Electrolysis – What To Expect

Like anything – everything else related to change, every face, and every hair, is different.

Some folicles will give up in one zap. Most will take more than one zap; but each time they do come back, they will be weaker — finer and softer and thinner — then they were before. And not all the hairs grow at one time; some will be dormant at the time of a session of electrology. Some will return in 10 days, some in 20 days, some in 30, 40, 50, 60 …..

When trying to find an electrologist you need to test drive several and have each of them take hairs form different parts of your total beard because the pain levels will be different in different areas of your beard. Most electrologists will do a 10 to 15 minute test session. Ask the electrologists if they will offer a discount for a prepaid block of time.  Usually if they do offer a block of prepaid time it is in 10 hour increments.

The safest way is to limit electrolysis time to 3-4 hours a week, and by using a removal system of thinning, thinning, thinning the beard ….  until the beard is all gone.  Thinning allows the hair folicles to heal independently of each other.  In order to get the most effective electrolysis, you need 2-3 days of beard growth. The technician doing the work needs that amount of growth in order to see which direction the hair folicles go into the skin;  hairs are virtually never straight in, but always at some angle. A good electrologist will limit this work on the average male face, to 3-4 hours a week in order to give the sub layers of skin time to heal properly. The typical male beard takes about 100 hours of work, to get to a point where shaving is no longer necessary.

The number of hair follicles that get removed during one appointment varies depending on the skill of your technician, and on your tolerance for pain. The safest way is to limit electrolysis time to 3-4 hours a week, and by using a removal system of thinning, thinning, thinning the beard ….  until the beard is all gone.  Thinning allows the hair folicles to heal independently of each other.  Strip mining requires all the folicles to heal adjacent to each other to heal at the same time, which invites scaring at the folicle level.  This layer of skin will be the top layer of skin in 4-7 years, and any scaring which appears then, will be permanent.

Strip mining requires all the follicles to heal adjacent to each other to heal at the same time, which invites scaring at the folicle level.  This layer of skin will be the top layer of skin in 4-7 years, and any scaring which appears then, will be permanent. Think about this, a benefit to thining thinning thinning the beard out, rather than strip-mining the beard, is that if you have to stop going to electrolysis for any period of time, there will not be “holes” — clear splotches — within your remaining beard shadow;  which would draw attention to the changes you are making.

Several thousand TG’s experiences over the past 20 years show clearly that there is considerable risk in trying to do electrology as a marathon;  to do marathon sessions is to invite major skin problems 3-7 years later;  the layer of skin where the follicles are now will be the top layer in a few years.  You need to get the beard thinned, thinned, to allow proper healing….  It is more frustrating this way, but far more beneficial.  My facial skin, for example, is SO good now that I rarely have to wear foundation…..!

Bear in mind that you cannot put makeup on, over fresh electrology……

Does electrolysis hurt? I’m not going to tell you the electrolysis process doesn’t hurt but it is different for each person. For me, I could fall asleep when she was working on my cheeks and neck; but around my lips, and between my mouth and nose, well — I learned self hypnosis to try to block the pain.

Do not try to wax your beard off. Do not use any chemical hair removal products such as Nair(TM) on your facial skin because your facial skin is far and away the most fragile skin on your body. Using these products may leave you with chemical burns on your face which everyone will most likely notice.

Waxing & sugaring are only temporary. And it is not advised to have any waxing done on a male face. Being a licensed esthetician myself (skin care), males have thicker, courser facial hair than a woman would have. Waxing the face, especially the upper lip, chin and cheeks can result in taking off skin & bruising. Body hair, such as chest, arms, legs and stomach are fine for a male bodied person to have waxed, but not the face. I strongly recommend against it.

Waxing may be cost effective now, but only lasts several weeks. Electolysis is permanent. So going back for years of waxing will ultimately end up costing you more in maintainance in the long run, while several sessions of electrolysis over several months will only cost you what you put into it.

Having electrolysis completed properly will make you look 10-15 years younger than you really are. And for many people, electrolysis alone will dynamically improve their ability to “pass” visually as a woman, even without makeup, without dresses, without “props”. Should you decide later to not go completely through transition — should you decide to continue living in the male role, you will never have to go through the every-morning-shaving ritual again.
As I have said often, do NOT calculate the total cost of this procedure, or you will never start this critically important step.
just buy the amount of time you can afford each week, each month, and then buy the next block of time. Don’t think about it; just get it done as you have time and funds to get it done. Like eating an elephant — it is just one thoughtless bite at at time. Just like shoveling a foot of snow off of a driveway — just one thoughtless shovel-full at a time. Just like painting a bedroom — one roller-full of paint, one brush-full of paint at a time.
Image credits: Wikipedia.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_follicle, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Skin.jpg