the sensation of plucking

I have recently started electrolysis for hair on the upper lip and chin. I think I have found a good electrologist – she’s been practicing for 35 years and was even an examiner for the state’s certification process; she has given me accurate information (according to the information I’ve garnered here); I’ve had very little irritation or scabbing following the procedure.

I only have two concerns:

  1. I definitely feel the sensation of plucking on occasion. She acknowledged that it might feel like she’s plucking some of the more difficult hairs, but she doesn’t want to use too much power to cause pain/scabs.

  2. she doesn’t wear gloves because she uses her fingertips to feel for hairs she cannot see.

Curious to get some feedback from some of the professionals here.

Resident iconoclast here:

Don’t fret about a little tweeze now and then. I’d “go” with the 35 years of experience.

Gloves: if she washes her hands properly there is no gigantic concern. I wear gloves but sometimes they get in the way. Remember, electrologists wore no gloves for about 100 years and there are no reports of infection from the practice. There have been studies that illustrate that the type of (non-sterile) gloves we wear have bacteria on them. (Only true surgical gloves are sterile — but, we seriously don’t need those!) Still, wear the damned gloves!

The BIG push for gloves happened with the AIDS scare (I’m still scared). We now know that contracting HIV is actually pretty difficult. Even an accidental hypodermic needle stick from an infected patient has a low risk (I think about 7%, and that’s from a blood test.) An accidental electrolysis needle stick probably has a nearly zero risk.

The best way to avoid these types of diseases? Never get on the table with the client!

Fine upper lip hairs often have very shallow follicles plus the root sheath is larger than the follicle opening. For that reason, the extraction of the hair can be felt more than the current application. (This is where changing the length of time between pulses can make a huge difference.) …but not everyone utilizes this and they still provide excellent results. Then there is that difference between plucking and traction…Kay Lasker would say not to be concerned…

Regarding the use of gloves: I’ve read most of the states regulations for electrology and interpretations can vary, but most state that wearing gloves is mandatory. Unlicensed states, obviously, have no recommendations… Most electrologists develop that sense of touch with the gloves and “ihatebodyhair” made a really good point about the lighting and magnification. There is a rule I follow…if it’s wet and it’s not mine - I don’t touch it. Wearing gloves is the right thing to do, but many of us practiced without gloves for years and there were no endemic infections.

I hated wearing gloves at first, but I adjusted just fine. I like the extra protection and the client feels secure with a barrier, as well.

I am with Michael here.

Wearing gloves is a great way to add expenses to your practice, but the additional benefit over well practiced surgical hand washing techniques is minimal. In this hyperbolic fear saturated society, wearing gloves is a great way to market your business with the theatrical show of infection control standards, but the empirical results are in the low percentages. Of course, that would be small consolation to the one out of a million person who WOULD get something, but that person’s compromised immune system would likely get something from the gloves as well in the correct situation.

Have you noticed that toll takers are now wearing disposable gloves? Great way to add expenses to a job that doesn’t even have a dress code.

Do I wear gloves? Sure I do. It minimized the amount of time I might have to rewash my hands during a day when I am working on one client for 6 to 10 hours, but if I were doing 12 cookie duster mustaches spaced 15 minutes apart, hand washing would work just fine. Thankfully, the powder free vinyl and nitrile gloves have a good feel through them, unlike rubber which has little to no feel through them.

Thank you all for the feedback. I tend to worry about every little thing so it’s nice to get some reassurance about the plucking.

As far as the gloves, well I guess I have something to think about. I suppose I could ask her to wear them. Seems to me they would be as much for her protection as mine.