I have been reading your and other’s comments for sometime and figured this was a good time to get my “feet wet”. Hope you don’t mind.
I commend you on your curiosity and need-to-know attitude. I only wish more of our practitioners took the same time and asked similar questions. I have been in this business for longer than most as a manufacture, inventor and electrologist and as such have some experience, although I am still learning and curious, just like you.
I would like to comment on a few of your forum comments/questions and see where we go.
- Sizing and configuration: There are sadly, no standards for either as far as probes/needles in our profession. And, that is mainly because our probes vary greatly. If our manufacturers could get together, we could feasibly have separate size standards for two-piece needles and for one-piece needles. I don’t see that happening. And then where do the two-piece tapered needles fall?
So, what we have is a conglomeration of sizes, shapes and configurations to choose from. And, I have not even mentioned composition and tensile strength of the Stainless Steels used.
The best that one can do is to experiment (like you have) with different makes and sizes and stiles. But, please, don’t stop short! A one-piece size 3 will feel on insertion nothing like a two-piece 3. Most size designations mean nothing when comparing insertion feel. Try different sizes of one product for a through evaluation.
Tip configuration: They vary from the very sharp to the very blunt and only you
can judge what is best for you and your client. We manufacture our Uniprobes with a variety of tip configurations and for good reason. If you are treating a client with very fine velous hair, the follicle openings will almost always be small and tight and you will be using a fine probe. Our Uniprobe 2’s are some of the fines probes available at .002 inches in diameter. We hone a sharper point on this size for ease of entering these “tight follicle” openings. Our tip configuration becomes progressively more bullet shaped with the increase of probe diameter.
(larger hairs, larger follicle openings, larger diameter probe and more rounded tip)
Gold on probes: Be careful of what you hear. Gold was first used on one-
piece probes because of the allergic reactions of some clients. What the clients skin is reacting to is the nickel content of the Stainless Steel. Coat the Stainless with gold, no reaction.
There are somewhere in the range of 100 grades of Stainless Steel, with a fair percentage that can be used in medical applications. Some contain high amounts of nickel, some contain none! A one-piece needle has a “machined” shaft and two-piece needle has a diamond drawn shaft. To facilitate the machining of a one-piece needle, most use a Stainless Steel with a higher Nickel content. This makes that particular grade of Stainless a “free machining” metal.
Two-piece needles (or straight shaft needles) do not require machining and therefore do not require a high content or any Nickel in the Stainless Steel.
Add to this the fact that a diamond drawn wire is processed with pressure and heat, the result of which is a crystallized finish of the shaft. This finish is as smooth as the surface of the diamond hole it was drawn through. They do not require a gold coating to make them smoother or to “lock in” any Nickel.
Gold is in fact one of the best conductors known to man but the advantage of adding gold to increase conductivity of and electrolysis treatment over Stainless Steel just won’t hold water.
Obviously, I could go on but I am getting finger cramps. I only hope that you will consider my arguments. The best judge of the performance of a given probe, is you. And, the best way to judge is to continue to test and sample. And, that means different stiles, configurations and most importantly, sizes.
Good luck in your practice and please continue your quest for knowledge.