Following treatment, post-epilation gel or cream should be applied and the client told what to expect in the way of skin reaction.
Reactions will vary from client to client individuals, but forewarning is essential to avoid undue distress caused by unexpected skin responses. Depending on the client’s reaction to the treatment, they may be advised to plan future treatments at times that do not coincide with planned events.
The requirements of home care should be covered at the consultation so clients are fully aware of their responsibilities to the successful outcome of treatment.
Aftercare advice is one of the most important elements of the treatment and some insurance companies insist on written aftercare advice:
- The client should be given an aftercare leaflet and a detailed explanation of how to take care of the treatment area at home, as they may not recall all the advice given verbally once they have left the premises.
- Ask the client to sign and date the consultation card to confirm they have been given aftercare advice.
- If the client reports small yellow-headed spots in the days following treatment, it may be that aftercare advice has not been carefully followed, so reiterate its importance.
A number of products have been designed for use in electrolysis treatment to protect and heal the skin. Regular application of a post-epilation product promotes healing and prevents bacteria entering the empty follicles and causing infection. Encourage the client to carry a small tube of aftercare product and clean cotton wool pads for application with them if they are not going straight home.
Clients should ideally [purchase specially formulated products for use at home]; however, if they choose not to, it is important to establish what they intend to use instead and check that it is suitable. Clients should not use an occlusive product, such as Vaseline, as this will prevent the evaporation of heat present in the skin following electrolysis treatment and thus hinder the healing process. We recommend the following Sterex precare and aftercare products:
- Sterex Witch Hazel helps to prevent minor infection by forming a fine, protective, natural antibacterial film over the skin.
- Aloe Vera is renowned for its soothing and healing properties, encouraging cellular regeneration and renewal.
- Apres Cosmetic Cream contains an antibacterial agent designed for areas where there is high bacterial growth, such as the underarms and bikini line.
- Tinted Apres Creams are designed to soothe and help camouflage erythema.
GROWTH MANAGEMENT BETWEEN SESSIONS
The client will need to know how to manage any hair not yet treated, or any hair that grows back in between treatment sessions, particularly in the case of strong hair growth, as this will initially grow back rapidly. If a client has not been shaving, they should never be advised to use this method for regular hair management.
Regular treatments will minimise the need for growth management, but realistically there will be hairs that will need to be dealt with by the client, especially early on in the course of treatment. It is important that the client understands that tweezing or waxing must be immediately discontinued, but an alternative must be offered. In most cases, cutting will be sufficient and most clients are satisfied with the result until the next appointment.
In cases where the client is suffering with an excessive amount of hair and has, prior to commencing electrolysis treatment, only been coping by shaving the hair daily, this can continue – denying them this is setting them up for disappointment and failure. However, careful and strategic planning between the electrologist and client will aim toward the discontinuation of shaving, section by section.
HAIR GROWTH CYCLE AND RE-GROWTH
Electrolysis involves the treatment of each individual follicle and so by its nature is time consuming. The electrologist must explain to the client that not all follicles can be treated immediately, especially where there is a lot of hairgrowth to treat and initial treatments may predominantly target re-growth hairs. However, as treatment progresses and ‘thinning out’ continues, the follicles will eventually cease to grow hairs.
It is important to check and assess re-growth. In true re-growth, hair will be finer after treatment. If hairs show no signs of diminishing strength, this could indicate that treatment has not been successful, in which case insertion technique, needle size and modality should be re-evaluated, or there is a possible underlying medical problem.
There are a number of possible reasons for a high level of re-growth:
- Incorrect insertion, where the current is not delivered to the target area (i.e. dermal papilla).
- Insufficient current intensity
- Insufficient current application time
- Unknown underlying cause – knowledge of the client’s medical/health background should indicate where this is a possibility
True re-growth is characterised as follows:
- Takes a long time to grow back
- Finer in diameter
- Lighter in colour
- Softer in texture
- More widely spaced