Plucking after the needle has been inserted


I went for my first electrolysis session yesterday and i had someone come along with me just to make sure everything was ok, I have seen on many different forums that you shouldn’t feel any plucking but what the electrologist did was insert the needle then he plucked the hairs out.

I felt the discomfort you get and then i did feel as though the hairs were being plucked and the person i went with even comfirmed this.

Is this normal or should there be no plucking whatsoever?


If hairs are good, moist anagen (growing) hairs, then a proper insertion of the probe together with a proper balance of enery and timing will cause a hair to be lifted out without any sensation of tweezing.It’s a beautiful feeling and sight when the electrologist see’s a nice hair intact with a nice moist bulb slide effortlessly out of the skin follicle.

In the beginning sessions of electrolysis treatment, hair is in all stages of growth, hair diameter ranges from very coarse, coarse, medium, fine, hair is either straight in the follicle or it can take a gentle or dramatic curve within the follicle. With all this uncertainty, you may feel some plucking sensation, IN THE BEGINNING. If it happens for some hairs, then your electrologist would be wise to explain why and even show you the hair structure. I keep a magnifying glass close by to show and explain this to the consumer. If plucking happens for every hair, then I’m guessing that the proper levels of energy and timing are not being used and insertions are off.

Treating and epilating a new area can be a challenge. Once clearance is obtained, stay true to schedule that ensures that only new hairs that appear there after are treated. These easy anagen hairs are “goners” if you get in and have them zapped when they are fragile little oak trees.


Hi Lilly,

Good for you for doing some research!

I have a question for you. My first impression, just reading your subject line was that the hair was removed WHILE the needle was inserted - even though you did not SAY that. Was that what your electrologist did? If so, it is an appropriate method and you might feel a definate tweezing sensation.

Even in the message itself, you stated, “insert the needle then he plucked the hairs out”. Did he remove the needle before he removed the hairs?

With straight galvanic, this method is used so that the treatment energy has more surface in the follicle (without the hair). Multiple needles are inserted and current energy is applied - then the electrologist goes back and without removing the needles removes the hair, leaving the energy on for a little more time.

With thermolysis or blend, this can be used to give multiple applications of treatment energy to the follicle - and while one hand holds the needle inserted, the other hand, holding the forceps (tweezers) removes the hair.

Thank you both for your replies,

What he did was insert the needle, take it out and then pluck the hairs out but i know someone did say on here that you should be able to tell the difference from hair being plucked out and hairs that “Pop” out because I’m so unsure do you think it’s best to ask what this tweezing sensation was at my next appointment?

I asked this person i went with again if she saw him with tweezers anywhere near my chin and she said no so now i’m confused about what really went on so I’m wandering if it would just be best to ask next time i go.

Could anyone also tell me when the little red bumps on the skin start to clear up?


Dear Lilly,

Since we are not with you during your treatments and have limited information, you are left to do lots of self advocating. The best way to do this is to communicate with the practitioner.


  1. Why are the hairs not sliding out most of the time?
  2. What method of electrolysis are you administering and why did you choose that method for me?
  3. What can I do to maximize healing?
  4. What do I need to do to help you get the best results?


You are three days post-treatment. Those little red bumps most likely will fade in about a week. Are you using aloe vera gel after you cleanse your face by any chance?

Let your electrologist know about how you healed even if he doesn’t ask you. Arlene’s and Barabra’s questions are very good and you should be communicating with your electrologist, but I understand why you are asking questions here as well.

I would like to reaffirm what I posted above about the tweezing sensation you were feeling now that you have described in better detail what he was doing.


Hi Lilly,

From what I’m reading, it sounds to me like you’re in the initial clearing stage. During this portion of the treatments, it is not uncommon to feel some tweezing as the telogen (shedding) hairs will have a little ball of dried-up collagen on their ends. Also, as these hairs are above the majority of the moisture gradient (skin has a higher moisture content deeper in than towards the surface) it is difficult to get them to release fully.

However, once the initial clearance is done, most of the hairs will be anagen (or growth stage), not to mention relatively shallow, and should release freely if properly treated.

In regards to the little red spots, depending on your skin type and other factors, such as your average skin moisture, thickness and depth of the hairs, this can take at least a week to diminish. In my case, this sometimes takes up to 2 to 3 weeks, even with proper treatment. It’s just the way I am.


I had my upper lip worked on and the technician did this same thing, w/ the plucking. Went to her for over a year and spent a lot of money. All of the hair has grown back, I see no reduction at all. Could it be bad technique? In my case it was.

Sounds like it could possibly be a case of unskilled electrolysis with the plucking you described, but how many treatments did you have over a year? What was your schedule like and how many minutes did you spend at each session?

It could have been other factors as well that rendered you no results.


Something like 8 treatments or so in a year, each session about 20 minutes. I also got severe infections along the upper lip after having electrolysis done by this woman. I don’t think she maybe either washed her hands or her equipment.

If you had a moderate to a lot of hair on your upper lip, 8 or so treatments over a year is most likely not enough to see this process through to permanent completion.

As for the infection part, hygenic practices used before, at the time of treatment and after treatment are important signs to watch for when choosing a practitioner. Also, what the client does when they leave the office matters. If she worked near the corners of your mouth, it is even more vital to dab these areas with antiseptic after you eat because of the saliva and food factors. No touching with bacteria ladden hands is another big no-no. Any electrologist should be drilling the routine of caring for these tiny wounds into your head so infection does not become a problem.

Even though some of my clients really didn’t need me after eight treatments, spaced out over 9-12 months, I see a variety of cases who have been hard core pluckers and waxers who require anywhere from 12-20 treatments spread out over a year. There is quite a range of unwanted hair victims, all with unique patterns and thicknesses of hair. If you are truly wanting this hair removed forever, then go try someone else who doesn’t pluck every hair and who practices infection control standards. A real professional can get it done for you if you are on a good schedule.


If you did not see the electrologist wash his or her hands right before your treatment - I would not go back. As for equipment, it should be cleaned prior to your treatment or covered with a barrier for your treatment.

There should be no infection after a treatment. When it does happen there are two sources for it to be from - the electrologist was less than adequate in using Infection Control Standards or overtreated the area, or the client has some skin hygiene issues to deal with.

Well if you consider answering the phone WHILE they are doing the process as being unsanitary, I would say she was. And this w/ 25 years of experience.

No I did not have a lot of hair on my upper lip. She kept saying she couldn’t even see any hair at all, but it’s still there, I can see it. She had said it would take about 6 treatments total. The hair is still there, I know b/c I had some weird hairs she did and they have all grown right back and look exactly the same.

Now that you have much knowledge about how electrolysis should work I suggest contacting and interviewing several electrologists in your area. Ask for a sample treatment before deciding to schedule additional treatments with the practitioner.

As long as you wait 24-48 hours post treatment and only brand new make-up is applied to the treatment area, you should not introduce infection. You should see a decrease in the amount of hair growth within approximately 4-5 months. If there is no change whatsoever I recommend seeing someone else.

Let us know how things go for you. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

6 to 8 Treatments is not really going to do much for an unwanted hair growth problem. I have been going once a week for 2 months now and I am finally getting to the point where my upper lip is now being cleared in about 15 - 20 minutes per visit and the rest of the time is being used on my chin and cheeks.

I would expect that you would need at least one treatment every 2 weeks at a minimum, until there is no noticable regrowth.

It sounds to me like you do need to check out some other electrologists.


I’m in agreement with Joanie.

As far as answering the phone:

Answering the telephone is okay as long as the gloves are discarded, hands are properly washed and a new pair of gloves is donned before re-starting. It can be annoying for the client to have one or several interruptions during a treatment. I personally let my phone go into voicemail if I am working on a client. If I know I am expecting a call I will let the client know this ahead of time, but they will always witness me taking proper care of my hands before touching them after a phone call.

Twenty-five years of experience? As you have noticed, this doesn’t add up to expert care.

Dear hair consumers,

If you notice un-hygenic things being done to you, unfortunately, it becomes your obligation to speak to your electrologist in plain English. Say something simple like, “Could you please wash your hands with soap and water (or use a waterless hand sanitizer) for 15 seconds before you touch me?”

Same goes if you witness practitioners in a doctors office or any health care setting about to touch you if the skin barrier is broken. If parents taught their kids from an early age when and how to wash their hands properly, we probably wouldn’t see such an epidemic of adults who don’t wash their hands. You know, everything always starts at home base.



Do you have any idea why the electrologist said she could not see the hair? Is your hair very fine and light? Had you recently removed the hair by cutting, shaving, tweezing or waxing the area? Do you think that the electrologist had poor lighting or magnification?

Also, it’s not the usual protocol to tell a client it will take 6 treatments. There is nothing wrong with asking the electrologist to give you the information presented during the consultation. Clients often miss some of the information, due to the stress of not know what is going to happen during their treatment. Often an electrologist will tell a client that it will take a minimum of 6 treatments for a little amount of growth on the upper lip - and that is appropriate.

If you believe that you know exactly where each little weird hair is, you probably examine your skin very closely at frequent intervals. Even so, it is unusual for the client to be able to identify an individual hair and whether or not that particular hair has returned.

It is unfortunate that your electrologist answered the phone and returned without removing gloves, washing her hands and regloving. Unless he or she used a barrier that sort of thing just isn’t done any more. We are living in times where there isn’t any excuse for an electrologist to avoid learning excellant techniques for electrology and for business practices.

I wish you the best!

In my case the last straw w/ this “professional” was her answering the phone and then the door on my 20 minutes. Nope, she never washed her hands after or put on new gloves. Also, I had gotten severe infections after having electrolysis done, makes me wonder how clean the equipment was. There are very few electrologists here in Vegas, by where I live this establishment is really the only choice.

If clients were to be so bold and tell these electrologists why they are running away, maybe these poor work habits would cease. However, if your the only show in town, clients may risk infection just to get this done. You may help this person have a better business by pointing out such unhygenic behavior. I doubt that she would ever associate you not returning with her touching the phone or door knob during a treatment. It really is okay to point this stuff out and ask her to wash her hands and don new gloves AND to give a full 20 minutes that you are paying for. I know my mother-in-law would and I just have to love her for her pointiness, as long as I’m not the stickee, of course.