How much success have you had with electrolysis?
October 31, 2014 2:42 AM   Subscribe

With the post 30 oestrogen slump :( I noticed I was beginning to get self conscious re: small patches (2) of increased hair growth on my face. My inner feminist barfed at going for electrolysis but I thought if I could just get it permanently sorted that would be that.

I have now gone for 2 years or so. I generally do have to go less frequently (perhaps every 2 months from 2 weeks at the beginning) but it is very painful/unpleasant and expensive. Is that as 'good as it will get?' Should I sack it off and just use wax strips or whatever? Is it b.s that its permanent removal or a vast reduction? It's sterex blend method if that makes a difference and the only type I can get in my city.
posted by tanktop to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Electrolysis took forever on me and I needed touch-ups. Laser hair removal is faster, you will still need touch ups. I splurged and bought myself a tria home laser hair remover and I love it. It hurts as bad as electrolysis but you can do more than one hair at a time so that helps. It has removed my most embarrassing facial hair. I do still need touch-ups and it hasn't made a dent in other places yet, mostly because those places are too sensitive and I don't like doing that to myself. You can purchase numbing cream. There is no pain after the initial pop, by the way, which, if I remember correctly, electrolysis can leave a spot painful for up to a day later.
posted by myselfasme at 5:38 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Check your PMs...
posted by FergieBelle at 6:16 AM on October 31, 2014

I also recommend you try lasering.

My aunt has an electrolysis shop, and so my mom started taking me around age 13 or so, when I would have started tweezing my eyebrows. Since I never tweezed and I went every 6 weeks or so (whenever my mom would go) for about 5 years, I basically have permanently great brows now. From age 18-25ish I'd go every six months (whenever I was home visiting) for a touchup. Now that I rarely go to visit, I think I've gone once in the past two years? I've never had to tweeze or wax in between. My mom still needs to go every few months to touch up her brows and upper lip. So, it can be permanent for some people, but it requires that you go early and often for many many years.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:26 AM on October 31, 2014

I had electrolysis on my upper lip in my early teens. At least I didn't look like Charles Bronson in high school. I still wax every week.

My mom and my sister who are more hirsuite than I, got laser and they love it!

So laser and/or wax is the modern way to go.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:35 AM on October 31, 2014

I'm glad you mentioned the blend method because that one had the most success for me. I went for 8months (2x per month) to a regular place and didn't really see improvement, then I went to the blend (2x per month down to 1x per month for 8 months) and it permanently removed hair but it hurt like a sonofabitch.

BUT! Here is the trick... they need to 'cook' the hair follicle until the hair slides right out. If there is any tugging sensation as they extract the hair, it will take longer for the removal to be permanent (no matter what they tell you! and they will tell you why it's ok, the follicle is dead, blah blah blah; or they will tell you why their non-blend method is just as good as the blend etc). So shop around.

I moved away from the best electrolycian I've ever known (sniffles), but that's what she did, blend method + cook the hair. She really took her time.

Laser did not work so well on me because of the hair color and skin tone (you have to have dark hair & pale skin for it to work... it was a total waste of money for me).
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:01 AM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

If you have the right combination of fair skin and dark hair, laser is the way to go. I had my hairline layered a few years ago and while it was shockingly painful*, it was also awesome. They told me I'd need five sessions, I only needed two. Would make same choice again in a heartbeat.

*painful only during the session; no problems afterward. But during the session it was like, damn.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:43 AM on October 31, 2014

For me, laser didn't really work that great and the cost was not as manageable as the relatively low cost of an electrolysis session. That said, I have a direct family member who had great results with laser. (She also was able to do it for free under her health insurance plan, so she went very frequently, which may account for her great results.) I will say, if you think electrolysis is painful, laser is definitely not any less painful. You might want to just consider finding a new electrolysis place to go to for the stubborn remaining hairs. Method aside, maybe that person just isn't doing a great job. Electrolysis is definitely permanent. I have heard laser can come back eventually, but I don't know. I just know laser hurt like hell and it was weird having lasers shot into my face causing bright flashes of light in my eyes, even when my eyes were closed and I was wearing eye shields.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:16 AM on October 31, 2014

Yeah, I went to a lot of electrolysis sessions in my early 40s. Eventually I didn't have to go as often. But now that I'm in my 50s, lots of "new" hair is showing up. All over, not just on the upper lip. Sigh. Now I just use my epilator or tweeze the worst ones.

Still, I'm glad I went for electrolysis in my 40s, as it got rid of the worst of the "mustache".
posted by LauraJ at 2:08 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, electrolysis has been good for me. As I'm slouching toward menopause some new growth is showing up but my face lady nabs it.

About the feminist thing--feminism is about you being empowered to do what's best for you. If you want to depilate, go for it. Anyone gives you flak, tell them to piss up a rope.
posted by Sublimity at 3:31 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Although electrolysis is considered as the only permanent hair removal method approved by FDA.It is not easy to get rid of unwanted hair with electrolysis.Treatment sessions is rather long.Laser is approved as permanent hair reducton by FDA.I believe that laser is still one of long terma hair remvoal solution.Both electrolysis and laser methods would need a great number of money.For temporary hair removal solution,I think waxing is the best method.
posted by janetian at 4:54 AM on November 23, 2014

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