FAQs about Electrolysis

Updated: Sep 5, 2020

What is Electrolysis?

Electrolysis is the only hair removal method medically recognized to be permanent by the US Food and Drug Administration.  In 1875, a St. Louis ophthalmologist, Dr. Charles Michel, developed the process of sliding a fine filament into a hair follicle followed by a 2-3 minute application of galvanic (direct) current. This caused a natural chemical reaction that eliminated all hair growth cells, thus preventing any future hair formation. In 1924, French physician Henri Bordier substituted a few seconds of shortwave (alternating) current to heat and coagulate the hair growth cells. Termed thermolysis, this method was able to treat 8-10 hair follicles per minute. Unfortunately, thermolysis or shortwave was not as effective as the original galvanic method since the heat pulse often failed to eliminate all hair growth cells due to follicular distortion or debris.


What is the Blend Method?

In 1948, Arthur Hinkel, a California engineer, demonstrated that by "blending" both galvanic and shortwave energies simultaneously in the hair follicle, the natural chemical reaction was greatly accelerated. Thus, effective treatment time was reduced to seconds as opposed to minutes compared to the original galvanic method.


Which method is better?

The Blend Method is considered to be the "gold standard" in terms of permanent hair removal.  This is due to the 85-90% first time permanent elimination rate of hairs treated the very first time with the Blend Method.  By contrast, the thermolysis/shortwave method has a 20-25% first time elimination rate. At Ober Yahr Electrolysis, we use the Blend Method exclusively since our philosophy is to achieve permanent results as quickly as possible.


Electrolysis is permanent but not immediate, why?

We can only treat those follicles that have actively growing hairs visible at the skin surface. All hairs go through a cycle of growth that can vary from 4-6 months. The hair then naturally sheds and following a resting phase, the follicle will begin to grow a new hair.


How much does electrolysis cost?

In electrolysis, we work and charge by time. Appointments vary from 15 minutes to 4 hours. The length of time is decided by the client and depends on the number of hairs present and how quickly a client wishes to proceed. Every client is able to tailor their treatment program to their individual needs. During your initial free consultation, we will answer all of your questions, including treatment options and fees.


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