Working with Current

The hair on
the body grows with part above the skin and part below the skin. When we remove the hair above the skin, as we
might do in shaving, waxing, sugaring or threading, we are performing
depilation. The process of epilation
removes the hair from below the surface of the skin, by the root. Ouch.

Electrolysis – What is It?

hair removal is technically defined as removing hair so that it doesn’t grow
back for a period of one year. The FDA
has approved only one method to accomplish this task and that is
electrolysis. Also termed electrical
epilation, electrolysis uses a thin metal probe which is inserted into a hair
follicle without breaking the skin.
Electricity passes through the probe and damages the area responsible
for the growth of hair. There are three
types of electrolysis used today; one based on a chemical reaction, one on heat
and the third is a combination of both chemical and heat.

Different Types of Electrolysis

electrolysis uses electric current through a probe. When the current passes it causes the salt
and water present in the skin on the body to react, forming sodium hydroxide –
in layman’s terms, lye – which in turn damages the hair follicles. This chemical reaction halts hair growth from
the cells.

electrical current used in thermolysis causes the water molecules present on
the skin to vibrate so much they produce heat energy. The hair follicles are damaged by the heat
and again, cease production. In this
case, heat energy causes the permanent cessation of hair growth.

frequently used method is a blending of both the thermolysis and galvanic types
of electrolysis. The lye produced by the
galvanic method becomes more caustic when heated in thermolysis and is best
used for rooting out hair growing cells.

has its own set of problems and disadvantages.
It is both a tedious and expensive procedure. Large areas of hair are particularly
difficult to complete and if the equipment is improperly used, serious skin
damage may result. Having said all of
that, it is still the only truly effective method of permanent hair removal. To date, no other method has been able to
achieve the same results as electrolysis.

Flash Lamps and Lasers

Flash lamps
use full-spectrum lights for hair removal.
Along with low-range infrared radiation, this light is filtered to
create a specified wavelength of light.
Flashed from a hand piece to a particular area of skin, the light
targets the pigment in the hair causing thermal and mechanical damage to hair
follicles without damaging the surrounding area. Flash lamps present the same advantages and
disadvantages as laser treatments and have made the same claims and counter

Oral Medications that Work

There are a
few oral medications on the market that have been found effective in retarding
hair growth. Spironolactone,
Finasteride, Flutamide, and Cyproterone acetate are some of the more common
medicines used. They do, however, have
the disadvantage of sometimes causing serious side effects so it is advisable
to consult with a doctor before using any of them.

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