How Much Does Electrolysis Cost
Electrolysis is an effective method for permanently removing unsightly hair follicles and reducing ingrown hairs caused by shaving or waxing. It’s also safe (it uses low-level electric current) and relatively inexpensive ($20 and up per hour), but it does require a skilled practitioner who understands how to safely use this technology on sensitive areas like bikini line and underarm hair.
What Is Electrolysis?
In electrolysis, a small amount of saline solution — salt water — is heated until a temperature that’s hot enough to cause boiling. The resulting steam carries an electrical charge, which causes ions in the fluid to split into electrons and positive ions. When these charged particles are passed through two electrodes separated by a layer of oil, they pass through the oil to the negative electrode, where they get recharged by flowing back toward the positive electrode. This process removes the hair at the root, as well as some skin tissue along with it.
The average person has about 100,000 individual hairs growing out of his or her head. Most people don’t have problems with their beards or eyebrows because most hair grows straight down from the scalp without branching off into other directions. But when hair branches out, it creates bumps and ingrowths that make shaving painful. With electrolysis, a trained technician can remove those unwanted hairs using a thin metal needle attached to one side of a handpiece. A second needle (also connected to the handpiece) inserts just below the skin’s surface. Once both needles are inserted, a third needle placed above them attaches a small clamp to the handpiece. Then the technician applies steady pressure while gently moving the needles around underneath the skin, keeping them close together. Finally, after several minutes, the technician releases the clamp, pulls the three needles upward, and then pushes them deeper into the skin. He or she may repeat the process several times before pulling the needles out entirely. Afterward, the area should be cleansed thoroughly to prevent infection.
Electrolysis is painless, although patients often report feeling a mild burning sensation during the procedure. If you’ve never had electrolysis done before, ask what type of anesthesia might be used so you know ahead of time if you’ll need to take any medication beforehand.
Most practitioners offer electrolytic services for women only, though men might want to consider having electrolytic treatments performed on their facial hair. For example, electrolysis is commonly used to treat male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). As mentioned earlier, electrolysis works best on straight, unbranched hairs. Because electrolysis doesn’t target each strand individually, it can sometimes leave behind stubble. That said, many patients find that electrolysis is less aggressive than combing or plucking, making it ideal for treating fine or hard-to-reach beard and eyebrow growth.
If electrolysis sounds too expensive to try out, there are alternatives. Read on to learn more ways electrolysis can help you achieve professional looking results.
Costs of Electrolysis
For decades, electrolysis was primarily available in salons, and prices ranged between $40 and $80. Today, however, there are plenty of places offering electrolytic services outside of traditional spas and beauty centers. Many companies are even beginning to sell kits containing everything necessary to perform the service yourself at home. And while these kits aren’t necessarily cheaper compared to a salon visit, they do offer convenience and flexibility in scheduling appointments. Depending on where you live, the equipment needed to perform electrolysis may already be included in your local pharmacy. In addition, some states now allow licensed technicians to practice medicine without formal training. These qualified professionals can administer electrolysis under strict guidelines set forth by state boards of health.
To determine whether electrolysis would benefit you, first consult with a dermatologist to see if it’s right for your particular case. You should also discuss your expectations with the technician prior to your appointment. Some patients prefer to have multiple sessions over a few weeks, whereas others might choose to go once every month or six months. Find someone comfortable with your lifestyle and schedule. Also, keep in mind that the price of electrolysis varies depending on location and experience level of the technician performing the service.
According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the average cost of a single electrolysis session ranges from $33 to $69. The typical patient spends roughly 20 hours over the course of two days undergoing electrolysis treatment. During that time, he or she may spend anywhere from half an hour to four hours sitting in a chair getting prepped for the actual procedure.
After all, a little bit of patience goes a long way when it comes to achieving beautiful and healthy hair.
Learn more useful information on the next page.
One potential drawback of electrolysis is its ability to stimulate collagen production, causing new hairs to grow in place of ones removed. While this is generally considered a good thing, it can also lead to hyperpigmentation, a condition in which darkened hairs appear lighter than surrounding skin tone. To avoid this problem, patients must undergo post-procedure cleansing to remove excess dye.
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