Regrowth charts

i electolysed an area about three weeks back but now it seems that hairs are starting to regrow in that area. is this normal and does it take two or three tries before it goes away permenently?
also as my one touch dial is broken and stuck on two is it possible to permenently remove hairs while on dial 2, (perhaps leave it for 40 seconds instead of the recommended 15?)

[ March 31, 2003, 02:09 AM: Message edited by: Andrea ]

Hair grows back at different rates in different parts of the body. Typically hair will grow back in about 6 to 8 weeks, so at 3 weeks you are probably seeing hairs that were not visible when you did the treatment to that area. So although you may have good success at eliminating the hairs you did treat, you still need to treat the area repeatedly as other hairs surface. If you did not properly destroy the hairs that you did treat, then of course they may come back weaker or full force, depending on the skill of your initial treatment, and may need to be treated again.

I believe that 40 seconds is a much more controllable treatment time than 15. A few seconds of overtreatment at the lower setting will do much less damage than the same amount of extra time at a high setting. You should be judging the overall time by the success of the treatment of the previous similar hair; the time should be just enough to remove the hair without much force. Any extra time and you can do unwanted damage. Thicker and/or deeper hairs often require more treatment time at the same dial setting.

NoHair, there’s a lot of debate about hair growth cycles, but it’s probably likely that any hair at 6 to 8 weeks is still new growth and not regrowth of treated hairs.

allowit, you should treat hairs until they are able to slide out easily. Depending on the depth and coarseness of the hairs, this can take 15 seconds to a minute or more. At a lower setting, it can be even longer than that. After a few hairs of the same type, you should have a rough idea of how long they take to remove. After that much time, try the hair gently. If it doesn’t slide out, treat it again. I ouldn’t treat the same hair more than three times.

If your unit isn’t recently purchased, you might try taking it back for a refund.

Gior’s book Modern Electrology has a chart titled Regrowth Time Chart:

Hairline (front or back) F/M - 5 to 6 weeks
Eyebrows F/M - 5 to 6 weeks
Top of Nose F/M - 10 to 12 weeks
Upper Lip (vellus hair) F - 8 to 9 weeks
Upper Lip (terminal) F/M - 4 to 6 weeks
Side of Face (vellus) F - 12 to 14 weeks
Side of Face (terminal) F/M - 5 to 6 weeks
Chin (vellus) F - 6 to 7 weeks
Chin (terminal) F/M - 5 to 6 weeks
Neck (terminal) F - 5 to 6 weeks
Neck (terminal) M - 4 to 5 weeks
Ears (outside vellus) F/M - 10 to 11 weeks
Ears (outside terminal) F/M - 7 to 8 weeks
Breast F - 7 to 8 weeks
Chest (terminal) F - 7 to 8 weeks
Chest (terminal) M - 6 to 7 weeks
Back & Shoulders (terminal) F - 7 to 8 weeks
Back & Shoulders (terminal) M - 6 to 7 weeks
Arms (terminal) F/M - 7 to 8 weeks
Legs (terminal) F/M - 6 to 7 weeks
Hands (terminal) F/M - 7 to 8 weeks
Underarms (terminal) F/M - 7 to 8 weeks
Abdomen (terminal) F - 8 to 9 weeks
Inner Thighs (terminal) F - 5 to 6 weeks
Feet, toes (terminal) F/M - 6 to 8 weeks

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Fino’s estimates are not based on published clinical data.

Myers and Hamilton observed rates of 3 to 4 months for hairs to return after plucking from scalp, armpit, and thigh, as an example.

A more useful chart of growth cycles appears in Richards, p. 39:

T = duration of telogen
A = duration of anagen

Eyebrows: 16-20 weeks
T = 12 weeks A = 4-8 weeks

Ears: 16-20 weeks
T = 12 weeks A = 4-8 weeks

Beard (chin): 66 weeks
T = 10 weeks A = 52 weeks

Moustache (upper lip): 22 weeks
T = 6 weeks A = 16 weeks

Axillae (armpits): 28 weeks
T = 12 weeks A = 16 weeks

Arms: 31 weeks
T = 18 weeks A = 13 weeks

Legs & thighs: 40 weeks
T = 24 weeks A =16 weeks

The Richards/Meharg chart is by no means complete, since very few clinical studies have performed careful observations of individual hair follicles. They cite 14 published papers in compiling their chart of hair growth, and the chart itself as it appears in their book has many blank spots. Better to wait until someone performs clinical observations than to hazard a guess, they feel. I do, too.

I like and respect Fino Gior a lot, but he sometimes makes authoritative statements based on anecdotal observations rather than meticulous scientific data. This tendency of making authoritative-sounding statements with no basis in published medical data has led to loopholes exploited by hair removal quacks, such as a 1979 promotional brochure he authored which laid out a supposed “standard” by which epilators should be judged.

What this goes to show is that even people with the best intentions should base statements on careful clinical observation when dealing with something as complicated as hair removal. Fino’s estimates of time to completion are very useful for consumers, but they are just that-- estimates. His regrowth chart is, in my opinion, spurious at best.

I believe the only way to determine long-term hair removal is to observe for 26 weeks after final treatment (a standard growth cycle for many types of hair), and the only way to determine permanent hair removal is to make observations 52 weeks after final treatment (two standard growth cycles for many types of hair).

[ September 06, 2002, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]


I agree. Thanks for the info!

Given that the anagen stage for the beard is about 52 weeks long, shouldn’t that mean that fewer treatments would be required to remove the hair there? After all, there is a higher probablility of catching the beard in the growth stage. Of course I suppose it also depends on what percentage of beard hairs are in the growth stage at any given point in time.

Does the percentage of hair in the growth stage at a given time vary by body part too?


Funny you should ask! Also from Richards/Meharg, page 39:

Body part: % Telogen / % Anagen

Scalp: 13/85
Eyebrows: 90/10
Ear: 85/15
Cheeks: 30-50/50-70
Beard(chin): 30/70
Moustache (upper lip): 35/65
Armpits: 70/30
Pubic area: 70/30
Arms: 80/20
Legs/thighs: 80/20
Breasts: 70/30

Facial hair usually requires more treatments because it is heavily androgen-influenced. Although hairs are best treated in anagen stage, facial hair is usually so tenacious that it’s hard to kill even in anagen stage.

[ September 09, 2002, 11:39 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]

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Thanks for the info. Andrea. That explains why I have more hair left on my upper arms than on my chest and back. At any given time a lower percentage of arm hair (only about 20%) is in the anagen stage. I would suppose that laser treatments though may alter those percentages. One of the links you provided on the hairfacts had an artilce that explained how laser may force some hairs into an earlier telogen stage and that eventually more hairs will be in the growth stage at the same time. In effect the growth stages could be more synchronized.

Could you provide the URL for the Richards article on growth stages?


Yes, it stands to reason that laser may assist in synchronizing hair growth patterns after several treatments.

The complete Richards/Meharg chart is not available online as far as I know. Their site appears to be down.

Hairfacts: Richards/Meharg publishing data

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of
In the U.S./overseas send:
$69.95 + $9.00 postage/handling = $78.95 U.S. Currency -cheque/money order
In Canada Only (add GST) send:
$69.95 + $6.00 postage/handling + 7% = $81.27 Canadian Currency
Medric Ltd.
P.O. Box No. 1000
Station B
North York, Ontario
Canada M2K 2T6

After looking at the two tables, it occurs to me that the the ratio of the time a hair spends in anagen to the time a hair spends in telogen ought to be the same as the ratio of anagen hairs to telogen hairs at any one time.

In other words, if a hair spends one week in anagen and three weeks in telogen, the hairs in that area ought to be 25% anagen and 75% telogen.

The ratios shown don’t match all that well.

I suppose the data came from different studies, so no surprise it’s somewhat inconsistent.

  • Eric

I figure I may as well, add this to the sticky, since it is a part of this idea, and people keep asking about it.

Obviously, hairs grow from nothing to something in growth phase, stop growing, and begin the process of being pushed out by the body in shedding phase, and in resting phase, they are either gone because they have fallen out of the skin, or the hair is resting at the top of the skin’s surface waiting for either something to make it fall out, or for the follicle to become active again, and a new hair to either push it out, or wedge it in the follicle further by squeezing past it.

The reason you might think you see nothing being gained in the early going is that you can’t see what has been done for months, or a full year. Take before, during and after shots to really appreciate what is going on here.

Think of your skin as a Grid. Think of this Grid as being 10 x 10 spaces in square form. If left to their own devices, the follicles in the first row, (1 - 10) will present hairs in spaces 1, 3 and 9. These hairs will cycle, and as they get ready to fall out, hairs in spaces 2, 5 and 10 begin growing, and brake surface just as hairs 1, 3 and 9 fall out.

Now it looks to the naked eye as if nothing has happened, because one saw 3 hairs in that area, and there are still 3 hairs in that space.

If one removes the hairs in spaces 1, 3 and 9, one will be targeting spaces 2, 5 and 10 when they come out in 6 to 9 weeks, and later, hairs will present in 4, 6 and 8. It takes a full 9 months for all these hairs to present. By the way, space 7 never grows hair in this example.

One should never have to treat a follicle more than 2 times. Three times is the most I can see, unless the practitioner is very bad or the client doesn’t show up on schedule. If the client is the problem, the practitioner might never actually get to treat that hair while it is in growth phase, if ever at all. (If you never come in during the months of November, December, and January, there are hairs that the practitioner will never, ever see, or treat, and you will always have those hairs in winter.)

So your skin Grid starts like this:
X = Hair and _ equals empty space

X_X_ _ _ _ X
X X _ _ X
_ _ X_X_X _
_ _ _ _X
X X _ _ X
_ _ X_X_X _
_ _ _ X
X X _ _ X
_ _ X_X_X _
_ _ _ _X

Now, in 6 to 12 weeks, the Grid changes to this:

X X _ _ X
_ _ _ X
_ _ X_X_X
_ _
X X _ _ X
_ _ _ _X
_ _ X_X_X _
X X _ _ X
_ _ _ X
_ _ X_X_X
_ _
X X _ _ _X

And it will change again in another 6 to 12 weeks. As you can see, there is the same number of hairs in the Grid, but their placing has changed.

In most cases, one’s electrologist won’t be clearing all these hairs the first time out, so one is chasing the Grid, looking to catch each hair as it comes out in growth phase, which gets easier to do as you clear hairs, because there are fewer left to present in the first place.

Does this help you understand how it is possible for the CLIENT to frustrate even the best electrologist by not coming in on schedule? Can you see why going long and frequent hours to start with costs you less in the long run, because you get more hairs in the growth phase, and have an easier time keeping up with the growing hairs as it comes in? Can you see how many people THINK their electrologist was failing them, when they just never really gave the practitioner a fair chance?

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I honestly think that you are seeing hairs that were not visible at the time that you did this procedure. This is why you need to do it a couple of times. Usually you shouldn’t do it until 6 or 8 weeks after the first procedure though.

~ Megan @ Hair Removal [hair-removal-options dot com] A Guide to find the best hair removal option for you


I’m a Electrologist from Germany and search for the book “Cosmetic and Medical Electrolysis and Temporary Hair Removal” from Richards, R. N.; Meharg, G. E., because I want the complete Richards/Meharg chart. But my bookseller tell me, that this book is out of stock and never will be published.

Can anybody help me or can give me a copy from the chart.

The book is easily available here in the US and Canada. If you want the full text, you need only arrange to have it delivered to you from the US or Canada.

Hi James,

did you have an adress (email, homepage) for me? is the email address for Texas Electrolysis Supply. I am sure that Dr. Heimlich and the crew can get you a copy over there. I can’t say what the total cost will be due to customes and international shipping, but I am sure they can get it to you. They said they had the book in it’s current form (If you ever see the original version on Ebay, grab it! More pages, more information)

Thanks for your helpfully information.

Did you stay next year at the AEA Convention at San Francisco? Then we maybe will meet us. I’m glad.

At the moment, I plan on being in San Fransico for the AEA Event, even if I don’t bother with the classes, (Depends on the program they put together) I do go to these things to meet friends old and new.

I hope to see you there. I love SF! It is on my short list of places I actually would consider relocating myself.

Were they talking about upper arm hair when they said “arms”? I can tell you, that 70% of my hairs on my upper arms are anagen hairs according to my electrolysists and from what I see when there is a black bulb pulled out on the end.