Permanent Hair Removal Methods
Electrolysis and Thermolysis
The permanent removal of hair is hard work for both the patient undergoing treatment and the technician who treats her. Currently, three methods of permanent hair remove are practiced:
electrolysis, thermolysis, and laser epilation.
Permanent Hair Removers
Electrolysis involves zapping hair follicles with electricity; thermolysis, with heat; and laser epilation, with an intensely concentrated beam of light. All three methods seek to kill the live cluster of cells (called the hair matrix) responsible for the generation of hair roots.
Sounds easy, you say? Well, trust us, it’s not! Hair, as you’ll recall, grows in cycles, and only a follicle with a growing hair in it can be treated successfully. So the permanent hair removal of all hairs in an area, even a very small one, can require several treatments.
Beyond that obstacle, each hair matrix within the treated area must be destroyed one by one. A trained technician must insert a tiny probe into the hair follicle with a high degree of precision, or the job—for that particular follicle at least—is botched.
To get an idea of how much work this form of permanent hair removal entails, pretend that you want the hair on your upper lip removed (a common request), then look iii the mirror and start counting the follicles. You can stop at around 300, because that’s how many a really good technician will be able to treat in a single session.
All of this slow painstaking work, of course, comes at a price. Treatment costs for permanent hair removal range from approximately $35 per visit for electrolysis to several hundred dollars a pop for laser therapy. And since treatment usually takes place over a series of sessions, the final tab can easily reach into thousands of dollars.
Treatment can also exact a physical toll on the patient, especially when it is performed on sensitive facial regions. Many women find the prickly, snapping sensations caused by these procedures to be painful, and some women experience slight scarring around the treated follicles. Many others, however, consider the discomfort to be minimal, and do not scar at all.
Electrolysis and Thermolysis Permanent Hair Remove Methods
In both of these methods, a technician inserts a wire-like probe, called an epilating needle, into the hair follicle until it reaches the follicle base, where the matrix resides. Once the probe has been successfully inserted, electrical current (electrolysis) or heat (thermolysis) is transmitted through the needle to scorch the matrix. When performed correctly, both procedures are extremely effective at eliminating unwanted hairs—not just for now but forever.
You will, however, need to be patient. Remember that even the best technician cannot zap hairs in the resting phase, and that it takes real time to cover all the follicles in a given area. For the most commonly requested procedures, figure on a minimum of six to eight monthly treatments before you start seeing the results you want, somewhat more if you’re having extensive work done.
If you elect to pursue either of these hair removal methods, do yourself a huge favor and have the treatments done by the most gifted, experienced technician you can find. Good “techs” will save you time (they work fast and so get the job done in fewer visits), money (you’re paying for quality), and scars (they don’t misplace the probe or scorch your skin with too much juice).
Plus, you’ll wind up with smooth, hair-free skin that may never feel the edge of a razor again. A bad tech, on the other hand, can be your worst beauty nightmare. At the very least, you want a board-certified technician who works with computerized, digital equipment, and uses disposable, insulated probes. A better option, though, is to talk to your dermatologist and ask him her to give you the name of the best technician within driving distance of your home.
An established dermatologist will typically have a well-formed, professional opinion about whom you should see, and that’s always a great starting point for permanent hair removal.
Permanent Hair Removal