What causes unwanted hair?

Unwanted hair growth can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, hormonal imbalances, medications, medical conditions, and certain cosmetic treatments.

In many cases, excess hair growth is caused by hormonal imbalances, such as high levels of androgens (male hormones) in women or hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. Some medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disorders, can also cause excessive hair growth.

Certain medications, such as steroids, may also cause unwanted hair growth as a side effect. Additionally, some cosmetic treatments, such as laser hair removal may cause hair to grow back in unwanted areas.

Finally, genetics may play a role in determining the amount and location of hair growth on the body. Some people may simply be more prone to unwanted hair growth than others.

Is there a permanent way to remove unwanted hair?

Yes, electrolysis is the only proven method of permanent hair removal that is accepted by the FDA. Some suggest that laser hair removal is also permanent, this is misleading advertising.  The FDA states that Laser is considered a "permanent hair removal reduction".

Laser hair removal uses high-energy light to damage the hair follicle, which can eventually lead to the permanent reduction of hair growth in the treated area.. Moreover, Laser can’t be used on all areas of the body, especially around the eye area. Laser is not effective on white, grey, blonde or fine hairs, nor is it appropriate for darker-skinned people. Laser is also not effective for those suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Electrolysis can remove all types of hair from any area of the body, regardless of skin colour, or whether the hair is fine or coarse, light or dark in colourElectrolysis involves the insertion of a fine sterilized needle into each hair follicle and using an electrical current to destroy the follicle. This method can be somewhat time-consuming, as each hair follicle must be treated individually, but it is an effective permanent hair removal method. 

Does Electrolysis work?

Yes, electrolysis works!  But like anything, you need a trained professional to ensure safety and effectiveness.  Moreover, the equipment used is also very important in the success of the treatments.  It's important to note that electrolysis is an unregulated practice in Canada, therefore, seeking the help of an electrologist that takes part in a professional association will ensure the electrologist follows strict safety, sanitation and health protocols.   

What are the three methods most commonly used in electrolysis?

The three most common methods used in electrolysis are:

Galvanic electrolysis: This method uses a direct current to create a chemical reaction that destroys the hair follicle. A tiny needle is inserted into the hair follicle, and a low-level current is applied, which produces a chemical reaction that produces sodium hydroxide or lye. The sodium hydroxide destroys the hair follicle, preventing further hair growth. 

Thermolysis: This method uses a high-frequency current to generate heat, which destroys the hair follicle. A tiny needle is inserted into the hair follicle, and a high-frequency current is applied, which generates heat that destroys the hair follicle.  This modality is used frequently has it is very safe.  

Blend electrolysis: This method combines galvanic electrolysis and thermolysis. A tiny needle is inserted into the hair follicle, and a combination of direct current and high-frequency current is applied, which produces a chemical reaction and generates heat, destroying the hair follicle.

All three methods can be effective in permanently removing hair, but the specific method used may depend on factors such as the individual's hair type, skin type, medical contraindications and the location of the hair being removed. It's important to consult with a professional to determine the best method for your individual needs.

Is electrolysis safe?

When performed by a trained professional, electrolysis is considered a safe and effective method of permanent hair removal. However, as with any cosmetic treatment, there are some potential risks and side effects associated with electrolysis.

The most common side effects of electrolysis are temporary redness, swelling, and skin irritation in the treated area. These side effects usually subside within a few hours to a few days after the treatment.

Less common but more serious side effects may include pitting, infection, or changes in skin pigmentation. These risks can be minimized by choosing a qualified professional who follows proper safety and hygiene practices.

Additionally, some individuals may be more sensitive to the discomfort associated with the procedure, so it's important to discuss any concerns or discomfort with the electrolysis professional before and during the treatment.

Overall, electrolysis is considered a safe and effective method of permanent hair removal when performed by a qualified professional and when appropriate safety and hygiene practices are followed.

How do i know if the electrolysis treatment is done properly?

If you are receiving electrolysis treatment, there are a few signs to look for to ensure that the treatment is being done properly:

Proper hygiene: The professional performing the electrolysis treatment should always wear gloves, use sterile needles, and follow proper hygiene and safety practices to minimize the risk of infection.

Consultation and communication: A professional electrolysis practitioner should provide a thorough consultation to assess your needs and expectations, and should maintain open communication throughout the treatment to ensure your satisfaction and address any concerns you may have.

Minimal discomfort: While electrolysis can be uncomfortable, especially in sensitive areas, it should not be overly painful. Your electrologist can suggest over the counter pain management tools for your comfort.

Visible progress: Over time, you should start to see a reduction in hair growth in the treated area. 

No scarring or other side effects: Electrolysis should not cause scarring or other serious side effects when performed properly. If you notice any signs of scarring or skin damage after a treatment, it's important to let the professional know immediately.

It's important to choose a qualified professional who follows proper safety and hygiene practices and who is able to address any concerns or questions you may have.

How to choose a competent electrologist?

Choosing a competent and qualified electrologist is an important step in ensuring that you receive safe and effective electrolysis treatment. Here are some tips on how to choose a competent electrologist:

Check qualifications: Look for an electrologist who is certified by a reputable school.  Also national organization, such as the Canadian Organization of Professional Electrologists, require their members to meet specific education and training requirements, adhere to professional standards, and participate in continuing education.

Research their experience: Look for an electrologist who has experience in treating clients with similar hair types and skin tones to yours. Ask for before-and-after photos of their work, and read reviews and testimonials from previous clients.

Consultation: A good electrologist will offer a consultation to assess your needs and expectations, and to discuss the treatment process and potential results. This is a good opportunity to ask any questions you may have and to ensure that you feel comfortable with the electrologist and their approach to the treatment.

Safety and hygiene: Look for an electrologist who follows proper safety and hygiene practices, including using sterile needles, wearing gloves, and maintaining a clean and sanitary treatment area.

Cost: While cost should not be the only factor in choosing an electrologist, it is important to ensure that you understand the cost of the treatment and any potential additional fees or charges.

By taking the time to research and choose a competent and qualified electrologist, you can help ensure that you receive safe and effective electrolysis treatment that meets your needs and expectations.

Does electrolysis hurt?

Electrolysis can be uncomfortable, but it should not be overly painful. The level of discomfort experienced during electrolysis can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the individual's pain tolerance, the location and density of the hair being treated, and the specific method of electrolysis being used.

During the treatment, a tiny needle is inserted into the hair follicle, and a low-level current is applied to destroy the hair follicle. Some people may feel a slight pinch or prickling sensation as the needle is inserted, and there may be a mild stinging or burning sensation during the treatment. The level of discomfort can also vary depending on the method of electrolysis being used. Galvanic or Blend electrolysis, for example, can be slower and may require a longer application of current, which can be uncomfortable for some people.

However, many people find that the discomfort associated with electrolysis is manageable and well worth the permanent results. Additionally, some electrologists may offer numbing creams or other techniques to help minimize discomfort during the treatment.

It's important to communicate any discomfort or concerns you may have with the electrologist during the treatment, so they can adjust the treatment as needed to ensure your comfort and safety.

Will there be any permanent damages to my skin?

If electrolysis is performed properly by a trained and qualified electrologist, there should be no permanent damage to your skin. However, as with any cosmetic treatment, there is a small risk of side effects or complications.

Some possible side effects of electrolysis include redness, swelling, and scabbing around the treated area. These side effects are typically mild and resolve on their own within a few days. In rare cases, more serious side effects such as scarring or infection can occur, but these are typically the result of improper technique or poor hygiene practices.

To minimize the risk of side effects, it's important to choose a trained electrologist who follows proper hygiene and safety practices, such as using sterile needles and wearing gloves. It's also crucial to follow any aftercare instructions provided by the electrologist, such as avoiding touching the area treated, sun exposure or harsh skincare products.

If you experience any concerning side effects or complications after electrolysis, it's important to contact your electrologist or a medical professional immediately for guidance and treatment.

Can hairs be removed from a mole?

Yes, hair can be removed from a mole using electrolysis. However, it's important to be cautious when removing hair from moles, as moles are often more sensitive and may be more prone to scarring or other complications.

If you have a mole and are considering electrolysis, it's important to discuss the procedure with a trained electrologist. They can assess the mole and provide guidance on the best approach for removing hair from the area while minimizing the risk of complications.

In some cases, it may be advisable to have a dermatologist or other medical professional assess the mole before undergoing electrolysis or any other hair removal procedure. This can help ensure that the mole is not a sign of a more serious skin condition, such as skin cancer, and that the area is safe for hair removal.

What if hair seems to return while I am being treated?

It's not uncommon for hair to appear to return during the course of electrolysis treatment. This can be due to a variety of factors, including previous temporary hair removal methods, hormonal changes, hair growth cycles, or incomplete treatment of some hair follicles.

In most cases, the hair that appears to return during treatment is actually new hair growth that was not previously visible, rather than regrowth of hairs that were successfully treated. Electrolysis works by permanently destroying hair follicles, so any hair that has been successfully treated should not grow back.

If you notice hair appearing to return during the course of electrolysis treatment, it's important to communicate this with your electrologist. They can assess the situation and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan to ensure that all hair follicles are being properly treated.

It's also important to continue with regular electrolysis treatments as recommended by your electrologist, as this can help ensure that all hair follicles are eventually treated and that you achieve the desired permanent results.

Are COPE Members qualified to work with Transgender and gender-diverse clients?

COPE electrologists are experienced in working with transgender and gender diverse clients and can provide a safe and supportive environment for hair removal. They can also provide guidance on the best approach to hair removal, taking into account the client's individual needs and goals.

In some cases, electrolysis and other hair removal methods such as laser hair removal can be done simultaneously, depending on individual preferences and circumstances.  Please discuss all available options with a qualified electrologist to determine the best approach for you.