What is Electrolysis Hair Removal? and How to Become an Electrologist

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What is Electrolysis Hair Removal

Nowadays, electrolysis hair removal is the only method that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As a result, this procedure became very popular and there are numerous spas and salons that provide this service.

While there are personal care professionals that decide to focus on electrolysis solely, in most cases, estheticians and cosmetologists obtain electrologist license as an addition to their other professional licenses.

It is a great opportunity to expand your professional expertise, get better career prospects, and attract new clients.

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Electrolysis: The Only Proven Method for Permanent Hair Removal

Excess facial and body hair can be a result of various healths problems such as heredity, hormones, and metabolic disorders.

While there is a whole variety of methods for permanently removing unwanted hair, electrolysis is the only one that is recognized and approved by the government.

The electrolysis method is based on inserting a fine probe into the hair follicle in order to send electric currents and destroy the regeneration ability of follicle.

To be able to perform this procedure and obtain state licensing, you need to complete a special training course.

Usually, these training programs include such disciplines as the three modalities of electrolysis.

As we said, there are three modalities of electrolysis that are galvanic (chemical process), thermolysis (short-wave heat process), and a blended modality.

The type of modality depends on clients’ needs and is chosen by an electrologist.

Electrolysis Hair Removal Training Program Options

If you want to be able to work in this sphere, it is not enough to complete a training program.

You also need to meet some requirements that govern the sphere in your state.

First of all, you need to complete an approved training program or an apprenticeship.

Most schools that offer electrolysis training programs are usually accredited by regional agencies or one of the agencies below:

Usually, states approve all accredited schools and provide lists of approved schools.

To find those lists, you need to visit the official website of your state.

The fact is each electrolysis program has its own curriculum but according to the American Electrology Association, there is a list of basic disciplines that should be included in any program in this sphere.

The aim is to provide students with a certain set of skills and knowledge required for their careers.

According to the Association requirements, an electrolysis training program should include subjects that provide students with:

  • Knowledge related to the specific tasks of electrology;
  • Knowledge, skills, and attitudes developed in clinical experiences;
  • Knowledge in interpersonal and communications skills;
  • Knowledge in areas regarding ethics, law, and business essential to the electrolysis professional.

The curriculum of an electrolysis program usually contains such subjects as:

  • Basic sciences (anatomy and physiology, histology, cytology, dermatology, basic biochemistry, etc.);
  • Microbiology (disinfection, sterilization, personal hygiene, aseptic techniques, etc.);
  • Immunology;
  • Basic principles of electricity;
  • Modalities of electrology;
  • Electrology techniques and variables;
  • The operation, care, and maintenance of electrolysis equipment;
  • Psychology (interpersonal skills, case history documentation, ergonomics, etc.);
  • Professional electrologist considerations (ethical issues, legal issues, professional standards, etc.).

Licensing Requirements in Each State

When it comes to states that require electrologist licenses, you need to know that there is no constant.

In some states, you need to complete 400 hours of training to get your license but in other states, it can take you as much as 1000 hours.

Also, to be able to get your license in some states, you are obliged to complete an apprenticeship.

It means that you should complete some on-the-job training under the supervision of a qualified and experienced electrologist.

An apprenticeship can be a replacement for a training program provided by a school.

Sometimes, apprenticeship is the main requirement for those who want to obtain their electrolysis license.

In different states, various regulatory bodies are responsible for electrolysis licensing.

It can be a cosmetology board, the department of health, or the department of medical examiners.

In some states, there is the board of electrolysis examiners that license only those who want to become an electrologist.

Also, there are states that have no state licensing requirements so people who want to work as electrologists should complete some voluntary training.

It is necessary so they can learn about electrolysis’ equipment, methods, and safety protocols.

As you can see, it can be pretty confusing when it comes to licensing for electrolysis hair removal specialists.

To make it easier for you, we’ve created a short guide about licensing requirements in different states.

Nowadays, there are 18 states that have no licensing requirements for those who want to become an electrologist:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Speaking of those states that have specific licensing requirements for electrolysis hair removal careers, there are 32 of them and the District of Columbia.

Arkansas

  • Licensing board: Arkansas Department of Health, Board of Cosmetology
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years; high school or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 600 hours or 350 hours for those who have an Arkansas cosmetology license
  • Examination requirement: yes

California

  • Licensing board: California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
  • Minimum age/educational level: 17 years; high school or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 600 hours or two-year apprenticeship
  • Examination requirement: yes

Connecticut

Delaware

  • Licensing board: Delaware Board of Cosmetology and Barbering
  • Minimum age/educational level: 16 years; tenth grade or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 300 hours or 600-hour apprenticeship
  • Examination requirement: yes

District of Columbia

Florida

Hawaii

Idaho

  • Licensing board: Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses
  • Minimum age/educational level: 16 ½ years; two years high school or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 500 hours and 300 hours in skincare, or 1,600-hour apprenticeship
  • Examination requirement: yes

Illinois

Indiana

  • Licensing board: Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years/high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 1,500-hour beauty culture course or 700-hour esthetics course, plus 300-hour electrology course
  • Examination requirement: yes

Iowa

  • Licensing board: Iowa Department of Public Health
  • Minimum age/educational level: high school diploma or GED
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 425 hours
  • Examination requirement: no

Kansas

  • Licensing board: Kansas State Board of Cosmetology
  • Minimum age/educational level: 17 years/high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 500 hours or 1,000-hour apprenticeship
  • Examination requirement: yes

Louisiana

  • Licensing board: Louisiana State Board of Electrolysis Examiners
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years/high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 600 hours or 600-hour apprenticeship
  • Examination requirement: yes

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

  • Licensing board: Board of Registration of Electrologists
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years; high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 1,100 hours
  • Examination requirement: yes

Michigan

Montana

  • Licensing board: Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years/high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 600 hours
  • Examination requirement: yes

Nebraska

Nevada

  • Licensing board: Nevada State Board of Cosmetology
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years/ high school or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 500 hours or 1,000-hour apprenticeship
  • Examination requirement: yes

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

North Carolina

North Dakota

  • Licensing board: North Dakota Department of Health
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years/high school or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 600 hours
  • Examination requirement: no

Ohio

  • Licensing Board: Ohio State Medical Board
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years/high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 750 hours
  • Examination requirement: yes

Oklahoma

Oregon

  • Licensing board: Oregon Health Licensing Agency
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years/high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 600 hours
  • Examination requirement: yes

Rhode Island

  • Licensing board: Rhode Island Board of Examiners of Electrolysis
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years/high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 650-hour apprenticeship
  • Examination requirement: yes

Tennessee

  • Licensing board: Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years/ high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 600 hours and 23 hours in approved subjects
  • Examination requirement: yes

Utah

Vermont

  • Licensing board: Vermont Office of Professional Regulation
  • Minimum age/educational level: 18 years/high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum electrology program hour requirement: 600 hours
  • Examination requirement: yes

Wisconsin

State Licensing Exam Requirements and the Certified Professional Electrologist (CPE) Credential

State Licensing Exam

As you can see, in most states, you need to successfully complete a state licensing exam that aims to prove your proficiency.

Only after completing this exam, you’ll be able to obtain hair removal electrolysis license.

Usually, this exam contains two parts – a written test and a practical exam.

The exam is based on the International Board of Electrologist Certification (IBEC) state licensing exams that are sponsored by the American Electrology Association.

In order to register for this exam, you need to address Prometric.

Certified Professional Electrologist (CPE) Exam

While there are some states that require no licensing for electrologists, numerous specialists that work there decide to sit for the Certified Professional Electrologist (CPE) exam.

It is a great way to gain extra CPE credentials and distinguish yourself from other specialists.

Those specialists that are licensed for providing permanent hair removal services also often apply for the CPE exam.

This exam aims to check applicants’ knowledge of such aspects as:

  • Anatomy and physiology of the skin and hair;
  • Clinical observations;
  • Electrical operations;
  • Equipment and supplies;
  • Infection control;
  • Professional, ethical, and legal considerations.

The CPE credential should be renovated every 5 years.

To be able to sit for this exam, you need to complete a minimum of 75 contact hours of training visiting approved lectures, seminars, home study, courses, etc.

To sit for the IBEC CPE, you need to register through Prometric.

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