When Pearl Warner joined the Electrology Association of Illinois (EAI) in 2000, she had no idea that she would eventually serve as the President of the American Electrology Association (AEA) for ten years and counting!
After opening her business “Warner Skincare” in 2000 near Chicago, Pearl Warner realized that she didn’t have anybody that she could talk to about improving her skills and learning more about her industry. She reflects, ”I wanted to get involved and learn as much as I could about this profession, and joining the local chapter of the AEA was my first step in building a professional network.” In 2005, Ms. Warner became President of the Electrology Association of Illinois (EAI) chapter, which led to serving as the Illinois delegate to the AEA and as the Chair of Convention Education (responsible for finding Convention Speakers). These roles gave her the opportunity meet with colleagues throughout the country and get a deeper understanding of how the organization functioned.
When the retiring President of the national AEA asked her to consider running to replace her as head of the national association, she wasn’t interested… at first. Ms. Warner remembers, “We were in Canada at a convention when the sitting President told me that she was ready to retire and that she thought I had the skills to lead the organization. Over the course of the conference, she kept coming back to me to discuss it again and again until the idea took hold, and I realized that I wanted to take on that challenge.”
Involvement with the AEA
Under her leadership, the AEA has modernized and streamlined its organization. Immediately after taking over in 2012, Ms. Warner led AEA’s move from paper to electronic records and updated the website. She worked for FDA recognition of electrolysis as the only form of permanent hair removal. She enrolled the AEA as a partner in the PCOS Challenge, a campaign to promote awareness and support for women with PCOS. While working on the PCOS Challenge, Ms. Warner discovered that proponents of laser technology had already established a sizeable presence in this organization. She notes, “In 2012, laser technology was still relatively new, and most electrologists were running away from it. My experience with laser professionals helped me understand that there were advantages to electrolysis clients from laser. I vowed to embrace laser and find synergies between the two technologies.” It was under her leadership that there was a shift among electrologists from viewing laser technology as a competitor to understanding it as a complimentary hair removal process that is appropriate for many situations and individuals. With each of these milestones, Ms. Warner is quick to note, ”I share credit for all accomplishments with the AEA Board. Many of the Board members have been with me for most of my tenure, and our strong working relationships have led to concrete results.”
When asked which accomplishments she is most proud of, Ms. Warner names the move to electronic records, the constant growth of the organization, and the fact that she has not shrunk from the challenges she’s encountered in the past 10 years. For example, on the day of our interview for this article, Ms. Warner described her ‘fire of the day’: “An electrologist was offended by some language found in a website article written many years ago. At the time it was written, the language was not considered to be offensive, but our understanding of what is appropriate is changing, and now addressing this concern in a timely manner is at the top of today’s to-do list.”
As a leader in the industry for 15 years and counting, Ms. Warner has a treasure trove of experience from which she is ready to share advice.
- “For individuals seeking to become an electrologist, do your research and find a qualified school that offers dedicated electrology programs rather than treating electrology as an add-on to a generalized esthetic education – it takes 320 hours of training to become an AEA member because we are an organization of skilled professionals!”
- “As a new electrologist, you will excel if you continue to study. Your school training is just the tip of the iceberg.”
- “Since most electrologists work independently, they won’t readily have a network of colleagues to spawn ideas off of. Being in touch with likeminded professionals is crucial, and that is what membership in the AEA does: it helps you build your professional network and stay up to date by offering CEU programs taught by the best presenters in the U.S.”
- “I believe that an AEA membership is an opportunity to become a better electrologist.”
- “Remember: every client is different. You will always be learning because each new client is different; each client needs to be treated as if they are a brand new case – because they are!”
- “If you run into a new problem in your practice, it is rarely a problem with the equipment you’re using. Instead, it’s about getting the right needle for the technique you’re using.”
Her electrologist practice
When asked about the tools she uses in her own practice, our conversation turns to needles: “I practically only use Ballet Needles. I use both K- and F- needles, and primarily the Ballet Gold needles. I have found gold to be a better conductor of electricity; and, choosing Ballet Gold is a way of being absolute sure that I won’t have to worry about a client having a nickel allergy.
“Back when I first started, I used Ballet Stainless Steel probes, and I couldn’t understand why one of my clients was constantly having breakouts after treatments. I tried the Ballet Gold probe, and the allergic reaction disappeared. After that, I moved exclusively to gold. I prefer Ballet probes because they’re one-piece; the two-piece probes sometimes separated when I used them. I have tried other needles, and I’ll still use them for sampling or testing. But when it’s time for work, I use Ballet Gold probes.”
If you would like to be highlighted by Synoptic Products as an Electrologist of the Month, please get in touch! We love to recognize successful electrologists throughout North America. Send your information to info @ synopticproducts.com.
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