Hair thinned or destroyed?

I’ve had three sessions now with an electrologist using thermolysis who tells me that contrary to what I believed, the individual hair follicle is not completely destroyed at first treatment rather the hair grows back weaker and finer until the follicle is eventually destroyed. This doesn’t fit with how I interpreted the descriptions I’ve read of electrolysis on the forum here…could anyone clarify which is correct?

As I say, I’ve only had three treatments so its difficult for me to assess the effectiveness of treatment at this stage, with the chin area being treated being very coarse and dense in hairs. However the electrologist does work very quickly (about 10 hairs a minute) and most of them seeming to slide out after treatment. There is the odd hair which I feel some resistance with when it is removed but my electrologist informs me this is because the hair root and sheath is particularly strong with my thick hair. Does this sound accurate?

I do also occasionally feel that the hair has been plucked (about 10 hairs per half hour session) but put this down to the electrologist pulling a hair which has not been treated next to the one that has due to me only growing my hairs for 2 days before treatment and it therefore being difficult to locate the just treated hair especially in such a dense area. I don’t see this as too much of an issue as it is a small amount of hairs compared to the amount successfully treated in a session and I will be continuing treatment for the next year so expect these will be treated correctly at some point. I just wondered if it was the case that a different hair to the one just treated was plucked would the treated hair still be affected and simply grow out if it wasn’t removed?

We have discussed this before here.

This is something the hair removal worker may have been taught by their teacher, or it may be something she says to line up your expectation with multiple treatments, or both. The truth is that a successful treatment on one hair follicle would, given the correct situation, lead to 100% permanent hair removal THE FiRST TIME. The problem with perception of this is two fold. Since hair grows in cycles, even if we got 100% permanent hair removal on 100% of the hairs we treated in one treatment, untreated follicles will be growing noticeable hairs 3 to 6 weeks from the treatment day, thus appearing to be “it all growing back” when it is in fact just the next batch of hairs growing in on schedule. In our hypothetical situation, that person would have, with one treatment, a clear treatment area once a year for about 3 to 6 weeks. Since you want all of the hair gone all of the time, one has to have additional treatment appointments during the course of the year, to catch all of the hair cycles as they come in.

If one were lucky enough to be on perfect schedule, and got full clearance each and every time, one could do an entire area to finish in 9 months, but in real life, it takes longer as most people can not get full clearance the first time they have an appointment, and some people have practitioners who refuse to fully clear any area in one appointment, until there are so few hairs left that they have no choice.

Since it is very difficult to get the average person to understand this reality that I have tried to explain to you, many practitioners who know the truth still tell the “Thinning and weakening” story, because it is easy to explain and if the person works on that understanding, you don’t have to fight with them to stay the course, until they get the results they have asked for.

Hi James:

But if the kill rate wasn’t 100%, then presumably it is going to take longer than 9 months to eliminate a hair.

When would the single hair that wasn’t killed come back and would it possibly be weakened?

Thanks, Alicia

What I would tell my client is, if some hair germ cells remain after a hair was treated, it will come back as regrowth in 6-16 weeks, but it will be a mini, weaker, thinner version of the original hair.

Some hair is killed right away. Some hairs may need to be treated a few times. Coarse hairs often need a few zaps.

Also, the chin area has deep follicles. Some may need to use blend instead of thermolysis on this area. I had this issue with deep nipple area hairs.

Thanks for the replies everyone. I see there is divided opinion here. Obviously it would be better for me if the first answer applied as if each hair needs multiple treatments this is going to extend the time it takes for completion of treatment considerably. It was my understanding that if the hair slides out easily after insertion this indicates the hair follicle has been destroyed and no more hair should grow back from that particular follicle.

LA Girl, do you mean that some hairs need to be zapped a few times before removal in a session or over the course of the treatment with hair being removed each time? Also, can I ask why blend would be a better treatment for deep chin follicles? My electrologist uses both methods but decided to go with thermolysis for myself as she says this is the fastest method for clearing such a dense area.

Could anyone answer the second part of my original question? Is it normal to feel some resistance when the hair is pulled out if there is a thick sheath/root or is this an indication that the insertion wasn’t effective in that instance?

Many Thanks

You should never feel what you feel when you pluck an untreated hair out. What is possible is what we call a “popping sensation” when you have a large bulb structure being pulled through a small shaft area. This is not unlike the feeling of a zit being pushed through an opening in the skin. It happens when you have a large or crowded bulb structure, and the practitioner has used enough energy to treat the follicle, but not enough to blast a shaft large enough to the skin’s surface for that large a bulb structure. This is a good thing, as it allows you to have less damage for the skin to heal.

In the ideal situation, one has all the electrolysis damage below the anchor system of the hair and none above that point.

This is curious. Many years ago I felt the same curiosity. I wanted to know what had happened in a partially damaged follicle. So I decided to find out.

The hardest part of the research was the collection of evidence. If the hairs are no apparent features that differentiate them from each other, how to know what hair appear from a previously damaged follicle? I found the answer by looking carefully at the skin of the bikini area whose first clearance had been made weeks earlier. At first glance, one of the hairs had particular characteristics that set him apart from the other hairs. The tip did not stop at launch, but with a kind of mace or club (like a baseball bat). I picked up a pair of similar hairs and others in an untreated area, and sent them to the electron microscopy lab at the University of my city.

The result of comparative analysis of treated hair and untreated hair was as follows:

Right column: TREATED HAIR

The tip is shaped like a mace.
In the hair shaft “deformed” no cuticle.
The root does not have a rounded shape.

There were also differences in the duration of the cycle. These hairs “abnormal” had a short growth phase and a shorter telogen phase than is normal for this area body hair. We believe that the area remained affected Anchor despite the production of a new hair, as hair “affected” came off easily without resistance.

I’ve been doing about an hour and a half a week for 8 months and still have quite a bit of regrowth every time. My electrologist seems to get the area fairly clear each time, so I don’t understand why I haven’t been able to go longer between sessions. It’s really frustrating. If I wait even two weeks, I have hair everywhere. I don’t know what to do. I’ve even thought about changing my electrologist, but the hair is in a sensitive area and I’ve finally gotten comfortable with her. She uses the blend method, but I wonder if she’s not using enough juice to kill the hair. I’ve spent a fortune already and don’t know if I’m getting the right results.

DO you feel the hair being lifted out? A few here and there is okay, I guess, but you should not feel resistance after the hair is treated. Randomly ask her to show you several bulbs in a row of treated hair. When the hair slides out, you should see a fully intact hair from bulb to tip. DO you have any ingrown hair? Are you saying after an hour and half per week for 8 months you see no sign that the hair is lessening!? Blend is fine, but no modality will work unless the correct amount of intensity and timing is used. The probe should match the diameter of the hair, too. I don’t know what is happening here, but for the time you have put in and if you are getting cleared each and every time, you see at least some visible difference.

I like to clear an area with PicoFlash thermolysis first and then if I decide to use blend after that, then okay. It works and it is speedier. Blend is fine, but there are a lot of strategies for any given area. We as electrologists all have our own way of killing hair and it works, as long as it is being performed correctly.

I do feel the hair being lifted, but it doesn’t feel like the hair is being plucked. There is less hair than when I started, but it grows in so quickly that I wonder if the hairs are really being destroyed the first time. For 8 months, there is still quite a bit of hair. She keeps recommending that i see her every 2-3 weeks, but there is plenty of hair within the first week. It’s really frustrating. She has a thermolysis machine, but has never used it on me. Do you think I should suggest it? I’m seeing her in a week, and want to talk to her about my progress, but am not sure what to say.

Just say what you are saying here. Let it flow and be polite. It she gets all puffy about it, smile, say your peace and look for a new electrologist. If you look for a new electrologist, do you want to give us your general location so perhaps others can recommend someone they have been to and are happy with?