In hair removal as in many other fields, new technologies keep showing up. To make an educated choice of treatment, you must know the different methods, how they work, and their benefits. Let us show you two of the most effective technologies currently on the market: electrolysis and photoepilation.
Today, electrolysis is still the only method to permanently eliminate hair. This technique involves inserting a filament into the hair follicle all the way to the bulb. An electrical current is then applied which destroys the cells that cause hair growth. Thermolysis techniques are the most frequently used because they are quick and work on all types of hair regardless of their phase. Other methods, called Blend, combine this electro-coagulation with a direct (galvanic) current to produce a chemical destruction. They require longer application, but are very effective against strong and distorted hairs. To use the Blend, however, the hair must absolutely be in the anagen phase because the galvanic current requires maximum hydration to create the chemical reaction (caustic soda) that will destroy the germinal cells.
Today, electrolysis is very comfortable thanks to improvements in the apparatus, which are more powerful and produce very fast current (in thousandths of a second). Additionally, with the ultrarapid frequency of 27 MHz, available on Apilus devices, the current can hardly be felt. This frequency, twice as fast as other hair removers on the market, makes electrolysis accessible to all because of the greater comfort offered. If you want a 100% effective and permanent hair removal treatment, opt for electrolysis. This technique developed 130 years ago has managed to adapt to and benefit from the most advanced technologies.
Laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) devices emit a light ray that is absorbed by the melanin in the hair. These dark pigments intercept photons and the energy produced is converted to heat. It is this heat that penetrates into the follicle and destroys the hair’s germinal cells via thermal transfer. Photoepilation allows the treatment of large areas of the body, and is specially recommended for people with dark hairs at the anagen phase.
However, this does not produce 100% permanent hair removal. It is more often referred to as long-term hair removal with a reduction of about 80% of the number of hairs and their diameter. This percentage may vary from one person to the next and from one part of the body to another. For permanent treatment, the remaining hair has to be treated with electrolysis. Besides, in spite of the many advantages of this technological evolution, certain skin and hair types require special precautions or simply can’t be treated with photoepilation, for example:
• Black skin because the risk of burns is too high. It is possible to reduce the intensity, but it would then be insufficient to satisfactorily destroy the hair.
• Gray, white, blond or light hair because of the lack of dark pigmentation (melanin). Not enough light is absorbed to destroy the hair and its bulb.
For quick results and to cover large areas of the body, photoepilation is the perfect solution. It reduces hair in a short time. It will not, however, allow you to effectively treat all types of skin and hair, and does not provide permanent hair removal.
The choice is yours
Both methods have proven their effectiveness and benefits. Electrolysis is differentiated by the fact it can treat hair and skin of any color. It is also the ideal technique for facial hair. On the other hand, laser and IPL can reduce the amount of hair on larger areas in a short time. It is therefore up to the operator to suggest a treatment better adapted to each customer, considering phototype, hair color, the area to be treated, contraindications, sensitivity, time and the available budget. An accurate diagnosis and a clear explanation of the likely results are certainly a must.