Hi everyone! I am posting this because I was looking for information when I got this device and couldn’t find as much info as I’d have liked, so maybe this will help someone else in the future.
Before I go into detail: I am not a professional or even an expert, but I do think this device works and I feel I am making really good progress. I used to use the machine to treat 15+ hairs every couple days, and I now (a couple months on) treat a few hairs per week.
However, it’s like buttering bread with a machete - it’ll work, but you have to be careful.
So, I wouldn’t recommend it outright and would recommend starting with professional electrolysis. I had tried the One-Touch about 15 years ago and found it impossible to use and gave up, and pursued competent, professional electrolysis for years, but was still experiencing continual regrowth on my chin and throat (which I don’t think is the hairs growing back, but vellus hairs turning terminal over time.) Between COVID restrictions, the ongoing expense, the time commitment, and the feelings of dejection, and the fact that I was nevertheless dealing with a finite number of hairs that I could see and reach, I decided to give DIY another go.
What I found impossible about using this machine in the past was:
The probes always bent, and I was spending more on new probes than I would have on professional electrolysis.
Remedy: Use tweezers to straighten small kinks, and change the insertion angle to deal with large bends in the probe. Can’t believe that didn’t occur to me the first time around. I am still using the first probe that came with the machine.
Scarring and damage. I had to burn the crap out of the follicle to get the hairs to release.
The scarring is no longer visible, but it wasn’t a great scene at the time.
Remedy: Treat the area as recommended (15 seconds or so), but do not try to pull the hair immediately. Give it 5-10 minutes between zapping and pulling, giving the lye produced in the follicle more time to kill the follicle. I do this by zapping all the hairs in the area, then taking a short break, then attempting to pull the hairs. I will repeat this process once or twice in a session and by the end, most or all hairs have slid out easily.
With good magnification and light, you can usually tell when a follicle is getting angry enough to stab - you can see the hole will get bigger and redder. If you see this, stop trying to treat that hair.
I still get the occasional scab (though I usually see it coming, but I’m stubborn), and of course redness and swelling, but it’s not very bad at all, and usually fades within a few days.
The worst part about this machine is the salt water fingers.
You need to touch the metal strip with salty wet fingers to complete the circuit, right? But positioning your wet fingers on the metal strip after insertion means you have to dip your fingers, change your grip and look down, meaning you might lose your grip, insertion location, or bend the probe.
Inserting the probe with your fingers already wet means the probe is live when you insert it, causing damage.
And, the salt water runs everywhere and cause corrosion and damage.
I had heard about the foot sponge modification but couldn’t find any instructions. I tried doing it based off what little I know about electrical stuff, and it worked a charm.
It’s very simple. Here’s how to do it:
- A plain sponge, preferably a large one, soaked in salty water (ocean-ish salty) (tip: once soaked in salt water, store it in the fridge in a ziplock so you don’t need to make new salt water every time)
- A non-metal plate (like a salad plate or some kind of tray, to put the sponge on and keep your floor from getting wet)
- One alligator clip and a screwdriver to loosen the screw on the clip.
- Electrical tape
- Wire strippers
- About 6’ (or enough to reach from the table your machine will rest on, to the floor, plus a couple more feet for slack) of SPT-1 zip cord.
This cord is just simple, cheap cord often used for lamps and other small electronics. It’s two wires coated in a plasticky material that are kind of stuck together (google it and you’ll see exactly what I mean.)
Take the cord and separate the two halves, lengthwise. It should peel apart easily, into two long cords. You only need one of these cords.
Using the wire strippers, strip about an inch of wire at each end of the cord.
Take one end of bare wire and thread it through the tube in the handle of the alligator clip, wrap the wire around the post of the loosened screw, and tighten the screw to hold in place.
You should end up with something like this:
Wrap electrical tape around the bare wire and base of the alligator clip (but obviously, not so much that you can’t open/close it anymore.)
Place your plate on the floor and put the salty wet sponge on the plate.
Clamp your alligator clip anywhere on the sponge.
Take the other end of the cord (the end without the alligator clip), which should have about an inch of wire of bare wire exposed.
Place that bare wire on the little metal strip in the middle of the One-Touch machine, and use a piece of electrical tape to cover the wire and strip.
That’s it! You can now complete the circuit by touching your foot to the wet sponge (insert the probe first, then step on the sponge,) instead of touching salt fingers to the metal strip on the handpiece.
This frees up your hands to hold the skin taught and manipulate the handpiece, and keeps salt water off your machine.
Anyway, these modifications and tips made the machine far easier to use for me, and I hope this can help someone have better success with this machine.