My guy uses only thermolysis - will this take longer to perm. clear me

Last night I went to Michael Saverese in Philadelphia. I called many electrologysts in center city and the surrounding area and he was one of the two that sounded like they knew what they were talking about and they have been doing it for decades. As it turns out, Saverase Electrolysis Salon is a family business that his grandmother started in the 1930’s and every generation since then has been doing electrolysis. He has pictures on the wall of his grandmother and the old office, and the old door sign is on display. It’s cute. Other than that the office is a mess and looks nothing like your average glamour beauty parlor. And that is a good thing in my book. It happens to inspire more confidence in the skill and focus of the practitioners there.

Anyway, on to my concerns:

[u]The good things:[/u]

  • He was relaxed, pleasant and accommodating, made me feel like he was really an “old dog” at this, which is obvious from everything about him and the office anyway.

  • The office is in a VERY VERY VERY convenient location for me to go to and there is no doubt that I will keep regular appointments.

  • His office is open very late every night and he continues with the treatment for as long as you want (given that he does not have to leave or see someone else <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />)

  • He was lighting fast. Impressive!!!

  • He used an automatic Instantron machine set at 5.5seconds pulsing intervals.

  • Disposable #3 (I think) steel probes.

  • No pain AT ALL… nothing. I could not even tell he had started working on me

  •   [b]No bumps or scabs or irritation[/b] after his 1.5 hours treatment
  • He is experienced in the areas that I want done. Aside from the very few and far between unwanted hairs on the chin, neck, and chest, I am looking for someone who will do a Brazilian epilation (and there are few). He not only has done them, but he works with several hospitals in the city on sex change operations!!! So the guy has been around, ok!

[u]The bad things:[/u]

  • He insisted that Thermolysis is the best way to go. His machine can do blend. However he gently but firmly told me that blend and galvanic are “passé,” and I am wrong to think that blend kills the root better or faster than thermolysis due to the lye. He called it the PC vs. Mac war of the electrolysis world.

Any comments on that??? I’m worried that it will take many more treatments of the same area to permanently destroy the roots if he only uses thermolysis.

  • On more than 20% of the thick hairs (on the neck and especially the pubes), I felt that he was “plucking” the hair rather than having it slide out. I commented about it MANY times and even asked him to maybe use a longer setting or several blasts on each resistant hair, but HE ASSURED ME OVER AND OVER that they are coming out great, and that he is NOT plucking them, but simply removing them. I’m still not convinced though. It sure felt like plucking.

  • He did not use gloves!!! I will def. make him use them when he does the Brazilian. But he said that they slow him down, and in all the years that his family has been practicing no one has ever had any “issues.” Yeah, that’s reassuring!!!

  • His lighting and magnification equipment is crap. He used a super old circular lamp with a loop in the center. I don’t know what kind of bulb he has in, but it did not feel warm so it might be halogen. Most everyone in here says those lamps are not efficient. ON TOP OF THAT though, it’s so old that it’s duct taped and it visibly swings left and right as he is working &#61514; Still, he seems to have gotten used to it and works very fast.

[u]Questions: [/u]

  • Should I make him switch to blend? He said that he would if I want that, but it will naturally take longer to treat each hair. However, from everything that I have read both on this site and in books, I am firmly convinced that blend is a more efficient method for destroying the root.

Isn’t it better to have one hair treated a little longer but not to have to re-do it 3 or 4 times later on in the year, while it “weakens and disappears.”

I don’t want to insult him and make him feel like I know more than him b/c obviously I don’t, but at the same time, I want to know if I am getting good advice from him or not. It’s hard to tell if you have truly found a good practitioner or not.

  • Should I be obsessive about the gloves since he says they slow him down?

  • How to convince him to do longer treatments on each hair that resists sliding out?

  • Should I stick with this guy in your overall opinion?

THANK YOU ALL FOR ANY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS, EXPERIENCE ETC. I need ot decide if should continue looking or stick with this one. My gut feeling says he is good.

By DeMartisco, 1/12/04:

"I do not know about the regulations in Pa. But here in NY the health dept requires us to wear gloves. As long as he is cleaning and sanitizing his hands before he treats you, the risks of anything being transferred or infection is very low. Electrolysis is a sterile process in its self. The contamination and infections are usually due to what is done after treatments. Follow treatments with a good cleaning with witch-hazel until the area has healed. Tea Tree Oil is also very good if you can get it.

        Your electrologist is correct about the blend vs. Therm. debate. The key to successful treatments though, is the electrologist not the method.  Both methods do very well a killing the hair follicle; I prefer the results of the blend, but love the speed of thermolysis.  I let the client tell me which method they want me to use and follow their wishes.  As for not feeling the treatment, that COULD be a sign that the treatment is not working.  I have been taught that if the client feels nothing then something is not right.  You should not be jumping off of the table, but there should be some type of sensation.    When the extraction of the hair is done it should not feel like a tweeze.  There can be some tugging and even a pop feeling (especially with the larger hairs) as the bulb is brought out of the follicle, but not the feeling of a tweeze.  The tweezed feeling usually means the follicle has been under treated. 

        In conclusion, you should fell at ease with your electrologist and should be able to ask him and of these questions.  It is hard for “experts” in a field to be questioned about there abilities, but as a professional who is providing a service for a fee, he should not get offended or annoyed. If he does you might want to look elsewhere for treatments.  Equipment should be clean and up to date. Remember these are my opinions based on my training and experiences not gospel.

I hope this helps."

Thank you DeMartisco. Everything you said is very helpful to me b/c it camls some anxieties I had.

I do feel that this guy knows what he is doing and he has been in the business for so many years that if something was not working he would have realized it by now and people would not be going to him.

I will ask him to increase the power or duration of the treatment tonght. As to how to differenciate between a “pop” and a tweeze I have no idea <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Regardless of hwo is treating me, ultimately I have no choice but to trust them to know what it should feel like to tweeze a hair vs. pulling it out. He says they re coming out very nicely, so… I don’t know…

If you are working on a large area, Thermolysis done by a good practitioner is the best value for your money. You will see clear skin faster, and will be finished in the same or shorter over-all time. Good treatment does not require 3 treatments per hair. You can get full permanent hair removal on one hair in one thermolysis blast. If the insertion or treatment energy is off, then it will require less treatment energy next year to remove when the weakened hair returns. I am sure he would perform blend on you if you insist, because after all, he will make more money working on you in blend. If he says he can do it best in Thermolysis, trust him.

Although many older books teach that if you don’t feel PAIN you are not getting good treatment, that is not true. Sensations will vary from person to person and area to area on the same person. If one makes a treatment setting based on the actual hair one is treating and not what the client is feeling, one can find, especially with thinner hairs, that the minimum treatment setting for the hair is something the client does not experience as pain.

Pubic hair is deep, has large bulbs, and the skin around that area is thin. A perfect treatment would not blast a tunnel to the surface, and therefore there would be a pop when this larger mass is pulled through a small channel like a pimple. You would feel that more so than on your face. If you have any worries, just ask him to show you some of the epilated hairs. If you see full bulbs on them, they are in fact perfect treatments.

I would suggest that you get some Dash Powder Free Nuvo gloves and gift him with them. If you call Dash Gloves, they will even send you a sample so you can find his correct size. Call them at 800-523-2055 or click on

I must say that I hate latex gloves, the feel is horrible, but I love the vinyl ones. They become a second skin without that rubbery, clingy feeling. You still have a sense of touch with the vinyl in my opinion.

I must say however, that if the electrologist practices hand washing, the wearing of gloves protects the electrologist more from catching something from the clients than the other way around. It also helps with modesty. I am all for glove wearing. I just have to confess that if one is clean, it is not as critical to do so. (yes, there are diseases that transmit from skin to skin contact, but no one forces the masseuse to wear them.)

Although many older books teach that if you don’t feel PAIN you are not getting good treatment, that is not true. Sensations will vary from person to person and area to area on the same person. If one makes a treatment setting based on the actual hair one is treating and not what the client is feeling, one can find, especially with thinner hairs, that the minimum treatment setting for the hair is something the client does not experience as pain.

I’m very glad to hear that!!!

Pubic hair is deep, has large bulbs, and the skin around that area is thin. A perfect treatment would not blast a tunnel to the surface, and therefore there would be a pop when this larger mass is pulled through a small channel like a pimple. You would feel that more so than on your face. If you have any worries, just ask him to show you some of the epilated hairs. If you see full bulbs on them, they are in fact perfect treatments.

Brilliant idea. Will do!!

Gloves he has!! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> he just does not like to use them <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I’ll mention vinyl to him.

As always, thank you so much James!

my electrolygist doesnt use gloves either and i have no problem with it because so far i got no reaction that might be related to no glove use. (God bless)

the thing is he seems to do bikinis and genital areas quite a lot and even though he DOES disinfect his hands many times, i just have no need for STD, you know <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> normally the electrolysis itself would not worry me, but him being in the delicate areas while doind the brazilian does worry me. that’s all.

As I have said, the possibility of transmission from client, to electrologist’s hands, to other client is a very low probability.

Dirty hands on the treatment area would be a problem, but as you know, clean hands on the treatment area is ok. Again, I would like it if everyone would use the vinyl gloves, but it is not like he is performing heart surgery without gloves. It is not the best way to do it, but it is not gross negligence either.

  • He used an automatic Instantron machine set at 5.5seconds pulsing intervals.
  • No pain AT ALL… nothing. I could not even tell he had started working on me

What do you mean by “5.5seconds pulsing intervals”? Is that five half second pulses? If so, that’s about the time you get with a fast blend - but blend at that level is pretty darn painful, at least in our situation. You would definitely be aware he was working on you!

What kind of hairs - where on the body - are these?

If you’re able to get painless epilations, I would definitely choose multiple passes versus enduring more effective blend epilations.

Also, I wouldn’t get too hung up on his equipment. If he’s able to work quickly and effectively, then that’s all that counts. It’s not how I would work, but to each his own.

He said that the machine was set to shut off the current after 5.5sec, but that he sometimes “pumps” the pedal so that it’s not all delivered in one shot. I think he only does that when he sees that he has to blast a hair for longer than the first 5.5sec.

His machine is set to 4amps but since each machine measures the energy differently, i don’t know if that will tell you much.

The hair he was treating was dark and average in thickness, chin, breastbone, sideburns, belly button and pubs.

I went to another session last night and surprisingly it hurt considerably more than the first time. I was very shocked to feel such a major difference from one day to another considering he was treating me with the exact same settings. I know that our pain threshold changes but it’s always interesting to observe such things on one’s own body &#61514;

After the second session I concluded that his personality (disliking change and sticking to his trusty old lighting equipment) does not at all affect the quality of his work.

He showed me a lot of the hairs that I felt were being plucked out and I was able to see that they were properly treated and removed. They were also very curled and crooked which he said is why they are hard to pull out without that sensation of plucking.

So, I am very happy with him so far. I am still going to visit a couple of other professionals this week-end and maybe next week, but I think that I will end up staying with him.

It seems that you have absorbed what you should have from this site.

Only by checking out many electrologists, can you be sure that the one you fall in love with at first epilation is actually the best person for you.

Galvanic, Blend and Thermolysis are all permanent the first time if good treatment is done, but thermolysis is a faster route to bare if the practioner is good and first clearance can be had faster than in other methods. (which should always come quicker in thermolysis, especially Microflash and Picoflash)

The sensation of treatment is different for everyone, and even different from place to place on the same person, and may even be different from day to day. This is in addition to the difference made by variances in practitioner skill and equipment used. (although things like your water comsumption, restful sleep, abstinance from smoking, caffeine and such will directly effect this)

The best possible of worlds would have your electrologist working with tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, but a good practitioner can still do good work with a few hundred dollars worth of stuff… and yet the big guns allow one to reach new hights not possible with the low end or older stuff.

Judge an electrologist by the results of the work, not on the superficial stuff, like office chic, or location.

And don’t be shy about buying and handing your electrologist vinyl gloves, or your favorite probes/needles and gently insisting that they use them if they want to keep your business.

Keep us posted. I think we have a success story here.

I think we have a success story here.

From your mouth to God’s ears!

I was thinking of brining in some small “presents” such as a halogen lamp so that he can see the difference in light. I have noticed that he skips thick blond hairs that should be removed but are probably hard to see with his fluorescent bulb.

I wish I could travel the country showing everyone what is possible with the better equipment. I guess I wll have to just be settle for going around the country and opening offices with the stuff we talk about, and people who know no better than to use them. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Now how do I do an IPO?

… what is possible with the better equipment.

Assuming you’re referring to electrolysis machines, could you enlighten me about what is different with better equipment? I’m curious because even with the best equipment, it’s still just RF and DC; all anyone can do is vary the intensity and timing.

  • Eric

Let me count the ways.

It is like asking what is the difference between a Dodge Neon and a Lexus RX 400h.

They are both cars, but the resemblance stops there.

The things called “bells and whistles” by some people allow one to make treatment settings to an exact measure, and repeat them, save them for future use, and use computer settings that will make treatment energy bursts in micro pulses that no foot pedaler could ever do manually. It also makes this repeatable.

One day when I really have time, I may revisit this subject and give a really long winded explanation, but in short, it is just easier to make a comfortable treatment setting with the newer machines with all the bells and whistles.

Last night I realized that Michael is actually doing Flash Thermolysis on me. When he had told me before that he was using 5.5 that was a setting on the machine, not 5.5 seconds. I never gave it much though, but of course the difference between 0.55 seconds and 5.5 seconds is apparent. When I asked if this is in fact the Flash technique, he confirmed.

Flash Thermolysis is said to have an extremely high % of re-growth and it’s supposed to be pretty much useless on anything other than vellus (lanugo) virgin hairs… at least that’s what the text books say!

Now my concern is even greater. Not only does he NOT believe blend is better for distorted follicles like mine, but he is using flash on me. According to everything I have ever read on electrolysis and ALL the text books, Flash is useless on thick and distorted hairs.

So I would REALLY appreciate hearing from other professionals on the board here. What method do you use most of the time? All the electrolysists that i have been to so far have used the same timing, and I wonder why that is. I mean speed is good but if it’s not effective what is the point? If you have to treat the same hair 10 times as opposed to 1 or 2 times, then a fast treatment becomes counterproductive…

Michael says that he has read all the books and tried all the methods and needles out there and he has settled with his equipment and method b/c it’s the most effective.

I love my guy and I trust him when he says that for 30 years of trial an error this has worked the best and fastest for his clients, BUT I’m seriously confused about the contradiction between his opinion and the text books.!!! The nagging knowledge from the textbooks is killing me!!!


Sometimes you have to put your trust in the professionals, especially the ones who have been doing it for so long. Are you sure that all of the electrologist that you have been to are using flash technique. There is a difference between a regular short wave (thermolysis) treatment and a flash treatment. Flash is an intense pulse for an extremely short period of time. Short wave can be very effective and as you know can remove a lot hair in a short period of time. I’m sure if you go over the list of electrologists that you have been to, they all did not use just the flash technique.

Dear Ivelina,

I just read some of the posts on this thread and am wondering about the success you are experiencing with treatment.

Theory is one thing, administering treatment, understanding the variables, is another.

Maybe your treatments will be sucessful, maybe they could be successful more quickly with modified treatment. Who knows? Time will tell.

When someone indicates that they feel that they are being tweezed during treatment, that sends a red flag out to me. However, there is a technique used in treatment where tweezing is part of the process. For example: the electrologist inserts the needle and does not release current. The hair is then tweezed out, and then, while the needle is still in place in the follicle, the current is released. Some electrologists will do this as they believe more destruction will take place in the follicle once the hair is removed by tweezing.

Hope you keep us posted!



I just read about those techniques a few days ago but i don’t think that is what he is doing. I do think that it would be a good idea though.

Please get this straight:
All forms of electrolysis are equally effective ASSUMING perfect treatment conditions. The only difference is the range of error in treatment that still results in an effective treatment. In that case, Thermolysis, is perfectly workable for permanent hair removal the first time, but is least forgiving of errors. Blend is next in line as more forgiving of error, but not as easy as galvanic.

This is not to say that galvanic operators are the least skilled electrologists out there, just that competence in galvanic comes quicker than blend, and way faster than one could become competent in thermolysis. A person who has performed thermolysis for years SHOULD have gained some level of ability sufficient to get the job done on the equipment they are using.

You still need to check out all the people in your area to see who gives you the best treatment for your money.

I know that many electrologists will tell you “I only work in Modeality X because that’s the best, and the others don’t work” but that is just advertising. They all work, but your personal goals will dictate which is best for you. A person with just a few stray breast hairs, could go for straight galvanic only, and be happy. After all, full clearance should still happen the first appointment. A person with just a small “cookie duster” mustache could go with blend and get the same result. A person looking to get their back cleared would be at it for years and years working in galvanic, and thermolysis becomes the easiest option. I should also say that there is a difference between straight Thermolysis, and Flash Thermolysis, MicroFlash Thermolysis, or even PicoFlash Thermolysis. Of course, they are all radio frequency treatments.

I hope this clears this up.