What is Electrolysis?

Electrolysis is the only FDA-Approved method for the permanent removal of hair.

Electrolysis was first put into use in 1875 by Dr. Charles Michel, a St. Louis ophthalmologist for the permanent destruction of painful ingrown eye lash hair follicles. And still today, electrolysis is the ONLY FDA method approved for truly permanent hair removal.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes electrolysis in Title 21, CFR, Sec. 878.5350 and states, “A needle-type epilator is a device intended to destroy the dermal papilla (root area) of a hair by applying electric current at the tip of a fine needle that has been inserted close to the hair shaft, under the skin, and into the dermal papilla.”

The human body is designed to be covered with hair and accomplishes this task by maintaining follicles in various growing and shedding phases. Hair grows in cycles. Capillaries are attached to the base of a follicle and supply the hair bulb with nutrients for the hair to grow. In order to successfully detach these capillaries, a follicle must be treated while in the anagen (growing) phase, while the follicle is still attached to its blood supply. When a follicle is treated while it is in the catagen or telogen (shedding) phases, the treatment does not work because the body has already detached the capillary blood supply from that follicle. These ‘shedding’ phase follicles will move through the normal cycles and will produce another hair.

Since hair moves through these various phases during its life cycle, multiple treatments are required to ‘catch’ the hair while it is still growing and actively attached to its capillary (nutrient) supply. Each of us is unique in our hair growth cycles and response to treatment also varies on an individual basis. Therefore, repeated treatments are necessary to completely clear an area of hair.

Hair growth stimulants

We have over 100 follicles in 1 square inch of skin. A portion of these follicles remain dormant (sleeping) throughout our lives and simply act as ‘back-ups’ waiting for a stimulant to “wake them up” and start growing hair.


Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, stimulates hair growth and can increase the rate of hair growth. Biotin is sold individually as a supplement or is contained in higher doses in familiar products such as “Hair Skin and Nails”. Biotin is typically taken orally to stimulate scalp hair growth. However, biotin is not site-specific and higher doses can stimulate follicles all over the body to grow hair. Biotin is good for the body, but when taken as a supplement in larger doses, (typical multivitamins contain low doses) it may stimulate unwanted hair growth throughout the body.

Hormones and Menopause

Hormones, particularly testosterone, are known for stimulating hair growth. Often a woman will undergo successful electrolysis treatments in the chin and lip areas earlier in life and be hair-free for years. Only to find as she enters menopause these unwanted hairs seem to re-appear.

The ‘menopause stimulated’ hair growth is NOT from the same disabled follicles treated years prior, but instead, from stimulated ‘dormant’ follicles being woken up and starting to grow hair. The simple fix to this situation is to re-start electrolysis treatments and disable the newly growing follicles.

Shaving does NOT make hair grow thicker nor stimulate hair growth. Plucking (waxing, threading) hair is what actually causes the stimulation of more, thicker hair growth.

Plucking, waxing, and threading

When a hair is in the anagen (growing) phase, it is still attached to its blood supply. If a growing phase hair is ripped from its food source prematurely, this action sends a distress signal to the body saying “weak area for hair growth” and stimulates that follicle to grow a stronger, hardier hair in its place. Additionally, the distress signal also stimulates the surrounding dormant (sleeping) follicles to wake up and start growing hair in order to keep that area covered with hair. Shaving and trimming do NOT stimulate more hair growth and do NOT make hair thicker, darker, or denser in texture.

No other device has the unique identification of destroying the dermal papilla of a hair and only electrologists are permitted to claim permanent hair removal in their advertising. No other hair removal devices, including LASER, have been able to achieve this FDA identification.

How is Electrolysis different from LASER?

Simply put:

For LASER to work most effectively, it needs dark colored hair.

Electrolysis works on ANY color hair (yes, even those pesky grays).
Electrolysis works on ANY type of hair.
Electrolysis works ANY WHERE on the body – from the top of your head to the tops of your toes.

A brief word on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS refers to a group of symptoms generated due to elevated androgens (male hormones) in females. Signs and symptoms of PCOS include irregular or no menstrual periods, heavy periods, excess body and facial hair, acne, pelvic pain, difficulty getting pregnant, and patches of thick, darker, velvety skin.

Associated conditions may include type 2 diabetes, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, heart disease, mood disorders, and endometrial cancer.

We are here to help you with the excess hair growth portion of PCOS. If you are female and find yourself with excess body and facial hair, alongside of any of these other conditions, physician intervention is strongly suggested.

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