A Tale of Two Electrolygists

Posted by: Janedel62

A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 12/30/17 07:47 PM

I have had a total of four treatments.

At place A: she has a really old machine, each "zap" really hurts but the hair easily "lifts," and I had red puff marks for 48 hours

At place B: the machine is brand new, each zap is pretty mild, she "tugs" the hair out, and my skin doesn't look bad afterwards.

Which place sounds more "legit" ????

Thank you for reading!
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 12/30/17 09:15 PM

A for the win. That easy release of the hair is the best measure we have of efficiency of the treatment. All other items are inconsequential .
Posted by: dfahey

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 12/30/17 11:49 PM

Place A is getting the slide out.

Place B needs to adjust the energy level so the hair slides out.

Old epilator verses new epilator of no consequence. Hair sliding out with no traction is an important indicator and can be accomplished with either epilator as long as the human being is doing her or his job correctly (inserting perfectly and adjusting the energy level correctly for the hair size).
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 12/31/17 12:10 PM

that's what she said!
Posted by: Janedel62

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/16/18 09:13 PM

I wish I lived near you!!!
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/17/18 10:38 AM

Not sure if you meant me or Dee, but me too! I need every client through my door I can if my business is to survive this year.
Posted by: Ton

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/19/18 01:28 AM

Originally Posted By Iluv2zap
I need every client through my door I can if my business is to survive this year.


What? I thought you had so many customers that you needed to hire a 2nd electrologist (Nancy). This is shocking to me. You post so many messages on this messageboard that I would think you would be the most popular electrologist in all of Ottawa, as you certainly must be the most knowledgeable. I recently had an electrologist in Vancouver tell me that she makes about $50 profit per hour when she charges about $70 or so. She says it's about $1 for each autoclave bag and $1 per needle (I can't remember what she said for the alcohol and cotton swabs, but I would imagine it would be about the same). She was encouraging me to become an electrologist; she kept saying that it feels good to make others feel good about themselves, etc. Personally I think it is risky; I'm always seeing people on eBay selling their old epilators saying that they've decided to change careers. Don't electrologists make between $32-$51k in the USA?
Posted by: Scurvy

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/19/18 07:36 AM

The American Electrology Association estimated that "the full-time, established electrologist averages between $25,000 and $50,000 per year."

Unless this equation has already deducted tax and includes all business and operating expenses, it suggests to me that the AEA has some special and individual definition for "full-time" work or a majority of electrologists are simply not charging appropriately for their time and value.

$50,000 is a fair salary considering hours worked if we assume that the electrologist isn't offering their services at dirt cheap prices. At some point, the issue becomes one of business savvy and marketing in order to get feet through the door. If there simply aren't enough potential clients, then diversifying services offered is the next step.

My electrologist seems to routinely perform between 10 and 20 hours of electrolysis a week at the equivalent of US$80. Some here charge up to US$115 for an hour, probably to cover the costs of the shiny, new Apilus they bought. Either way, factoring in business costs, this is still a very fair income considering the amount of hours worked and the potential to work a second job or provide other services to bring yourself up to working full-time.
Posted by: Michael Bono

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/19/18 10:16 AM

I'm pretty sure the AEA got their data from the US department of commerce or another Federal agency, i.e., IRS. I remember searching these data myself and came across these "official figures" ... perhaps from the IRS (Federal Income Tax). Indeed, IRS would have the unvarnished numbers.
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/19/18 10:34 AM

Ton and Scurvy,


Actually all electrolysis consumers:

Yes after being in business for 10 or so years many electrologists make about 50k, maybe, depending. Some will make more, or less.but none of them start there.

My total sales for 2016 wont have topped 32000. Before expenses. Of that, here's an approximate breakdown of costs:
Office rent---1200
insurance 83
electricity 75
probe costs $250
auto clave spore testing ( about 40 a month 400/year)
annual membership fees/FCEA $150 so, $10 a month?
Scheduling system : $30/month
employee wages ( was approximately $300/month, now zero as Nancy has left to work in the governemnt. She might be back)

Advertisng- this is a big one, at one point yelp was billing me $750 a month, for an ad with no res$ults at all!Groupon means a very small amount for your treatment ( $12 /30 min?) and a high probability you will never see that client past their groupon package.

When I opened my office, my offices were not ideal. As a result, I've spent approximately $20000 on making my offices presentable installing flooring, walls and doors, painting, installing security access systems etc... And yes we are talking canadian dollars, not american dollars.None of this amount has been attributed to income this year as an expense.

If an electrologist is working from home, they are able to enjoy much lower costs as a result. I however live in a slum, not suitable for doing electrolysis with 2 kids and 2 dogs, and cannot do so ( and moving would cost more than my home and office rents combined) .While a $70 per hour profit might be doable for a work from home electrologist ( actually I dont know any that charge more than $60 locally), vancouver is an expensive market), I dont make any of it. And all of this is before you think about that I give away, roughly 25 percent of my work to low income transpeople . Yes, you heard that correctly. Sometimes, those clients are my best advertising, and bring me more clients so it works out.

Right at this very moment, I've just experiences about 4-6 weeks with virtually NO BUSINESS. Literally the majority of those days, one 15 or 30 minute appointment per day. This was expected. A few weeks before chrstmas, until at least mid-late january, people just generally stop doing electrolysis. Partially this is due to the hecticness of christmas season, personal finances, but also extreme weather conditions that keep clients, at home! My total sales for december? under $1000. the first 2 weeks of January exactly the same maybe less . It's only this week starting to recover a tiny bit.

An electrologists popularity, has zero to do with how much business will come though the door. That is dictated by the market, which follows its normal trends. In the first year of operation ( I worked for someone else a year ago) almost no businesses make money. Its very hard on entrepreneurs.I also havent deducted a single penny in depreciation on my $13000 apilus epilator, nor the $1500 autoclave I replaced this year.First year you do not benefit from things like search engine ranking. Customers only come, when they know you are in business.

Will it get better? Gosh I sure hope so.All told, I started 2017 with $65000 in the bank, and ended with next to zero jan 1. These are real costs, and they add up quickly.

All told, my monthly costs, just to be in business, top about $2400 a month. This is the amount of business I must bring through the door, BEFORE I bring cent one home ( which hasnt happened this year) . In other words my income this year, will be less than zero.This month, I 'm borrowing just to make expenses ( literally almost all of it) , in the hopes I can make that money back later in the season.


Ton, your electrologist is right, there is great personal reward to doing electrolysis. Personal reward however doesnt buy you groceries or pay for your expenses.

Many clients assume, that also means that your electrologist is doing well financially. It however isnt the case.Skurvy is correct, the ability to market oneself is a crucial skill.I'm not sure I have that ability in great amounts.Unlike Skurvy's market, my price I can charge caps out about $85-$90 canadian ( about $65 american) before clients will no longer book with you and go to the cheaper option . This is particular to my market which is largely composed of government employees, many of whom havent been paid properly in 2 years or more due to issues with the Phoenix pay system. The first thing to go when this type of thing happens, are luxuries like electrolysis.

Now I had some advantage this year, I brought some initial clients with me when I opened my clinic. I am not sure that more than 5 of them are still with me. Many have finished . Some have moved away ( I swear, if one more client moves to austrailia I'm going too!) . I've brought on new clients, but not at the rate at which I have finished others. This is the typical first year blues in business, you have to learn how to bring on a steady stream of new customers,it does not come naturally ( at least for me) .I've heard estimates that the average small business does not make money for 8 or more years.I hope not that long.It takes that long to learn to minimize expenses, bring on new customers, and dont forget, that every hour worked paying expense, is an hour that electrologist has worked for free.

There's a million expenses I'm not including in this simplistic listing. Things like an AC unit to keep the customers comfortable in the summer time.Smalls like towel, tweezers, sterilization pouches, garbage bags, toilet paper,hand soap, treatment bed sheets, witch hazel, cotton cosmetic pads , carpet runners for the hallway, office furniture, etc etc etc . Credit card processing fees. And dont forget that none of my personal living expenses are included . If I am making 32000 a year, rent alone for a 3 bedroom townhouse for my family is going to $1500 a month, which alone is more than half of that amount ( that I didnt make).

My second electrologist was brought on not because of excess business, but as an attempt to get some value out of the other 50% of my office space, which currently and for the last year has sat empty.She has gone to work for the government, because she wasnt able to bring enough business in to make it worthwhile. She might be back , and has already offered to come back part time,but without the business to support it. it's not worthwhile at the moment.

So there you have it. While certainly some of this cost structure is particuar to my situation and market, all electrologists have similar costs. You dont earn to bring custmers in the door consistently for several years after the launch of a business. Anyone who thinks the electrologist is making a ton of money, unfortunately is incorrect. While it could happen eventually if they are persistent and good at what they do, in the majority of cases they will lose money for the first several years. I consider myself lucky that I ALMOST met the majority of my expenses this year.

Seana
Posted by: Scurvy

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/21/18 12:05 PM

Australia is desperate for competent and committed electrologists, so I feel your business here would not be unwelcome. It's not possible to officially study electrolysis here to the extent it is in North America, and of the few electrologists that practice here, only a minority offer treatments longer than 30 minutes. One in my city even refuses to serve men or trans clients which is appalling for several reasons. Unfortunately, the skilled electrologists don't capitalise on their value and spread the good word about permanent hair removal -- so everyone just goes to laser clinics.

I've really been flirting with the idea of learning how to do it and offering services part-time. I've found someone willing to train me, and I'm on the look out for an affordable pre-owned epilator.
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/21/18 01:03 PM

Unfortunately I wasnt serious about heading down under. I'm aware of the issue with getting electrologists in australia, having contacted Christine O'Connell a few times on clients behalf in an attempt to find someone to serve my abroad clients, and she has filled me in pretty much on the availability aspects.

If you do decide to do this, I wish you the best of luck.Despite the first year financial blues, I'm continuing for the moment to make a go of it here.If you do decide to start electrology in austrailia, then I recommend a lot of research into cost/availability of supplies like probes/epilators/sterilizers etc. If electrology is that hard to access there, it's unlikely there will be an easily accessible supply.
Posted by: KLR71

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/25/18 05:04 AM

Do machines auto compensate for energy levels? I've been having my upper lip worked on for a couple months now and the releases often hurt. My operator knows about expecting to see sheaths and papillae (is that the plural?) but the releases on my upper lip have been stinging anyway - I assume because the skin is so tender in the first place. Is that a common response with this area? It seems kind of like quasi tweezing. Things are a lot thinner now there so we're making progress, but the tweezing feeling worries me anyway. When we go back down to my chin the hairs pop out with a lot less of a sting. I plan to go to some other operators for free consultations and see if the pain level is lower, among other things.
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/25/18 11:07 AM

the upper lip is about the most sensative place on the face to have electrolysis done. Often I have to pause to allow clients time to sneeze because it generates this type of sensation.

In a lot of cases, electrologists resort to flash thermolysis to destroy upper lip hair. If the energy is insufficient,then the hair will feel like it's plucked, and the follicle will generate another hair after. However if the energy is sufficient, the hair will release just fine .

My friend Josepha recently commented to me, that she doesnt target the Dermal Papillae. At all. Instewad she targets the hairs germanation cells in the bulge. The follicles of her clients DO NOT generate another hair.It seems that destroying the stem cells, is sufficient to have this effect.

If the hair on your lip is thinning consistently, then this is good news! I find that upper lis can go from start point, to completion, in 9-12 months with consistent treatment.

Trying out another operator is an awesome idea,one I normally recommend for everyone. But I would not use comfort as my measure of effectiveness, far from it. If the hairs are feeling like a pluck consistently, and the electrolysis also more comfortable, these are two key signs that the electrologist is not using sufficient amounts of energy to destroy the hair. Some are taught to pluck in order to give a favourable skin reaction, which is totally the wrong approach and will extend your treatment, possibly indefinitely.

As for the machine self adjusting, no this is not the case. The machine settings are set by the operator, according to the body area and type of hair. the machine des not change these settings on its own without operator intervention It does choose the enegy modulation from the parameters you choose (probe type, size, body area, hair thickness).
Posted by: Michael Bono

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/25/18 11:30 AM

Recovering from surgery, I'm still sort of blind ... ugh.

A lot of work has to be done, re: "the papilla." A papilla, by definition, is a nipple; but most electrologists think it's a blood vessel. Furthermore, a papilla (and it's embedded capillary loop) is not unique to a hair follicle, as there are billions of them that "feed" the epidermis. (That's why the top layer of the dermis is called the "papillary dermis.")

We all got off subject because of simple misinterpreted observation, but data accumulated over the last few decades trashes the "papilla only" and the related "anagen only" mythology.

Oh yeah, what the client posted is not possible: that the electrologist was "looking for the papilla attached to the epilated hair." In my entire career, I have only seen the capillary loop epilate with the hair about three times! There were reasons for that ... but too long a story for these Hairtell "snippets."
Posted by: Michael Bono

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/25/18 11:49 AM

Here's another "juicy clue."

In William Montagna's landmark book on the skin, he states (I'm paraphrasing) that when follicles develop in the unborn baby, they arise from a "knot" of stem cells in the epidermis (only). These cells then channel downward, "pick up" a blood vessel and form a hair and follicle.

He goes on to state (and here's the "kicker"), that returning hairs (that is new anagen hairs developing in the adult human) form EXACTLY as they did in the fetus. The new anagen hair arises from stem cells in the epidermis and grow upward and downward as they did in the developing human baby.

Jossie targets stem cells and so do I. Actually, electrologists are already targeting stem cells, they just aren't (largely) aware of it. Can a hair follicle develop without a papilla? Actually YES! And, given the entire human population, it happens trillions of times per minute (second ?).
Posted by: KLR71

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/25/18 09:49 PM

Thanks for replying guys, especially Michael for going to the trouble during your convalescence. Apologies for the imprecise terminology, would it better to say that we want to see the intact hair bulb come out? I'm more informed than your average electrolysis customer I'd imagine, but am still a mere layperson.

Some machines have a feature labeled Autosensor or the like - what does that do?

Are some people cursed with larger than average bulb sizes? I've wondered if this is why my hairs don't just cleanly release all the time. Not that my operator thinks this is true in my case - she did say I have exceptionally cooperative hair, and very sparse to boot, so I'm lucky in this regard. Still, when I think about how 2 months of work is what it's taken to come close to (I hope) clear my lip forever, and then look at the acres of stubble we still have to go through, it's frustrating/worrisome.

She ought to be able to tell if she's really just tweezing things, after all. BTW my skin is in pretty good shape after each session. I had a swollen lump for days after my first go round with her, she dialed things down after that and moved around more, or did before I told her I wanted her to concentrate on my upper lip.
Posted by: MelB77

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/26/18 02:29 AM

Shame you were joking about coming to Australia Seana, we definitely need more expert electrologists in Oz! Especially Melbourne..

I think it takes longer than 2 months to clear upper lip permanently? My daughter has been getting treatment for about 4 months on lip and chin/neck area and it’s looking really good but the hair is still coming through albeit less. I expect it will take a few more months still. It is a slow process but worth it.
Posted by: dfahey

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/26/18 11:05 AM

It takes 9? 12? 18? months to permanently affect hair from any area that you are concentrating on , that is, if you are clearing the area every time you see a client.

So, if an upper lip is cleared of all bothersome hair every time one has a session, that translates into 8 - 15 sessions, spread out over 9? !2? 18? months. The middle part usually lags behind because it needs to be thinned rather than cleared. That area is sensitive and clients can only take so much.
Posted by: dfahey

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/26/18 11:07 AM

Originally Posted By Michael Bono
Here's another "juicy clue."

In William Montagna's landmark book on the skin, he states (I'm paraphrasing) that when follicles develop in the unborn baby, they arise from a "knot" of stem cells in the epidermis (only). These cells then channel downward, "pick up" a blood vessel and form a hair and follicle.

He goes on to state (and here's the "kicker"), that returning hairs (that is new anagen hairs developing in the adult human) form EXACTLY as they did in the fetus. The new anagen hair arises from stem cells in the epidermis and grow upward and downward as they did in the developing human baby.

Jossie targets stem cells and so do I. Actually, electrologists are already targeting stem cells, they just aren't (largely) aware of it. Can a hair follicle develop without a papilla? Actually YES! And, given the entire human population, it happens trillions of times per minute (second ?).


I love this post MIchael! Thank you!!
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/26/18 12:22 PM

my last solely upper lip case was finished in 11 months.The lastmonth to 2 months was literaly 1 or 2 hairs per visit. The client started with twicce weekly 10 minute or 15 minute sessions, no longer, twice a week. As time went on, frequency of treatment decreased so in the last two mnths there was only one treatment a month of 10 minutes. We spent the rest of the time in these 10 minute appointments cleaning up cheeks and eyebrows as it didnt take me 10 minutes to remove 2 hairs. This client when starting out had discomfort issues. This is why she stuck to 10 or 15 minutes at most throughout the entire process. By the time she finished, she had no such discomfort issues. I havent seen her since the fall and I dont expect to .

On first treatment, this girls upper lip glowed in the sunlight. It was blonde hair, but super dense. This quality made her super self conscious . I find eyebrows progress very similarly .

When I first started with this person, I had extreme difficulty with insertions.I lacked self confidence even in my own work. The results are hard to argue with however. Dee is quit correct however that the more you put into it the shorter the process will be.I get clients all the time who don't do quite enough treatment because they have to live within their budget. It takes longer to get there, but you still get there.
Posted by: Josefa M. Reina

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/27/18 08:42 AM

Originally Posted By Iluv2zap

Some are taught to pluck in order to give a favourable skin reaction, which is totally the wrong approach and will extend your treatment, possibly indefinitely.



My God Seana, few affirmations made in Hairtell are so extremely successful. Thank you for verbalizing something that unfortunately happens too often.

The most complex part of our work is to achieve the minimum possible reaction with the highest % kill rate.
Reaching this balance is not an easy task, but in my opinion, both objectives must go hand in hand. It does not make sense to avoid a logical skin reaction if all or most of the hairs are going to grow back, just as it does not make sense to replace hairs with permanent marks due to excessive overtreatment.
Posted by: KLR71

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/27/18 09:25 PM

Thank you all for these replies! It's so illuminating to have expected time frames described, I really think I'm lucky in this regard with having fairly sparse hair; and I'm convinced now that my doubts about my operator's work were unfounded, this morning with a full day's growth all I see are a few light colored hairs here and there, if hairs had simply been tweezed surely I'd see growth that matches the rest of my beard in density, which certainly isn't the case. It's odd that I'd post about this after wondering what was going on for a month or so, and then receive such an unambiguous sign that things are working after all.