In proper combination, the use of galvanic electrolysis and thermolysis can present a formidable method of destruction of the hair follicle. It has been noted that the causticity of galvanic lye can be raised as much as 16 times when heated. Heating can be done by thermolysis and the placement of its operation in the overall treatment cycle can render the penetration of galvanic lye significant. This will further aid in the damage to the hair follicle. The great variability of settings allows for custom settings to suit each individual client and their respective skin types and hair needs.
Blend is complex for operators to use and all too often, this process is badly set up and skin damage is often the result. The primary difficulty is the determination of how much thermolysis produces coagulation and not desiccation.
Coagulation is the raising of the temperature of tissue to a certain point at which fluids congeal. That is, essentially, they change chemical structure. This occurs in human tissue at 172 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, tissue begins to lose structure and allows for greater penetration of galvanic lye if it is being used. In the case of thermolysis, the hair is ready to be removed.
Desiccation is the removal of all moisture from the hair follicle or surrounding tissue. This occurs, quit naturally, at 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Centigrade, the boiling point of water. At this temperature, collagen is destroyed and becomes gelatin and the tissue closest to the source of energy dries out to become more or less, “Beef Jerky”. This tissue cannot be removed by the body and remains essentially as scar tissue. Its texture is more dense and inflexible.
Much the same as with flash thermolysis, operators in search of speed are usually the unwitting victims of misaligned equipment. I have witnessed several clients who received “blend” and exhibited skin damage more similar to that of badly done flash thermolysis.
Blend Consists of an extremely wide range of settings, many of which may be detrimental to the client or to the process itself.
To begin with, the use of blend electrolysis is complex. Very complex. Settings of either modality can be varied from 0 to 100 percent and the timing of each is also critical to the total operation of killing hair and the prevention of severe skin damage. Very often what a client is receiving is not blend at all, but rather, thermolysis. The galvanic, though on, is deprived of sufficient moisture with which to work. The observation of the follicles which have been removed is probably the main key to understanding the extent of the settings of the machine. Knowing what you are doing helps a lot, too.
Because of pain, the galvanic portion of blend is fairly easy to control. There is only so much galvanic power you can take. However, gauging this with the use of anesthetics can be a bit trickier. You must rely on visual input, but still, it is fairly straightforward. Proper levels of either modality will exhibit bright to mild pink. Medium pink to dark pink will demonstrate heavier treatment, while light redness and oozing are symptoms of the limits of what the skin can take without damage. Dark red and purple are signs of excessive treatment and skin damage. BUT KNOW THIS, thermolysis is capable of coagulating and restricting blood flow and hence, pinkness. Therefore, the skin might actually be blanched early in the process if the machine is improperly set up and there is NO visual indication of color sufficient to gauge the performance of the process. Thermolysis can be very deceiving. Often, a significant amount of tissue can be treated before it becomes apparent that something is wrong. Often, the results of bad settings are only known a few days later. For more information, please see my section on Thermolysis.
It seems that some instructions advise operators to begin setting for blend operation by gradually increasing the thermolysis until the hair is easily removed. Determine how many seconds this takes, then dividing the seconds into the units of lye needed to remove a particular type of hair. You then increase the galvanic portion of the machine until the total time of operation to remove the hair times the setting of the galvanic level equals the units of lye needed.
Remember that: time x level = Units of Lye.
So, for instance, a beard hair requires 80 units of lye. If the hair can be removed with 4 seconds of thermolysis, then: 80 divided by 4 would yield 20. 20 would be 20 tenths of a milliampere of galvanic power or more exactly, .002 milliampere. The theory here being that the thermolysis and the galvanic would be both on for the full cycle of treatment.
What if I told you that this is B.S.?
Right: A Gentronics Blend machine with multi-needle capability. I never found that multi-needle was all that workable or all that fast. I could work faster with a properly set single needle set-up. This machine was most excellent at giving me FULL control over start and duration times for both galvanic and thermolysis.
I have found that even the most nominal amount of thermolysis has a drying effect on the contents of the follicle. In fact, I have learned that a setting of less than 10% of total thermolysis power out can still result in this drying action. This is particularly the case when the machine is set for the thermolysis to start early in the treatment cycle. When thermolysis begins, moisture is dried out and galvanic electrolysis cannot take place and what the client is receiving is nothing more than thermolysis.
Also the idea of an established number of units of lye is not really practical. One client with moist sub-surface tissue would be badly damaged at the same galvanic setting as another with much less tissue moisture content. I have witnessed wide variations in this. Therefore, a single number can drastically over-simplify the process and lead to wasted time or wasted skin. Your choice.
I would recommend the opposite. Gradually increase the galvanic level until the hair easily comes out. Set the thermolysis to about 5% of total power output in the thermolysis section. Also, set the thermolysis to pulse for no more than 1.0 to 1.5 seconds and set it to occur at the very end of the treatment cycle, just after the galvanic has stopped.
There ya go……..true blend.
My experience with one machine that was hard-programmed for thermolysis to begin *automatically* after .5 seconds into the treatment cycle, ended up teaching me that there had to be a better way. That in turn led me to learn that there was no necessity for thermolysis in my practice.
However, I used Blend for 8 years and I highly recommend it over Thermolysis, if locating an operator is difficult. Simply ask that your operator lower the thermolysis settings and it should work well enough.