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What Are the Side Effects of Electrolysis Hair Removal?

By Mariela
June 16, 2023
7 minutes

You probably might have heard people whine about desiring rapid hair growth, however, have you paused to think if that is what you really want?

Maybe those with rapid hair growth have never mentioned the downsides of such traits but we are going to let you in on that in this article.

Usually, there is the presence of hair in almost all parts of the human body (and some animals too) and many times, only hair located in specific parts of the body experiences a high surge of growth. For example, areas such as the head, chin, armpit, chest region, leg, and private parts.

Despite this intense desire for rapid hair growth, this desire only stops in the head region and nowhere else.

In fact, not many people appreciate these growths in some specific areas of their bodies and you can easily tell why – these hairs become uncomfortable over time and look messy when unkempt.

But, the question is this, does everyone have the luxury of time to always tend to remove these excess hairs? Apparently, all you just want to do is to get it over and done with once and for all.

Unfortunately, many of the hair removal options readily available do not do justice to taking off the hairs permanently leaving you with no choice but to do the same task over and over again.

However, as technology continues to advance, there has been a better approach to hair removal treatment – electrolysis hair removal.

But just before you get all excited, hold on a sec!

We are no bearer of unpleasant news and we hate to break it to you that the electrolysis hair removal treatment, like all other hair removal methods, is not without its side effects .

So, in this article, we discuss what electrolysis hair removal treatment is all about, how it is been done, and discuss extensively the side effects of this treatment. Of course, we wouldn’t leave you hanging without handing you something to fall back on in case you have other treatment. To this effect, the article highlights 6 other hair removal methods as an alternative to the electrolysis hair removal treatment.

Before launching into what electrolysis means, it would be great to inform you of the causes of these excessive or unwanted (as the case may be) hair growths.

Firstly, your excess hair growth could be a result of genetics, in this case, it isn’t your fault that you are hairy. So, apparently, there is little to nothing you can do to help the situation.

Another reason for those unwanted hair growths could be a result of some underlying health conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which spikes up a particular hormone called androgen (male hormones) and show symptoms in the form of these excess hair growth.

On the other hand, it could be as a result of some drugs you are using for instance steroids. So, you may want to check with your doctor if you should continue using these drugs or not.

What is electrolysis hair removal?

A good place to start would be to describe what electrolysis means and how it is related to hair removal treatment, so let’s get that out of the way.

Electrolysis can be described as a hair removal treatment method that uses the principle of electric current to get rid of hair permanently. Over a century has passed since the invention of electrolysis. Although the initial aim of its invention was to get rid of irritating ingrown eyelash hairs, over time, electrolysis has become the only permanent hair removal procedure that has received FDA approval.

How is electrolysis done?

This procedure requires the attention of a well-trained specialist called an electrologist who would insert a needle connected to a thin wire (epilator) into the opening hair follicle just beneath the skin. As soon as this wire is inserted and the switch is turned on, an electric current is generated which moves through the wire and needle to the bottom of the follicle to destroy the hair root. Once the follicle is destroyed, the growth of hair is hampered and any pre-existing surface hair falls out. This treatment would usually take between 15 and 60 minutes to get completed while the appointment spans over a period of 18 months.

Target area

Electrolysis targets the root of the hair follicle specifically areas of the body where there is the presence of hair and so this procedure could be used to treat areas of the body such as the face (eyebrows, upper lip, and chin), chest region (breasts), fingers and toes, lower trunk (back and abdomen), private parts (armpits, bikini line), thighs and lower legs.

What are the side effects of Electrolysis hair removal?

Earlier in this article, we mentioned that electrolysis hair removal is not without its downsides. While this treatment might offer a permanent solution, however, there are flips and unpalatable sides to this procedure as will be examined below;

  • Long treatment period

Firstly, let’s clear the air on this. During the prep phase of this procedure, you would be told it lasts only for 15 to 50 minutes, and you would have to come for later appointments. However, what is not clearly stated is how long that appointment is going to last to achieve permanent hair removal. So, if you do not mind the constant visits to the electrologist’s office, you may want to opt-out at this point as treatment usually last up to 18 months.

  • Constant Needle pricks

We hate to break this to you but if you have phobias for needle pricks, then you may want to step aside from having this procedure. The reason is that everything that would be done involves inserting a needle into your skin. Not to discourage you but imagine getting these needle stings and pricks for every of your appointment.

  • Painful procedure

While the procedure is not particularly painful. However, if it is your first time, you might feel uncomfortable initially due to the needle pricks but you would likely get used to it over time. To avoid this, you could inform your electrologist to apply numbing cream on the areas to be treated before the procedure begins.

  • Redness and Scarring

Although its occurrence is very rare, however, depending on your skin tone, redness (if you are light-skinned) and scarring may occur as a result of multiple needle pricks at the same spot, leading to scars that would fade away with time.

  • Skin infection

Infection may suffice as a result of improperly sterilized equipment. So, be sure to visit a well-trained and highly qualified electrologist to perform this procedure.

  • Skin reaction

Skin sensitivity differs in different individuals. So, you may want to avoid any activities that cause you to sweat or exposes you to sun rays, tanning, and make-up pending the time your skin heals.

After reading about these effects of electrolysis, if you think the risks of the procedure outweighs the benefit, we have highlighted other hair removal methods you could consider for a temporary fix.

Other hair removal methods

1. Laser hair removal

The laser hair removal method is by far the safest method to eliminate excess hair. With this method, you do not have to worry about pricks from sharp objects or any form of inflammation, bumps, or redness. The Ulike laser hair removal device is shaped like a telephone and glides over your skin in the most comfortable and soothing manner. Additionally, it comes with ice-cooling technology which makes the whole procedure painless and enjoyable. Not without their side effects , however, with $379, you can enjoy the lasting benefit of this device without any worries. But if this is too expensive for you, consider other hair removal methods.

2. Hair removal cream

Hair removal creams, also known as depilatories, are also an effective means of removing excess hair. However, there are some downsides to using these creams as they contain chemicals that may cause allergic reactions to your skin. Moreover, leaving these creams on your skin for exceeding their application time limit could result in a skin burn. There are several brands available, however, you need to do your own research about which formulation is best for you.

3. Waxing

Popular amongst other hair removal techniques, the waxing method also proves effective for removing hair. With this method, you apply the wax over the area you wish to remove hair, leave it to dry, and then remove it. The process might be quite painful because the method removes hair from the follicle roots.

4. Shaving

This age-long method of eliminating hair can also serve as a good alternative. A shaving stick or blade is all you need. However, you may want to apply shaving cream to moisten the area before shaving. Avoid using a blunt blade and also exercise caution when shaving so you don’t get cut.

5. Trimming

Similar to shaving, the trimming method can also help eliminate hair, however, the result is temporal and hair soon continue to grow only after a few days. Use a trimming scissor to trim hair and be sure the scissors are held a few inches away from your skin to avoid any accidental cuts.

6. Tweezing

Tweezing can also help get rid of excess hair however, this method is limited in its function as it is only best for areas with scanty hair. Also, this method might not be suitable as it is slow and requires a lot of time and carefulness. So, if you are not going to be patient, it’s best to consider other hair removal methods.

Final note

On the whole, electrolysis could be great if you are looking to permanently get rid of hair. But be sure to do your own research, weigh your options, and speak extensively with a professional before deciding to undergo the procedure. The procedure might be costly so you want to consider the financial aspect too.

However, if the side effects are too overwhelming, you may want to look into other hair removal methods that you feel safe to use. Remember, the goal is to get rid of these excess hairs in the easiest and most painless way possible.

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