Which electrologist is better?

Hi everyone,
I’ve had a few more thermolysis sessions on my upper lip and chin with two electrologists. Which one of them is doing a better job?

ELECTRO#1–Apilus machine, 6 years experience. She clears about 160 hairs from upper lip in half an hour. I get more redness with her treatments. Redness on upper lip fades overnight but my chin stays VERY red (which I hide with coverup). Also, my chin often feels sore to the touch, like it’s bruised. (Chin has lots of deep terminal hairs.) Also, I often hear a crackling/popping sound with each zap to my chin. That hurts! Does anyone know what that is about? Does it mean she’s not going deep enough? Is she giving me pits???

ELECTRO #2–Apilus machine, about 3 years experience. Clears much less hair in half an hour (not sure of amount, but I can tell she’s slower). No crackling sounds, so it’s much easier to tolerate her treatment, and no soreness feeling in chin area.

Is any of this par for the course? Or am I being overtreated by Electro#1/undertreated by Electro#2? They’re about the same price and I think I like Electro#2’s personality better, FWIW.

Thanks to anyone who can share their experience/knowledge. You guys rock!

In your situation I might go with Electrologist #2. The sound you describe is the sound of moisture converting from liquid to vapor in a millisecond. If you hear that once in a while that is not much to worry about. If you hear it all the time, there are possibly things to worry about. All could be well, however, one could be having shallow insertions, or the intensity may be up higher than it needs to be.

As said previously on the board, one should lean towards undertreatment rather than overtreatment. Each hair has its own treatment setting, and when working we either have to set the machine for a nice medium that will work with most hairs, and leave us to go back for others at a higher, or lower setting. This is called removing the hairs one level at a time. If a person sets the machine for the highest level hairs, and then treats a lower level of hair, you could have a blow out of that follicle. If one has the machine set for a lower level of hair, and treats a higher level hair, one need only give it multiple zaps of teatment energy, or change the setting.

As you have seen, Apilus and Silhouet-Tone machines can provide comfortable treatment, without leaving you needing a week’s worth of recovery.

I caution you however on putting makeup on the treated skin in less than 24 hours after your appointment. Although I have not had more than one client have trouble when doing this, it is still not recommended. If Electro #2 is not leaving your chin in need of a week’s worth of healing, you might want to go with her for that as well.

On the other hand, you sound like you are in your first clearance, and with that, if you have a really high number of hairs per square inch, it could just be that this is what you will have this one time through, because you are getting so much more hair cleared in your sessions.

Both you and your electrologist need to prioritize what your goals are so that what is most important is stressed, and the rest is put in order of secondary importance. I can clear a person out bare if that is their highest priority, but if looking like we are not working on the skin at all, is a higher priority, I must adjust our attack plan accordingly.

In aggressive mode, we may have lots of swelling the first time through, but we will clear out the area in a blizzard of falling hairs. If we go for no one knows what we are doing 30 minutes after the treatment, we may need to deal with a thinning technique that has the hair slowly disappearing over a period of about 8 weeks.

Hi there VespaSusie.

James, as usual, answered your questions par excellence. I just want to second his comments about avoiding makeup soon after treatment. I have had a few clients say they can’t do without the makeup and then return complaining of having little white pustules. For these diehards, I will bend a little and suggest they only use clean medicated makeup and instruct how to apply it cleanly. At the same time, they understand that they are taking full responsibilty for their healing process, if they absolutely must wear makeup so soon.

I guess I would lean toward electrologist #2. If electrologist #1 was ‘crackling’ and didn’t make adjustments in the intensity, I would be cautious and go with the slower,lower person.
You don’t have to have a lobster red, sore chin in order to acheive permanency.


Thank you both. James, yes, I am still in my first clearance and I do have a lot of hair per square inch, but my #1 priority is to get through this process without scarring. Redness, soreness, and swelling doesn’t bother me, as long as I don’t end up with pits or scars.

Dee, what do you mean by “clean medicated makeup”? If I can’t find any, I’ll just skip the coverup the first 24 hours. The redness on my chin looks like a bad acne breakout.

Another question: Is it safe to apply sunscreen to the treated area within the first 24 hrs or does that cause pustules too?

Thanks again!

Being that it is summertime and everyone seems to be in a hurry for that ultimate tan, which I discourage my clients on doing during their electrolysis treatments, if they just must apply a light makeup or sunscreen, I stress that they make sure it has a “titanium” based ingredient in it.

It would be best for you to forego the makeup for at least 24 hours (48 hours, if I dare stretch this). However, a medicated makeup that has been around for years and years is Liquimat by Summer laboratories that is used to treat acne. It is a water-based formula that is oil-free. You can adjust the tint to match your skin tone. They will send you a concentrated liquid tint and by adding a few drops you can create a color to match your skin color. Cost is about $15.00. Always wash your hands before applying or wash your sponges in warm soapy water followed by a dip in 70% alcohol.

You want to change your makeup products every 6 -12 months so bacteria doesn’t get a grip and grow inside the bottle. That’s what I meant by ‘clean’.

There is always good old tinted Clearisil.
I’m sure Clinique has a concealing medicated formula that heals and hides, too, but if you could do without for at least 24 hours, so much the better.


I asked above about hearing a cracking/sizzling sound during treatment and James wrote:
</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The sound you describe is the sound of moisture converting from liquid to vapor in a millisecond. If you hear that once in a while that is not much to worry about. If you hear it all the time, there are possibly things to worry about. All could be well, however, one could be having shallow insertions, or the intensity may be up higher than it needs to be.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>I’ve been with Electro #2 for a while but now even with her I hear this sound a lot. About 15 times in half an hour. When I ask about it she says it’s normal, it just means i have too much oil in my pores and she can’t help it. I wouldn’t even care except that it hurts. I suggested she turn down the machine but she says she can’t because any lower and it won’t remove my hairs. Is there anything i can do to reduce the oil or moisture in my face? (she wipes my skin with witch hazel before starting.)

thanks again,

Oil in the pores? Okay. Whatever the explanation,
what she could do is lower the intensity (heat) and increase the timing (the amount of time the probe is left in the follicle). The hair will still slide out nicely when these two things are balanced. Going slower and lower should alleviate your discomfort and make the sizzle sound vanish.

It’s not for you to worry about what you can do to reduce the moisture or oil on your face pre-treatment. Just arrive with a clean, make-up-free face. She is the one that has control over the sizzle sounds and the sensation you feel.