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Perfect insertion

Effective electrolysis treatment is dependent upon delivering the correct amount of current to the correct position in the follicle

Good insertions will be pain-free; insertion should be steady, precise and smooth and the needle should enter and slide in easily.

Accurate insertions are key to the success of any type of electrolysis, if the needle is not properly inserted so it discharges the current to the target area, the hair and the surrounding active tissue will not be successfully treated. Good insertions will be pain-free; insertion should be steady, precise and smooth and the needle should enter and slide in easily.

Once the needle is inserted into the follicle electrolysis is carried out blind, as the entire follicle cannot be seen, therefore the follicular feedback from the needle is vital. Never discharge current during insertion or when withdrawing the needle or where the accuracy of insertion is in doubt.

The three most important factors to consider when inserting are:

  1. DIRECTION of insertion
  2. ANGLE of insertion
  3. DEPTH of insertion


  • Positioning is important – occasionally it’s helpful to move behind the client or to the opposite side of the couch; reposition the client as required to ensure treatment area is accessible
  • Ensure you and the client are comfortable
  • Hold the needle holder lightly to optimise sensitivity and reduce risk of RSI
  • Assess the direction and angle of the hair by observing the first 1/8” above the skin surface – this is the best indicator of the angle/direction the hair follicle will take below the skin
  • For very fair hairs, use a lamp to provide back light – some magnifying lamps have two light switches for casting shadow and assisting with insertion by improving visibility.
  • Follicle depth is difficult to judge as it cannot be seen
  • Observe the skin, ensure it doesn’t dip, dimple, pucker, or lose colour whilst inserting – these are signs that the needle diameter is too large, or the needle is meeting resistance, withdraw the needle slightly until the skin smoothes, to avoid piercing the follicle.
  • A good technique is not acquired overnight – it takes practice. Making mistakes when training is part of the learning curve.


Hair depth will vary between clients, locations and the specific type and stage of hair growth. To judge hair depth in a particular location, try the depth test guide – hold tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pluck a hair out. Through a magnification lamp, examine how much hair is underneath the tweezers as this indicates the depth of follicle.


The electrologist should keep their nails short to avoid digging into the client’s skin, even through gloves.

The skin should be stretched lightly and ideally with three fingers. A three-way stretch opens up the follicle opening and makes it more accessible, a two finger stretch tends to elongate the follicle entrance making it narrower. On smaller areas however, only a two-way stretch may be possible. Never over-stretch the skin, as this will distort the hair follicle and don’t use too much pressure, as this will be uncomfortable for the client and can cause bruising particularly on more mature skins.


The way in which an electrologist holds the tweezers varies from one electrologist to another. It is ultimately a matter of personal choice.

The two-handed method

  • Hold the tweezers between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand if right-handed and vice versa if left-handed.
  • The tweezers should be smoothly and rhythmically swapped from one hand to the other as needed.
  • Ensure the hand holding the tweezers remains on the client throughout, as it is reassuring for the client and ensure the tweezer point does not dig into the client.

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