Laser Versus Electrolysis Hair Removal

We provide electrolysis for hair removal at our clinic in Sydney. Even though we offer laser hair removal too we still, all these years later, continue to offer electrolysis to our clients. Many beauty therapists and aestheticians have abandoned electrolysis in favour of laser.

We have not, so why?

Hair comes in many textures and colours comprising a variety of coarseness and different levels of melanin (colour). It also comes in many shapes including curly or straight, oval or round. Much of its colour is dependent on your ethnic background or whether the hair has gone white, though it is not really white but just without colour.

This variety means that one treatment cannot fit all. When we use laser we can also change the levels and types of treatment with hair removal processes, dramatically reducing the hair growth.

But laser cannot produce permanent hair removal like electrolysis because it does not allow the level of traumatisation to the root of the hair that electrolysis does. It is that cauterisation of the hair roots that kills the bulb and the hair’s ability to grow.

There are different kinds of electrolysis we can use for unwanted hairs: Galvanic, thermolysis and blend, and a whole selection of current levels. This enables the professional to choose from a huge variety of treatments to deliver electrolysis. What might work to kill the root of one kind of hair might not work for another kind.

How effective is electrolysis in permanently getting rid of hair?

Firstly, electrolysis is really effective – more than any other method.

Secondly, the client must stay with the process and do it on a regular basis as it is the regularity that allows the operator to get to grips with the hair growth. The most prevalent reason electrolysis does not work for some people is that they do not stay with the treatment.

Thirdly, the experience of the operator is very important in dealing with all kinds of hair. Hair is different on different parts of the body and different parts of the face so we may have to use different treatments on different areas. For the operator electrolysis is a craft of patience.

Fourthly, the current level is crucial. Hair roots need to be tested to see how they react to different treatments, which takes experience. When you have worked on many people you get to know what will work for each person. The level of the treatments must be carefully calculated so that the areas are neither under-treated nor over-treated.

So in the clinic I see many people who were not suitable for laser treatment, for whom laser treatment is contraindicated or has failed and electrolysis is their last hope. This allows me to help people where they thought there might not be any help with their hirsutism.

Electrolysis permanent hair removal is as relevant today as it was over 100 years ago when it was discovered. In the right hands electrolysis can be a very valuable clinical tool to help people get rid of unwanted and unsightly hair, giving them a great sense of comfort and self-esteem.

Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, BSc, ND is the Director of the Australian Health and Education Centre in Sydney, Australia. She qualified as an aesthetician in the early 1970s and was involved in owning and running hair and beauty shops since that time. She is a full member of the Australian Association of Professional Aestheticians (AAPA). Her clinic provides permanent hair removal treatments with IPL laser and electrolysis permanent hair removal. Tel 02 8021 6429 www.healtheducationcentre.com.

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