Choosing Your Electrologist
Once you have decided that permanent hair removal is the only way to go, the next step is to choose an electrologist. Your electrologist will be your most important ally in your battle against unwanted hair, so how do you know who to choose?
Know what to search for
Phone books and web searches can help identify electrologists in your area, but be cautious. There are many salons and other businesses that advertise as "electrologist" or "permanent hair removal" but instead offer temporary hair removal or hair reduction. The only method that offers permanent hair removal is "needle electrolysis," so ask if that specific service is provided. Look for AEA membership as all AEA members perform true needle electrolysis.
Personal referrals are helpful
The need to remove unwanted hair is not something people generally want to talk about, but you may be surprised at who has had electrolysis. Chances are you know someone who has. Friends and family can help.
Confidentiality should be a priority
Your electrologist should understand that your hair removal treatments are nobody else's business. Their offices and treatment areas should be private and, while the electrologist may provide examples of treatments they have performed, they should not name names. Professional electrologists are fiercely protective of their clients' confidentiality and you should expect nothing less.
Professional electrologists practice strict sanitary procedures to protect your health. Your electrologist should be using gloves for your hair removal treatments. The electrologist should also be able to show you that they are using sterile, disposable probes and/or have sterilizing equipment, such as an autoclave or dry heat sterilizer. Sterilization is a part of daily life for a professional hair removal provider and the electrologist should be able to easily discuss the sterilization and infection prevention procedures that they follow.
Ask for an in-office consultation
The electrologist will explain how electrolysis hair removal works. Ask as many questions as you like. Sometimes, consultations will include a short treatment, where the electrologist removes a few hairs so that you can see what it feels like and how your skin will react. This is the time to discuss any specific concerns such as PCOS, gender transition plans, etc. You should leave the consultation with an understanding of hair growth cycles and the electrolysis treatment process, awareness of your treatment options, and the sense that the electrologist is educated with regard to your particular situation.
Professionalism is important
Electrology is an allied health profession, and electrolysis practioners are professionals. Look for signs that the electrologist takes their work seriously. If your state has licensing requirements for electrologists, then the electrologist should have that license on display. If your state does not have licensing, look for signs that the electrologist has taken it upon themselves to be actively involved in the profession and to stay abreast of news and best practices. Examples include membership in professional organizations like AEA or its state affiliate organizations, Board certified credentials such as the Certified Professional Electrologist (CPE) credential, and certificates of completion from continuing education events.
Do your homework
There is nothing wrong with consulting with several electrologists in your area before choosing one. Electrologists have different personalities, techniques, and treatment styles. Choose the person who is the best fit for you. The successful electrolysis consumer will find out about the procedure, communicate openly with the electrologist, follow treatment recommendations, and get permanent results.