Introduction and Electrolysis Journey

I’m new to this board and to electrolysis. I started my electrolysis treatments last week and I received my second treatment yesterday.

First, a bit about me. I am a 23-yr-old hispanic female living in Brooklyn, NY. I have insulin resistance which causes the symptoms collectively known as Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS): irregular periods, thyroid problems, acne, and of course hirutism. I have coarse dark hairs scattered on my face and neck, the worst areas being my chin, under my chin, and jawline. I also have some coarse body hairs on my belly. I pretty much have hair like an adolescent boy. Since I have started taking metformin, hair growth has slowed down a bit, from where I was plucking everyday for 45 minutes, and now it’s down to 30 minutes.

I started electrolysis because 1) I’m afraid of permanent scarring and hyperpigmentation from plucking, like my mother has on her chin; 2) laser doesn’t work on me, I tried it for 7 treatments and nothing; and 3) I’m just tired of the damn hair!

I went to a spa center specializing in hair removal, based on a recommendation from a member at a PCOS messageboard that I visit daily. It’s convenient in cost and area. It’s in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, and for 30 minutes it’s $35. I went in for a consultation and tried it for 15 minutes. The electrolysist who saw me has more than 25 years of experience (graduated from Berkowitz School of Electrolysis in 1979!). She was very cool and fast. She uses the thermolysis (spelling?) method, which I prefer because I don’t like the idea of a lye solution going into my skin and potentially scarring me.

She was surprised by the strength of my hair follicles. She hasn’t seen hair follicles that strong in a while and most of her clients are male-to-female transsexuals (yeah, I sure did feel peachy after she told me that <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> )! She had to adjust the machine’s settings on certain spots on my face (jawline, neck, and chin), because she doesn’t want to zap the follicle too many times and cause damage.

I didn’t find it too painful, it was tolerable. Towards the end of the treatment, however, it was getting uncomfortable. After the first treatment, I was red for a while, and I had a few scabs, but that cleared up in two days. After the second treatment, I was also red, and I was in more pain due to the higher settings. But I have way less scabs today; I only see one. The area is still a bit sensitive though. I was expecting to see some whiteheads forming (as other people that I know have gotten), but I have none so far.

I can’t report on effectiveness yet, since I only went to two sessions. However, I am planning to increase my visits to two times a week, I obviously need at least an hour’s worth of work on my whole face. For numbing, she told me a little secret: instead of purchasing a $50 numbing cream, she told me to buy Baby Ora-jel, an OTC anesthetic teething gel to relief gum pain (anyone have any thoughts on that?).

I will report on my treatments as time progresses.

Thanks for reading! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


Hi CPRinNy,

You’ve certainly come to a good place. There are enough of us from just about any background and problem that you can imagine that someone will be able to either identify with or help you with just about any situation imaginable.

Welcome and keep posting. We have a lot of good sources of information here and a lot of friendly people who care.

All the best,
Joanie <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Dear C.:
You do not have to worry. Sodium hydroxide (lye) that is produced from the galvanic current (DC) will never scar you. Only a very small amount is produced in the follicle to permanently prevent regrowth.

Too much heat (AC) in a concentrated area can cause permanent skin damage. This results only if thermolysis is done incorrectly. Temporary redness is a normal part of the healing process.

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Nice to see that in writing Lisa.

The reason you will see these comments from New Yorkers is because of a small number of old time electrology instructors who would teach the electrology students about galvanic and refer to the sodium hydroxide as poison. They would warn of its probable scarring. These teachers would refuse to teach blend or galvanic beyond the biased theory. This is what happens in states that do not have licensing.

Although I find that high speed thermolysis is most often sufficient, there are those rare times when I prefer to use some galvanic in treatment. I have never seen any scarring from galvanic in treatment.

I love reading posts written by CA electrologists as you guys get a well rounded electrology education!

About the baby ora gel? My clients love this stuff for their upper lip work. My clients find that Colgates Ora Gel (20% benozocaine) works very well. I mention this option to them, but they buy it, bring it and apply it themselves right before treatment. It kicks in, in 10-15 seconds and lasts for about 15 minutes. It is applied to the mucous membrane inside the mouth, not on the skin. It is nice to have for the sensitive middle upper lip for those that are extra sensitive. Anyone that is allergic to the “caines” should not use it, though.

Welcome CPR to hairtell.


If you are dealing with PCOS, it would do you well to avoid cigarrette smoke and artificial sweeteners. They can have a reaction that increases both your “growth problems”

While you are checking out practitioners make sure you do a consult with

Professional Touch Electrolysis, Inc
Stephanie R. Fracassa, C.P.E.

30 East 40th Street
Suite 801
(between Park and Madison Avenues)
New York, NY 10016

if you can.

Thank you for your welcomes and recommendations.

Today was my third visit. It was suppose to be for tomorrow, but I had to reschedule my appointment. The electrologist who did my first two sessions took the day off, so I decided to have my session with the other electrologist at the location. Big error that turned out to be.

I told her what setting I can tolerate (17 or 18). She decided it was best to start off at 7. She zapped a few times and of course was surprised at the strength of the follicles. She kept on adjusting the machine to find a proper setting. However, the setting was never enough: hairs broke, she plucked hairs out, she was plucking hairs in the opposite direction, so no wonder why they broke.

She didn’t want to target my chin, which is my most problematic area, because the hairs were supposedly too short and she couldn’t see in which direction they were growing. That’s the area that I let grow out the most and all the hairs grow down, as I see in the mirror when I view them. She said that I come too often, once a week; she said I should come every ten days (which I know is bull).

Does the hair really need to be so much longer? I don’t think I would be able to do that, it would be too embarrassing. And the other electrologist hasn’t said anything.

Every week (7 days) is fine as long as your skin is healing well after treatment. We want to get to that first clearance as soon as possible. I personally will not work on the same area less than seven days after treatment.

One who wears or uses quality magnification and has a good light source only needs a little bit of the hair to peak through. Anywhere from 1/16" to 1/8" would be enough for most electrologists as long as they can see well. It’s easier to see the angle of the hair, too, so a perfect insertion can be made.


Well, I haven’t done my face since August 23. And the last treatment wasn’t with the electrologist that did my face the first two times. The first electrologist hasn’t been at the salon since August 15.

I am finding the situation a bit fishy. First, they tell me that she was suppose to be in last week. Then, they told me that she was going to be in today (Sept. 2). I scheduled my appointment for today, but decided to call in to see if she was in. She’s not and now they are telling me that she is not going to be in until the end of September. The receptionist told me that she is having back problems. But still, the whole thing about telling me one date and then another is weird. I just feel like getting the rest of my money back.

So, I’m going to search for another electrologist. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />