Here you will find a great amount of information on our services and on electrolysis in general. It will take some time to organize all we have.
What is electrolysis and how is it performed?
Electrolysis is a process of permanent hair removal that has been performed for over 130 years. A metallic probe is inserted into the hair follicle alongside the hair and one of several types of electrical impulses (galvanic DC current, shortwave/thermolysis heat, or blended galvanic and thermolysis) travels down the probe and disables the hair follicle by destroying the stem cells and dermal papillae . It is a safe and permanent process to disable hair growth.
How many treatments does it take to remove my hair?
In order to remove all the hair growth completely in any area on the human body, a series of treatments over 9-18 months is required. This is in order that all the hair follicles come into a growth cycle to be treated and removed. The actual number of hours of treatment required varies greatly from area to area and from case to case. On average a beard removal generally requires approximately 100 hours of electrolysis. Less hair may take considerably fewer hours of treatment. Electrolysis by Seana offers free consultations including a test treatment where we can discuss this further and estimate the number of hours of treatment required and frequency. Every treatment plan is individual depending on need, budget, and treatment specifics such as hair density and region treated.
Are electrologists licensed? Who can perform electrolysis? How do I know my treatments are safe? What infection control procedures do you have?
In Ontario, as it is in almost every other province in Canada except Manitoba, electrolysis is an unlicensed and uncontrolled activity. This means quite literally, anyone can legally perform electrolysis on anyone without any governance whatsoever. In Manitoba, and and in about half US states, there are licensing programs in place but none here. This is because province after province have determined there was insufficient risk associated with electrolysis to have a public health risk
Anyone, trained or not, can call themselves an electrologist. Only an electrologist who has been through training for 500 hours may be regarded as a "Certified Electrologist". There is one higher designation not always sought by practitioners called a "Certified Professional Electrologist". This designation is controlled by the FCEA (Federation of Canadian Electrolysis Association) and not all electrologists seek out this designation.
The City of Ottawa health department does make an effort to perform health inspections on electrolysis establishments on an approximately annual basis. There are no laws for them to enforce because electrolysis is an unlicensed activity but they attempt to identify shortfalls and make recommendations to improve. They can only inspect establishments that have come to their attention through public complaints. As we start, and as is the case with the prior establishment I was at previously, there have never been any public complaints about either establishment, so in general we are not inspected.
This is not to say we at Electrolysis By Seana have not addressed infection control . Health inspections are performed in relation to guidelines outlined in the 2008 Ministry of Health Document located here:
Every procedure outlined in this document is performed to the letter at our offices. Some of these procedures include:
Single use presterilized probes purchased from the manufacturer and discarded immediately after every treatment. No electrode is ever reused on you or anybody else.
All tweezers are sterilized in our Prestige 2100 autoclave in sealed individual pouches. Pouches are not used to sterilize multiple pairs like in some other establishments. These pouches each have a chemical indicator which indicates sterility has been reached. In addition our autoclave is spore tested weekly to ensure it is operational to effect complete sterilization and analysed by Mesa Labs ( http://mesalabs.com/ ). This is twice the frequency of Ministry guidelines for operating an autoclave in a personal service setting in Ontario.
We at Electrolysis by Seana go to great lengths to ensure a safe treatment and are proud to demonstrate our procedures to you.
Can you tell me about your commitment to transgender individuals?
Yes I'd love to! Lets begin by saying that I am transgender myself. When I first began electrolysis it was because I had no money whatsoever and had a beard that laser had failed on. I was desperate for anything that could help. Quite often transgender individuals fall into an income trap, and end up on either ODSP or Ontario Works. As a group transgender persons represent the most unemployed and underemployed demographic. This was the situation for me, except I could not work due to childcare issues for a special needs child.
When I started offering electrolysis services, it was almost exclusively to transgender people who had little to no money for their treatments. I'll say that I did not even cover the cost of probes . Let's be clear there is no money to be made providing these services, but I have done it because I have personally felt the dysphoria and desperation that excess hair can have on a trans person. I do have to control the costs of offering such services however.
In a couple of weeks I am going to be implementing a 2 hour period during an early afternoon once a week that will be set aside an a transgender electrolysis open house. At these open houses we will be performing education about electrolysis, and providing demonstration treatments at a cost of $10 to any participant on ODSP or Ontario Works. The idea is to provide accessible treatments at the most minimal possible cost for those who need it most. Length of treatment depends on the number of participants. Some treatments in the future may be offered by one of two apprentices on my team, or by myself. Please be aware that all treatments will be performed with a dual purpose, and that we encourage viewing sessions in progress in an effort to educate during open houses. In future we intend to make electrolysis training materials available to help those who want to learn how to perform electrolysis or just learn about their treatments.
To those transgender individuals who are among my existing clientele and whom have had to limit treatments due to cost, let me say that I appreciate your continued patronage and that where I am aware of some life issues which stand in your way. I will be extending promotional pricing to some clients as a thank you for joining me here in my new home. I as always encourage you to be forthcoming with your concerns.
I have completed some cases in the last year, and progressed in all others. I have been providing both MTF beard removal and FTM and and MTF surgery prep -procedures. I remain dedicated to being the go-to electrologist for all transgender hair removal procedures in the Ottawa area. I continue to support the Kindspace efforts through their peer support group Genderquest. You can find information on Genderquest here: http://kindspace.ca/gender-quest/
Is electrolysis painful? What can you recommend to reduce discomfort?
In general the discomfort felt from electrolysis treatments is fairly tolerable. Some areas are more comfortable that others and the amount of discomfort felt is individual.
Inquiries about reduction of discomfort in electrolysis is a question we receive often at the clinic . We utilize multiple techniques to reduce discomfort and to make treatments more tolerable.
The number one step to reduce discomfort is to reduce stress on mind and body. Stress of all kinds serves to increase the response to discomfort and pain. For this reason we recommend taking direct steps to reduce stress of all kinds immediately before an appointment. Stressful reviews at work, and stress in the home, are a good reason to be booking your electrolysis appointments at another time.
Getting enough sleep the night before your appointment will help to reduce stress and discomfort, and allow for longer duration electrolysis sessions.
Forms of distraction can help to reduce discomfort. These can include music over headphones, use of a stress ball, and several over techniques.
Caffeine, like stress, can serve to heighten the body’s response to pain or discomfort, and should be reduced or eliminated in the 24 hours prior to an appointment.
All forms of electrolysis utilize moisture in the follicle and the more moisture that is present provides for better results, and also serves to reduce discomfort. For this reason we do recommend that you are sufficiently hydrated. This is of important note most especially to our transgender clients who utilize spironolactone as an antiandrogen. Spironolactone reduces moisture in the body and you must be careful to stay hydrated. This can also be overdone however, and should be done in moderation.
A Tylenol or Ibuprophen taken 20-30 minutes before an appointment can help reduce pain.
Topical anesthetics such as EMLA or 5% Lidocaine applied to the skin before an appointment can reduce or eliminate discomfort, but caution should be used. 5% Lidocaine in the “Xylecaine” brand can be purchased at most Walmarts for approximately $15 at the pharmacy counter, EMLA costs approximately $80 at Shoppers Drug Mart. Occlusion should be used (plastic wrap over the skin to prevent the anesthetic cream from rubbing off on clothing and surroundings). We recommend using Glad Press n Seal wrap for this purpose as it can be cut to shape and sealed against the skin in uncovered areas. While generally safe, we recommend you do not cover an area larger than an A4 piece of paper, and summon medical assistance in the case of a rare adverse reaction. Lidocaine and EMLA work better the longer beforehand they are applied, up to 2 hours before to get maximum effect.
Discomfort increases with the length of the session, but tolerance increases over time and is particular to the individual. Some may find long sessions quite tolerable, while others will have more difficulty. For this reason we normally recommend new electrolysis clients book appointments of an hour or less, and then allow for longer sessions as they are able to.
Do you offer mass electrolysis sessions at your clinic?
Not yet, but it's something we are looking at providing. . We do currently have enough room for accomodations but just are not set up for this yet,
Does electrolysis cause scarring? How does the skin heal from electrolysis treatments?
Given competent treatments by a trained professional, scarring from electrolysis is extremely rare in my experience. Often some people who already have a heightened sense of anxiety come to believe they have been scarred by electrolysis. I can tell you that in 99.99 % of cases no scarring of any kind has been created through electrolysis. I have spent the last several years assisting consumers world wide with evaluating skin reactions from electrolysis and laser treatments. Often people think things that are a normal part of the healing process of the skin post electrolysis mean they are scarred for life. The reality is it simply isn't true. In all cases, their anxiety has gotten the better of them. In all cases skin quality IMPROVES post treatment above the level it was with the hair.
Below is a link to a 4 part video series entitled "The Healing Skin" I consider a must see for anyone with a concern about post electrolysis healing. It is recorded and produced by Michael Bono, one of the worlds most leading authorities on electrolysis treatments and skin healing. Michael is one of the electrologists who has sometimes consulted with me through http://hairtell.com , has been a frequent source of information for me, and is author of the electrolysis textbook The Blend Method. The Healing Skin is a comprehensive and informative discussion of how the skin heals, what cells are involved and how they work, and what skin reactions can occur and their healing timelines.