In my post “modest success…” I outlined my equipment and progress on my 10-year plan to remove by beard. As I mentioned I was able to remove up to 40 hairs-per-hour with the approach I was using. A year later, those hairs are still gone!
A few months ago, my patience gave way and I purchased a used professional unit on eBay. I got a 1990 model Gentronics MC 160. It claims to do all modes, multi-needle, blend and flash. I also picked up a copy of the Hinkel electrolysis textbook.
My experience with using the blend method so far has been very positive. As recommened in the text, I first used the thermolysis only to find the highest level and shortest time the I could tolerate and would cause the hair to remove freely. It turns out that even on the most powerful setting, it still takes about 12 seconds to fry my stubborn terminal beard hairs. Then I used the formulas to add in the electrolysis and produce the correct units-of-lye. Again, I seem to be able to tollerate a rather high setting (around 12 tenths) without unmanagable pain or nasty after effects. This 144 units-of-lye is almost double the 80 units the recommended for beard hair. Perhaps my machine is out of calibration, but the bottom line is the results are good and my face is not burned-up or anything.
I find I can treat between 90 and 110 haris in an hour. This reduces my 10 year plan to a more reasonable 3 or 4 years with the following caveats. One, I can only reasonably reach about half of the hairs, even though I have developed the ability to do insertions with either hand. Two, I suspect my kill rate is around 60% or 70% due to inconsistent insertions (There is no substitute for 10 years experience!). No matter, I am much happier with my progress. I am considering seeing a pro to start working on my neck and sideburns, further speeding the process.
Serious DIY takes some real patience. A steady hand is a must. I do lose the ability to concentrate after an hour and my rate slows a lot. Proper lighting and mirrors are a challenge. I am currently using a cheap 5X makeup mirror on a snake-like mount with a couple of folding desk lights. Believe it or not, I seem to be doing OK with this setup, but it is probably limiting my rate. Also, I find it best to do about 10 hairs and then use the tweezers to pull them.
My overall investment is therefor: Used Machine $100, Mirror $15, Tweezers $15, Stylus $20, Needles $40 (20x.003 and 20x.005), Textbook $10 = $200. Perhaps I will invest another 35$ to join this board since without it I wouldn’t have had a clue! When I do, I will post some pictures to convince you my face isn’t a total disaster zone.