My experience, theories and questions

Hi, male here, started undergoing electrolysis treatments on my beard around 2 years ago. I got scars on both sides of my chin from my first treatments. Lucky me, right? Long story short, they’re relatively inconspicuous now, but I had to successfully sue and get treatments (by professionals and myself). Ok, now that this is out of the way, let’s get to the fun part!

My first theory relates to how the electrolysis damage was done in the first place. We did other areas, but only the sides of my chin got scarred. They have a much higher hair density than anywhere else, so I’ve concluded that because they are so close together, the fast zapping in the same area destroyed a little more than just the hair follicles.

So when I’ll start my electrolysis again (I took a break after the suing and all that fun stuff), I’ll ask the electrologist (a new one obviously) to do some kind of thinning (where you don’t treat hairs close together) instead of clearing the entire area… I don’t really see another method suitable for a dense pilosity area that already got scarred, but I’m down for suggestions.

My next question is a direct expansion to this, which for me would solve the biggest electrolysis mystery of all time (lol)… Does the hair have a higher chance of being destroyed and not come back after being zapped when it has just started growing and pierced the skin (beginning of the anagen phase). Or is that all hearsay and the hair has an equal chance of not coming back anytime in all of the anagen phase (or even the 2 others). There’s a lot of mixed info on this. I’d love to talk to someone who actually tested it and, sorry for my bluntness but, not just another opinion.

Also, I’d love to test it out myself (for example do one side of my face every 5 weeks or so and let the hair grow a bit, and the other side do it every week as soon as the hairs pierce the skin) just to see after several months which side worked better (or if it’s all the same). But I was wondering if someone already concluded some kind of similar experiment already.

Each treated hair means a follicle permanently destroyed thus each treated hair will never grow back regardless the growth phase (anagene, catagene, telogene…)

However you still find on the internet some "anagene only’ theory ; it could be from ignorance and close-minded (proof that this theory is not true is abundant) or from a way to justify the incapacity to permanently remove a hair the first time you treat it, I don’t know.

I’m wondering how “one treatment resulted in scars.” A recent photo would be instructive.

I’d like to hear more about the lawsuit. Did you sue in Small Claims Court, or did you hire an attorney (contingency?) What was the settlement in actual money? Just curious.

I will comment on the work (after seeing the evidence), and sometimes recommend that clients sue for damages. Furthermore, the chin is one of the three “danger areas” I have talked about (for years) that are prone to both electrolysis and laser skin damage.

I have to say , a new client that presents with this kind of background, would not be allowed back into my office. I’m not horribly comfortable answering questions either. Someone else will have to help you.

There is no way to answer your questions. No one here saw your chin before it was treated and we can’t see it now. You worked on yourself as well, so even if we saw a quality picture today, how could it be determined that you didn’t damage your own skin?

I have treated many chins and I end up clearing 99% of chin hair the first session, without complaints of scarring. The 1% I don’t clear are men with like 500 hairs per square inch. Now, talk about contigent hair, that would be risky!

I am in agreement with Adrien. Hair can be treated in any stage of growth. If I see it, I zap it.

We always appreciate quality pictures here - that means, not blurry.

Thank you all for your answers.

I didn’t really meant for my last post to be about my scars, but more about how to avoid them and all that more positive stuff. I guess it’s my fault for starting with it…

Anyway, like I said I find them relatively inconspicuous now, but I can answer questions about that and show pictures to maybe help some people. - This was few hours after the treatment, nothing too bad, except now I know that comparing to other areas I’ve had work on, the yellow/red fluids covered most of the entire spot, which ended up in a very big scab afterwards. Sadly, and I hate myself for that one, I never took pics before or after my first weeks after the treatment as I thought this was relatively normal (my electrologist told me I had nothing to worry about and that everything would come back to normal, but in the meantime we would do another area, which never had that strong reaction). I urge to you not make the same mistake if you’re in that unfortunate position, since it will save you a lot of time having to prove stuff… - This was a month after the treatment, the scabs were gone, but still some redness and obvious deformities. I believe it was at that time that I started to worry a bit. - 5 months in, probably the best pictures I took that showcase the damage. The redness is gone, but the dermis damage is still there (it looks like acne scars).

I took more pics after that, but they’re relatively showing the same thing.

As for the lawsuit, at first I tried to ‘‘sue’’ by myself (I’m not sure it was considered official at that time), and that ended up in a year of back and forth with her insurance company. I learned a lot about the process and would not recommend doing that if you value your sanity. They will do anything they can to delay it and try to blame the damage on yourself. I knew I had done nothing wrong and stood my ground.

They offered a few settlements (money), starting at 500$, which I found ridiculous as it didn’t even cover the cost of the electrolysis and the repair treatment, and then increased the amount a few times. I don’t really remember the last one they offered but I believe it was around 3000. It still didn’t feel adequate, and they basically told me that if I wanted more, I’d have to hire a lawyer.

So, with a bit of reluctance, I did, the lawyers gladly accepted the case and asked for a 30 000$ settlement (I knew I wouldn’t have that). Several months passed and I finally ended up with 8000$, which was acceptable at that time. I had a choice of accepting that amount or go to actual Court. That would’ve ended up in more months, if not years of waiting, and not an indicator of an increased amount. At that time I was pretty fed up with the whole process and didn’t feel like waiting even more, so I accepted the settlement.

Weirdly enough, the lawyers knew I had done most of the ‘‘fight’’ (during that year without them), so they felt fair to bill me a reduced amount for theirs. I don’t think most lawyers would do this but it was very appreciated lol. Where I live, personal injury cases ask a contingency fee of 30% if you win, plus additional bureaucratic fees (but no upfront fees). I was never interested in a Small Claims Court.

I just want to make 2 things clear, I didn’t do electro on myself, I did some repair treatments on myself after the professional Dermapen repair treatments for my scars (more on that maybe later as I feel this is a long post already lol). And lastly, I didn’t meant this as an attack to the field, I love electrolysis, I know it works and will continue to have it on my body! I simply said I got scars so that most of you would understand my insecurities and very specific questions about it.

As my dad would say, “you made out like a bandit.”

In all likelihood, a year from now, you won’t be able to find these marks:

I just watched your video, and I would like to clarify a few points.

Those treatments were from 2 years ago, and were only from one clearing. I never went on that same zone again! I’m saying this because the ‘‘orange peel’’ effect in your video seems to be from ongoing treatments (forgive me if I wrongly assumed) and that they should be gone a year after they’re done.

And the damage wasn’t simply ‘‘orange peel’’, there was also some kind of overall sinking of the skin and bigger craters (bigger than on the orange peel pictures).

I would hate to be seen as another person freaking out over the tiniest red dot (I’ve seen a few posts like that, lol). I know something went wrong and I couldn’t care less about it today, but I obviously just don’t want it repeated.

Hopefully that answers the skepticism surrounding my post and we can move on and have a conversation about the questions I’ve asked.

I’ve seen a few posts online (and talked about it with my electrologist in person) about how you have to treat the hair as soon as it pierces the skin as there is a higher chance of destroying it (never coming back). And then I’ve talked about people who don’t believe it’s true and that any hair does have an exact chance of being destroyed. I would simply love to know if anyone actually tested it, so we could all know the truth once and for all!

And if indeed there’s an equal % chance of destroying the hair for good, what’s the point of weekly short sessions, when we could go once every few months with longer sessions. It could solve the problem of people who don’t want temporary reactions every single week. Or even clearing a whole area; I mean, why go through the swelling and severe scabbing (more than tiny red dots) when it can be avoided by a ‘‘thinning’’ method… if the hair is not close together, no swelling will occur and big scabs won’t form! (I’ve already tested that one)

Thanks for the clarification. I thought this was only 5-months in.

Indeed, you suffered from “dermal contraction scars” as a result of bad electrolysis: case closed! Such permanent scars result from over-treating contiguous (close together) hairs, i.e., clearing a beard with too much current that causes deep tissue scarring. (Scar tissue contracts, and when it happens deep in the skin … you get “dents”) UGH!! I’m glad you got compensated.

The “early anagen hair only” idea is shit … however, the myth continues on-and-on because it continues on-and-on. Mostly the myth is used to explain less-than-stellar results (an excuse for sub-par work).

You are correct (as per my technique only … others disagree) that beard work should be, as you say, thinned out and not cleared; until you get to the right point of clearance. This was the technique I was taught by Art Hinkel WAY BACK in 1975! Sometimes “the old way” is the best way?

For a point of reference, my average TTT (total treatment time) for beard work is just under 100 hours. This was also the TTT for student work at Hinkel’s school. No big deal!

It feels amazing to have my ranty opinions validated, thank you! Believe it or not, after everything that’s happened, I’m really passionate and interested about electrolysis, but just a bit tired of all that hearsay and simply want the truth! I won’t feel bad about requesting my electrologist to do a thinning instead of clearing on my face anymore.

As much as I would like to believe you on the spot (I, too, think the early anagen hair only is nonsense), I was hoping someone had done some kind of experiment on it already. I guess I’ll test it out myself (half part of my chest get the hairs as soon as they come out, half part do it once every few months randomly) with my electrologist. After a while, we’ll see if there’s a difference or not. I’ll document it with pictures of course! Any suggestions to make this test more viable?

I shall suffer in the name of scientific truth! lol

Well, you can do the experiments … but they have already been done. Forty years of my experience (and experimentation) and 30 years of Josefa with identical findings. Let me tell you that even in the face of overwhelming data, photos, documentation, etc., there is little chance of changing anybody’s mind on this silly issue. Why?

Well, that’s simple. If the person is doing “anagen only” and follows one of a few protocols to achieve this, they WILL get good results. Once they see success, they assume that what they are doing is correct. I could say more on this, but after 40 years of talking I can’t do it any more.

Zap on!

It’s more so to convince my electrologist, because I know she believes in that stuff. I like her a lot and the zapping works, but she has an obsession with clearing the hair as soon as it appears every single week.

I find it a bit tiring for my skin (temporary reactions), transport-wise and especially mentally. I’d much rather prefer longer sessions once every few weeks instead, since I can somehow withstand the pain.

Thanks for chatting with me!

Oh my … maybe I should just shut up at this point?

Although this idea is debated (by scholars in the field) it is a certainty that collagen turnover (that heals the skin) is broken-down and restarted by any near-by inflammation. (The job of the macrophages is to “eat up” anything that appears damaged … so, they go after the newly forming collagen too. They aren’t too smart!)

That means that the week of your skin healing (collagen turnover starts within a couple days) starts all over when the same area is zapped again. Will this have any long-term effect? Frankly, I do NOT know and have not seen any evidence of this. The effect might even be beneficial (but I doubt it). It is, however, a debate among dermatologists.

What is interesting is your own human reaction to continuous treatment (with only a week’s time in-between). Lots of times, you own body is TRYING to tell you something. I go by a very simple rule: if it hurts too much, or feels wrong … don’t do it!

My opinion is that our body (skin) is smarter than we are … maybe we should listen to it?

No please don’t shut up, I like this conversation!

I personally didn’t experience permanent effects because of it, and wouldn’t have minded going every single week (and get continuous temporary reactions) if there was a higher chance of destroying the hair. But with what I know now, I’m pretty convinced now that waiting for the hair to grow won’t change a thing in the kill rate.

What old electro-mystery shall we debunk today?

Now that I think about it, I had done a little test on those ‘‘creams’’ that people love to put on their faces so much. I tried a few creams after my treatments because, well, people wanted me to, so I aggreed even though I always found them ridiculously useless. I slathered them a few times on half of a treated area and, surprise surprise, absolutely no difference. If anything, the area with none seemed to repair itself faster. As you can see, I love doing little experiments like that.

I think (okay, I know) you are too damned smart for the average electrologist … tee hee

(The average educational background of the majority of electrologists is high school. Not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, just saying … )

Your good predisposition to practice as a guinea pig is admirable. I propose an experiment that I have wanted to carry out some time ago.

This is a comparative study using an ointment with a high content of dexpanthenol (pro-vitamin B5) with occlusion in a post-electrolysis area as long as possible during the first 5 or 6 days, and only water and soap in another post-electrolysis area.

What do you say? would you do it?

Absolutely, why not!

I’m not quite ready to restart my electro sessions yet, however as soon as I do, I’ll gladly try your little experiment (assuming I can find the ointment and it doesn’t cost a fortune). I’ll keep an eye for it whenever I go shopping from now on.

Does ‘‘with occlusion’’ mean wrapping it with plastic? If so, how long? Do I need to reapply every time it dries?

Yes, apply a generous layer and wrap in plastic as long as possible during the 5 or 6 days after treatment.

Ok, I found it online in case I can’t find it in person.

I have an idea, why not do it on each armpit area after a treatment so I don’t have to cover my skin with some annoying plastic for 5 days lol. Both tested area won’t be too exposed since it’s a crease, as I have a feeling being in occlusion would play a more important role in healing than the actual ointment (I could be wrong). Does that seem fair?

Do you think that the plastic cover is what promotes healing? ummm, I do not think so. Anyone who works with gloves usually knows that if you have a wound on your hands, whatever material the gloves are made of, (latex, vinyl, nitrile) the wound will end up infected if you do not use any insulation between the injured skin and the glove.