What's everyone experiences with Electrolysis? Here's mine....


I started with Lucy Peters who do a great job, and did a great job on my chin. The removal was permanent, but in my mid twenties through bouts of stress i found the hair was growing back. Could have been newer hairs. I also have my entire bikini line done as i had sooooo many horrible ingrowns it was a nightmare. Each hair was a dark ingrown that made the area look terrible, so i spent about $2,000 and now it is gone. I still have maybe 4 hours left, and it’s been something like 4 years, no regrowth. I plan to do more when i have more money. I love electrolysis. Oh yeah, i had shortwave.


I had a lot of electrolysis myself (thermolysis like you), although I went to a practitioner without a lot of experience, and I got some scarring around my mouth. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons I do this site-- to help others avoid my mistakes and choose a really good practitioner.

Thermolysis is great in the right hands, but just like any hair removal method done professionally, practitioner skill will have a very big impact on your results. Choose wisely!


I’m so glad I found this site!!!

I guess it’s my own fault, as I’ve been too lazy to surf around properly…!

Anyway, I’ve been having diathermy (thermolysis?) from several girls at my local salon. I was a little concerned that each one did it slightly differently…
I’m left with quite a bit of skin damage - almost like the collagen underneath my skin has lost its elasticity - and quite a few ‘dents’ that look like acne damage. It got me wondering just what is the ‘right’ method. The manageress there insists that the guidelines for diathermy is to hold the current on for 2 seconds. Any longer than that, and I get big-time swelling!! 2 secs and less, and the swelling’s gone over night!!

One girl who worked on me turned the current right up, and only held it down for a sub-second. I had the best results from her in terms of skin damage, but other people I’ve spoken to have told me it’s not likely to be as effective, as it won’t have done the necessary ‘damage’ to the folicle.



My advice here is to never get elec. from your local salon. Go to someone that does only and specializes in Electrolysis, and only go to one person so that you guys can tailor your treatment. Ask around in your area, try to find a local beauty board and ask for recommendations (i think handbag.com is a uk beauty board) to find someone who has had great results. Seriously, don’t go local salon. Here’s what i did to find my guy (who is GREAT by the way) i kept going for different ‘trial’ treatments, 15 minutes at a time. But first i went to a very expensive well known electrolysis clinic in nyc, then i knew what was good and what was not. I have barely any swelling and then i know it’s good. Switch asap. YOu deserve the best results for your money and skin.


Hi Toni–

I don’t know what regulations are in the UK, but many states in the US require specific electrolysis licenses.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, themolysis is more likely to cause damage in inexperienced hands. Better to go to someone recommended by a consumer who is done and happy.

I got some scarring too, and it’s much easier to go to someone good than to undo the damage!


Thanks for the advice Andrea & Tonic!

Unfortunately, for me, it’s come a bit late, but I’d certainly endorse the ‘shopping around’ idea to anyone else looking into this!!!

In the UK, it’s hard to find a ‘specialist’ therapist. Our Beauty Schools train therapists to be a Jack of All Trades, and the phone book’s full of salons that offer the full range of treatments (nails, facials, waxing, massage, blah, blah, blah…)

The only ‘specialists’ I’ve found seem to offer laser. I tried laser, and it really didn’t do much for me. Although I’ve seen some very good results!!

If you’re considering shopping around in the UK, it might be a good idea to try areas like Manchester, Brighton, & Blackpool. One of the new girls at my salon had come from Brighton, and she’d treated lots of people like me.
She was about the best I had. She’s left now, but I’ve arranged to go & see her privately at her home. I feel like a rat, but, hey… :wink:


I thought I’d just add a little follow up note for anyone else considering lots of electrolysis…

Last Friday night, I had a 2 hour session with the v.experienced girl from my salon. She’s got a new job now, and doesn’t do Beauty Therapy anymore, but she’d agreed to treat me in her own home with her own machine.

She spent 1 hour on each of my cheeks… I had some serious swelling afterwards! And a residual ‘roughness’ to the tone of my skin.

The point I’m making, is that the only difference is the machine:
The one in the salon was a (rather old) Sterex machine. I never had this sort of reaction with her in the salon.
Her personal one was a make I’d never seen before.

As well as shopping around for a professional therapist, it might pay you to keep a v.close eye on the type of machine they use. I think I’ve seen another posting somewhere on this site that Sterex is the best machine.


Good point. Newer machines have digital readouts and other computerized features. Below are two pages listing most electrolysis and probe manufacturers. In the US, Fischer and Instantron are the most popular machines, but several companies make great devices.

Ask your practitioner about the age of the machine and when it was last in for maintenance.

Hairfacts: electrolysis machine manufacturers

Hairfacts: Electrolysis probe manufacturers


Toni, how is your face now. Serious swelling does not sound good, and neither does having 2 hours of work done on one’s face in one sitting. This is your face and your skin, you will never have another. Just shave until you find someone great. Get treated 15 minutes-1/2 hour with each new person/machine until you KNOW they are really good. Then proceed further with them. Good luck.


Yes, 2 hours in one go is a little excessive, isn’t it!! But we tend to move about a lot - so it’s not as bad as it sounds :wink:

Since I came across this board, I’ve been watching my results a little more closely. Here’s what I’ve found…

Firstly - I have to admit to being a bit of a perfectionist. I see problems there that nobody else does… So what I say is swollen, probably isn’t really that bad at all !!!

Can take the most strain. I guess it’s because the skin is quite tough there anyway, and it feels quite ‘boney’. (It’s not fleshy like the cheeks)

Jawbone just beside the chin:
Swells up with the smallest provocation. I had surgery there a year ago, and had some of the bone removed. I’ve got excess skin, and metal plates… I guess one or either of these might cause the problem … ?

These are the only areas I’m a bit worried about - I’m avoiding working on them, now. I’ve had them worked on regularly and excessively over the time I’ve been doing this. They’re certainly showing signs of ‘stress’ - but ironically, I think a lot of that seems to be down to shaving!! (Pits as the hair is shaved off and pulls back underneath the skin, and a bump as it pushes its way back through.) I’m planning to watch how they recover, and maybe try some facials to help. I think they will, though. If I pull the skin just a little bit, they’re lovely and smooth! (Again, I suspect my jaw reduction has left me with a little excess skin, and my age and liking for EL doesn’t help!!)

Top Lip:
It used to swell quite badly. There’s very few hairs there now, so we only do 10-15 minutes on that. It’s great, now! Nearly done, never swells - yay :grin:

The shallow pitch of the hairs mean that I get some raised bumps like insect stings. They pretty much go over night, and I’m left with just a red rash…

I think we’ve pretty much worked out where the happy medium is for me, now. After Duration (in one area), Duration (of each zap), and Strength (of each zap), there’s not much else you can vary.

Machine, and needle, I suppose.

I’ll be staying at my ‘local’ for various reasons, but what I would say is that when you start out, it’s probably a good idea to book just a 15 minute test patch, then come back the next day, and let the therapist assess the result. Rather than move straight on, you can work together to adjust your treatment.

I never did that, and I kind of just assumed that the reaction I was getting was quite usual. Of course, by the time my next appointment came round there was no sign of any swelling, so we carried on as before.

And keep in mind that different parts of your face might react differently - as mine does.

(Sorry, I’ve rambled a bit, haven’t I. Just another of my faults!!)

But thanks for your tips!! I’d certainly endorse them.


Excellent report, Toni!

Here are my own experiences on various parts of the face:

Around the mouth-- these hairs tend to be toughest and hardest to kill, and the skin is the most prone to damage. I have some scarring just below the corners of my mnouth and on my upper lip, probably from treatment at levels that were too high.

Neck and throat are also pretty sensitive, and my hairs grew at all angles there.

The area around my eyebrows can also get damaged easily (I have two chicken pox scars there and none elsewhere). I did not electrolysis on my eyebrows with that practitioner for fear of scarring.

The only places that real hurt for me was very close to the lip line and very close to the nostrils. My eyes get tears in them just thinking about it! EMLA or ELA Max can reall help make this more bearable.


Thanks Andrea!! :slight_smile: I hope it’s useful to someone out there!!

By the way, having read my way through progressively more of this site (and some external ones you suggest), I’m kind of thinking I might now switch to Blend on my more damaged areas (ie. cheeks!)

I was going to try a test patch at my last appointment, but we weren’t watching the clock, and we ran out of time… :roll:

Next week starts a week of “electrolysis holiday” (I schedule one in every now and again to recover a bit!) I’ll let you know how Blend goes…

Oh, and did you just rate me? Wow, thanks!! :grin:


Toni-- anyone who can quote Tennyson AND give great reports gets a 5-star rating in my book! :grin: