My horrific experience with electrolysis


I’ve been doing electrolysis on my chin for only a couple of months. I started with one electrologist and had 3 treatments but the spa I went to has closed down. The electrologist is still practicing at another location which is too far for me to get to so I decided to go to someone else.
Today I had my first treatment and let me tell you I was on the verge of tears when she was done with me and I looked at myself in the mirror.
First she started out by bragging about how long she is being doing electrolysis (7years) and how fast she is… which is by the way isn’t that fast at all compared to my first electrologist (who was way better at what she does in my humble opinion). So anyway… She went up to the highest current… I could barely manage it… the pain was horrible… I felt like she was plucking some of the hairs out and sometimes I felt like the current was applied on the surface of my skin and not inside of the follicle. I’ve never had that sensation with the other electrologist. At the end of it I had many WOUNDS on my chin… it looks like someone took a razor and cut off pieces of my skin… those are not just little scabs you sometimes get… some of them are at least
5-7 mm wide… it is just awful… when I saw that in the mirror I immediately went back to the salon to speak to her and all she said was that it is normal… that it is just burns and that it will heal… but I really don’t think it is normal because I’ve never had THAT with my previous electrologist…
I am really worried that this will leave huge scares on my face…
She also told me I can’t shave my hair in between treatments and this really sucks because I can’t just walk around with hair in public… I just can’t… I need to conceal it somehow and if its not plucking it has to be shaving… I can’t just leave it be…
Can someone please tell me that shaving is allowed… please?
Also, what do you think I should do? Should I go back for another treatment with her next week and tell her to turn down the current? She said she needs to do it with the high current because my hair is so coarse and its hard to get it out otherwise… but frankly I’d rather call it quits on electrolysis all together then having such wounds on my face or scarring in the future. :frowning:

Shaving IS allowed between electrolysis treatments. For example, if you have appointments every 6 weeks, you can shave a day or so after your treatment, and then anytime in that 6 weeks to remove the hair, up to a few days before your next treatment (your electrologist should tell you how much growth they need to do their work.)

If she is claiming that you can’t shave at all until you are finished with all your electrolysis treatments and their hair is completely removed, she doesn’t know what she is talking about and I would find another electrologist ASAP.

Based on what everything else you have experienced, especially those huge scabs, I would find another electrologist anyway.

This sounds terrible, she obviously is not trying to see the situation from your point of view and is making your life difficult as a result. If I were in your situation I would not hesitate in telling her that you are not satisfied and find another electrologist, or make the extra journey to see your first electrologist. It’s difficult trusting someone new after going through that. Best wishes.

Clearly, you must not go back to such a butcher. Do not allow anymore treatments until your skin has healed completely. Use witch hazel and as much aloe vera gel as you desire and tea tree oil at bedtime (dabs) to help the healing along. This electrologist is pompous and uncaring and I would love to know what her educational background is in regard to electrolysis training and continuing education. Stay away from her.

YOU MAY SHAVE, in fact, that’s what every skilled electrologist tells their clients to do while we are trying to catch up with the elimination of all bothersome hair. YOU MAY CLIP the hair close to the skin surface if shaving is too difficult for you. Use small cuticle scissors. I like electric razors for shaving - they seem more gentle.

Goal One: Let your skin heal no matter how long it takes. Use the products listed above and nothing else.

Goal Two: Do not go back to this electrologist and tell her WHY. If you don’t squeak about poor performance, then the person will keep performing badly. Use your healing time to find others to consult with or go back to the first electrologist somehow, someway.

This is an example of poor electrolysis care and the response to the client, you, was dismal. Give her strong feedback, so she definitely gets the message that she is dangerous to anyone she treats. Electrologists like her (notice, I didn’t say professional electrologist) do harm to a procedure that is highly effective. She feeds into the public preception that electrolysis causes scarring. IT DOES NOT when performed by a PROFESSIONAL ELECTROLOGIST - not a beauty therapist or something of that nature. If she is smart and humble, she will analyze her mistakes and take action to correct them.

Stay away from those that can hurt you.


If you are not comfortable discussing this with the electrologist, feel free to send me a private email and let me know who this electrologist is and I will contact her and let her know that there are opportunities to develop her skills as there are complaints about her. You are anonymous. I am not; I take all the risks in contacting her.

Electrolysis is the last resort for people – when all else fails – electrolysis will end the distress that comes from unwanted hair permanently. It requires time and patience and trust but it works. And it will work effectively with minimal tissue reaction and minimal discomfort if any.

When someone who wants permanent hair removal hears horror stories like yours, it might dissuade one from seeking the help that only electrolysis can provide.

Dee’s advice is on target.

All the best,

Thanks to everyone who has replied.

I just wanted to clarify one point… I am not trying to dissuade anyone from getting electrolysis. I believe it works. Or at least I hope it works. This is my last chance of getting rid of that hair on my face since laser did not work for me. I am just very distressed about what happened to me yesterday. I am scared it is going to leave scars on my face. That’s all. I really hope my skin will heal. I blame myself for making that appointment with her but how could I have known that she is so incompetent. It’s almost feels like she did it on purpose because she commented on how scar free my face is.
I am moving to another city in 6 weeks so I decided to let my skin heal and hold off electrolysis until I move and find someone competent in Toronto (that’s where I am moving to). I hope there are a lot more choices there then here since Toronto is much bigger than the city I live in now.

Anyway to get to the point I just want to say again that I am not against electrolysis and my advice to anyone who is looking into it is to get good recommendations for potential electrologists or go for a consulation appointment first and try a few zaps just to see how your skin will react to it.
Again, my experience with my first electrologist was good. I was expecting the same with the new one. Unfortunately, I did not have the same experience with her and I wrote my first post on here just to get some advice not to try to scare people away from electrolysis.

Thanks again for your replies.

Oh, I didn’t even think you were doubting whether electrolysis works or not. You were very specific about the being upset by your awful skin reaction. I think you know it works and you felt you were happily on your way before you got burned. For someone to tell you that it’s only burns and they will heal, is flippant and CYA time. Electrologists are not in the business of burning the upper part of the skin so you look like a pizza pie for weeks. Yes, there is going to be some inflammation response associated with the procedure, but it should subside in minutes to hours. Even if some healing takes up to week, it should only be noticeable to the client on a small scale, not her family and peers.

Just help this to heal and keep your hopes high that you will find a PROFESSIONAL electrologist in Toronto. Do a search on this forum and some names will come forth if you look hard enough. Try to read as much as you can on hairtell so you know as much, if not more, than the electrologist. And, yes, do get shorter appointments in the beginning as you try to decide who you can trust. This is very hard for the consumer unless you have a personal recommendation from someone you trust. Since you don’t, just do your homework by reading all you can in the the Electrolysis Forum and trust your instincts for the next go around.


Hi again,

Just to say, I didn’t take it that way either. I felt you just needed some friendly words and advice. I have my fingers crossed for you. I did a quick google search, and I agree, you’ll find someone good in toronto :slight_smile: ( Toronto electrolysis )

One Toronto electrologist that has been mentioned here before is Bishop’s Electrolysis. She uses the same excellent surgical magnification as James, and one of the better epilators (technically speaking it is succeeded by the Apilus Platinum which is a step up in terms of treatment comfort, but it is still a very good machine.)

Dee already said what I was going to add. When trying someone new, book only the minimum amount of time. I understand ones’ need to get a clearance ASAP, but it is risky to assume that all will be, as it was with the previous operater. Wishing you all the best in Toronto.

I am seriously considering changing my electrologist. I live out in the burbs and have considered travelling to the city (about 1hr commute) for electrolysis treatments. After speaking with one Toronto electrologist who recommended a place that she goes to herself, I decided to try that clinic closer to home (1/2 hr drive). Not entirely impressed as I’ve been going weekly for a while now and treating two areas but still no clearance. Plus there are always stray hairs missed and they are visible. Now I’m searching for another electro. Maybe I’ll go for a consult with Bishops. Back to square 1 :S

Sounds like you went to my first electrologist. Anyhow, I would definitely fire him/her and find another. You might wanna try out a couple different practitioners in your area. Your results are only going to be as good as your electrologists skill.

So true. I am big on telling the person you are dissatisfied with WHY you are dissatisfied with their work. If they take it as a learning opportunity then BANG! that’s great, but if they are insulted and bullheaded about customer feedback, they will continue to lose ground and eventually fade away. Maybe that would be good for the consumer and the profession as a whole. Actually, I know it would…