Anatomy of Hair
The structure of the hair is a serious part of what makes a hair so difficult to kill effectively without skin damage. I must point out that using laser and RF thermolysis, to obliterate a follicle completely overlooks the potential problems of killing hair effectively without scarring. Using a hand-grenade to remove dandelions in your front yard is a safe comparison. The most challenging part of removing a hair permanently is precision in that it is necessary to destroy only a small part of the follicle itself and do this without causing significant damage to the outer follicle, the pocket of stem cells surrounding the follicle, or the skin itself.
Follicles are very complex structures and understanding them is a necessity before effective hair-kill can take place.
Let’s look at diagram 1 from Grey’s Anatomy.
Take a moment to note the close relationship of the sebaceous glands and the hair shaft. These glands provide the necessary oils (or sebum) for the hair shaft and also the surrounding skin. The skin oils produced actually fill the gap between the outer root sheath and the stratum corneum in the upper half of the follicle. It is this “fill” of sebum which prevents the process sold as “trans-dermal electrolysis” from working. Trans-dermal suggests that galvanic lye formed at the surface of the skin can actually flow into the follicle and destroy the hair. This would work except that sebum is sealing the follicle and protecting the inner workings of the follicle from such nonsense. A successful model for electrolysis MUST include a means to pass through this oily plug and deliver galvanic lye to the lower half of the follicle. This penetration can be as slight as 1/16 of an inch to effectively work.
If the sebaceous glands are destroyed, the result is a loss of skin oils for the surrounding area. If this loss is permanent (and with laser and thermolysis, it darned well is) skin becomes dry and wrinkled. Dry and wrinkled both add up to premature aging, but I am ranting again. See the Thermolysis section.
Note also, how the skin is not punctured by the hair, but rather the skin forms a “pocket” precisely around the hair mechanism. Note also the not just one, but several layers all conform around the hair follicle. This is important in noting just how needle-type electrolysis is performed. When a needle is inserted, no piercing of the skin takes place. Insertion of a needle is a lot like slipping a pencil into a gloved hand, between the glove and the skin.
At the base of the hair lie two important features, the bulb and the papilla of the hair. It is at this point that the keratin which forms into hair is partly liquid.
Black roots and white follicles. Laser will not be effective in killing these specimens. Note the dark kertain at the base of the root. It is actually liquid at this location.
Precision removed, these intact follicles still contain reddish liquid keratin at the base of the follicle.
Any disruption of the follicle which allows this liquid to be spread into surrounding tissue can result in a noticable “colorization” or the skin. Sometimes the body can successfully remove this colored material, sometimes not. But there are a lot of people with unexplained shadow left after laser electrolysis. They were told it would dissipate……..some of them were told the lie years ago, and it never did.
It is also important to note that some flash thermolysis operators insist that the needle must be inserted deeply enough into the follicle for the tip of the needle to be in the approximate area of the papilla or the bulb. This is definitely NOT necessary in the use of galvanic electrolysis. For this reason, galvanic can be a lot easier for insertions, primarily because it is not necessary to insert deeply and risk the potential for piercing through the bottom of the follicle.
On to diagram 2. From Gray’s Anatomy
Here we have a cross section of a hair and follicle. They have even gone so far as to name the layers. Though I have never seen anything in print, it would be a reasonably safe bet to say that the needle slides carefully somewhere between Henley’s layer and the outer layers of the cortex. There is minimal resistance if the insertion is done well, indicating that no actual damage is occuring. It is only when power is applied that chemical formation begins and Huxley’s and Henle’s layers become saturated with galvanic lye. These layers are weak enough that it is possible to remove them intact with the hair shaft itself; (see the photos above) the point of seperation being just outside of Henle’s layer. HOWEVER, I noted this while doing genital work. The most outer layers of the follicle: the Dermic Coat and possibly the Hyaline layer, CANNOT be removed.
At some point it is virtually impossible to remove the entire follicle from the skin. In one notable attempt I actually inverted the outer layers outside of the skin. In an attempt to forcibly remove the inverted lyers, I wrenched them free with some effort and the resulting disruption of the blood supply capillaries led to notable bleeding.
In firmer skin (face, body) these outer follicle walls cannot even be inverted, they are that strongly attached. In certain genital skin, the skin itself cannot support such structural integrity and the result was mentioned above. NOW, when the outer follicle inverts out of genital skin, I simply push the protruding follicle back into the skin………and the most amazing thing happens……the follicle dies anyway. It is the process of the destruction, decay and collapse of the outer follicle wall, that leads to debris that forms and is ejected after a successful hair-kill. This ejection is not a quick affair and usually takes a few weeks, often presenting itself as thick dark chunks of debris that are easily rubbed off of the skin.
Under magnification, the remains of dead follicles emerge from previous treatment.
On face and body, the entire process of recovery can actually take as long as 2 years for debris to quietly slough off and disappear, leaving the skin perfectly smooth and intact.
I want to also add here something of note not covered in any of my earlier sites. Most male beards actually originate from a follicle that is bell shaped at the opening. It is this bell shape that gives male beards and skin a rather rough and textured look. The PROPER destruction of the follicle begins a process of change in the upper layers of the skin itself, and the bell openings begin to close. The change in the texture of the skin with proper work, is nothing short of astounding.
Compare these two photographs
BEFORE: 50 X magnification – Changes in skin texture appear not only around the hairs themselves, but (towards the left) with hairs yet to emerge.
AFTER: 100 X magnification shows the skin very nicely recovered and texture is nearly gone.
With female clients, this bell shape at the follicular opening is largely non-existent, making the work of removing hair a more difficult and demanding task. However, the follicles are not as nearly as robust and the recovery of skin texture is much more rapid.