Debunking Common Myths About Electrolysis

Electrolysis hair removal has been around for decades and over time there have been some misconceptions about this technique that many have taken as fact. These myths may have scared a lot of people away and prevented them from taking advantage of this permanent form of hair removal. Having the right information can help in making better decisions, so we will try to address some of the more popular misunderstandings surrounding electrolysis so that you can better decide if this is a method worth pursuing.

Myth: Electrolysis is extremely painful.

This is probably the most common misconception, and understandably so. If you were to describe electrolysis to someone who has never had it by telling them that it involves sticking a needle into the skin down to the hair root, then administering a small electrical charge to permanently damage the hair follicle, then using tweezers to remove the dead hair, this is naturally going to sound like a pretty painful experience. But things are not as bad as they sometimes sound.

While everyone’s tolerance to pain is different, advances in both devices and training has drastically reduced the overall discomfort for patients. It generally only causes some minor discomfort with some patients experiencing a mild tingling feeling, which lasts only during the treatment. The mild stinging sensation that people experience after the treatment will vary from person to person. Topical creams that numb the area of skin being treated on may be recommended in certain cases to further reduce any pain or discomfort.

Myth: It is not really a permanent method for getting rid of unwanted hair.

Actually, electrolysis is considered the best method of getting rid of hair permanently. Though in few cases the hair does grow back, a few more sessions are usually enough to get rid of it permanently. Electrolysis is recognized by the FDA and American Medical Association as the only permanent method for removing hair.

Myth: Temporary hair removal techniques give faster and better results.

Most temporary hair removal solutions and creams contain harmful chemicals to remove hair from the body. These chemicals can irritate sensitive skins and sometimes cause permanent skin damage. They are also very messy to use. Some methods, for example bleaching, only disguise dark hair without removing them and others such as hot wax are just a short-term method of hair removal.

Electrolysis is permanent, once the hair is treated it does not grow back. While it may take several months to fully treat an area of skin, the results last.

Myth: Electrolysis has been around forever, it must be completely safe.

This is not entirely true. This method is generally safe, but electrolysis does have the risk for some potential side effects. The most common adverse reaction is redness and swelling. However, these side effects are temporary and may not occur in all individuals. Also, their severity may vary. It is important to get this treatment done by a licensed, trained and qualified electrologists. The treatment can cause permanent scarring if it is not done properly, so choosing a reputable electrologist is important to minimize the risks.

Myth: Home electrolysis devices are just as effective as having it done by a professional.

Home electrolysis devices are marketed as an effective solution for hair removal. These devices are not proven to be 100% effective and there is a greater chance of re-growth and infection. The help of a trained technician is required to operate these devices properly for good positive results. The chances of permanent and effective hair removal are lower with home electrolysis devices.

Myth: Electrolysis is only for women.

Though more women than men opt for this treatment, a large number of men do undergo this form of hair removal to permanently get rid of unwanted hair. Men usually use this treatment to get rid of hair on their back, beard line, and chest.

Myth: My grandmother used to get electrolysis, this method is outdated.

It is indeed true that this technique has been around for long period of time, but that is because it has proven to be very effective for removing hair. Over the years, advances have made the equipment easier to use for technicians, while being safer, more effective and causing less discomfort for clients. This has continued to keep electrolysis as a viable option for those looking for longer lasting results.

Do not let old wives tales or age old fallacies about electrolysis scare you away from this method. For a permanent solution for treating unwanted hair, electrolysis still remains as one of the best choices available.

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Tips For Finding A Local Qualified Electrologist

An electrologist is someone who is trained to perform electrolysis hair removal. For those trying this method for the first time, it is important to know what to look for and what to avoid when selecting the services of an electrologist. These may include their qualifications, licenses and schooling, their professionalism and sanitary practices, and any positive or negative reviews from other clients just to name a few. Choosing the right professional can make the entire experience less worrisome, safer and ultimately more satisfying.

Ask Around For Recommendations

Before choosing an establishment and making an appointment for a consultation, you must first narrow your choices. Asking friends or family members for is a great starting point. If they have never tried electrolysis then you can try asking your dermatologist (if applicable) or general family physician about this method of hair removal and see if they have anyone that they would recommend.

When searching online, or in the Yellow Pages, make sure the advertisements or websites list any accreditation, state licenses or qualifications that they have attained. If you find one that you might be interested in try and do a quick Google search for their name and see if any reviews, either good or bad show up in the first couple of pages. This is a good starting point but should not be the sole determining factor in making the final decision. Try to find more than one. This way if you are not confident in your first choice, you will not have to search again for more options.

The Consultation

The initial consultation is a vital step in determining which electrologist to choose. This will allow you to question and evaluate the professionalism, education, and sanitary practices of the facility . A thorough initial visit should also give clients a better understanding of what a typical electrolysis session will be like.

State Licenses

Just over 30 states in the US have some sort of licensing requirements in order to practice this method of hair removal. If you live in a state where this is required, make sure the certificate is recent and prominently displayed.


Your electrologist should have formal certification from a competent school of electrology. Requirements to get certified vary from state to state and from school to school. They usually range anywhere from a minimum of 120 hours in unlicensed states, all the way up to 1500 hours in some licensed states.

Check to see if they belong to any professional trade groups or associations. These may include;

  • AEA – American Electrology Association
  • SCME – Society of Clinical & Medical Electrologists
  • IBE – International Board of Electrologists
  • IGPE – International Guild of Professional Electrologists

Certifications may include;

  • LE – “Licenced Electrologist” – usually issued by the state where required
  • RE – “Registered Electrologist” – same as above
  • CPE – “Certified Professional Electrologist” – a cert issued by the AEA
  • CME – “Certified Medical Electrologist” – a cert issued by the SCME

Finding an electrologist that takes their education beyond just the minimum requirements and is committed to their profession can be a great benefit for their clients.

Don’t be afraid to ask your electrologist about their education and qualifications. Any reputable professional will not hesitate to go over these with you and will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable and confident that they are qualified for the job.

Sanitary Conditions

Make sure to pay attention to the overall cleanliness of the the place during your consultation. Ask them about their sanitary practices and how they handle their needles and clean their equipment. Any unsatisfactory answers or if the place looks at all dirty should be a red flag.


A good electrologist is one that takes the time to answer any questions as completely as possible to put their clients or potential clients mind at ease. They should go over and explain the entire process of having a treatment so that the patient fully understands the entire procedure. Most electrologists may offer a small test treatment so that the potential client can experience what is involved and know what it may feel like before committing to a full treatment.

All pricing options should also be discussed so that you know how much each session will cost, how many sessions are to be expected, how much time to completely treat an area will take, as well as all of the payment options available. Typical prices range from $20 to $50 per session on average. It could be higher depending on where you live.

Points to Remember

Your final choice should not simply be determined by who has the lowest price. As with any type of service, you often get what you pay for. There are many other important factors that should be considered to ensure that you get the most out of your electrolysis experience and receive safe and effective results. Taking your time, doing a little research and not being afraid to ask questions can go a long way to finding a qualified, safe, clean and professional electrologist.

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