Electrologists are quickly becoming more popular in the cosmetology field and no wonder. This career offers competitive salaries and the opportunity to learn a focused skill.
Electrolysis is becoming very popular. Why wouldn’t it? As the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved permanent hair removal method, women and men are flocking to get rid of unwanted hair.
Whether it’s facial or body hair, spas, salons, and medical practices that offer the service, are making a tidy profit from eager patrons.
By using electricity to remove unwanted hair from the root, electrologists are able to do more for clients than temporary measures like regular shaving ever could.
Electrical current destroys the tissue far beneath the skin, making electrolysis more effective than other popular options like laser hair removal.
It’s not just hair that gets in on the action either. Skin imperfections like warts and moles can also be removed using this method.
So What Do Electrologists Do Anyway?
Electrologists rid patients of unwanted hair. The electrologist slides a mental probe into each hair follicle without puncturing the skin.
With three types of electrolysis methods to choose from, some electrologists offer all, while others just one or two. What’s great about all of them, is that preference is really up to the customer. All three will give you the same permanent hair removal results.
The electrologist will:
- First sterilize clients’ skin with antiseptic.
- A needle (tiny!) is slid down past the tissue to the hair root.
- Electric current goes through the needle at measure intensity.
- Hair is removed with tweezers.
Got all that? Okay, let’s get to the root and learn about electrologist options.
Types of Electrolysis
1. Galvanic Electrolysis
With this method, a chemical reaction is used to destroy hair follicles. Direct current is the key to its success. Taking up to 3 minutes per hair . . . yup, you read that right, galvanic electrolysis isn’t the fastest. However, it’s super effective!
The needle is carefully inserted into the hair growth cell with a small electrical charge. Now, there’s saline at the cell’s base, which produces lye (sodium hydroxide).
Lye doesn’t play around when it comes to death to innocent hair follicles. It not only stops them in their growth tracks, but doesn’t let them back on the field ever again.
Pretty tough shake for the follicle, but great news for your client.
The chemical is still hard at work after the procedure. This is one of the reasons galvanic electrolysis works so well.
Multi-needle galvanic electrolysis (up to 16 needles at a time!) is pretty popular, and works great for beards, body hair, and other thick, coarse hair types.
Let’s move on to . . .
2. Thermolysis Electrolysis (Shortwave Diathermy)
Heat is a main player in the success of this method. It reaches within the actual follicle to destroy hair growth cells.
Thermolysis is getting even more popular because of the instant results and quick turnover time (seconds per hair). Here’s how it works:
Radio energy is transmitted through the needle at a high frequency. The hair follicle starts to vibrate, which the water molecules surrounding its base simply don’t like.
The more irritated they become, heat is generated, and the molecules get thick and cloggy. Not long after hair follicles say goodbye as the cell tissue is destroyed.
The nature of Thermolysis makes it a great choice for fine hair, or easier permanent hair removal jobs.
Finally, and you’ll like this one…
3. The Blend
Electrologists combine the two above mentioned into the Holy Grail of all things permanent hair removal. It is the best of both worlds, as natural chemical reactions merge seamlessly with heat to produce a powerhouse effect.
It works at around 7+ seconds per hair, so is still much faster than galvanic, and just a bit slower than thermolysis.
The extra time is because as the galvanic current gets the lye going, thermolysis’ high frequency current is already causing the molecules to vibrate and heat up.
With this “dance” of sorts going on, and the lye’s intent egged on by heat, it’s not long before dispersion. In short, the hair follicle has absolutely nowhere to hide and is destroyed.
How To Become An Electrologist
Now that you’ve a clearer idea of job description and what’s required in the field, you’re probably wondering how to become an electrologist in the first place!
Well, you don’t just pick up needles and go poking around someone’s nether regions that’s for sure!
This is a highly-specialized field in the beauty industry, so training and appropriate knowledge is required.
Requirements will vary depending on the state you plan to practice in. But all electrologists have to meet state licensing requirements for their individual state.
Some board’s will want 400 hours of formal training and education, while others may require 1000!
It bears repeating that with regard to the electrolysis field, check your state’s licensing guidelines carefully.
Your state’s board of cosmetology or other regulatory board will require you to complete a training program or apprenticeship.These schools usually have regionally recognized accreditation in electrolysis training. The list of approved schools can be found on your state board’s website.
At the end of the day, all programs must be approved and recognized by the American Electrology Association.
Programs must train students in:
- Electrology specific tasks.
- Communication and interpersonal skills.
- Attitudes and skills required and developed with clinical experiences.
- Law, business essentials as they relate to electrolysis, and ethics.
Easy enough right?
As you’re performing a very specific procedure, the curriculum for most programs is both focused and vast.
Among other things, students are usually required to learn:
- Electrology techniques.
- Scientific basics including dermatology, physiology and anatomy, basic biochemistry, cytology, and more.
- Basic electricity principles.
- Psychology to better interpersonal skills, ergonomics, case history documentation, etc.
- Techniques and procedures for sterilization, aseptic techniques, disinfection, and personal hygiene, to name a few.
- Maintenance, operation, and care of electrology equipment.
- Legal, ethical, and professional standards for the field.
What Else Do Electrologists Need To Do?
It’s a lot to take in. But, as with any other specialized field, it’s better to learn all you can and be as prepared as you can, than do shoddy work.
Most electrologists are entrepreneurs, and often set up their own permanent hair removal business. Otherwise they may choose to be employed by a salon, dermatologist office, spa, or other medical practice that wishes to have one on staff.
Whatever your path, there are some things to consider as it relates to day-to-day operations.
Many of your clients might be uncomfortable or even scared during their sessions, and it’s important that you reassure and keep them calm.
This very private experience builds trust between the client and electrologist. You don’t want to betray that trust by adding to their discomfort or doing anything less than an expert job.
Here are a few more qualities electrologists should have:
- A genuine desire to help their clients.
- Ability to help clients relax.
- Extroverted and easy to talk to.
- Knowledgeable and willing to share and explain procedures.
- Eloquent, with the ability to share information in a simple way.
- Warm and engaging.
- A self-starter who doesn’t need supervision.
Are Electrologists In Demand?
Electrologists are included in the skincare specialists category of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to their statistics, the demand for jobs in the skincare field will experience growth of 14% from 2016 – 2026.
experience growth from 2016 – 2026.
This is good news for electrologists entering the field. With a potential 17, 700 extra jobs in this industry – electrologists among them. What’s more, is that growth in this category is doing laps around the average of all the others right now.
How To Get A Job As An Electrologist
As the popularity of this procedure grows, so do the opportunities for employment. Don’t worry that there aren’t tons of related job titles. There are plenty of opportunities to explore.
Cosmetology or medical practices are great options to check out. You can also consider an already established practice.
With both these options, you won’t have to strike out on your own right away. This lets you get more practical experience, while building your portfolio.
This is especially good if you want to start your own practice someday. As mentioned before, this is a path many electrologists choose due to the low startup costs and potential high returns.
What Equipment Do Electrologists Need?
An epilator is the one thing you will definitely need. This is the machine that’s used to remove hair. So, pretty important to an electrolysis business.
Price and quality will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, it’s a good idea to check out those suppliers featured by the American Electrology Association.
The potential for amazing rewards for those considering a career as an electrologist are endless. There are numerous perks including interacting with various people and providing a service they need.
Add this to competitive salaries and the potential for long-term continuous growth. Definitely a sound career choice for those in the beauty industry.