FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
A list of commonly asked questions with answers about the electrolysis hair removal treatment method and about the Nicolsons Electrolysis clinic in Australia.
How do I see the answers below?
Click or tap on the questions below and the box will open to show the reply.
Is electrolysis safe and effective?
Yes. When electrolysis is performed correctly and in capable hands it most definitely works and is safe. See references below. If someone has had treatment that has left marks that has been due to a poor operator.
Electrolysis was developed over 100 years ago and is still the only scientifically and medically proven way to remove hair permanently. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) states “Electrolysis is considered a permanent hair removal method, since it destroys the hair follicle.” (source) Similarly, an article on WebMD states: “The FDA and the American Medical Association recognize only electrolysis as a permanent method of removing hair.” (source)
Which areas can be treated with electrolysis?
Full face, including:
Most body areas:
- breast (around the nipples)
All hair types and colours can be treated successfully, including hormonal hair.
Most areas can be treated. If you are unsure at all, make an enquiry with Katherine today.
Can electrolysis treat laser-induced hair growth?
Yes. If you are concerned you might have laser-induced hair growth and want an honest assessment on the area(s) of concern, please feel welcome to contact us. Consultations are free of charge and we also offer a free 10 minute trial.
It seems that hair growth following laser is more likely in “hormonal” areas and also the finer but dark hairs anywhere on the face and body.
“Hormonally triggered” areas are: anywhere on the face, most of the female torso eg. breasts, stomach, back and also female thighs. Men’s upper arms are also particularly prone to this undesired result, as are the shoulders.
If you have a skin type that tans easily and have naturally dark “downy”, or dark vellus hair on your face or body we advise caution with laser as this seems to be the most likely hair type to increase in depth, diameter and strength even after only one or two laser treatments.
Laser hair reduction can be successful for certain individuals and certain body areas eg. the underarms and bikini line can be greatly reduced after only 6 to 8 sessions for those with fair skin and dark hair colour. So don’t be put off by the idea of trying it. However, if you have any of the above described areas or hair type, please try only 2 or 3 sessions maximum, with at least 6 weeks between treatments. Then leave it for at least several weeks to assess whether a reduction has taken place. We also advise carefully watching the surrounding areas as sometimes hair growth may occur there after laser treatment.
Can electrolysis treat ingrown hairs?
Yes. Electrolysis is an effective treatment to counteract ingrown hairs. It is the only treatment that can reach to the base of the follicle and destroy it, therefore stopping the problem altogether.
Ingrown hairs are most often caused by pulling hairs, whether it be waxing, tweezing or threading, in a direction other than the natural direction of the growth. For example, tweezing hairs from the face requires the need to look in the mirror and the tendency is to pull out and away from the skin. Also, hard to reach areas tend to be difficult places to remove hair in the natural direction of growth, and so are extremely common areas we find ingrown hairs when treating patients with electrolysis for hair removal.
As a result of pulling against the natural hair growth direction the hair follicle becomes distorted and the next hair that it grows becomes trapped under the skin.
This becomes a perpetual cycle as the actual follicle itself is distorted, and every hair that it grows will become embedded under the skin. Pulling such hairs out often makes the problem even worse.
Sometimes hairs also become ingrown after shaving.
What can I expect during an appointment?
You will be welcomed into the clinic and asked to lie down on the treatment bed. Take the time to get comfortable, remove your shoes if you prefer. If you have a back problem or a condition that makes it uncomfortable to lie in certain positions you should let your electrologist know (if it hasn’t already been discussed).
Your electrologist will put on a pair of disposable gloves and begin to set up for the session. They will open a sterile pouch with tweezers and a probe cap, these items have been autoclave sterilised. They will then open another sterile pouch which contains a brand new, once-only use sterile disposable needle. They will place the needle in the probe holder. Then it is time to prepare the area by wiping with either witchhazel or an alcohol swab. Your electrologist will use extra lighting and some sort of magnification aid during the treatment.
The session will then begin. One hair usually takes only a few seconds to remove. The sensation varies between individuals to a great degree. Some feel it as a mild heat, others feel it is very sharp and strong pain. There are always measures we can try to make you more comfortable. How you feel and how we can make you as comfortable as possible will be the main points of discussion during the first treatment. Most people find they can sit through an hour in relative comfort, some find they can manage several hours.
What ought I expect after an electrolysis session?
Once the treatment is finished your electrologist will apply Aloe Vera gel to cool your skin and provide a protective barrier. Your skin may be red and somewhat bumpy as well. This is normal. Most people find this reaction settles down and disappears after 1 to 2 hours. However, if you have sensitive skin, if we have worked in concentrated areas, if the hairs are deep and strong, you may see redness and bumpiness for a few days after. There is a small chance you might see small scabs form a few days after. Again, this would likely be due to sensitive skin and deep and strong hairs. Scabbing may last a few days and should be left to heal naturally.
How long does a course of electrolysis require?
How long a course of electrolysis may take depends on several factors. These include the area being treated, the method(s) of hair removal that were used in the past, whether it is hormonally induced hair growth, whether it is laser-induced hair growth … to name a few.
Each individual case is different. The quick answer is anywhere from 6 months to 2 years in total.
To elaborate a little further: if you are tweezing or waxing regularly you are removing many different hairs each time. When you remove a hair by the root it takes at least 6 or 8 weeks for that hair to grow through again. Some hairs take even longer, say 3 months, and some may stay in the dormant (telogen) phase for several months and not produce a hair for some length of time.
If you have not been removing the hair at all then we still have to wait for all of the currently dormant hair to grow and appear on any given area. That always takes several months in total. Hence the need for regular electrolysis treatments to keep the area clear of hair and to achieve permanent hair removal from start to finish.
Treatments are scheduled to suit your lifestyle and budget.
What should I do in preparation for electrolysis treatments?
It is very important not to wax or tweeze the hair as this encourages the hair to become stronger.
However you can cut, bleach, shave or use a depilatory cream.
On the day of treatment it is important that the skin is well-cleaned and moisturised beforehand.
What measures can numb or reduce sensations?
If you are worried about pain or discomfort during sessions we can talk you through examples of how other clients have managed this. Your local pharmacy may have numbing creams or over the counter pain relief that may be helpful. They will be able to guide you on this.
What pre-treatment care do you recommend?
Hydrate Inside and Out: Drink water every day (8 glasses is the standard recommendation).
Moisturise the skin twice a day but not for 24 hourrs after an electrolysis treatment. A moist skin is easier for your electrologist to work on. It may mean lower settings and therefore more comfort for you.
A healthy, hydrated skin also recovers faster post-treatment.
Minimise stimulants such as coffee and energy drinks prior to treatment.
Get plenty of sleep! A tired body is a more sensitive body.
Thinking of starting Electrolysis?
If you are tweezing (plucking), waxing or threading the hair:
- Stop removing the hair.
- Shave, trim or cut the hair instead.
- Make an appointment for a consultation ASAP.
If you are already having laser hair reduction contact Katherine for advice on the best time to come in for a consultation. Usually it’s the time when you would be due for your next laser appointment.
What post-treatment care do you recommend?
For 24 to 48 hrs after each treatment:
Do not touch the area with your hands or fingers.
Keep the area clean and clear. Do not apply make up, sunscreen, moisturiser or any products other than those recommended by your electrologist for at least 24hrs, preferably 48hrs.
Avoid heavy exercise and any activities which may make you hot and/or perspire.
Avoid prolonged sun exposure.
Apply a mild antiseptic or aloe vera once or twice per day. Recommended products are Witch hazel, Aloe vera and Tea-tree oil. When applying these products first wash your hands thoroughly and apply with clean cotton wool or wipes.
- Witch hazel is a good, natural cleanser and can be applied as often as necessary over the first 24-48 hours.
- Aloe Vera soothes the skin and is best applied straight after treatment and then again in the evenings.
- Tea tree oil is recommended only if you develop pimples after treatment. Only apply a very small amount of tea tree oil on a cotton bud which has been dipped in clean water first. Be very careful with tea tree oil as it is possible to burn the skin if used excessively and/or undiluted.
Once you have started electrolysis do not tweeze, wax or thread the hair. Shaving or trimming is okay.
Though if you have any queries about shaving or tirmming afterwards, or about the types of products you may want to use, and so on, please just ask.
How much does electrolysis cost?
Pricing starts at $35 for 5 minutes. Our hourly rate is $155. We offer a free consultation so we can create a treatment plan for you to suit your budget and lifestyle.
Contact us to make an appointment.
How much does a consultation cost?
Initial consultations are free.
Contact us to make an appointment.
Do you book long sessions?
Yes we accept bookings of many hours in length. That suits some people best for what they wish to have done. In contrast some other clinics may limit bookings to one hour or less.
Do you work on people of all genders?
Yes we work on women, men and transgender people.
Where is Nicolsons Electrolysis located?
The clinic is conveniently located in the leafy and scenic inner-west Sydney suburb of Balmain.
72 Glassop Street, Balmain, Sydney, NSW, 2041, Australia.
Ph: 0416 165 475
For a map see the contact page.
What are the business hours?
The clinic hours:
- Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm
- Saturday & Sunday 9am to 5pm.
For further information:
Please see our home page for an overview. Other pages on this site have information of specific interest to transgender clients along with the general pages about electrolysis for hair removal and about the clinic and staff. Another page features testimonials and reviews from clients. You can find a map and email form on the contact page.