Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects 12-21% of women of reproductive age and the figures are even higher for indigenous women. It’s not known what causes PCOS and there is no cure for it, but its symptoms can be alleviated and here, PEACH CLINICS can help.
Both men and women are born with approximately the same number of hair follicles. At puberty, girls will continue to grow vellus hair (soft light peach fuzz) on their bodies while, in boys, testosterone will trigger these hairs to turn thick and dark and accelerate their growth as terminal hair.
An excess of androgen in the female body can lead to a hormone imbalance. With PCOS, excess androgen in a woman triggers the same hair growth process as occurs in teenage boys. Once these hairs turn terminal, they cannot return to their vellus state.
What is PCOS hair?
Young women will often learn they could have PCOS when they present to their doctor with irregular menstrual cycles or with fertility problems. In older women, metabolic features of the disease begin to dominate. These women will present with obesity problems, excessive body hair or loss of scalp hair.
In Australia, 70% of PCOS cases
go undiagnosed and untreated
PCOS women can experience male pattern hair growth leading to facial hair, chest hair and dark hair on their arms and legs. The only solution to deal with this unwanted hair is permanent hair removal. PEACH CLINICS has particular expertise and experience in dealing with excessive hair growth, such as that caused by PCOS.
Permanently Removing PCOS Hair
PEACH CLINICS is dedicated to helping women with PCOS achieve bare, hair-free skin by offering the most effective method of permanent hair removal available: multi-probe galvanic electrolysis. Electrolysis works on every hair colour and every skin colour. It is kind to skin and is the safest, most effective hair removal method available. Using galvanic electrolysis, PEACH CLINICS has a proven track record of consistent and permanent results in alleviating one of the most disheartening symptoms of PCOS sufferers, unwanted hair.
Galvanic electrolysis has been in use since 1875. It is the only hair removal method the US Food and Drug Administration recognises as permanent. No other method can make that claim.
In a world where hair removal and hair styling are such big industries, we tend to forget just how little hair we have compared to chimps and other primates. There are many advantages to a fur covered body – just ask your pets! So how did we humans lose our fur?
Actually, humans are not as naked as we think. We have as many hair follicles as chimpanzees, but our follicles do not grow thick fur. They mostly grow vellus or peach-fuzz hair. However, all the follicles on our bodies are capable of growing hair as thick and dark as our luscious manes under the right hormonal conditions. It’s when something causes these conditions to occur that we appear to start growing hair in the wrong places.
There have been a dozen or more theories as to why humans lost their fur, but scientists are now beginning to unpick the mystery at a genetic level as seen in a recent study published in Cell Reports. Scientists have been at a loss to explain why we are not simply covered in fur and why humans have very specific male and female hair patterns. Here are just four of the most popular current theories as to why humans lost their fur:
Losing fur to become aquatic apes
Our ancestors had to adopt a semi-aquatic lifestyle to forage for food in lakes and rivers during the dry season. Wading in water with a fur-covered body may have restricted the ability to hunt, so a hair-free body may have had an evolutionary advantage.
Less bite to bug you by losing fur
Loss of fur reduced the rate of infection by lice and parasites leaving a smooth body as a display of good health. Sexual selection for a smooth, hairless hide in a mate would soon promote this feature.
Skin deep communication
The secret of our hairless bodies may be in our eyes. We pick up non-verbal communication about mood, health and emotion from subtle skin colour changes. This theory is less far-fetched than you might think. Unlike other primates (except the ones that have bare faces and bare bottoms like us) our eyes have an extra set of cones to let us detect subtle colour changes just in skin. Read more about this theory in Biology Letters.
Too Hot for Overcoats
In this theory we lost our fur to allow us to move out of the shady forests and into the grasslands. An absence of fur allowed us to run further without overheating in the heat of the day and allowed an increased number of sweat glands to produce sweat that is rapidly evaporated off our bodies to keep us cool. A boring theory, but one that’s hard to contradict.
It’s unlikely that genetic research will help us directly figure out whether humans are swimming apes, sweaty monkeys or blushing primates. Yet combining the study’s molecular evidence of how hair grows with physical traits found in humans will get us closer to the truth.
Finally, if you do grow hair in the wrong places, galvanic electrolysis is the only permanent way to get rid of it. Book a consultation at PEACH CLINICS on (02) 8877-0000 or from the Book Online button on our website. Consultations are free, confidential and discreet.
At PEACH CLINICS we frequently see ingrown and damaged hair caused by desperate measures our clients have used to keep unwanted hair at bay.
What is ingrown hair?A healthy hair grows straight out from the follicle, however, the hair can bend and begin to grow downward if anything such as oil, dead skin cells or even a scar blocks part of the follicle. Eventually, the hair will become completely trapped underneath the skin. Follicle excretions, which normally come out on the surface of the skin, become trapped and form a cyst around the ingrown hair. Depending on the rate of growth of the affected hair, the cyst can range from a small lump in the skin to a quite a large growth while pain from the ingrown hair can range from mildly annoying to very painful.
What does ingrown hair look and feel like?Hair cysts that form near the surface of the skin can form a white or yellow head. Cysts forming deeper under the skin can present as a swollen red area. They can easily become infected and itchy.
What causes ingrown hair?Ingrown hairs commonly occur where hair is closely shaved, waxed, or frequently plucked. These actions give the hair shaft greater opportunity to become distorted as it attempts to grow. This occurs especially if the hair encounters debris left in the follicle by these methods of hair removal. These hairs are also more common in people with coarse or curly hair.
How is it treated?The best treatment for ingrown hair is to permanently remove it. To release the hair and drain the cyst, the top of the cyst needs to be cut open, not squeezed, in order to allow the hair to uncurl and come to the surface. An antiseptic is applied on the area to prevent infection and to encourage the cyst to drain. All this needs to be done with care to avoid the potential for scarring, hyperpigmentation and keloids.
Using galvanic electrolysis, PEACH CLINICS can then permanently remove these hairs and ensure the problem never returns. So, don’t put up with ingrown hair. Come in and see us for a discreet and confidential discussion about these annoying hairs. Call us on (02) 8877 0000 or book on this website.
When clients come into PEACH CLINICS, they often say, “You’ll never guess where I have hair growing”. Well, in all honesty, there’s almost nowhere that would surprise us. However, one of the least talked about areas where hair often grows, is around the nipple – actually around the ‘areola’ to be precise. This is commonly known as nipple hair.
Not many women will share the fact that they have nipple hair. It’s rarely something you will read about in the mainstream media.
However, hairs random or otherwise around the areola and on the breast itself are more common than you might think. Just like other skin surfaces on the body, the breast contains hair follicles. So, hair on the nipple or breast is completely natural.
Nipple hair can vary in size and texture. From small, downy hairs too long, wiry hairs. Interestingly, the hair may be completely different in nature and colour from any other body hair you have.
Like most of our body hair, hair on the nipple is most likely a leftover from a time when it was most useful to have hair on our bodies to keep warm. Hair once used to helped regulate body temperature. So, don’t feel embarrassed. It’s all a part of our genetics and our ancestry.
Why do we have nipple-hair?
Excessive hair growth anywhere on your body can be due to hormonal changes. Such as pregnancy, puberty or menopause. Women often report that they first notice ‘nipple-hair’ when they start taking oral contraceptives.
What causes nipple-hair growth?
Other medication, such as glucocorticosteroids or immunosuppressants, can also cause excessive hair growth in unwanted places on your body. Other causes of excessive nipple-hair growth can include Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Nipple hair growth can be a sign of PCOS. This is where your body has elevated levels of testosterone. This can cause excessive hair growth in areas usually associated with male hair growth patterns (chin, breasts, stomach, thighs). PCOS is a very common condition, affecting almost 1 in 10 women across the world. Ask your doctor for a blood test if you think this affects you.
If hair on your nipples bothers you, think very carefully about which hair removal method you are about to choose.
How do you get rid of nipple hair?
So, what about hair removal creams? The skin around the nipple and on your breast is very sensitive so application of chemicals here can be very painful and lead to irritation. Waxing? You can say the same for waxing as for hair creams: both methods need application time after time.
Shaving around the nipple, especially if you are breastfeeding, can lead to open cuts susceptible to infection. Plucking hairs here can also cause irritated hair follicles which can be very uncomfortable.
Laser hair removal can cause hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation (skin discolouration) on delicate breast tissue. It’s mode of operation requires a relatively large area to be exposed to the light source compared to the individual hairs treated by PEACH CLINICS.
Let’s face it. Any hair removal on the breast is going to be painful. Consider if you want to do it once or every month for the rest of your life…
How can you permanently get rid of nipple-hair?
Galvanic electrolysis is the only truly permanent method to get rid of nipple hair. Here at PEACH CLINICS we have a lot of experience in breast hair removal and our clients are very impressed with the results we achieve.
So, don’t be embarrassed, simply come in and see us at PEACH CLINICS. Call (02) 8877 0000 for a discreet and confidential discussion about these annoying hairs.
At Peach Clinics, we love redheads! There is, of course, our lovely Georgia Peach and a few others in our own lives who are redheads (yes, Liz, Sam and Ethan!)
If you’re red you’re rare! Red hair is seen on little more than one in every hundred people worldwide so we set out to find out why redheads are special.
- On average, adults have 120,000 hairs on their head, but redheads have fewer, blondes have more and brunettes have the most. So why does red hair look so luxurious? It’s because red hair is thicker than any other.
- Redheads can age gracefully: their hair becomes sandy-coloured and then goes white. No grey hairs for them!
- Red hair has been around a long time and not just in northern Europe. Even centuries ago there were redheads in Asia (think Genghis Khan) and even in Africa.
- The highest percentage of red hair in the world is found in Scotland (13%), followed closely by Ireland (10%). In the USA, about 2% of the population have red hair but, in the rest of the world, little more than 1% are red-haired.
- Redheads punch above their weight – there are many famous redheads: van Gogh, Nicole Kidman, Rose Leslie, Shaun White, Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale, Mark Twain, Henry VIII, Prince Harry…the list goes on.
- There are actually two kinds of redheads according Mary Spillane, managing director of British image consultants Colour Me Beautiful. There is the “autumn type with hazel eyes” and the “Celtic type with translucent skin and light eyes”.
- In Denmark, to have a red-haired baby is an honour.
- In Poland, people see redheads as a “good luck charm”: if you see three of them at once, you should win the lottery!
- Every September, the Netherlands celebrates redheads with a special festival called the Roodharigendag.
- What causes red hair? It is a recessive gene, the MC1R mutation. Red hair requires two copies of the gene, so it has come from both sides of the family.
- Redheads are more likely to burn in the sun and have a higher risk of skin cancer.
- On the other hand, redheads are more efficient at making Vitamin D. They have low levels of eumelanin in their bodies and compensate for this by creating their Vitamin D when in low-light conditions.
- Studies show red-haired men are 54% less likely to develop prostate cancer.
- Redheads get colder faster, bruise more easily and feel more pain. Why? Because the MC1R mutation causes an excess release of pheomelanin, which interrupts the brain’s ability to regulate pain. It also means that it takes more anaesthesia to sedate a redhead. In a recent article, Jenna Pincott reports on studies that have shown that the MC1R mutation directly affects hormones that stimulate pain receptors in the brain. In a 2011 study researchers found that red-haired subjects needed about 20% more anaesthetic to relieve pain when compared with other subjects.
Redheads’ sensitive skin and translucent hair make them unsuitable candidates for laser hair removal. Galvanic electrolysis will work where laser and IPL can’t. Talk to PEACH CLINICS about how we can help you or your red-haired friends.
We live in an age where there is huge pressure for instant results more than long-term investment. Humans have hardwiring to make us want things – now! We call it instant gratification, and it’s a powerful force. The cost of electrolysis in the long-term is the most effective hair removal method available today as the graph above demonstrates.
Unfortunately, many people look to hair removal methods which can deliver immediate and cheap results, but the downside to these methods is that they don’t permanently remove hair. The best they can do is to reduce the rate of hair growth. You need to repeat them, year, after year, after year…
How much is your time worth?
With electrolysis, the initial upfront investment may be greater, but it pays off as your unwanted hair is gone, forever. Looking at the graph above, you can see how amazingly cost-effective electrolysis is over time. It is lower than the cost of waxing over just four years and lower than laser over thirteen years. Considering the time you’ll save NOT visiting with your beauty therapist or your laser technician and your savings are even greater.
Take a look at the comparison charts below for more specific areas of treatment:
This is the story of Dominique whose life changed when she discovered how effective electrolysis is at removing facial hair. This is a true story. I met Dominique in New York in 2017 and I can tell you her skin looks great! This article was written by Hilary Sheinbaum and first published on popsugar.com.au
Dominique Holder of Brooklyn, NY, tells POPSUGAR about her electrolysis experience.
Before electrolysis, I was self-conscience, antisocial, depressed, and hated my facial hair that I was plagued with. I feared that my facial hair was obvious and everyone could see it, despite my efforts to conceal it. I would get my chin and neck waxed or threaded weekly and pluck any hairs that showed up in between. After my threading and waxing appointments, I would go straight home because those areas would be red and irritated, and I didn’t want anyone to see.
Flash forward 18 months: the only hair removal method deemed “permanent” by the FDA has changed my appearance, my demeanour, and even my career.
My Struggle With Facial Hair
Very few people knew about my daily struggle with facial hair. It was my biggest, darkest secret. There were mornings that I would look in the mirror at my face and start crying because I was so unhappy with my skin’s appearance. On top of the facial hair, I had caused other problems: ingrown hairs and acne that stemmed from hairs not being removed properly. Additionally, I had severe hyperpigmentation on my neck and chin from picking at the skin to remove the painful ingrown hairs.
“Examining my face for hair became part of my daily routine. I carried a set of tweezers in all of my purses, just in case.”
Some days I felt so awful that I would call out of work and stay home in bed all day. Other days, I would relentlessly dig into my flesh to remove the ingrown hairs that were bothering me. In turn, this left the areas red, bleeding, agitated, and extremely tender. I would cancel whatever plans I had until my skin cleared up. My social life was nearly non-existent. I wouldn’t go out spontaneously when friends or co-workers would ask.
The hair on my face controlled my life and kept me from enjoying it. I didn’t like to have conversations in close proximity to other people because I feared they would notice my hair growth and pass judgment. Examining my face for hair became part of my daily routine. I carried a set of tweezers in all of my purses, just in case.
I would pluck, wax, and thread my lip, chin, and neck weekly. Every time I went to the bathroom, I would check to see if there were any visible hairs. Before I went anywhere, I would check my face thoroughly. I was tired emotionally from dealing with my unwanted facial hair. It was taking up too much time and money to deal with every week or couple of days. At that time, I was in a relationship with someone, and he was very supportive, but I still thought that it was the worst thing ever.
My Electrolysis Journey
I first started receiving electrolysis in midtown Manhattan with Emily Limoges at Limoges Beauty in June of 2016 when I was 28 years old.
I had heard about the process after expressing to a colleague who was receiving treatment my struggle with facial hair and my search for a permanent solution. Having heard so many horror stories about laser hair removal and the mixed effects on darker skin types, I didn’t want to risk damaging my skin more than it already was and possibly stimulating more growth. After talking to her and doing a bit of research, I was willing to try it.
My first electrolysis consultation was very emotional and I was scared that the treatment just wasn’t going to work. I was also a little anxious about what to expect when I learned that the treatment uses a tiny needle, inserted into the hair follicle. I was told that plucking hairs had just made it worse. What were once a few hairs were now hundreds. Several areas of my face were severely damaged and hyper-pigmented from picking at ingrown hairs.
My journey took patience, time, and reinforcement. My hair growth was most prominent on my chin and neck, so those were my main areas of focus. When the hair growth decreased in those areas, I started to work on my upper lip and sideburns. I felt uncomfortable for the first couple of months during my treatments. It was difficult to see the difference because my hair was so hormonal and tough. Emily kept reassuring me my hair was getting a little thinner and a little less dense each time.
It is kind of like watching paint dry, or watching grass grow. You don’t see the change right away. In theory, you know the change is happening. In my particular case, it was a slow process because of my hair type. We live in a world of immediacy, and electrolysis is not an instantaneous process for most people.
My Life Now
Over the course of 18 months, I invested approximately 40 to 50 hours in electrolysis. For the first two months of treatment, I would go once a week for one to one-and-a-half hours, then every 10 to 12 days for 30 to 45 minutes.
“I don’t try to angle my face anymore like I used to, to disguise the hair and I don’t look in the mirror and cry anymore about how I look.”
My social schedule is no longer something I shape by planning around my facial hair and I am confident when I talk to people I just meet, or even just walking down the street. I don’t try to angle my face anymore like I used to, to disguise the hair. No longer am I looking in the mirror and crying about how I look. I feel emotionally lighter and happier in my everyday life. My family has told me I seem to have this glow about me now. The embarrassment I used to feel meant I had to wear so much makeup, but now I can show off my skin to the world.
I decided to change careers after seeing that the treatment really worked. I went to school to become certified and graduated at the top of my class. There I learned about the different types of electrolysis treatments, which method is best to use in what circumstances, and how to properly insert the probe and determine the pitch and depth. I studied skin and hair follicles and factors that contribute to hair growth in detail. I am also currently studying to become a licensed esthetician.
I’m happy to be helping others gain confidence and achieve the looks that they want. It means so much to me, especially since I come from a long hair journey. I’m extremely passionate about what I do and take pride in my work.
Today, I see myself as a beautiful woman who is more emotionally and physically confident. My outlook on life has become more positive. Being able to conquer my facial hair has taught me that difficult challenges in life can be very fulfilling and internally rewarding. The journey was long, with lots of emotions along the way. I feel I came out on the other side stronger mentally, hair-free, and more prepared for other challenges that life might have in store for me.
Well, you thought electrolysis was old, but we use something much older every day.
PEACH CLINICS uses alcohol-free witch hazel to help soothe and cleanse skin before and after electrolysis. Witch hazel is one of the oldest and most effective beauty products still in use. Native Americans used extracts of witch hazel extensively for medicinal purposes. The Potawatomi used it in their sweat lodges to soothe sore bodies. The Osage wrapped sores with witch hazel bark and the Iroquois made a medicinal tea from it.
A brief history
It has, as John-Manuel Androte writes, been “pressed, boiled, and steamed into the service of human health for centuries”. He also claims that it is “One of the few products that has both FDA-approval and endorsement by real witches”. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved witch hazel distillate as safe for external use. This is a rarity among herbal treatments. And apparently modern day witches believe it to be a magical herb, capable of keeping away evil and mending broken hearts!
The early Puritan settlers adopted this remedy from the Native Americans and its use became widely established in the United States. A missionary, Dr. Charles Hawes learned of the preparation’s therapeutic properties and determined that the product of distillation (through steam) of the plant’s twigs was even more effective. “Hawes Extract” was first produced and sold in Essex Connecticut in 1846. Commercial production of witch hazel extract was started by Thomas Newton Dickinson, Senior. The company bearing his name is still in existence today.
The word “witch” in the name of the herb is actually a derivative from the Anglo-Saxon word “wych” meaning flexible. The word described the flexibility of the branches that Native Americans used to make bows.
Witch hazel contains active compounds such as flavonoids, tannins and volatile oil that give it astringent action to stop bleeding. It also reduces the pain and itching of haemorrhoids. Its astringent and soothing qualities mean that it also used as a base in many commercial beauty products, such as make-up removers. Witch hazel is frequently found beneficial for soothing puffy eyes, as it acts to constrict the skin’s tissues and blood vessels and restores the skin’s pH balance. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities making it gentle enough to use on irritated skin such as rosacea outbreaks.
Many witch hazel products available are alcohol-based. We add a note of caution: alcohol-based witch hazel can dry out your skin or cause irritation. At PEACH CLINICS, we only use 100% natural, alcohol-free witch hazel extract from Leonardi Laboratories and are proud to offer it for purchase as an aftercare product.
From magnifying mirrors to HD cameras and the selfie culture, peach fuzz can become a source of anxiety. Here’s how to remove it if you want to and a case for leaving yours be.
Peach fuzz: it sounds cute and friendly, but can be a pain in the butt if you’ve got a lot of it, particularly on your face. The better cameras get and the more Insta obsessed we become, the more we perceive fine, downy hair on the face as noticeable and troublesome. But, just to preface this article with a self-acceptance pep talk, we’ve all got it! So, unless you’re zooming in during selfie mode in full sunlight, we promise we can’t see it. For some, it is admittedly a legitimate problem and confidence sucker. But, if you’ve never thought about it before, or are suddenly gripped with peach fuzz paranoia, please don’t leap to drastic measures to mow it off your lovely visage. If it’s a beauty issue for you, here are a few peach fuzz facts, along with some “dos” and “don’ts”.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines it like this:
What is peach fuzz?
- “The down on the chin of an adolescent boy whose beard has not yet developed.”
- “Some people are just hairier than others- no different from the hair on our head or our eyebrows. We all have different amounts and thicknesses of facial and body hair. Women are simply not hairless! We all have hair in places we wish we didn’t, it’s just that it may vary in amount and thickness.”
- “Sometimes the best ‘treatment’ is to simply accept what we have and try not to feel in any way ashamed. It’s vital to remember that many pictures online and on the pages of glossy magazine are not real. Clients always think they are the only one with the problem. But, when I tell them that I perform electrolysis all day long it reassures them. My advice to young girls in particular is to leave hair alone if possible. You could regret harsh or extreme treatments years down the line. If they do want to pursue a treatment, then I urge them to look for a reputable clinic.”
We’re going in with the big guns here, but this treatment has stood the test of time in the sense that everyone from Cleopatra to Marilyn Monroe to Elizabeth Taylor has partaken in a version of dermaplaning to achieve a polished complexion. In short, they shaved their faces, and while that’s most definitely a ‘thing’ on the Internet, we’d advise professional dermaplaning over taking your Venus to your face any day (on NO day use your body razor to shave your face…bacteria and…just no).
Dermaplaning is not actually a hair-removal treatment, but rather a dermatological one that has the side-effect of ridding your skin of peach fuzz for quite some time. Cosmetic doctor Dr Rabia Malik explains what you’re in for:
- “Dermaplaning is an effective method of exfoliation. Using a scalpel blade, dead skin cells are removed from the epidermis (top layer of the skin). Along with exfoliating, dermaplaning also helps remove the unwanted vellus hairs from the face.”
- “Usually, you can see a difference after the first treatment. Not only will you achieve smoother, brighter skin but you’ll be free of peach fuzz and despite popular belief, the hair will not grow back thicker.”
All-over facial threading is offered by professional brow bars up and down the land and an expert threading specialist can nix peach fuzz in no time. Prepare for a lot of eye watering. A little redness and irritation can occur post-treatment, and it can take up to three days for this to subside. Avoid harsh treatments, retinol and exfoliating acids both beforehand and during recovery time, and avoid heavy and perfumed creams, as these could provoke flare-ups and breakouts. As peach fuzz eliminators go, this is also one with heritage- both women and men have been threading their faces for centuries.
The sensitive facial variety is best, but even these can cause irritation and burns if not used correctly. Stick strictly to the development time on the packet and patch test before you go all in.
Hair removal creams
If your peach fuzz is on the thicker side, this approach will work for you and it’s the only method of permanent hair removal for this type of hair currently available. Electrolysis expert Rachel gives us the lowdown:
Electrolysis for peach fuzz
- “Electrolysis uses a very fine needle that the therapist inserts into the opening in the skin that the hair grows from (the follicle). Note that electrolysis is only as good as the therapist performing it. It’s a very skilled treatment and will only achieve permanent results when performed correctly.”
This can work well, but your skin may pay. It’s an aggressive hair removal solution for your full face and definitely not recommended for sensitive, acne or rosacea prone skin. It’s vital to go gentle on the aftercare too: aloe vera all the way, ditch the acids, avoid sun exposure and ramp up the SPF. Ripping, tugging and ingrown hairs could all be part and parcel of a full facial wax. You have to be really peeved with your peach fuzz to go here.
While bleach won’t zap hairs, if your peach fuzz is on the darker side this will lighten it so that it’s less noticeable, although it won’t escape the glare of sunlight or zoomed camera lenses. Then again, no one wants to live their life under a lens. In reality it’s probably far less noticeable than you think.
As popularised by the likes of beauty blogger Huda Kattan, shaving your face at home isn’t something we’d recommend, and here’s why: It might have worked for Huda, Monroe and other blogging and Hollywood heavyweights, but the risk of infection, nicks and rashes outweigh the obvious time and money benefits.
Shaving your face
Don’t go there if your peach fuzz is light in colour! Laser will do more damage than good as laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment in the hair. You could end up with burns, permanent hyperpigmentation or scarring, with no reduction in peach fuzz. Laser is normally not the one, but if you’re peach fuzz is veering into full facial hair territory, it could work for you. Book a consultation with an expert to discuss your options.
Laser treatment for peach fuzz
Rachel slaps this one down:
- “Plucking is possibly one of the worst things a client could do in this case as over time this will stimulate the blood supply to the follicles, resulting in thicker and stronger hairs.”
Nineteenth century physicians knew that hair grew from a ‘pulp’ at the base of the hair follicle. Eliminating that ‘pulp’ would permanently remove the hair. However, methods at their disposal to destroy the ‘germinal papilla’ were crude at best and generally accompanied by noticeable scarring. These methods included hypodermically injecting carbolic acid, twisting barbed needles and heating inserted needles with red-hot curling irons. It was in this environment that the history of electrolysis began.
Ophthalmologists of the 19th century were also interested in removing hair permanently. Ingrown and other aberrant eyelashes could irritate the eye, resulting in chronic inflammation and even blindness. Dr Charles Michel was one such ophthalmologist trying to remove aberrant eyelashes. He tried heated needles, surgery and twisting needles but found that all produced unsuitable body reactions and scarring. Eventually, he modified a process which had been previously used in general surgery: chemical decomposition through electricity – known as electrolysis. He connected a gilt needle to the negative battery electrode and inserted the needle into the eyelash hair follicle. He applied a current for a few minutes and then removed the hair with a pair of tweezers. Sodium hydroxide (lye/caustic soda) produced at the negative electrode had destroyed the germinal papilla of the eyelash.
The history of electrolysis begins as a new treatment from an Opthalmologist
- The agent employed is electricity, the form, electrolysis. I pass a fine, gilt needle into the hair follicle allowing current to produce electrochemical decomposition of hair and papillae.”
Michel published a report detailing his electrochemical decomposition of hair follicles in the St. Louis Clinical Record in 1875. The editor, William Hardaway, was a dermatologist too and decided to try Michel’s technique in his own practice. He successfully treated patients with excess body hair presenting his results at the second meeting of the American Dermatological Association. After this, other dermatologists took up the practice and the treatment spread. In 1889 a Detroit physician reported he had treated over fifteen hundred cases of superfluous hair with electrolysis. The history of electrolysis as a cosmetic rather than medical treatment had begun.
Others quickly adopt the technique
- We know nothing of “Miss X” save what her physician, W. A. Hardaway, recorded in 1877. Twenty-two years old when she came under Dr. Hardaway’s care, Miss X was “thoroughly feminine” in character and physique, nicely plump, and robustly healthy. She was also the “unfortunate owner of a beard that, for strength and luxuriance, rivalled the appendages of any man”.
- Previous efforts to remove her beard had not gone well. After the application of depilatory powder, the beard grew back “thicker and more profuse” than before. Eager to serve the young woman, Hardaway decided to tackle the “luxuriant”, but unwanted, beard with an experimental procedure: electrolysis.
- Moving strand by strand, Hardaway and a colleague removed the entirety of Miss X’s “appendage”. The two men worked on the young woman’s face for an hour or two at each session. Performing as many as nine sessions per week—more than 350 treatments in total. Despite the procedure’s tedium, Hardaway concluded that this “radical cure of hirsuties” is “brilliant in its results”.
The electrolysis machines developed by Michel, Hardaway and others were battery operated generating what medical practitioners of the day called a ‘galvanic current’ and named after Luigi Galvani [1737-1798]. Galvani was known for using electricity to produce muscle contraction in frog’s legs. Many nineteenth century physicians were familiar with galvanic batteries, galvanic induction coils and electro-therapeutics. This made it relatively easy for them to set up working electrolysis machines. If the necessary parts were not available in their surgery, they could easily obtain them from any one of a number of suppliers.
Early history of electrolysis machines
Eventually, manufacturers began combining all the required parts of an electrolysis machine into complete kits and advertised them in their catalogues. These machines were made up of battery cells along with all the necessary cords and electrodes. To make them easier to use, detailed instruction manuals were found included to outline the process of removing hair by electrolysis.
Manufacturers were naturally keen to sell as many electrolysis machines as possible. Mains electricity was absent from most cities in the early part of the twentieth century, but this was not an issue as the equipment was battery powered and portable. In addition, no regulation controlled their use so, before long, their use spread outside the medical profession.
Attitudes of some physicians helped. Although some could see the distress that excess hair was causing their patients, many saw electrolysis simply as a beautifying practice or as the correction of a ‘cosmetic defect’ rather than a cure for a ‘serious disease’. They discounted it as a medical procedure, leaving it to others to provide the service and bringing to an end the history of electrolysis as a medical treatment.
By the end of the nineteenth century, electrolysis treatments could be readily obtained from non-medical sources including specialist operators, as well some barbers, hairdressers and beauty salons. As physicians discovered other uses for electrolysis, the non-medical operators followed and were soon using their machines to treat other facial blemishes such as moles, warts, spider veins, birthmarks, pimples, blackheads and acne. Newspaper advertising of the time indicates that there were often many operators working in major cities and it is more than likely that some of these branched out and became Beauticians as well.
By the 1940s, the medical profession was retreating from removing hair by electrolysis completely and, in second half of the twentieth century, it became cemented as a non-medical procedure.
Despite the helpful literature supplied by manufacturers, practitioners (both medical and commercial) soon realised that using the machines to produce satisfactory results without scarring or pitting the skin was not a simple matter – skill and experience counted.
Concern about the expertise of operators came from a number of areas: legislators, manufacturers, the medical profession and commercial operators. France barred commercial operators and patients had no alternative than to seek medical assistance. In the USA and Britain the situation was more open. As commercial operators became more common, some authorities began to regulate the practice. However, this varied from country to country and from state to state. The arrival of professional associations and training schools helped set standards and provide supervised training programs. Manufacturers were also an important source of training. Companies set up to manufacture multiple needle electrolysis machines also trained operators in their use.
Although electrolysis was a significant improvement over previous treatments, it had a number of problems. Some of these were due to the technical limitations of the equipment used, others were inherent to the method. As well as introducing the possibility of infection, the process was very slow, painful and could produce noticeable scars if rushed or done incorrectly. Patient forbearance, variation in skin and hair types, operator fatigue, acuity of vision and the cost of treatments were all factors affecting the successful outcome of a treatment regime. The history of electrolysis records many patients enduring all these drawbacks in their determination to rid themselves of unwanted hair.
Limitations of electrolysis
Treatment timesThe process was inherently slow. Even skilled operators had to wait for the production of sufficient sodium hydroxide to destroy the papilla. Stronger current could speed up the process, but then the risk of scarring increased – an ongoing problem. Removing the needle too early would only lead to regrowth.
The father of demabrasion, the German dermatologist Ernst Kromayer, in 1908 suggested one way around this problem: use multiple needles. Professor Paul N Kree took up this idea and patented a multiple-needle electrolysis machine in 1918 (US: 1445961) then established a business to manufacture it. However, for individuals with severe problems, treatments could still go on for months or longer.
PainPatients showed a range of tolerance to pain. The pain generated also varied depending on the area of the body undergoing treatment.
The galvanic current came from cell batteries in early machines and regulated, not by a dial (rheostat), but rather by connecting more or fewer cells to the circuit. Limited voltage regulation and a higher current intensity therefore made the treatment much more painful. Later machines did show improvements with the addition of regulating devices (rheostats), amperage meters and the use of mains electricity but there was no way to avoid the production of sodium hydroxide and the associated pain.
Needles were also an issue. Unlike today, they were not disposable. Platinum and gold needles were expensive and tended to deteriorate with reuse. Steel became the preferred material. Some commercial operators used sewing needles to reduce costs but even needles purchased though supply companies were thicker than those currently in use, adding to patient discomfort.
Some physicians tried topical anaesthetics such as cocaine to reduce the pain with mixed results. Commercial operators also tried to minimise the pain, but generally steered clear of local anaesthetics.
CostIn the early part of the twentieth century a commercial operator in the USA might earn between six to ten dollars an hour. More than a day’s pay for many other workers and taking the treatment out of the reach of many potential clients. As treatments could extend over many months, some women had to abandon them before completion and return to shaving, depliators, tweezing and other methods of removing unwanted hair. Simply because they ran out of money.
Cost pressures also had effects on the operators. This was particularly so in the early history of electrolysis, when the technique was slowest. When working on wealthy women, operators could take more time and use lower current levels, thereby reducing the level of pain.
Poorer patients tended to pressure operators to use higher current flows and traded off an increased chance of scarring for a larger number of hairs removed at each session. Fortunately, as the levels of prosperity rose in the twentieth century and new technologies for galvanic electrolysis arrived, this trade off became less of an imperative.
Self-treatmentOne way to reduce the cost was to treat yourself. Beginning in the 1920s, a number of electrolysis units for home use began to appear on the market. Devices like ‘Beautiderm Midget’ appealed to users who wanted to avoid the cost of a salon treatments or were too far away from a major centre to make regular treatments practical.
Home electrolysis treatments have continued right up until today but have a number of problems. Firstly, even if you have a steady hand, good eyesight and the resolve to go through with it, it is not easy to treat yourself in front of a mirror. Results are always better if someone else operates the machine. Secondly, the machines produced for the home market are never as effective as those used commercially. Today, self-treaters recommend the purchase of second-hand commercial machines.
Other issuesThe issues associated with permanent hair removal by electrolysis – cost, pain and time – meant that many women had their hair removed by X-rays, with disastrous consequences.
One other problem was skin discolouration caused by black deposits. These were produced by a chemical reaction between hydrochloric acid and the metal needle if, by chance, the operator used the wrong polarity. The problem was easily avoided by using needles made from gold, platinum, or stainless steel, but some electrologists failed to do this and mistakes happened. Fortunately, this is not an issue today.
In the 1940s, high frequency electrocoagulation machines came into operation and the history of electrolysis almost came to an end as the practice of electrolysis began to wane in favour of the speedier thermolysis process. However, electrolysis did not die out completely as current practitioners who have experience with it still prefer it for its permanent results. The new high frequency machines produced hair loss by heat (thermolysis/diathermy) rather than by chemical decomposition (electrolysis) and removed hairs at a more rapid rate. Unfortunately, this new technique also had its problems. Read about Thermolysis and the Blend here.
With everyone obsessed with wanting to be hair-free, it seems like new options pop up every day promising to rid you of the fuzz. I have stubborn blond hairs on my face that I constantly pluck and wax. It’s time consuming and annoying to do every day. Shaving, waxing, threading and tweezing are all common methods for at-home results, but more and more people are turning to procedures that get rid of your hair for longer or even permanently so let me tell you about my experience with galvanic electrolysis.
The most common of these procedures is laser hair removal. Laser hair removal uses pulsating light beams aimed at the hair follicle to heat the melanin in the hair. When the laser heats the melanin, it tends to burn and this causes the hair follicle to TEMPORARILY stop producing hair. However, laser hair removal DOESN’T work for lighter hair colours. This means it wouldn’t do a thing for those blonde hairs on my face that I want gone.
While looking for other options, I discover a procedure called galvanic electrolysis. Electrolysis was developed more than 100 years ago to treat ingrown eyelashes. Except electrolysis doesn’t just remove the hair: it PERMANENTLY destroys the hair follicle that produces the hair. A hair follicle destroyed by electrolysis will never produce a hair again…. WAAAHOOO!!!! With results like that I was really surprised I hadn’t heard of more people getting it and I wanted to experience galvanic electrolysis for myself. As it turns out, electrolysis is very popular in the transgender female community. This is because, although laser can remove the dark pigmented hair on men’s faces, it’s never a permanent solution.
Just like any procedure, you want to make sure you find a reputable and knowledgeable person to perform it. I made an appointment with Alana Dzurek, a licensed electrologist in Beverly Hills. She works by inserting a tiny needle deep into each hair follicle holding a hair. Then a low-level electrical energy pulse is sent into the follicle to destroy it. The existing hair falls out, and the process repeats hair by hair. With the multi-probe method, she uses 16 needles at a time making the process much faster. She removed 150 hairs per hour for me and could remove up to 1000 hairs in a 4 hour session.
My first appointment lasted an hour and a half. She was able to remove most the hairs on my upper lip and also the hairs on the side of my cheek and along my hairline. I had the option of using a numbing cream, but for the sake of writing this post, I opted out of it because I wanted the full experience of galvanic electrolysis. I had heard the procedure was really uncomfortable or painful but those rumors couldn’t be further from the truth. The actual size of the needles used are thinner than a strand of hair, and virtually painless when they enter the hair follicles.
My experience of galvanic electrolysis
I literally fell asleep at one point during the process but I was able to watch myself in the mirror and watch how the hair came out. I cried laughing because I looked like Frankenstein with the needle wires stuck to my face. After she did my face, I had Alana remove hairs on different parts of my body to see how it felt to experience galvanic electrolysis elsewhere. She removed the hairs along my bikini line as well as hairs under my arms. I asked her the craziest place she’s ever removed hairs from: a man’s balls! So there are basically no limits to where you can do this.
I’m so happy with my results. I think my experience of galvanic electrolysis confirms that the procedure is perfect for people that don’t have hair dark enough for laser treatments to be effective, or for anyone that wants a truly permanent hair removal solution.