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What Should I Consider When Getting Electrolysis?

Mary McMahon
Updated: May 17, 2024

There are a number of things to consider when getting electrolysis, which can be expensive, painful, tedious, and potentially lead to infection or skin damage. By taking several factors in account, you can determine whether or not it is a good choice, and can seek out a reputable electrologist to perform it. As with any type of invasive beauty procedure, you should consult a doctor beforehand to make sure that it is not contraindicated.

The first thing to think about when considering electrolysis is whether or not it is necessary. There are few medical conditions for which it is required, such as ingrown hairs, but most consumers get this procedure done for aesthetic reasons. In some cases, unwanted hair growth may be embarrassing, or it may lead to difficulty in getting jobs or feeling confident in social situations. In these instances, electrolysis may be a good option for permanently removing undesired hair, as shaving is often detectable and time consuming.

In other cases, a client may want to remove hair because it is simply displeasing: this procedure can be used to shape hairlines, remove unwanted leg hair, or minimize chest and back hair. Shaving is not always practical for long term hair removal because it can cause rough skin, skin infections, and ingrown hairs. In these cases, electrolysis may be a good choice.

Consumers should be aware that the effects of this procedure are not reversible. It is usually effective approximately 90% of the time, which means that once the hair is removed, it will not be coming back. If you are using electrolysis to shape an eyebrow line, for example, he or she should consider whether that shape will always be in style. In cases where the technique is not effective, the result may be thicker hair or discomfort. In extreme instances, poorly performed electrolysis can lead to skin damage or infection.

If you decided that you do want to get electrolysis, timing is the next consideration. Skin can be red, irritated, and sensitive for up to one week after a session. If you're planning a trip to the tropics, a major social event, or a swimming competition, the session should be booked at least a week in advance so that your skin can recover in time. Because the skin is more sensitive to sun damage, summer is not a good season to undertake a treatment, unless you're prepared to cover up afterwards.

Finally, it is crucial to choose a good electrologist. Many regions do not regulate electrolysis very extensively, except as a part of the beauty industry. Training standards are often minimal, and facilities may be inspected infrequently if at all for health code violations. Choosing an electrologist who is registered with a professional association that has stringent membership standards is a good start. Many professional organizations have admissions exams which electrologists much pass in order to be members, along with continuing training to retain membership. These organizations can be readily found on the Internet, and will provide lists of their members to interested parties.

When choosing an electrologist, try to get recommendations from friends or others. The electrologist should be infection conscious, keeping a clean facility and using sterile tools and fresh sterile probes. You should feel comfortable, relaxed, and welcome, and be offered plenty of water to drink, magazines to read, and snacks if you are feeling unwell. Make sure to get an estimate of how much the entire treatment is going to cost, including multiple sessions if necessary.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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