Frequently Asked Questions  

What is the history of Electrolysis?
An ophthalmologist, named Charles E. Michel, discovered electrolysis in 1875 to permanently remove ingrown eyelashes presented by some of his patients. The basic technique has remained the same through the years, though its efficacy has improved with the development of modern equipment.

How does Electrolysis remove hair?
An ultra fine, thread-like sterilized probe is inserted into the root of the hair- the skin itself is never punctured or broken. The probe is attached to a machine that releases a mild current, which lasts for 1000th of a second. This causes the hair to come free from the bottom of the hair follicle. Once released, the hair is lifted out with a tweezer. The treated hair will now grow back weaker and less coarse at first, and after subsequent treatments, will not grow back at all.

What causes the growth of unwanted hair?
Heredity is, of course, the key culprit in excessive hair growth. Any influence on the glandular/endocrine system, normal or abnormal, can also cause unwanted hair growth. Normal changes include puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Abnormal influences such as illness, medications, hormones and stress may also cause superfluous hair.

Why choose Electrolysis instead of Laser treatment?
Electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal method. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines Laser treatment as a hair reduction method. Electrolysis destroys fine, blond, and white hair as well as dark, course hair, can be used safely around the eyes to shape eyebrows, and is safe on all skin colors including tanned skin. See also FDA comparison, "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow."

Lasers have been cleared for permanent hair reduction and therefore will not result in a permanent removal of all hair. Lasers work with the melanin (pigment) of the hair and thus are not successful with light colored hair. Laser hair reduction has not been evaluated for long-term safety of the client's skin and health.

Why does waxing, threading and tweezing stimulate hair growth?
When a hair is pulled out, a blood supply rushes to the area nourishing the hair follicle. When this process is done regularly the result is growth of very coarse deeply rooted hairs. Most clients are surprised to learn that years of waxing and/or tweezing have played a role in making the hair growth worse.

What areas of the body can be treated with Electrolysis?
Any area of the body can be treated such as chin, upper lip, eyebrows, breasts and abdomen. Inside the ear and nose are the exceptions.

Is Electrolysis painful?
A slight tingling sensation is felt than that of tweezing. Because a network of nerve endings surrounds each hair follicle, the client feels a tingling sensation from the procedure. This sensation lasts a second. Because some parts of the body are more sensitive than others, adjustments can be made which will help to make the treatment comfortable. An over-the counter anesthetic (numbing) cream called LMX or Emla, a prescription, can be applied before treatment for sensitive areas.

Is Electrolysis permanent?
Electrolysis is the only method of hair removal that is deemed permanent by the FDA. It is permanent over time. There are three main reasons why electrolysis is a process over time:

    1. Stages of hair growth—Hair is in different stages of growth at any given time and electrolysis can only be performed on visible hair.
    2. Protection of the skin—Because it is important to protect the skin, we cannot use an electrical intensity high enough to completely destroy the follicle. A little destruction of the hair root occurs with the removal of a hair in a particular follicle, and over time this hair root will be completely destroyed. At that time, this follicle will never be able to grow another hair.
    3. Hormone imbalance—If there is an imbalance, follicles that previously did not contain hair may begin to produce hair.

How many treatments are required?
Electrolysis is a series of treatments. It is a process of weakening the hair follicle with repeated treatment. As the follicle weakens, the hair takes longer to grow and becomes thinner and finer. This will vary from person to person. Factors such as the texture of the hair (fine/coarse), areas to be treated, medical history, age of the person and any previous temporary methods (waxing/tweezing) that may have been used are important. In the beginning, most people will need weekly treatments, which will soon become monthly as progress is made. Permanent results are best achieved by the personal commitment to the planned program that has been tailored to his or her individual needs.

Does electrolysis scar?
After electrolysis, you may have some scabs appear over the areas worked on. This is because there is a mild dose of electrical current applied to the hair follicle, and it is the body's way to protect and heal itself. After the treatment it is very important to follow the after care instructions so that the skin heals properly. You are NOT TO PICK any scabs, pitting/scarring may occur. The follicle goes deeper into the skin than a regular pimple does and the entire follicle needs to heal undisturbed from sunburn, chemicals (glycolic & other acids) or any other irritation.

What to do about the hair in between treatments?
It is OK to cut, shave and use depilatories in between treatments, as long as you allow the hair to grow in for 2-3 days before treatment. You SHOULD NOT TWEEZE OR WAX this causes the hairs to become ingrown and by the increased blood flow to the area, more hairs may grow in. If you are investing in electrolysis, tweezing & waxing these areas are wasting your time & money.

Who shouldn't receive Electrolysis treatment?
If you have a Pacemaker, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes or certain diseases (ex. something that causes you to have slow healing) electrolysis may not be for you. Pregnant women can receive treatments, but consult with your doctor first. Contact your doctor for more information, and have a note with you for your first treatment.


ATS Electrolysis

phone: (302) 664-2736; e-mail: