Treatments zap away undesired hair

Ethel Vincent, the owner of Classic Electrology, prepares for her next client while talking about the process of electrolysis. Vincent discusses the difference between electrolysis and laser hair removal. Classic Electrology is located on Third Street, between the La Verne Police Department and Bowl House. After 33 years in the business, Vincent has become friends with her clients. / photo by Michelle Leon
Ethel Vincent, the owner of Classic Electrology, prepares for her next client while talking about the process of electrolysis. Vincent discusses the difference between electrolysis and laser hair removal. Classic Electrology is located on Third Street, between the La Verne Police Department and Bowl House. After 33 years in the business, Vincent has become friends with her clients. / photo by Michelle Leon

Deonah Cendejas
Staff Writer

Whether it is laser treatment or electrology, more than 60 percent of United States citizens desire hair removal in some form, according to the Hair Removal Journal.

Electrolysis, commonly mistaken for laser hair removal, has been practiced since the 1800s and removes hair by inserting a very fine probe into each hair follicle.  On the other hand, laser hair removal treatments emit highly concentrated light into the hair follicles.

Ethel Vincent, electrolysis specialist, has owned and managed Classic Electrology, located in Downtown La Verne, for 33 years.

“If it (hair) grows back, the hair will grow back finer and thinner,” Vincent said. “How long it takes depends on the sensitivity of the skin, on the pain tolerance, on what you have done on your skin, and how much hair you have.”

However, when it comes to hair removal, not everyone has the same result.

“First of all, one of the benefits is permanent hair loss,” junior kinesiology major Sahar Shahidi said concerning laser hair removal. “You’re basically burning the hair follicles so you don’t grow hair anymore. For me, it worked great. I never shave.”

According to Vincent, there are several contributing factors that come into play when determining if the procedures will work and how long the laser hair removal and electrolysis procedures will take.

“Each person is different,” Vincent said.

Because so many determining factors influence the outcome of your results, many people have not experienced the same outcome as Shahidi.

Evelyn Bobbitt, senior biology major, had a different experience with laser hair removal.

“The benefits for me were obtaining a lighter skin tone in the under arm area,” Bobbitt said. “It did lighten my skin tone which is great, and it thinned my hair, but it did not remove it.”

Several patients of both laser hair removal and electrolysis experience these results in the beginning, but overtime, they do receive the desired effect.

Although Bobbitt continued to finish each session she paid for and even received complimentary sessions, she was still unable to fully remove the hair.

“I received laser hair removal on my underarms and the lower half of my legs,” Bobbitt said. “I had nine treatments on my underarms and eight on my legs. It was kind of tricky to see if I was even getting long-lasting results.”

With electrolysis, Vincent said her clientele are more than satisfied with her services.

“They come in and start with their chin, then their upper lip, the eyebrows, and then all of their body – their toes, their bikini line, and it’s kind of addicting,” Vincent said.

Although the majority of people are satisfied with their results from both procedures, they are different.

While Bobbitt compared laser hair removal to receiving a tattoo, Shahidi explained the pain was bearable with the addition of using numbing cream.

“There’s a big difference in the treatments,” Vincent said. “But from my understanding, it (laser hair removal) is more painful than electrolysis. With laser, you have to do several treatments. Some of the drawbacks is that it burns dark skin.”

After a laser treatment, it is common to experience sunburn and in more serious cases, temporary scarring.

The risks associated with electrolysis treatments includes red, swollen or tender skin.

Both treatments carry the risk of permanent scarring.

“If you don’t have sensitive skin, I definitely recommend it,” Shahidi said. “For some people with really sensitive skin, it may not work for them because it feels like a sunburn. It works best for light skin with coarse hair.”

Electrolysis is open to any skin or hair type, but the number of procedures will vary depending on skin sensitivity.

Besides the actual removal of hair, the positive effects are the lightening of the skin and thinning of existing hair.

“It makes you look younger,” Vincent said. “It makes your complexion look smoother because it takes away all of the different colors or shadows from the hair. Once the shadow is gone, your complexion looks so much better.”

Deonah Cendejas can be reached at deonah.sharifi-cendeja@laverne.edu.

Deonah Cendejas
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