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Unwanted facial hair can be stigmatizing and embarrassing for some. Electrolysis is the most reliable option available today to permanently remove facial and intimate hair. Lasers can be a good or even better alternative in some cases, but they are often not enough to permanently remove all facial hair.
Intensive treatment for face and intimate areas
At Clínica o2 we have developed an intensive program of facial and genital hair removal. This can significantly speed up the process and solve the problem for people who live far from a suitable electrologist. You only have to travel to Belgium a few times (4 to 10 times depending on your response to treatment and your willingness to return rather than finish treatment sooner). The reason we can offer this intensive treatment is that we use local anesthesia to keep the pain under control.
What is electrolysis?
- It's a proven method invented over 100 years ago to get rid of annoying ingrown eyelashes.
- It is a method of removing individual hairs from the face or body.
- Destroy the growth center of the hair with chemical energy or heat.
- During the treatment, a thin probe is inserted into the hair follicle. This follicle is a natural opening in the skin. The skin is not perforated, so this insertion is painless.
With electrolysis, the hair removal probe is inserted into the natural opening in the skin. The skin is not perforated, so insertion is painless.
- A small electrical current is sent through the probe, destroying the hair follicle. This part is painful for many people.
- Finally, the hair and hair follicles are removed using tweezers. This part is painless.
- For electrolysis to be effective, only one thing needs to be done: kill the stem cells responsible for hair growth. These are in an area called "The Lump" at the top of the follicle. An entire hair follicle can be regenerated even after the lower root has been surgically removed.
For electrolysis to be effective, only one thing needs to be done: kill the stem cells responsible for hair growth. These are found in an area called the bulge at the top of the follicle.
Two types of electrolysis hair removal
There are 2 basic types of electrolysis still practiced today, both of which we use at the o2 Clinic. We always start with thermolysis, but switch to mixing technology if necessary. Below you will find more information aboutDifference Between Thermolysis and Glare Electrolysis Hair Removal, and a video of the effect of both on a follicle.
The sex of the hair
- Around 5 million hair follicles cover the human body at birth.
- No additional follicles are formed after birth, although some follicles and hairs change in size over time, primarily under the influence of androgens.
- The exact spacing and distribution of the follicles is determined by genes that are expressed very early in follicle formation before birth. Hence the distribution of hair at birth.
- Beard formation is genetically programmed and this ability is present from birth. Therefore, the hair of men and women is genetically different.
- During puberty, male hair (short, fine, light in color) is transformed into terminal hair under the influence of androgens.
What is the difference between electrolysis and laser?
- Electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal method recognized and approved as such by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). The FDA is a United States government agency that regulates a wide range of consumer products, services, and drugs to ensure not only product efficacy but also consumer safety. The FDA has carefully reviewed the electrolysis technique and has declared it safe and permanently removes hair.
- Laser hair removal, on the other hand, cannot be marketed as permanent hair removal because the effects are usually temporary. And while laser hair removal can cause permanent growth reduction, unlike electrolysis, it cannot permanently stop future hair growth. According to the latest scientific articles, lasers can reduce the amount of hair between 40 and 80 percent.
- The laser is less effective than electrolysis because it targets the pigment in the hair, which is only in the bulb, not the bulge where the growth cells are located. The damage to the hair is so great that it slows down the growth cycle for a few months before reappearing. Another advantage of electrolysis is that, unlike laser hair removal, it is suitable for almost all skin tones and hair colors.
- laser first? The simple rule is: laser first if you have dark hair and fair skin. If you have dark skin or light hair, skip the laser and do the electrolysis from the beginning. We explain the difference between the 2 types of hair removal in the following video.
Explanatory video of the difference between laser and electrolysis:
Why do I need more than one session to permanently clean an area?
- Electrolysis is considered a permanent hair removal method because it destroys the stem cells of hair follicles. But it requires a series of appointments over a period of time. To completely clean a beard, a period of at least 1 year should be taken as a reference. Why is this?
- The hair follicle is one of the few organs that degenerates and cyclically regenerates from stem cells. Each hair follicle constantly goes through 3 stages: growth (anagen), involution (catagen) and rest (telogen).
- Knowing the capillary cycle and in particular the rest periods is essential to understand and interpret the results of electrolysis.
- We ask that you stop shaving your hair before your electrolysis session: preferably 5 days before for the facial area and 10 days before for the intimate area.
- At the time of treatment, only growing hairs can be seen on the surface of the skin. Dormant hairs are simply not visible at the time of treatment as they do not grow back after shaving. On the face, growing hair accounts for only 60 percent of all facial hair. That means at least 40 percent of your hair won't be visible at the time of your first cleanse.
The growth cycle helps explain:
- That the permanent results of electrolysis hair removal can only be achieved over a longer period of time.
- That only the hairs in the growth phase can be removed during the electrolysis session.
- The esthetician cannot change the growth cycle, so treatments must be repeated for hair that was not in the correct growth phase. As the sessions progress, the treatments last less and less.
- You need to distinguish between apparent "false" regrowth and actual "true" regrowth. False regrowth is the appearance of hair that has never received electrolysis but is growing on the same area of skin that it did. True regrowth occurs when the hair has not been completely destroyed during treatment, which is something that happens. More information aboutRegrowth after electrolysis hair removal.
The video further explains this rather complex concept:
How many hours do I need to clear an area? How much growth after waxing is normal?
This is probably the most frequently asked question by our patients. The honest answer is: we don't know in advance. We know the averages, but we see big differences between patients. We do not know why one hair responds better to treatment than the other.
- The never-ending controversy overRegrowth in hair removal by electrolysisis largely due to the fact that one cannot tell if the hair is true new growth or, for example, a hair that grows by replacing a previously lost dormant hair. You can't look at a hair and be sure because "new" hair and real "regrowth" hair look the same.
- All or nothing: there are electrologists who believe that a hair must be treated several times before it is permanently destroyed. While there may be some truth to the concept of "collapse," we don't believe in it. We believe that either you destroy the follicle or you don't. If the follicle is not destroyed, the offspring eventually reach their original size.
- Some degree of regeneration will always occur after initial electrolysis treatments, even when performed by an experienced electrologist. In theory, if the electrolysis is done perfectly, there should be no true regrowth. Due to various factors, this is never the case. Even in the best hands, we estimate a regrowth factor of 25-50%. While opinions differ as to what an acceptable percentage is, most experienced electrologists estimate that at least 40-50 percent of treated hairs must be permanently removed with each treatment for a treatment to be considered effective. Experts cannot give a definitive number because there are many variables that affect the results. The electrologist's ability to work with these variables will determine the percentage of permanence for each individual treatment. Don't get discouraged, just keep your appointments regularly. This will ensure that he gets the most positive results.
- Facial electrolysis is likely to take anywhere from less than 100 hours to more than 200 hours to complete. Unfortunately, this is a wide range, as some patients respond better than others to factors that we do not yet know.
How many treatments do I need?
- The sumNumber of electrolysis hair removal sessions required for permanent hair removaland in a given area it varies from person to person. But the unwanted hair that is gone will be gone forever.
- In general, you will likely need treatment for at least 12 months.
- It can last from 8 months to 2 years in some cases.
- We realize this will seem like a very long time frame, but given the wide variation in response to treatment, it is simply impossible to be more specific.
- We do not yet know all the factors responsible for the difference in total treatment time.
- If after your first session we feel we are having a bad mortality rate, we will switch to a different method or adjust our settings.
How long should I wait between sessions?
- You can choose between a fast track of 4 weeks between sessions (but with less hair treated per session).
- We recommend a 6 week course for the best balance between total time and cost effectiveness.
- The maximum time between sessions is 16 weeks.
How much does it cost and how do I book?
Am I a suitable candidate for hair removal?
Anyone with unwanted facial or body hair is a good candidate for electrolysis. Electrolysis really is something for everyone.
Electrolysis hair removal (as opposed to laser) works to:
- every skin type;
- any hair color;
- any part of the body.
The only people advised against electrolysis hair removal are people with active dermatitis.
Is waxing painful?
- The short answer for most people is "yes, it is."
- Unfortunately, the hair follicle is the most richly innervated part of the skin.
- While many clients can tolerate electrolysis hair removal without pain relief for a period of time, it is too promising to suggest that this treatment will be painless or virtually painless.
- For most electrologists, the biggest limiting factor in session length is the patient's pain tolerance. That is why at o2 Clinic we have created a solution with our medical staff in the building so that the patient can tolerate longer sessions of up to 8 hours a day for several days in a row. we uselocal anestheticsso that you are more comfortable during the treatment as it makes the pain more bearable.
The hair follicle is the most innervated part of the skin. Hence the pain of electrolysis hair removal.
Permanent hair removal specialists
At the o2 Clinic, electrolysis hair removal is performed by 5 different talented estheticians who are passionate about their work.
How to prepare
Before your first electrolysis hair removal treatment, you should consider the following:
- No waxing or waxing in the last three months.
- Stop shaving long before your treatment:
- For the face area: stop 5 days in advance
- For the intimate area: stop 10 days in advance
This will ensure that your facial or body hair is long enough for the best results. You should also make sure you wear comfortable clothing.
More information aboutPreparing for your electrolysis hair removal session
What happens during my session?
- During your first electrolysis hair removal session, we will observe your skin and hair growth. We will then explain everything he needs to know and create a treatment plan.
- The esthetician uses two instruments: a computerized epilator and tweezers.
- During treatment, the patient simply lies down while the probes are inserted and hair is removed. The probes are then reinserted into additional hair follicles, and so on.
- The epilation probe is inserted over the hair shaft. The skin is not injured because the probe is passed through a natural opening. The insertion of the tube is almost painless.
- The probe then emits an electrical current for a few seconds. That can be painful.
- Finally, the hair is removed from the skin with tweezers. This is painless.
- We normally take a short 5 minute break every hour and of course there are always bathroom breaks when needed.
After your electrolysis hair removal session, you should definitely think about the following:
- Apply aftercare lotion for a quick and effective recovery.
- Do not use makeup, sunscreen, products that contain alcohol, or exfoliants for the first three days after treatment.
- Avoid intense sun exposure for about three to five days.
- Take an ice pack or wet compress from the refrigerator and apply it to the swelling for 15 minutes at a time, with 10-minute breaks.
learn more aboutelectrolysis aftercare
What skin reactions can I expect after my treatment?
On the day of treatment, the skin may be red and you may experience a burning sensation. This varies from person to person and is only temporary. Scabs can also appear on the skin temporarily. It is important to leave them alone to avoid infection and scarring. There may also be temporary slight inflammation of the skin.
- Usually there are no permanent side effects.
- The risk of electrolysis hair removal is epidermal injury and damage to epidermal melanin. Epidermal lesions can cause scarring. Damage to epidermal melanin can lead to hypopigmentation spots. If the damage to the dermis is too great, bites can also occur.
- Finding a highly experienced electrologist is key to reducing the risk of side effects.
Electrolysis hair removal can be quite a painful procedure. Everyone has their own tolerance for pain. Symptoms range from "no worse than a mosquito bite" to "like a rubber band snapping hard against my bare skin." Electrolysis can cause tingling and stinging, and you have to go through that with every hair.
The level of pain depends on the treatment area. Certain areas like the upper lip are known to be more sensitive than areas like the eyebrows. In our clinic we work with local anesthesia, which reduces pain to zero.
How it works?
- An injection of local anesthetic numbs an area of skin the size of a quarter. At the beginning of your treatment we will give you several small injections to start working in the specific area. For example, if you are working on your chin, you will need about 4 small injections to numb half of your chin area.
- Meanwhile, each time the numb area is completely waxed, more injections will be given to numb a new area, which will then be treated.
What pain relievers are used?
The drug we use is called Xylocaine 1% with Adrenaline.
Local anesthetics are generally safe and usually do not cause any side effects other than a little tingling when they wear off.
- Injections can be uncomfortable. Patients experiencing difficulties with needles and/or injections should prepare themselves mentally. Withdrawing during an injection can be dangerous because you don't know where the needle will land. You have to go through this.
- Some areas are more sensitive than others (for example, the upper lip is very sensitive). Injections may hurt more in these areas.
- With local anesthesia, most people can tolerate electrolysis sessions of up to 8 hours a day.
- Make sure you have a good breakfast in the morning.
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