesterday. I thought it had good, basic theory explanations. They get out orders quickly too. Just a good, no frills supplier. Thanks!

Arlene, I’m fast realizing the loupes are a huge factor. One can only treat what one can get a clear shot at. Focal distance is everything. It seems the stronger, the closer. Not good for the DIY’er. My electrologist just smirks and tells me to ‘Just try and stay away from my good work.’ <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I’m going to keep an eye out for something that can give me twelve to 18 inches of work distance at at least 1.8x. Unrealistic? Guess I better limber up, and that also might mean staying away from the big helpings of lasagna. Medical, jeweler, or technical, there just may be something out there I haven’t seen yet. But I wil say, after I got the loupes today, I was completely into it and motivated.

Thanks All,


Now you see why I use stereo binocular scopes. I have a minimum of 14 inches focal distance, and although my feild of vision is reduced to 2 square inches, every hair in that short space looks like the size of a pencil sticking out of a sheet of paper.

With 16-21 inches of focal length to keep one’s back healthy, deal me in. I had never even thought of getting those. My electrologist wants them too now. Mind sharing what you think are the best brands? There’s a few, all competitively priced, from $200 to $300. Brands I’m considering:

Med-Lite (various types and titanium)
Eagle Optical
U.S. Micro-Surgical Optical


I am not the best source on this point. I like Zeiss lenses, and although Zeiss sells its own brand name stuff, which is what I use, other companies purchase Zeiss lenses, and put them into their own visual aides.

Most companies will allow you to try them out, or have a generous returns policy, as they know you need to use the item to find out if it works for what you want to do with it.

I would call the places that sell them, or the companies themselves, and arrange an in home trial. Zeiss will send you loupes and multiple lenses with a Credit Card to secure the items, and you have 30 days to try them out, and send them back with no obligation. I think the only thing you pay is shipping charges, and if you find what you want, you just keep what you want, and return the things you don’t.

Now you see why I use stereo binocular scopes. I have a minimum of 14 inches focal distance, and although my feild of vision is reduced to 2 square inches, every hair in that short space looks like the size of a pencil sticking out of a sheet of paper.

what make are they and model

do you have a link James <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />