An electrologist is an aesthetician who removes facial and body hair from male and female customers with an electric current tool. He may work on the staff of a dermatologist's office or in salon offering similar services. A significant number of electrologists are self-employed as well.
Electrology is a treatment that removes hair through the insertion of a needle through the hair follicle. The needle then passes into the papilla, the organ beneath the hair root. Another electrode is placed in the customer’s hand to complete the electrical connection. In some cases, instead of using the second electrode, the electrologist places the customer’s hand into a cup of water to create an electrical connection.
When the electrologist activates the short-wave electrical machine, he regulates the electrical flow to destroy the papilla. When the process is complete, the needle is removed and the electrologist proceeds to treat other follicles until the area designated for treatment has had all the hair removed from it. Each hair must be manually removed from each follicle with tweezers.
The electrolysis process often requires repetition. Some follicles may be difficult to penetrate if they have been previously treated by temporary hair removal methods. Other areas may experience hair regrowth after extended periods of time as well.
Electrologists used to perform this procedure mainly on females who desired permanent hair removal on their faces. Their clientele grew to include males who desired permanent thinning of beards and eyebrows. Both males and females frequently ask electrologists to alter hairlines and shape eyebrows. Removal of hair from moles is frequently requested and normally requires the electrologist to obtain authorization from a physician to do so.
In the past few years, many clients, both male and female, have requested electrolysis on a wide range of body parts. Requests for upper body hair removal by men have significantly increased in the past decade. These requests are often made by models for photography purposes or athletes such as swimmers for whom excess body hair frequently impedes their speed.
An electrologist is typically required to have a gentle manner when treating clients. He is also commonly required to follow strict guidelines regarding sanitation and antiseptics. His equipment is normally sterilized after each use, and clients’ skin typically requires disinfecting with alcohol prior to treatment.
A high school diploma or equivalent is normally required to apply for electrologist training. The training generally lasts about four weeks and is frequently offered at cosmetology schools or technical colleges. Some regions require electrologists to be licensed, and others have requirements regarding age and education.