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Stainless Steel Needles - A Primer

There are three types of electrolysis needles on the market today. Stainless steel needles, gold plated needles and insulated needles. All three types of needles start with surgical stainless steel as the base. Stainless steel is a blend of metals, including nickel, that provide strength, ductility, and flexibility. Gold needles are stainless steel needles that are coated with thin layer of 24 karat gold. Insulated needles are stainless steel needles that are coated with a polymer layer along the length of the needle, starting at the taper point and down except at the tip. Unlike gold, which is a conductive metal, the polymer layer insulates the needle, so it cannot cover the shank nor the tip of the needle.

There are three types of electrolysis needles on the market
today: stainless steel, gold plated and insulated needles.

Definitions: Stainless Steel

Stainless steel Ballet Needles are manufactured with surgical stainless steel. This is the same stainless steel used in many medical and dental tools. Stainless steel is a mixture of a iron, chromium and usually nickel to create a non-staining, rust-free amalgam. The addition of chromium to the mixture keeps the steel from rusting, and nickel reduces the brittleness of the blend. The blended results in a strong, ductile and flexible material that is excellent for medical tools. Surgical stainless steel, a type of stainless steel, has the highest level of corrosion resistance due to the addition of carbon and molybdenum and is used most often in medical and dental applications.   

Stainless steel Ballet Needles are manufactured with surgical stainless steel

Stainless Steel Epilation Needles

Stainless steel electrolysis needles have been around for decades. In fact, the first epilation was done using steel sewing needles. The industry has clearly come a long way since then, and the stainless steel we use now is more ductile and flexible.

Stainless steel electrolysis needles are excellent for clients with robust skin, and many of your clients will have a show excellent response to using stainless steel needles for hair removal. The Ballet Stainless Steel Needles are micromachined using precision engineering, and provide a smooth surface for the electrical current to flow to the hair follicle. Stainless steel provides a robust, tough needle that can be used for all hair and hair types. The Ballet stainless steel needles can be used for all modalities, Galvanic, Thermolysis, and Blend, and with all epilators from all manufacturers. This is true of all stainless steel needles.

Stainless Steel and Nickel

While stainless steel is a robust and effective metal for epilator needles, the nickel that is included in the metal mixture can cause irritation for clients with a nickel allergy. These clients will likely have inflammation at the skin surface post-electrolysis. An easy way to tell if your client is likely to be allergic to nickel is to simply ask if they can wear inexpensive earrings. Most inexpensive earrings are made with stainless steel wires. If you client can't wear such earrings because they cause their ears to get infected, then they are likely allergic to nickel. Essentially the nickel in the steel has a chemical reaction with the proteins on the skin surface resulting in swelling and redness. Usually people who only wear gold or Stirling silver earrings have learned over time that inexpensive earrings cause their ears to get infected. Asking about what earrings your clients can or cannot wear is an easy way to learn this information and avoid the unnecessary skin inflammation that comes with such an allergy. The easiest step to take if your client has a known nickel allergy is to switch to Ballet's gold plated needles. You can use the same size needle as used with stainless steel needles, and your client will likely experience reduced inflammation.

Stainless Steel Needle Types

Ballet's stainless steel needles come both F- and K-Shank and in a range of needle thicknesses, from .002 inches (.055 mm) to .006 inches (.150 mm). These needles are primarily used for epilation, although some electrologists use them for advanced electrolysis techniques, depending on state licensing rules. The Ballet line also includes an F12 needle (.012 inches, .300 mm) that are used by primarily nurses and dermatologists for skin tag removal, red vein treatments and other procedures. Finally the F3-tel and K3-tel needles were developed specifically for telangiectasia and have a sharper point that electrolysis needles in order to effectively pierce the skin. If you have any questions about any of the Ballet Stainless Steel Electrolysis Needles, please reach out to us!


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