Working With Black Skin

I’ve heard that most Electrologists won’t work on black skin due to scaring. Anyone have any feed back on doing so???

Hi Nanci,

A lot of electrologists do not work black skin as they were never trained in the proper methodology to do epilations on this type of skin.

The hair follicles on blacks vary from relatively straight to extremely curved, depending on the hairs, their growth stage and area of the body. This requires a different method of probe insertion to reach the follicle. The amount of power applied during treatment also becomes more critical as, in some cases, over treatment will result in keloids (thick, dark spots).

An electrologist who is knowlegeable in this area will take a good look at the client prior to beginning treatment. If the are noticable things like darkening of the skin’s pigmentation adjacent to the nails, etc., there is a higher likelihood of keloids from treatment, especially around the lower cheeks and jaw.

This doesn’t mean that the client can not be treated, it just means that you must have an electrologist that is well versed in dealing with those skin and hair types.

Hope this helps. There are a lot of electrologists that can work on your skin type with good results. Especially if they are using the newer equipment.

Joanie, R.E.

Working with curved follicles, no matter the person’s race requires more skill, and better vision for finding both the angle of insertion, and the actual follicle opening. No small matter is the addition of the fact that a curved follicle will also have to be pulled out of a curved anchor and bulb system after the treatment energy. If one is one of those people who believes that a well treated hair falls out of the skin with no traction at all, then one will tend to over treat curly haired clients, and others with deep, strong bulb systems, thus leading to excessive tissue injury.

Of course, if the school did not teach it, and there were no subjects on which to practice on at school, how is the practitioner to get the needed experience in performing this type of work?

ok since this forum seems to be active presently i would take the oppurtunity to ask you if you have heard about lunatips. it’s a permanent sloution to hair removal and all you have to do is wax,shave etc on particular days as that calender suggests. look i havent tried this personally andi have tried asking that in other forums to. unfortunately my residence coiuntry is not in their payment list:( has any tried this. i wish i could get access to their calender

Hi Nanci,

Perhaps the lack of experience working on black skin is more of a locality issue. Black skinned people constitute only about 12% of the US population so this might have more to do with demographics - therefore lack of exposure and experience with a particular segment of the population.

Regarding scarring: I have treated people with keloids and never saw any keloid develop in the area where electrolysis was administered.

Regarding hyperpigmentation: When dark tissue is traumatized, the body produces more melanin and this will result in the darkened areas. This is temporary and the skin will go back to its normal color with naturally occuring cell renewal. Products can help to accelerate the process.

Curly hair - Even if the hair is slightly cocked in the follicle, it shouldn’t impede treatment as a skilled electrologist can create a wider heat pattern in that follicle and destroy the papilla and bulge.

The biggest issue to getting good results with electrolysis has less to do with hair type or skin color - good results have do with the the skill of the practitioner and working with a client who is consistant with their treatment.

Arlene thank you. I do live in a predominately white part of the country and that makes me inexperienced with black skin. I wouldn’t want to turn someone down because of race but the thought of damaging someone with keloids makes me extremely nervous.

I will print your post and save it.

Incidentally, I have 3 lily white red headed clients who have been Medically diagnoised with keloids. Never tans always burns. In fact one has had the scars surgically removed and the other prefers to wax becuase the MD wouldnot remove her mole when he saw her keloid scar. The third had prior electrolysis and has scars that aren’t very visable but they are raised scars. These clients make me very nervous too. I do treat them at a very low setting for a full second. Do you have any advice for me? Also I am wondering how some one might adjust the newer micro flash machines for this condition. Are adjustments necessary? Is the adjustment built in? This thought has made me hesitant to purchase although I have never had a black client. I do have several Native Americans and there are skin issues and setting adjustments for their skin. I think there might be similarites. I did work on black skin, African and East India while training. (no one is standing over my shoulder now)

FYI I also had a very pale client who’s son had keloids on the bottom of his foot from plantar warts. He had a very complicated (yet simple)proceedure to remove the scars. HIs father is also a very pale red head.

Since approximately 16% of black skinned people develop keloids, it would be a shame to not treat the other 84%.

Yes, lighter skinned people can keloid however it is more common on darker skinned people and then, when it does form, it will most likely have been seen by the time the person is 30 but I suppose there are exceptions.

If you want to work on those under 30 who have no keloids, ask the question, “Any relatives have keloids - develop thickened scars?” (Its genetic). Tell them about keloids and if they still want treatment, get a signed, informed consent attachment for your health history form.

Since I have always provided electrolysis in Manhattan and Queens, the demographics brings a high percentage of dark skinned people into my office. I understand that keloids are a result of prolonged inflammation and my clients are informed when they consent to treatment. I provide ice as after-treatment.

Why have I never seen the keloids form in areas of electrolysis treatment? I don’t know. Icing afterwards? Working noncontiguous hairs? I would never encourage any electrologist to treat a client who has keloids or has someone in the family who keloids but so far, I have done it with success.

P.S. If you decide to do a test, keep in mind that a keloid can take several months before it is noticable.

I checked out the lunatips website and it sounds ridiculous. It doesn’t even make sense. You disable the double helix? I laughed so hard. I wouldn’t waste my money on that. Have you considered electrolysis?

Thank You all for your responses!!!