Unit 3.4b – Probes

The two-piece straight and two-piece tapered have more flexibility.  This means that the probe bends when the probe is inserted correctly. 

The insulated probes only have 6mm exposed with the rest of the probe covered in a plastic coating.  Insulation tends to make the probe thicker.  Insulated probes are now manufactured with a polymer coating which does not peel or make the probe thicker.  This probe is good for sensitive skin because it reduces skin reactions.  Some electrologists will only use insulated probes with the thermolysis modality. 

The 24 carat gold plated probe has 24 carat gold bonding on the entire probe surface and the cobalt gives strength to gold.  This probe is ideal for people who are sensitive to stainless steel in that swelling and erythema are reduced. This probe is also good for the treatment of telangiectasis (broken capillaries). 

Probe sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  The most commonly used are: 

  • 002, 003, 004, 005, 006 and 007 which is 2 to 7 thousandths of an inch. 

Probe length can be short or regular.  Regular probes are used for deep follicle services and short for shallow follicles.  The probe surface should be smooth for easy insertion. 

The probe should be able to enter and slide down the hair follicle and supply the current to the dermal papilla and the area of the bulge.  Some electrologists will change the probes during a long  treatment as the probes can become bent or weak, or skin debris may adhere to them making them less effective. 

Current flows to the point or area of least resistance, that is, the tip of the probe. 

It is important to match the diameter size of hair so that the probe diameter at the tip fits the base of the follicle, therefore making destruction more efficient.  A probe with too small a diameter creates too intense a current concentration.  This is more painful and results in under treatment of the follicle.  If the probe diameter is too large, the follicle wall will be stretched which may result in broken capillaries.