Electrolysis Review - Part One

My First Electrolysis Appointment

Woman using electrolysis device on face (B&W)
Simon Bottomley / The Image Bank / Getty Images

First Visit

Questions from my Electrologist: My Electrologist, Marge, asked me a bunch of questions about how long I've been dealing with unwanted facial hair, what I do to treat my facial hair and why I think I have facial hair. She also wanted to know if there is a past family history of unwanted facial hair.

When I told her that I frequently wax my facial hair, she told me that waxing causes more facial hair because when you pull out the hair, it causes a tiny little bleed in your hair root that actually nourishes dormant hair below.

(I still have to do my research on this.)

She told me that things like thyroid disorders and poly-cystic ovaries can cause unwanted facial hair.

On a first visit, Marge typically removes a few hairs so the client can see what it feels like, and then make their decision. So, once we were done talking, and answering questions, I hopped on the bed and Marge showed me how all of the needles are sterile, and she talked about her sanitary procedures. She then wiped alcohol and another gel on my skin to prepare it.

She put glasses over my eyes that were exactly like those used in the tanning salon. I joked that those where to keep the needles hidden from scared eyes, and she laughed and told me that it was because we were going to use a bright light, and they were to protect my eyes.

I'm very needle-phobic, and the idea of a needle going into each and every follicle had me a bit nervous, but the actual first hair wasn't bad at all!

You could feel the needle going in, you could feel it heat up, and then it would be over, and Marge would extract the hair. It felt like a long tweeze. Not fun, not comfortable, but not bad.

After she did about 5 hairs, she told me that she had 10 minutes free, if I wanted to do a 10 minute session, which I did.

She concentrated on my chin, and I'd guess she took out 15 or so individual hairs.

After we were finished, she put some witch hazel on a roller that actually conducts a reverse electrical current, which according to Marge, reduces bumps, redness and closes the follicles. She said that many electrolysis skip this last step, but she never forgets it, because she know it works. She then put on some neosporin to prevent any bacterial white heads, which can happen simply by touching your skin after treatment.

The after-care steps include not using makeup, moisturizers or anything on your skin for 24 hours. You're also not supposed to touch the skin that received treatment.

Marge told me that ideally one would come back within 3 weeks of their last treatment because of the different hair growth stages. She said she recommended coming every week or two, if my budget allowed. I decided to try a twice a month schedule.

While electrolysis costs different amounts everywhere, my clinic charges the following:

  • 15 minutes - $20
  • 30 minutes - $35
  • 45 minutes - $45
  • 60 minutes - $60

She also told me that we could book what we thought I could tolerate, and if I had enough, I'd could quit and just pay for the time that we worked.

I left with a red chin, that was a bit lumpy, but within 2 hours, my skin was fine. That's a bit longer than Marge said it would last, but I have quite sensitive skin, and when I would wax my skin, it would stay red for a good 12 hours.

I know that I will have to only book night appointments from here on out, and sleep away the redness.