Hair removal from the breast area
Hair removal from
the breast area
How often have you been treating a womans face with electrolysis and just as youve nearly completed the course of treatment, they tentatively ask you to remove "one or two hairs" from the breast area?
Most of the women I treat think that they are the only person with such a problem, but a majority of women have some hair around the areola. This is perfectly normal and there is nothing wrong with the woman. Usually it is only a few stragglers, but for some it is a major issue, causing them immense distress as they suffer with issues of femininity and image. Although any nationality of woman can breast hair, southern European and middle eastern women often have excessive growths around the areola and down the sternum. This is distressing and can limit young women from wearing fashionable clothing.
If there is extensive hair growth, it may be worth recommending that the client see an endocrinologist, especially if they have hair in any other area that is in the male sexual hair growth pattern [ie chin, neck, abdomen]. Personally, I feel that so many women have some hair on the breast that I dont consider it abnormal, far from it, it is very normal to have some hair in this area. If they do see a doctor, often nothing is done to help except offer drugs like Aldactone, which blocks Androgen access to the hair follicle, but does not correct the problem as when the person comes off medication, the hair often returns. Doctors are often not sensitive to the issues involved and sometimes cause more distress to the woman.
Electrolysis is well worth doing on the breast area. It relieves so much anxiety and improves self-esteem. The area responds well to treatment with little or few complications.
If the client has not seen you before for electrolysis, then you need to consult them and take a medical history. Make sure you check for contra-indications.
It is worth mentioning breast augmentation [implants] at this time. As some clients may be fearful of having electrolysis after having augmentation surgery. There is no problem whatsoever in performing electrolysis on breasts that have implants. Electrolysis is having an affect on follicle tissue in the dermis only, and is nowhere near the implant.
I prefer to do a small test patch at the consultation before going ahead with a full treatment. This gives us a chance to check the skin reaction and healing ability.
This is a very personal area to treat and many clients will feel embarrassed at having to expose their breasts to another person. You need to approach the situation with tact, sensitivity and confidence. If the client feels your unease, they will freeze and get even more embarrassed. You need to act like the professional you are, and whether this is the first or the 50th breast treatment you have performed, the client should never know the difference.
Ask the client to remove their upper body clothing including their bra and give them a gown or towel to cover themselves with. It might be an idea to turn away while they are undressing. Perhaps you could wash your hands or busy yourself with something useful. Make sure you drape the client well when they are on the treatment couch. I prefer using a towel, but a front opening gown is also suitable.
If you are right handed, sit at the clients right side, if left handed, then sit on their left. Obviously you should have everything you need at hand on your treatment trolley.
Your probe [needle] needs to match the size of the hairs. This often means using a size .004, although sometimes a .003 is more suitable.
Uncover the breast nearest to you and start there. The hairs are often surprisingly long and coarse. If they have been plucked, there may be ingrown hairs and sore inflamed follicles. Only release ingrown hairs if they will do so easily, and of course use a sterile Terumo needle.
Every insertion will be at a slightly different angle as the hairs grow in spirals around the areola. Insertions can be very difficult so you need to be patient and careful. Do not give in and treat if you dont have the correct insertion as this will lead to hairs not epilating properly and result in ingrowns.
Stretch the area well to enhance insertions. This will mean your hands are in intimate contact with the breast and will probably press or lean against the nipple. The nipple will often become firm and erect due to the contact stimulation. Do not show embarrassment and if need be, let your client know this is purely a reflex they have no control over. I personally just ignore it and continue on.
If you treat a client that is breast-feeding, you may find they start leaking during treatment. Again, no embarrassment, just mop the area as required and continue, if they are happy to do so.
I prefer to use the blend method of electrolysis and progressive epilation. This allows the operator to grip the hair while the current is running and regularly test it until the hair epilates smoothly. The follicle will get thorough exposure to lye and heat for maximum effectiveness. They are usually strong hairs and will need reasonable time and intensity. I cannot go into machine settings here, as it is dependent on the epilator you are using.
Hairs are usually spaced enough that you can clear the area, but if any are too close together you leave some for a future treatment.
When the right breast is finished, cover it, and then ask the client to turn on their side towards you. Remove the drape from that breast, cleanse the area and resume treatment.
About 10 minutes after treatment, the follicles will look like "goose bumps". There will be erythema [redness] and distinct raised areas where each hair was removed. This is perfectly normal, but if you or your client is not prepared, it can look worrying. Talk with your client and explain the reaction to them. It calms down within 24 hours.
Apply after care as you are used to doing. I do cataphoresis after treatment using a calming gel, [Aloe, Witch hazel etc].
The breast area may or may not develop small red/brown scabs 48 hours after treatment. Prepare your client for possible reactions. Give them after care instructions. They need to look after the area and apply a soothing/healing product for a few days. They need to be careful what clothing covers the breasts. Some bras with seams through the cups could irritate the tissue. Man made fabric may not let the tissue breath as it heals. Cotton bras or crop tops with no seams are best.
If the hairs have not been previously plucked, they will be relatively slow growing back, but if previously plucked you may have regular crops coming through for a while. I use the Body Technique of the Blend method. This means I usually do not need to see the area for about 8-12 weeks before another treatment.
The breast area can be a tricky area to treat and needs practice to be able to insert into the follicles correctly, but as with any thingpractice makes perfect! The relief it gives to clients who have this problem is immense so it is well worth persevering with.
If you have any further queries regarding breast treatment, or any other enquiries, please feel free to email me:
Want to talk to Trudy?
Trudy Fleming is an electrologist with more than 25 years experience.
Trudy is a qualified teacher within the TAFE system and runs private workshops specialising in refresher skills.
She also imports electrolysis machines and other items. Realising that one never stops learning, Trudy regularly attends conventions here and overseas in order to keep up to date in this ever-changing world.
Breast before treatment
Breast immediately after treatment.