A couple months ago I was eyeing my beard stubble early in the morning and getting awfully tired of shaving it every day. My beard shadow is somewhat easier to hide than some others as it’s made up of mostly red and blonde hairs. Though it does have some darker brown/black ones that are luckily concentrated on the underside of my face and are not particularly visible, I’m assuming they came from my Arab heritage. This kind of easy to hide beard of mine has led to me procrastinating getting electrolysis done for a bit too long. [Electrolysis, for those that don’t know, is a method for permanent hair removal that basically amounts to sticking a very thin electrified needle/probe into a hair follicle to kill it]
In my current financial situation with dwindling money in the bank and barely any income, the $70-$100 hourly rate of a decent electrologist is out of the question. With this roadblock I began thinking of alternatives to getting electrolysis done professionally and thought about how hard could this electrolysis stuff be anyway. So off I went internet researching DIY electrolysis.
After doing a few Google searches I found the general opinion out there was something like “DIY electrolysis is hard and I/we don’t recommend trying it! But a few people have had success with it”. While this was off-putting I then reasoned maybe I was likely to be one of those few that succeeded for a couple reasons,
1. I know how to solder and at least at one point was capable of hand soldering some SMT parts without magnification, since both electrolysis and soldering involve moving tiny needles near tiny objects maybe I already had learned some of the necessary dexterity
2. [begin partial sarcasm] I’m a software engineer and I can do anything dammit! [/ end partial sarcasm]
So with this in my mind and in a sudden impulse I bought a ‘One Touch’ off Amazon for $20 which is a simple DC electrolysis machine sold to the mass market. A decision I partially regret since I replaced it within a week or two with a machine I built. I also already knew it was a simple circuit I could make myself before buying it but I wasn’t clear on what type of professional probes and probe holder I needed to buy and just wanted something to try before my wondering focus was lost or I invested any more time into research.
After the One Touch arrived I spent some time over a couple days just practicing inserting the probe without activating the machine until I felt confident enough in my abilities to not scar myself. I found the process of inserting a probe into a follicle through a magnified mirror is fairly difficult to self-learn but I wouldn’t call it terribly out of reach for anyone willing to put the hours in practicing it and researching what good and bad insertions look like.
After just an hour of using the one touch I got a little fed up with it and modified it to use a sponge as a foot pedal and anode and lowered the annoying buzzer volume. I also ordered some professional probes online that would take a week or so to come as the massive size and cost of the one touch probes was rather annoying. Shortly after that I dropped the one touch completely and cobbled together my own machine. Then over the next couple months I tacked on a number of neat features to the machine and improved on my actual electrolysis technique.
This blog post is getting rather long so I’m going to split it up and I’ll talk about the details of the machine in my next post (though I’ve already shared it on hairtell if you’re curious).
To any other potential electrolysis DIYers I felt overall it is definitely doable though definitely a bit of a time investment. Just be careful and don’t rush things and if you have money to spare just go to a professional.