Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard

Posted by: Andrea

Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 04/08/12 08:05 AM

Do-it-yourself electrolysis is not easy to do. You can damage your skin and waste time with ineffective treatment unless your technique is correct. That takes time and training. Most people who try at-home electrolysis do not succeed in meeting their goals.

I tried it myself and gave up after a lot of pain and tedium. It's not practical for large areas, and the little battery-operated home units are very difficult to use.

One of our electrologist contributors Arlene has the following suggestions:

DIYers - take the online courses or actually enroll in an onsite electrology school. These schools also require some on-site training to assist you in the practical application of electrolysis.

Because this work is very tedious and difficult, we welcome new students into the field and then, perhaps more professionals might respond to your technical questions.

There are way too many variables to consider when determining settings.

We are seeing too many DIYers purchasing machines over the internet yet they haven't even read the books necessary to develop even a basic understanding of energy and tissue.

Further reading:
Posted by: mam91

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 06/12/12 11:01 PM

Please I need advice.
I am of black descent with slightly curly hair and no to coarse.However i have been told blend is the appropriate modality for me.I want to use it on other parts of my body while i get my facial hair done by an electrologist.
Firstly,where can i buy a DIY kit for myself and what type do you advice i buy?
Secondly,where can i get training on how to use it?
Thirdly,any other advice for me
Posted by: stoppit&tidyup

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 06/12/12 11:17 PM

mam - I gave you a very good recommendation to get your issue sorted out. I know logistically it's a bit difficult but still easier than trying to learn it yourself and DIY. And then you would only be able to do areas where you can perform a good insertion.

There is no such thing as a 'DIY' kit. You need to walk before you run - read around the DIY forum and buy the recommended books.
Posted by: Brenton

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 06/12/12 11:23 PM

Originally Posted By: stoppit&tidyup
You need to run before you walk

That would be impressive, being able to run but not being able to walk wink
Posted by: stoppit&tidyup

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 06/12/12 11:34 PM

LOL. oops. I'll have to leave it unedited now!
Posted by: Willie Sedlar

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 12/02/12 02:34 AM

I agree that there is no do it yourself kit. I read two books and many hour on line before I purchased a professional machine. I did learn a lot on my own and with a few helpful tips from a good friend I learned to do electrolysis on my self. It is difficult to do and a slow process. I then enrolled in an electrolysis school. My two years of self learning made me I hope my instructor would say a good student. I became licensed after completing school. A school is where you get the real hands on training to become good at hair removal. It takes a lot of practice to become skilled. There are people who can learn to be effective on their own without any schooling.
Posted by: silkn-pro

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 12/03/12 04:32 PM

I had to chime in here!
First off: There are great safety features on most of these devices keep you from doing damage to yourself.

2)- It is tedious, but after 8-12 treatments, you're done FOREVER

3)- Most of the products have video manuals, and very easy to operate, usually requiring just the touch of a button

Hope that helps! I don't want you to think the DIY kits are bad, because they are approved and tested to the MAX.

Posted by: Willie Sedlar

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 12/27/12 01:30 PM

I could never find a DIY kit. I put everything together piece by piece with many hours of research.
Posted by: James W. Walker VII

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 12/30/12 02:44 PM

There is no DIY-Kit, unless you consider buying a "Silkn-Pro" unit, or some light based home unit a "DIY KIT".

If you are using electrolysis there is no DIY kit, and the machines don't come with easy video manuals. Hell, the written ones are not all that helpful.

Most people end up buying 4 books, and trying to get some in person instruction on top of that.
Posted by: beate_r

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 12/31/12 01:54 PM

Please let me emphasize this:

and trying to get some in person instruction on top of that.

I did a lot of DIY electrolysis. First of all after my professional trainings in order to practice and later on - after some months - in my face. In case of difficulties to do proper insertions leave that area alone and concentrate on what You can easily reach.
Posted by: handlemeister

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 07/25/16 06:20 PM

i bought a vector it did not work so i bought a needle unit
and had to adapt the bnc conector.the unit works at about 25v
turning it down only drops the voltage about 1/2 v but the amprage must drop a lot more .i used about 2 or3 level that is gavlanic it
takes about 20 to 40 seconds for each insertion.level 1 maybe 60 sec level 5 5-10 sec painfill adjust to
how much pain you can take .another adjustment would be how much suface is touching the skin on the wire not on the needle. the hard part is geting accurate
insertions.some hair grew back finer if i was not right on
some were unharmed if i was too far away. i did pubic hair.
good magnification is extermly important.
Posted by: FlashinBob

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/10/16 08:47 AM

I tried a few battery operated units such as the Inverness One Touch. I agree with you Andrea that it is tedious and little to no results happen. Maybe, I thinned a few out, but was not worth the time and effort I put into it. I honestly did want to enroll in Electrology some years ago, in my 20's. I was told that it was something men do not do. I do wonder if now that has changed. I feel just because we are men, we do not have to suffer with unwanted hair either, right? I personally feel we all need to be comfortable in our own bodies. If we feel hair is something that we do not want, it is our own personal decision to have the work done or do it ourselves.

I agree the best method is having it done professionally, however people such as myself have no money to put towards something so costly. Personally, I own a Flash N Go, on my 2nd 120k cartridge and about 80% done from below my eyebrows to my toes. Yes, I wish I would have had more knowledge before I started this as videos and booklets can't let someone know their own personal comfort level or needs.

Also, for those that have my level of hatred seeing hair on their bodies, epilators are not the way to go. I destroyed a few, believe me. I wasted to many years doing the wrong things and sincerely believe I am on the right track at present. I still think that I may have to save for electrolysis as I have heard Flash N Go will not get rid of everything. Least when I get to where I can't do any more, it should be more affordable, least I hope.
Posted by: Michael Bono

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/10/16 10:23 AM

FlashBob … several decades ago I decided on a career in electrology (I was a teacher at the time). I decided on Hinkel’s school in Los Angeles. Hinkel refused my entry into the school for two reasons: 1) I was a man, and 2) he didn’t want some “educated know-it-all” disrupting the class with all sorts of questions! Truthfully, when I listed my various university degrees … he didn’t believe me: “why would anybody with college degrees want to do electrology?” I’m not kidding you …

At the time, his instructor was Claire Lofgren and she took a liking to me. She told Hinkel she would “supervise me and keep me under control,” but she would quit on-the-spot if he didn’t allow me to enroll. He allowed me … and Claire told me to “watch myself and not ask too many questions.”

Hinkel and I, of course, became great friends … although I was (and still am) “disruptive.” More men should be in this field; we would have a very positive effect on the profession in so many ways (a couple women tell me that too). However, we guys are very much the “black sheep” of the profession: women first, transgender women second … and men WAY DOWN on the list, and usually seen with circumspect eyes!

I suppose people could now claim sex-discrimination in enrollment if they had a “mind to.” I wonder, can a man claim any such thing? … Or, are we “off that list” too?

Men, we don’t get no respect no more … neither, no-how!
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/10/16 11:25 AM

I dont personally subscribe to Michael's theory about women first transgender women second.I never felt I was second to anyone, ever.Most especially in my hatred of hair on myself. That hatred is a tool, it will motivate you.It will give you the grit to find the way to solve the issue.

The flash and go unfortunately isnt going to give you any permanent results. They are essentially home IPL and IPL lacks sufficient energy to have a permanent effect ont he hair root. The shame of it is for what you spent on that, you could have picked up a functional professional blend machine which would solve the problem permanently.

3-4 years ago I was in a meeting for trans folks I still go on occasion. I was describing my DIY experiences. I was heard to exclaim when asked how does one get someone else to work on you that ANYONE could be taught to do the blend, it wasnt that difficult a skill. Your spouse, friend, neibour, or with the addition of a little duct tape to the probe holder the neibours dog!

Well I've yet to teach any of my pets to do the blend, but I have my partner! To be honest he isnt motivated, but he's pretty good at electrology, even if "it isnt his thing". But teaching yourself to do it, when you ARE motivated, that I have definitely done.

So...why did I not go out and spend 10-15 thousand on electrology? Cause i couldnt have afforded it!

Last month I completed my course and ama at this time a Certified Electrologist. I've also supported other DIY'ers along this path. It IS a skill you can learn. IPL isnt going to work though.Pick up a copy of Hinkel's text, or even Michaels the blend method, an old machine, and GO FOR IT. Dont let anyone tell you you cant do it, because with the right amount of grit, and determination and motivation, you can do this, and very very well.Just do it!


Posted by: Michael Bono

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/10/16 11:48 AM

Actually, some of the BEST electrologists have been "self-taught." It's all about having an open mind ... thinking through all the issues (being smart doesn't hurt) ... experimenting, being fearless and able to judge your own results. (Good vision and dexterity a big plus, of course.)

Schools are also terrific ... that is, if they don't indoctrinate you with dogmatic nonsense. And, lots of times they do: about modality, technique ... etc. Strangely, the indoctrination is often associated with the MACHINE they sell (at a profit). Imagine that?

DIYers ... I have found ... retain an open mind. And, that's always a good thing ... a very good thing!
Posted by: FlashinBob

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/10/16 05:05 PM

I have tried so many things minus that blend machine lluv2zap is talking about. You bet would love to know the name of that so I can put an end to whatever will be left after this Flash N Go. If I thought it was a waste of money, I would have never purchased the 2nd cartridge. I am not lying when I say my face and body are 80% done, still I want 100%. I was using epilators since the Braun Silk-Epil first came out. Sure, it did a great job, but I was at it every single day. If I saw one hair anywhere, I did my entire body.

What was the last straw with the epilators is the fact I was spending an hour or two every single day to remove all my body hair and was absolutely useless for my face and neck. I bought this Emjoi Emagine with the dual opposed rotating tweezers and had nothing but problems with it. I thought my Silk-Epil 7 was shot so I bought that one. All I had to do was just clean the 7 real good and still works great, but I do not want to do that anymore as too many strays get left behind and on my chest was absolutely awful looking. The Flash N Go has made that area look real nice again and I had zero problem going shirtless this year!

So, yes you can bet I do sing some praises on the Flash N Go, since not only has it knocked out 80% of my face and body hair, it has also made some rough skin areas look much better. See, my body hair was always very itchy, therefore a single mosquito bite could have me stratching severely for days on end, creating sores. So, when I thought about the laser deal and how many skin corrections are done with it, I figured the added benefit of trying to permanently destroy the hair would also fix some of these unsightly sore scars. I was correct, so yes I do love the results since have been killing two birds with one Flash N Go machine!

Still, I am seeing a problem from my elbows to halfway to my wrists where fine hairs just keep coming back. I have light hairs left on and under my chin, neck. Sideburns some darks left, very few darks left for mustache. I will bet will be light ones left in many areas and I want them gone. If I was able to afford going to school, you bet I would go in for Electrology! I think it is awesome. The idea of helping someone rid themselves of hairs that bother them would be the greatest thing in the world.

See, when I was younger in my 20's I saw an ad with Carol Block that would train people to become Electrolysists. I promptly made the call and was told men do not do that profession. Of course that is back in the 80's and I know times have changed. In fact, I get less people staring at this choice of mine to be hairless and just accepting me for who I am. Is also awesome others out there have the same concerns and hatred for facial and body hair. I am not alone anymore!!! I used to feel embarrassed about all this, but no more. Why should I be, right?

The main fact now is how much more comfortable I am in clothes these days. The fact I hardly itch anymore and scratch myself to bleeding and sores is completely awesome. If I would have had the money I would have scheduled myself for electrolysis back in my 20's and been done for years. I know it works cause I have seen many women has been done for and wow does it look great.

I absolutely love the looks on my own body these days. My arms and legs are still manly, just a lot lot less hair. So great society is coming to an acceptance of all this and not looking down on us straight guys that hate facial and body hair. I have welcomed that change for a very long time.
Posted by: FlashinBob

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/15/16 08:56 AM

lluv2zap, still hoping you will give me the name of that machine so I can check into it. I also want to make it perfectly clear that the results I have gotten with this Flash N Go are mine only. My facial and body hair was never as thick as most men's hair is. Even when I tried to get mustache and beard to meet was lacking. Heaviest hair on my body was lower stomach and pelvic area. My brother has about the same amount but has never had the skin irritation I have.

I honestly can't see everyone getting results from Flash N Go when you look at most people having coarse hair unlike my lighter weaker hair. Still, if you do not want facial and body hair, you have to be very dedicated to be done with it, no matter what method you are using. I finally became very dedicated this past year. I got tired of the temporary solution of epilating as it was way too time consuming and disappointing. Seemed for every hair I removed was 2 or more I did not get.

Sure, I do have many hours into this current method, but least something has come out of it. Still, once again I will re-iterate my hair type is lighter and in the past I tried other methods. I will never state what I am doing now is the only way to go as in reality, believe me I would go to a professional if I had the money. Still, there are people as me of lower income that would love to be done with facial and body hair. I want to tell you to "Please don't give up!" Technology is improving and I am confident one day there will be a guaranteed at Home Method for permanent hair removal.

At present we have some at home units that mostly only claim reduction in visible hairs. Since most of these are under $300 they have come quite appealing to those of us with lower incomes. One unit claims permanent, but cost is near $500, called the Tria4x. The unappealing aspect is the low coverage area that unit can do, and the uncertainty how long unit will last, which leads most of us to similar units like I purchased in hopes we can finish quicker. Whether is true or not is debatable. I can only state I have been extremely lucky, persistent, and dedicated to get as far as I have.

I did a lot of searching on the Internet and found a great deal of positives and negatives for all methods of permanent hair removal/reduction whether was at home or through a professionally qualified technician. I also never saw any professional units less than 5 grand. Those listed less were on the list of units that Hairtell has listed as garbage/non-effective. Of course I am not a professional myself, so I am sure a more dedicated professional such as lluv2zap would have the better way and ideas to get this misery out of my life and others. I personally thank all you dedicated professionals that make it your life and pride to rid us all of the aggravation of facial and body hair.
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/15/16 10:10 AM

A blend machine is just one capable of performing blend electrolysis. It's not one specific machine its mady different modeels made by different electrolysis supply manufacturers.
Posted by: FlashinBob

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/15/16 05:52 PM

Originally you stated a blend machine would cost less than the money I spent for my Flash N Go plus the 2/120k cartridges. Now that total cost was $380. I am under the impression from searching endlessly a few years ago, that just a simple attachment for a professional electrolysis machine would cost more than that. Am I wrong? I have also seen quite a few places that list these machines unavailable to those without a license, minus the questionable machines on Ebay.

Personally, I am hoping I am wrong since I lack the education on all this. You are a professional, I am not. I am hoping you can steer me in the right direction like towards the equipment that may be affordable to me or those that may browse this forum, if is legal. This venture for me has been tough and you better believe if there is a better/affordable way, I want to see it happen for everyone else too.

Since I had all these scars and marks from epilators, I figured I had nothing to loose in how I worked with this Flash N Go. I don't recommend the same methodology for someone else as can leave permanent scars and burns. Also, way too many factors that would change the outcome for someone else. I am also not a person that once I finish all this, that will say "I am done, forget everyone else, I am all that matters!" No, I see this as a major issue for people, especially some guys out there that may have this same skin irritation as I do.

Also, I would like to know how to be a good patient and get success, should I finally save enough money up for professional electrolysis. I totally respect the profession and as stated I was seriously interested when I was younger. At 53, I am unsure if my coordination would suffice. I feel great, move pretty good but have to admit 30 years have passed since my first interest in that position. Thanks in advance for all your help and advice.
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/15/16 07:32 PM

I see professional electrolysis machines for sale used, all the time, in the 200-400 dollar range that are capable of performing blend. They wont be the latest computerized unit, but are ust perfect for a DIYer to learn with.

Around here they tend to be alot of old silouette tones or fischers and sometimes the odd apilus for $400 . Manually controlled units come up frequently and are perfect to learn how to test tolerance from textbook instructions.

I've been there, run the gambit on devices and creams and epilators, and the last resort, home IPL units. NONE of them have any permanent effect. Complete waste of time and money. The only way you will ever see results is with electrolysis. Been there, Done That.

I may be a professional now, with a course that says I know how to do electrology, but I started as a DIYer with NO MONEY for treatments. Just a theory that it couldnt possibly be that difficult to put a probe into a follicle and kill a hair. Which turned out to be correct. It's a skill that can be learned. If you are going to waste your time on DIY methods, choose the only one that has been proven to be effective and permanent. That is, electrolysis.

Posted by: FlashinBob

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/16/16 08:44 AM

I am copying that down and going to be doing the search tomorrow as have to go to work in a bit. I don't think this Flash N Go was a total waste as it did teach me my true passion about getting this hair totally gone for good! You mentioned you also did this bit with the home IPL and wondering if hair just came right back in so many months after you thought you were done?

I have that fear to the max, will say! Have read about people getting professional laser treatment done and right back where they started in 6months. That is why I am going to go to electrolysis as this is exactly what I want is to be free and clear. Yes I am more of a DIYer person since there is always so many things to do even when not working. The time I do have to do flashing will be better spent putting an end to all of this once and for all.

Now, I did try about 3 small home electrolysis units, 2 One Touch's and some pen type. I saw small results but did have a hard time getting that tiny filament into the hair pore/root. Are these professional units more robust and stronger than those cheap at home units? I did that years back in my early 20's. Pain level I am sure with how many times I got burned with this Flash N Go, would not be too much to take. Also since it would be permanent is also more tolerable. The idea it will keep coming back whether is same or weaker is still not at all appealing to me, that is why am going to move forward to electrolysis.

Is great to have people here to help me as yourself. I still honestly do not feel real comfortable asking someone on the street what to do! Us guys are pretty much taught this is how we are supposed to look, grin and bear it. Only reason a guy would go for permanent hair removal is if they are looking to get a sex change and become a woman. Well, is not the case for me. I also do not harbor any ill will to anyone that decides it. I just have almost zero attraction to any man, so would be wrong for me to do that. I also live with a woman I am very content with.

I am happy to see is becoming much more acceptable for men as myself to go this way. Knowing the itching and scratching and future sores will not happen anymore is the greatest thing anyone as myself can ask for! I also hope others as myself will accept the same instead of being haunted by guilty pangs of doing it as myself. So, yes the moment I purchased that Flash N Go, I made that decision and will soon continue on with Electrolysis and completion. This temporary solution has totally convinced me how great it feels. My attitude has also changed for the better and have been a more content person since I feel more comfortable when the hair is gone. I will bet is the same for you too?
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/17/16 09:30 AM

Well, I was going through a sex change when I finally removed the hair with electrolysis. That aside, the motivation to want to remove hair has little to do with gender.Being more content with yourself is enough reason. I've lots of men who are clients because they dont like the hair on their shoulders or the texture of it . I've even had men seek removal because they didnt want the hair to cover up a tattoo they were particularly fond of. Dont tell me men dont get hair removal because they certainly do!

I've plenty of clients that have undergone IPL and they all seem to grow most of it back within a few months, though some of the hair seems to be thinner for a while. The problem with IPL is it lacks sufficient energy to rech and disable the hair root. So it's not sometimes it grows back, it always grows back.

The professional units are built significantly differently from the one touch junk. galvanic by itself is pretty slow unless you are doing multineedle, and can be quite painful because of the period of time the current is on for. Blend has a comfort advantage in that the thermolysis pulse both cauterize the nerves so the galvanic sensation is not felt as well as heating the lye produced so that less of it is needed ( meaning a lower duration /discomfort from current) . Accuracy is much improved with the correct probes and probeholders.
Posted by: FlashinBob

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 08/18/16 08:49 AM

Really appreciate all your help and have seen a unit online for about $400. Will have to save for it. My generation as I am 53, was not really accepting of men not being totally hair brutes and follow the masculine hygiene practices most men usually do. Sorry, I just do not fall into that category. Even if I did not have the skin irritation I have, I would still not want the hair. It just looks ugly on skin. On the head and eyebrows fine, just not anywhere else.

Mostly, I would say men of my generation are less accepting, but I still did encounter some flack from a woman my age when I was going to buy some women's razors. I have never worn men's cologne or used men's soaps and deodorants either. I can't stand the smell. Too poignant and makes my nose run. People are more accepting of that fact, but the hairless part is even a touchy subject with my woman.

I tried to hide the fact I had that Flash N Go. Of course through the bathroom door she saw the flashes and told me she thought I was taking selfies of myself. I told her what it was but discussion just halted right there. She really does not want to know things like this. Sure, when we were dating she knew I used an epilator, but once again just accepted it, but wanted to know zero details about it. I even got her one, which she used for maybe a week and then just gave up on it, said it bothered her too much. I gave her zero hassle on that as is her preference to be a little hairier. Sure, she shaves her legs and underarms but arms are actually hairier than I ever was, but I accept it as I love her very much!

I am going to be a little worried what will happen when I get this electrolysis machine as I can tell will never just fit easily into a drawer. Also have zero clue what the noise level will be of it? I honestly did had high hopes of this flash stuff working, but I know when it comes to my face will never get even close to everything and I have zero proof the 80% done everywhere else will hold for the rest of my life. I have just heard way too much about hair returning. I want zero returns and just be able to enjoy my life without it. I will bet you enjoy it deeply never having to worry about pesky hairs bothering you!
Posted by: hairy Harry

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 06/13/18 06:58 PM

Don't knock the DIY One Touch unit, it worked for me.... You can use the unit daily and not have to pay $$€€ on professional treatments, once you get the hang of it and if it's a easy area to acces you can clear the area with the One Touch.
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 06/13/18 09:08 PM

It's hard not to kmock them harry, they are about the worst implementation of a galvanic electrolysis machine conceivable. The current from a 9v battery is put through a cheaply made vaiable resistor with thin wires that are susceptable to the same water and salt rich environment in which they work.Basically the electrical starts to degrade from its first use.The non sterility of the probees themselves is a serious source of contamination of the hair follicle sure to result in infection . It's long been said that you are better off making your own galvanic circuit from scratch, that trying to modify a one touch to be useful.
Posted by: hairy Harry

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 06/15/18 04:52 PM

I've had great results with the OT, Seana, I don't understand the difference terminology, Galvanic and the other technical terms for the hair growth stages, nor for the electrolysis the machines that are being used... If I was to upgrade from a OT it would cost hundreds of €.. . I do use Surgical Spirits to clean the probes during and after use, I squeeze as much life as I can out of the probes.. HA!
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: Caution: DIY electrolysis is risky & hard - 06/16/18 01:18 PM

galvanic refers to the type of current ( Direct Current) and has nothing at all to do with hair stages.
Wiping with spirits does dlittle to prevent contamination. Otherwise electrologists everywhere would do that rather than buy expensive autoclaves and dry heat sterilizers.