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#125069 - 11/07/17 06:32 AM Are my ingrowns normal? Thermolysis
Brownfuzz Offline

Registered: 10/29/17
Posts: 4
Hi everyone,

A little bit about me:
I’m a V on the Fitzpatrick Skin Type scale. I have dark brown skin with brown, dark brown, very dark brown and black hairs on my body. I have been told that I have PCOS and have the darkest & thickest hairs on my neck, jawline, belly button, bikini area and upper thigh areas. These range in density and length.

First Clearing

I had my first consultation with a lady who had a Sterex Qualification and had experience in several different countries so I hoped this meant she was accustomed to treating all types of hair and a variety of skin types.

I expected to get a consultation and then return for my first clearing. During my first consultation she suggested immediate commencement. I hesitated but felt as though I was in safe hands and despite my better knowledge I agreed. She was moderately attentive and fast in my opinion but two things stood out to me. She used three ‘pulses’ for the majority of the hairs and I would say that about 30% of my hairs I felt a tug when they were being removed. I noticed that she did try and test if the hairs were removable by doing slight tugs and when there was significant resistance she would do three more pulses. But still a lot of my hairs were very resistant and sometimes I felt a slight tug (nowhere as much pain as though I was tweezing). I mentioned this to her and she said it was due to my hair type being really thick but that I should relax that the hairs weren’t being plucked. I was a little worried because I had read on Hairtell and other sites that I shouldn’t feel any tugging when the hairs are extracted. She also reassured me that because I was able to withstand a higher setting than most of her clients that I was speeding up the process for myself.

Sometimes she would have to pulse 6 times - 12 times, turning the needle around every three pulses - she said it was difficult to establish where the root of the hairs were as my hairs are curly. There several hairs she would have to do 9 pulses or more but I suppose that was due to my hair type. She said she used setting no. 37 on my hair??

After the first clearance she handed me the mirror and I spotted a patch she’d missed which she apologised and immediately removed. Initially she had estimated 1 hr to clear the hairs but it took her 1.5hrs.

She estimated the next clearing 10 days later would take 30 minutes.

I noticed lots of red raised bumps but I knew these were normal and I proceeded to diligently apply surgical spirit and aloe Vera several times a day until the next appointment. There were no ingrown hairs I noticed between the first and second appointment. The red bumps lasted for 6-7 days.

Second Clearing (10 days after first)

I felt less hairs being tugged and actually noticed that several hairs were removed without any resistance more than last time. The session took 35minutes but there were hairs that had been missed.

A day later I noticed my neck irritated me a lot and began to itch. As I couldn’t itch I just continued to apply surgical spirit but instead of aloe Vera I used witch hazel, as during my second appointment my electrologist told me that witch hazel was better. I noticed on the third days lots of small bumps of hyperpigmentation beginning to form and recognised these as ingrown hairs. I emailed her and she advised that a chemical peel may be beneficial to remove the hyperpigmentation. Additionally she offered the option of purchasing some strong medications that can aid the skin to peel and release the ingrown hairs. I’m in for the long haul for electrolysis and told her that additional beauty treatments will be extra costs that may derail my treatment. So I opted to leave my skin for now.

I haven’t made a decision on how to treat the ingrowns and pigmentation just yet but purchased ‘ingrow go’ by Skin Doctors and have been applying up to three times daily. This freed up many ingrown hairs and dried up my skin.

Third Clearing (14days after second)

Took one hour to do. I still noticed some tugging but only a handful of hairs this time. She was more aggressive with her probe insertion and overall it was a more painful session. Sometimes I felt the sharp point of the probe stab my skin. This is only an assumption but I believe that my feedback and concerns about the previous ingrown hairs made her intensify her treatment.

Update on neck hair

Compared to the aftermath of the second clearing I have noticed that I don’t have the itch that I did before. However the ingrown hairs are still there. Some are even darker now (though I use sun protector).

I’m looking to get a second opinion from another electrologist but prior to this I am posting in order for the experienced members of this forum to advise me if there are any red flags I have missed and also if anyone has any experience in my skin type and ingrown hairs. I’m concerned that this is just one month into what could potentially be a 24 months process and worry about the state of my neck for the next year or so. This is because I don’t trim the hairs or wear any makeup on my neck and so the hairs will be visible and I don’t want to add horrendous scarring and ingrown hair bumps if they can be avoided.

My skin reaction after the second appointment was bizarre and I wish I could have received helpful information from the electrologist but she wasn’t very helpful and often just likes to get to work.

I think she is sceptical that I am following the correct aftercare but all I know to do is leave the area for 48hours and apply surgical spirit and aloe Vera /witch hazel.

My before photos will show you the skin I presented her with and hopefully you can sympathise as to why I’m concerned. (Photos below).

Edited by Brownfuzz (11/07/17 06:53 AM)

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#125070 - 11/07/17 06:44 AM Re: Are my ingrowns normal? [Re: Brownfuzz]
Brownfuzz Offline

Registered: 10/29/17
Posts: 4 before before any treatments before any treatments

1st after my first clearance after my first clearance few days after first few days after 1st few days after first few days after first a few days after first

2nd immediately after 2nd a few days after 2nd 3-4 days after 2nd several days after 2nd

#125081 - 11/07/17 10:33 PM Re: Are my ingrowns normal? [Re: Brownfuzz]
Iluv2zap Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 11/19/14
Posts: 1275
hi brownfuzz,

I cant comment on your case, because, frankly, I dont have time to sift through ALL of that. That is a massive amount of reading alone.

People with african ancestry do get curved hair follicles. It can be a challenge if someone has never worked on such skin to get accurate insertions. But it has never taken me near the number of pulses as you describe to get any hair out ever. Traction, does not equate to a dead hair. A hair that is not dead and is extracted anyway, can become an ingrown hair.

I'm going to recommend that you see if there is any other electrologist in your area you can try to compare treatments. Aside from that, good job on providing a ton of information, even if its a bit much for my limited current attention span.

Setting 37 on an apilus is the setting for the chin area and an intensity of "7" . I regularly go 37 or 38 on somewhat course hairs with a similar machine.the scale goes from 1-9 with 1 being finest hair and 9 being the coursest hair. These settings can be hgher or lower depending on the calibration of the machine.


Edited by Iluv2zap (11/07/17 10:39 PM)
Seana Richmond
Certified Electrologist.
Electrolysis By Seana

#125092 - 11/08/17 10:02 PM Re: Are my ingrowns normal? [Re: Brownfuzz]
dfahey Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 9647
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
I see nothing in the pictures that concern me. Keep pushing onward to get cleared and stay cleared. No tugging. Thermolysis or blend will disable any hair follicle. Thanks.
Dee Fahey, R.N., C.T.
Licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio for Nursing license and Cosmetic Therapy/Electrolysis license

British Institute & Association of Electrolysis

Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.

#125275 - 11/26/17 04:58 AM Re: Are my ingrowns normal? [Re: dfahey]
Brownfuzz Offline

Registered: 10/29/17
Posts: 4
Originally Posted By dfahey
I see nothing in the pictures that concern me. Keep pushing onward to get cleared and stay cleared. No tugging. Thermolysis or blend will disable any hair follicle. Thanks.

Hi, thanks dfahey & iluv2zap. There’s not that much on the internet regarding my skin tone so I think I wanted to provide as much information as possible. I admit I’m chat/forum world it’s overkill. I’ll edit and condense. I feel more reassured now and will keep an eye on things. I have hyperpigmentation at the sites where ingrowns have been released and some areas appeared to be ingrowns but I think they were blackheads at the early stages of formation. I told my electrologist who didn’t seem to be phased, I think she’s probably seen it all, so it doesn’t bother her. She was insinuating that I wasn’t cleaning my face, so the following treatment I went the exact opposite and when she finally asked me what I was doing she realised I may have been overdrying my face. I have avoided putting any products on my face following my fourth treatment and it has greatly helped!

Thanks again for your replies.

#125277 - 11/26/17 10:10 AM Re: Are my ingrowns normal? [Re: Brownfuzz]
Iluv2zap Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 11/19/14
Posts: 1275 more.
Theres been post after post here telling why its better to use nothing at all than excessive product during treatment.

Seana Richmond
Certified Electrologist.
Electrolysis By Seana


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