Electrolysis was initially developed in 1875 by Charles E. Michel M.D. While it has come a long way since its beginning over 130 years ago, it is easy to see why electrolysis is a safe, trusted method of hair removal. Time is on the electrologistâ€™s and clients side!
When electrolysis was first developed a galvanic current was used to destroy hair growth. A galvanic current is a direct current. A direct current will take the shortest route possible through the body (so small you cannot feel it and it will not cause any harm ) and cause a natural chemical reaction in the hair follicle producing lye. Lye is a caustic substance that will force the hair to release and cause tissue damage within the hair follicle, so that over time the hair is permanently removed. This method is very effective, however, exceptionally slow. This is why the next modality to be discussed, Thermolysis, was introduced.
Thermolysis, or an oscillating current, was first introduced as a method of hair removal in 1923 by Dr. Bordier Of Paris, France. It only became popular amongst electrologists, however, during the 1940â€™s. Thermolysis is an oscillating, high frequency current. An oscillating current can best be described with an illustration. Picture rubbing your hands together back and forth as fast as possible. This is essentially how an oscillating current functions, however, at an exceptionally fast rate. The current moves back and forth extremely quick producing heat, this forces the hair to release and cause tissue damage within the hair follicle, so that over time the hair is permanently removed. This modality is very effective for, fine, thin, straight hairs, and is exceptionally fast. However, because it was not always seen as being as effective for the destruction of courser hairs, the next modality to be discussed, the Blend was introduced.
The Blend method was patented in 1945 by Henri St Pierre and Arthur Hinkel. It was developed due to the limitations of the galvanic current and thermolysis. To combat the limitations of each current separately Pierre and Hinkel combined the galvanic current and thermolysis current together. They found that the chemical reaction occurred quicker in galvanic at higher temperatures. Since thermolysis is an oscillating current that produces heat combining the two formed the perfect partnership. The blend is the perfect treatment for people with course, curly or distorted hair follicles (distorted hair follicles often occur from previous methods of hair removal such as waxing, tweezing, or curly hair). It is the only FDA recognized method of permanent hair removal.
Comparing The Modalities
direct current oscillating current
ionization occurs causing a chemical reaction in the hair follicle causes friction, that produces heat, the heat that is produced forces the hair to release and causes tissue damage in the hair follicle so that over time permanent hair removal is acheived.
this reaction produces lye in the hair follicle the heat that is produced is localized solely to the vicinity in which the filament has been inserted
lye is a caustic substance that forces the hair to release and causes tissue damage so that over time permanent removal is achieved. this limits the effectiveness of the blend in curly or distorted hair follicles.
because lye is a flowing substance it can work more effectively in distorted and curly hair collicles thermolysis is most effective for fine, straight hairs
lye continues working even after the hair has been treated it is an exceptionally fast form of treatment
exceptionally effective, but incredibly slow
- combines the galvanic and thermolysis current together
- increases the speed of the galvanic current, due to the heat of the thermolysis current
- produces a faster, more effective alternative for course, distorted, or curly hair follicles
- often less uncomfortable for clients, with a faster healing time
- Alternative Electrolysis Clinic flew to Toronto and had training from the UK, where new cutting edge settings were taught making the blend even more comfortable, with faster healing, and, research had found, up to 52% more effective
Types of Hair
There are three primary types of hair:
Lanugo Vellus Terminal
soft downy hair fine short hair longer courser hair
aka: fetal hair as it is present on fetuses in utero and infant at birth aka: peach fuzz pigmented and present on a large percentage of the body
often sheds a few weeks after birth often lacks pigment typically the type of hair that causes anxiety for women depending on its density and location
55% more vellus hair present on women than mengrowth of this hair is affected by age, genetics, health and the hormonal changes of puberty, pregnancy and menopause
can cause anxiety when there is a dense amount of it on the face
Stages of Hair Growth
The are three stages of hair growth, it is important as a client to understand the growth cycle of hair. Working with the growth cycle of hair is an essential part of a successful treatment in electrolysis. The typical growth cycle of hair is 6-13 weeks.
Anagen is the hair’s active growing phase, when the hair follicle is at its deepest. There is dark bulb present and the hair is visibly darker. This is the most effective stage for electrolysis.
Catagen is the transitional or resting phase for the hair follicle. The follicle shrinks to about one third of its anagen size. There is often also a slight reduction in the pigment of the hair. During this phase a new hair will begin to develop under the present hair. This is the shortest phase of the growth cycle.
Telogen is the final phase in the growth cycle of hair. By the time a hair is in this phase it is essentially dead, and simply working its way out of the hair follicle by being pushed out by the new hair replacing it.