slow progress?

Hi all,

I’ve been having electrolysis for about nine months on terminal hairs on my sideburns, jawline, china and neck. I’ve been going for weekly or bi-weekly appointments and all of the hairs are cleared every time. However, I’m not seeing anywhere near the rate of progress that some people on this forum have achieved after the same amount of time. There is some improvement, but I can’t go much more than a few days without having to shave the dark hairs. I had really been looking forward to being able to wear my hair up this summer without without self-consciousness.
My practitioner is licensed and uses an Apilus machine on what I think are pretty high settings. I do occasionally feel something like plucking, but she explains that the roots on those particular hairs are just really big.
Is it possible that my progress is so slow because I was a long-time plucker? Originally, I mostly had thick, vellus fuzz that I started waxing in my teens. I actually don’t know when the terminal hairs started coming in, because I plucked obsessively for about seven years. I don’t think I have PCOS, though I’ve been hairy since I was a child. Is it possible that electrolysis just won’t work on me?

Ripping a hair out by its root (ie waxing and tweezing) distort the hair follicle and drive it further into the dermis, making it harder for an electrologist’s straight needle probe to attack the root of the follicle.

Right, but does that mean electrolysis won’t be very effective on my hairs or that it will just take longer? Can any of the professionals comment on the difference between the time it takes to clear someone who never plucked versus the time it takes to clear someone who plucked religiously?

  • by clear, I meant finish

Has the frequency and duration of your visits reduced over the nine months of regular treatments? Are there many thick hairs still appearing, similar in appearance to the ones that most troubled you prior to commencing electrolysis? Yes tweezed hairs are more challenging to treat and time to completion is longer.

The duration has reduced somewhat-- maybe from 45 min/week to a half hour/week or ten days, but then there are still weeks where I end up needing 45 minutes. I feel like I’m still seeing lots of thick, dark hairs. There may be a bit fewer than there were initially, but it still feels like an awful lot to me. I definitely can’t go more than a few days after a treatment without seeing some come in and they’re too thick to bleach.

What should I be seeing at this point?

This doesn’t sound right. After 9 months of facial clearances, there should be no doubt that your treatment is working. Is there an opportunity for you to trial another practitioner or to post some photographs for some better feedback?

I’ve actually tried several and I felt that she was the best (least skin damage, newest machine, seemed to be getting hairs out with the root sheath, etc.). I have seen one other person every few months when I am in another city and she said that she noticed a difference but my progress was much slower than she would have expected. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos from when I began treatment, because I couldn’t bear to be reminded…

Basically, I’d like to know if my slow progress is somewhat normal for a former plucker or if this is clear evidence that something is wrong with my treatments?
(Thanks for putting up with all of my questions!)

A photograph of now could tell us a lot, just before your next scheduled appointment would be great.

It might also help to have a work-up at the doctor. It’s possible that what you are seeing is new growth being stimulated by hormones or something. I know you said you don’t think you have PCOS, but it wouldn’t hurt to get it ruled out. I’ve never, ever seen someone for whom electrolysis didn’t work at all.

Hey dear,we r in the same boat,- noticced i have had only about 60 perccent rreductioon in my 11moonth after 15 treatments with hypergimentation too cos av ggot i had tto switch to stephanie in dorking and after she interrrogated me,she expplained that she doesnt like or use picoflash becauuse it doesnt og to the roots to destroy the rroots but just goes up d needle or something like that.and so when i had my first treatment(would be going for d second in 2days),i felt a difference.when she inserted d needles,it felt like d hair roots where been buusted underneath my skin(pardon my description lool). Am really hoping on stephanie beccause of pokka testimony(which she remembered when i told her).i only have limited time in the uk(janu 2014).i guess by 19thmonth all dis shud av gone.i started my treatment june 13 2012.4o my dear i think u need to check ur hormones to be sure but i feel urs is undertreatment.

I treated a full beard on the face and neck of a woman of Nigerian descent with PicoFlash only. She is finished two years later and her skin is smooth and beautiful. So, her success was fully realized, using PicoFlash thermolysis and she had the worse hairs one could ever work on, hands down. Just saying, it is not the modality used that determines success, but rather, the skill and strategy of the person using that strategy.

Thanks dhafey.mine is also my chin n partially neck all caused by waxing,plucking done.i was hoping mine would be easier and faster too cos the hairs aren’t tough from what both electrologist have far its been ok but at about april,i noticed it wasn’t reducing any further.i just hope i wud be about 95% done by january.

As silly as this sounds, do you have a “before” picture to compare yourself to? There were times during my treatments I felt like things were progressing slowly until I compared myself with what I had before beginning.

yah brenton,i am not saying no reduction at all,it has reduced by 60 - 70 percent but treatment time keeps increasing and decreasing.all the same time,thanks all.

Hi Kiri,
I don’t know a lot about electrolysis, but I can let you know my situation, since it seems like we started from a similar place. I tweezed my chin and neck hair for years (about 10) before I started electrolysis, so I’m guessing my follicles were pretty distorted; in fact, my electrolysis has on occasion found a hair that is too deep or bent for her probe to reach! I’ve been having electrolysis for a year now, and I’ve definitely noticed improvements - I’m only going twice a week, and generally only shave once between appointments, as the hairs I have left are much less dark. So I would say that by 9 months, you should be seeing an appreciable difference. If you’re not, you need to bring this up to your electrologist. Ask her when she expects you to notice a difference, and when she anticipates that you’ll finish. If you don’t start seeing results soon, I would go to someone else. Just my opinion!

One thing that we should take away from this is that “before pictures” and “progress pictures” should be taken so that you can actually track your work. I know they have been intrumental in dealing with my clients who can’t keep on schedule to see how the treatment dates coincide with the progress dates.

Your hair removal professional is not trying to get blackmail pictures of you to post online. She is trying to track your treatments, and have something to show you regarding what progress you may have had, or perhaps how that skin discoloration you are asking about now was always on your face, only you did not notice it due to all the hair.