Permanent facial hair removal is the easiest step, the step least likely to “out” you, and absolutely the most positive thing you can do toward reaching your goal of “passing” as a woman.
It is nearly impossible to be full time en femme, without great problems, unless you have completed professional facial electrolysis first.
Properly done permanent facial electrolysis will make a M2F TG/TS person look at least 10-15 years younger, and much more feminine, especially when combined with a good hormone program like Evanesce and Feminol.
“Properly done permanent facial electrolysis” is NOT something that is done at home, not something done with a home “kit” or tweezers, and generally not done with laser — laser for an entire male beard is VERY brutal on facial skin, in the long term.
I am personally very adamantly opposed to laser for removing the male beard. I know there are people who will disagree with me on this. Even the best laser treatments will only remove the dark hairs, and the potential for long term scarring is significant — scarring which would not show up for 5-7 years, but which is irreversible if it does show up later on.
Laser can only remove the darker hairs which are actively growing at the time of the session. It cannot get the dormant hairs.
Laser electrolysis will require that multiple follicles — all *very* close to each other — to heal at the same time, in the deep layers of the skin. These close-together follicles, all trying to heal at one time, creates a strong potential for scarring. Traditional electrolysis, when performed with a thin out, thin out, thin out process, avoids this problem.
You NEED to avoid using ANY/ALL chemicals intended to inhibit growth of BODY hair, on facial skin. These chemicals will permanently damage facial skin. Facial skin is THE most fragile skin on the human body..
Once facial hairs are triggered into life, the only way to stop them from continued growth, is traditional professional electrolysis. You want to find someone who will do traditional professional one-hair-at-a-time electrolysis. Find someone who will thin out the hairs, rather than clearing whole areas at one swipe.
No matter how much you personally want the heavy areas of your beard to be gone — cleared — as soon as possible, allow the electrologist to thin the hairs in that area out, over a period of time, to avoid the potential for scarring which could appear in the future if the area was “clear cut”, or “strip mined”.
The average male beard, being worked by a professional electrologist who knows — who is experienced in — how to remove a male beard, takes about 100 hours of work — 100 hours of sessions — to reach the point where shaving is no longer necessary. A good skilled electrologist will not attempt to do more than 3-4 hours per week; the potential for damage to the under layers of skin is too great if you try to do more than this.
No longer neding to shave is NOT the end point of facial electrolysis, but it is a VERY significant milestone. My own electrolysis was done in two years. In the case of my own extremely difficult and heavy beard (Italian “blue beard”, like Nixon had, with a lot of red hairs mixed in (thanks mom!) it took almost 120 hours to reach the point of no longer shaving. Between my face and my chest, I probably have 250 hours under the needle. I stopped counting years ago, but it is in that neighborhood.
Do NOT calculate how much it will cost, nor how long it will take.
Just buy as much as you can buy each week, each month, and then buy more, and it will get done eventually. If you stop to think about the total cost, you will never start. This is the same as buying food — no one calculates the cost of food per year; they just buy what they need and what they can afford
Most good electrologists will limit facial work to four hours per week, in order to allow proper healing between sessions. Many electrologists have a pre-paid plan, 10 sessions prepaid for a discount price, for example — ask.
I personally believe that no one should start fulltime cross-living until facial electrolysis is essentially complete. And that does NOT mean plucking one’s own beard out.
Living working socializing as a woman full time, will be virtually impossible until after your facial electrolysis is essentially complete. If you were to change your mind about transition later on, there is no down side to having your beard permanently gone.
If you think you cannot do this step, then give up on transition.
You cannot live as a woman, with male facial hair, with a male beard.
There are NO makeup tricks which will cover a male beard — five o’clock shadow — throughout an entire work day, especially in the summer.
You CAN do this step — there are no shortcuts, no options.
For more details on this process, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_follicle