Electrology uses a low-level electrical current to remove hair permanently. The current is delivered into the dermal papilla (the source of nourishment for the hair, located at the base of the follicle) and the bulge area (the area between the papilla and the erector pili muscle).
A very fine, sterilized probe (filament or needle) is inserted into the follicle along the hair shaft. Once the current is applied and the papilla and the reproductive organ/matrix of the hair have been destroyed, no further hair growth will occur.
Diagram showing regression of an anagen hair follicle. On entering catagen the dermal papilla condenses as the cells become inactive. With the lack of dermal papilla cell stimulation, the hair fiber and root sheaths stop growing. In telogen the dermal papilla can become isolated in the dermis and sit dormant for a long period of time.
Under normal circumstances hair growth in each hair follicle occurs in a cycle. There are three main phases of the hair growth cycle; A C T = Anagen, Catagen and Telogen.
Anagen (active) is the growing phase or when the hair fiber is produced. During anagen, the hair contains an abundance of melanin, the pigment that gives your hair its color. This is the phase during which laser hair removal treatment is most effective. The growth cells in the papilla rapidly divide and produce the hair shaft, which in turn becomes keratinized as it pushes up and out of the follicle into the pore. The follicle grows down into the deeper levels of the dermis (skin) seeking nourishment. (Active Hair)
Catagen (club hair) is the period of controlled regression of the hair follicle. This phase is when the lower part of the hair stops growing, but does not shed, and the follicle is reabsorbed. It will be difficult for permanence to be achieved when the hair is in the catagen growth cycle.
As the catagen phase begins, the bulb detaches from the blood supply and the hair shaft takes on the look of a club. (Club Hair).
Telogen (tired) is the last of the hair growth cycle. In this resting phase, the old hair falls out in preparation for the development of a new anagen hair. Permanence cannot be achieved when the hair are in the telogen growth cycle. After resting, the follicle can be re-generated and begin growing again if not treated again. (Tired Hair).
Remember, Anagen is followed by catagen, a period of controlled regression of the hair follicle. Ultimately the hair follicle enters telogen, when the follicle is in a so-called resting state.
Diagram above shows regression of an anagen hair follicle. On entering catagen the dermal papilla condenses as the cells become inactive. With the lack of dermal papilla cell stimulation, the hair fiber and root sheaths stop growing. In telogen the dermal papilla can become isolated in the dermis and sit dormant for a long period of time. Normally this cycle of hair production will continue for the duration of the individual's life, however other factors can influence, promote and inhibit hair production.
Electrolysis is a form of permanent hair removal recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA), American Electrology Association, International Guild of Hair Removal Specialists' and the Society of Clinical and Medical Hair Removal Specialists'.
There are three modalities that can be used to eliminate unwanted hair, and all three are effective. 1. Galvanic Electrolysis, which is the oldest (1875), is a chemical method that utilizes a direct current to convert normal body salt and water in the follicle into a compound capable of destroying the dermal papilla. The chemical is produced only in the follicle and does not affect any other area. One probe or several probes working simultaneously can be used during this process.
2. Thermolysis (1923) is a method that uses a high frequency current to produce heat in the area influenced by the current. This heat cauterizes and destroys the dermal papilla. One sterile probe is used during this process. Two variations of thermolysis are "Flash" or "Automatic". "Flash" thermolysis uses a split second impulse of current and "manual" thermolysis requires several seconds at a lower intensity to achieve permanency.
3. The "Blend" (1938) method combines both currents together in the same probe. Thermolysis enhances the action of the galvanic method to produce a faster process. Your electrologist will select the best method for you based on your hair type, skin characteristics and sensitivity. his/her choice will assure you of the maximum comfort and permanency for your hair problem. The most widely used modality used today is the "blend" technique.
Men & Women today have electrolysis for: Upper lip, Chin Underarms, Breast, Abdomen, Bikini line, Brows, Top of nose, Ears, Back neck, Legs (etc.)