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Electrolysis Report


Jeanette West

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14 hours ago, Katie23 said:

It may be because I have been awake for 37 hours, but to clarify, you go for either an 8 hour day, or multi-day visits with the staff. Then after you have had the 3 day session you have to back for sessions to take care of the regrowth? Mighty expensive. 

 

I had visited a local electrolysis center. Just to clear the face, 127 hours. Is this a reasonable estimate?

Is it better to be on estrogen or is it better to wait to have the electrology done first? Thanks!

 

Hi, Katie. 

 

Electrolysis is slightly less painful before starting HRT than after.  It hurts either way, though, and pain management should be part of your planning.

 

I got mine done at a one-person practice.  Perhaps it is because she can't afford the latest high-tech equipment, but it took me a lot more than 127 hours.  I went for one-hour sessions, initially once a week, then once every two weeks, then once a month.  I just finished, after five years.  I didn't have much choice of electrologists: she was the only one in the valley.  Fortunately, she was trans-friendly.

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Hi Katie, I can't add much more than the ladies have already said. Up to 200 hrs matches the information I could find, so the general advice is start as soon as you can, part of the reason for that is that the hair has to be long enough to zap. If you are presenting female, growing out your facial hair for electrolysis can be very disheartening, masks have been a life saver for me as they hide a multitude of sins!

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18 minutes ago, DeeDee said:

Hi Katie, I can't add much more than the ladies have already said. Up to 200 hrs matches the information I could find, so the general advice is start as soon as you can, part of the reason for that is that the hair has to be long enough to zap. If you are presenting female, growing out your facial hair for electrolysis can be very disheartening, masks have been a life saver for me as they hide a multitude of sins!

I was told 80 hours, but I’ve sparse facial hair (never could grow a beard). Face masks are a godsend for this especially the day of because the numbing cream and plastic wrap. 

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15 minutes ago, Erica Gabriel said:

I was told 80 hours, but I’ve sparse facial hair (never could grow a beard). Face masks are a godsend for this especially the day of because the numbing cream and plastic wrap

My electrologist suggested that, instead of a simple layer of plastic wrap, I should use a sandwich of plastic, gauze, and more plastic.  (In practice, I use a single piece of plastic wrap folded over the gauze.) 

 

Her reasoning was to keep the area warm, which makes the numbing cream more effective.  But it has the additional benefit that it looks like a bandage over some injury, like maybe a burn.  Instead of hostile glares because I am doing something weird to my face, I get sympathetic glances.

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18 hours ago, Katie23 said:

It may be because I have been awake for 37 hours, but to clarify, you go for either an 8 hour day, or multi-day visits with the staff. Then after you have had the 3 day session you have to back for sessions to take care of the regrowth? Mighty expensive. 

 

I had visited a local electrolysis center. Just to clear the face, 127 hours. Is this a reasonable estimate?

Is it better to be on estrogen or is it better to wait to have the electrology done first? Thanks!

Good Morning!

Yes, each session I booked was 8 hours, 7.5 hours is actually electrolysis  with the half hour breaks for the staff. I've had three 7.5 hour session with three technicians, and one 5 hour session with one tech. This last session all the hair on my face and neck was removed by her. What is left is fine and scraggly. I am going to have to use black hair dye for 10 minutes on face and neck five or six days prior to color the hair so she'll be able to see them easily. Each session here out will be done much more quickly due to the quantity to be removed.

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Hi everyone, just adding my thoughts to this thread. I am about 25 hours in to electrolysis on my facial hair, mostly in one or two hour sessions on Monday mornings. Early on I had a pretty bad skin reaction, which I shared about a long time ago in this post. It was caused by using gold instruments at too high a setting. Even nearly a year later, there is still a little pinkness in this area that I am quite sure is now a permanent scar. Fortunately the electrologists have found a technique that works for me. We have made pretty good progress on the upper lip and upper cheeks, and I agree that it takes a lot of patience and consistency to see the results. The lead up to the sessions where I have to let the hair grow out a few days triggers a lot of dysphoria... thus the Monday morning sessions so I can mostly stay home in the days before during the weekend. Face masks are a blessing here too!

 

The main trouble I will have around electrolysis is that I will run out of money before I run out of facial hair to remove. My insurer deems facial har removal as purely cosmetic and refuses all coverage, and it is not for my lack of trying. So I am focusing the sessions on the most difficult areas to shave well, like the upper lip, dimples, goatee, and jawline. I may never get to the lower chin area.

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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2 hours ago, Audrey said:

 

The main trouble I will have around electrolysis is that I will run out of money before I run out of facial hair to remove. My insurer deems facial har removal as purely cosmetic and refuses all coverage, and it is not for my lack of trying. So I am focusing the sessions on the most difficult areas to shave well, like the upper lip, dimples, goatee, and jawline. I may never get to the lower chin area.

I’m sorry your insurance doesn’t cover it. I paid out of pocket for 8 months and it wasn’t easy. I like your strategy for the best areas to cover.

 

My upper lip hair is stubborn. I’ve had it cleared 4 separate times and I can see it coming back again. They tell me that the follicles are shallower and not as strong but it still stinks.

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13 minutes ago, Erica Gabriel said:

My upper lip hair is stubborn. I’ve had it cleared 4 separate times and I can see it coming back again. They tell me that the follicles are shallower and not as strong but it still stinks.

I have the same unfortunate situation with my upper lip, and my electrologists tell me the same thing. I can see the reduction between the sessions when I grow it out each time, but even if they come out easier each time, the fact that they keep coming back is frustrating. Sometimes I wonder if I should have done laser, but with all the grey and white inclusions in my facial hair, laser would have probably not done too much for me. I am very thankful that my liquid foundation and concealer do a nice job softening my five o'clock shadow!

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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32 minutes ago, Audrey said:

I have the same unfortunate situation with my upper lip, and my electrologists tell me the same thing. I can see the reduction between the sessions when I grow it out each time, but even if they come out easier each time, the fact that they keep coming back is frustrating. Sometimes I wonder if I should have done laser, but with all the grey and white inclusions in my facial hair, laser would have probably not done too much for me. I am very thankful that my liquid foundation and concealer do a nice job softening my five o'clock shadow!

 

Love,

~Audrey.

I work outside so I prefer Maybeline’s BB Cream which is essentially a tinted sunscreen on steroids. We wear masks so I carry a tube to touch up my nose and chin. I’ve a cool Nyx concealer pallet but I only use occasionally. My next electrolysis appointment is Wednesday afternoon so this morning was my last shave till Thursday. I’ll be fine tomorrow but Tuesday will be tough with my pricklies uncomfortably noticeable.

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Hi Katie,

My 10 cents:

Start now. It's a long process.  Total length of time is highly individualized.  I have a lumberjack hair growth of large diameter red hair that is densely packed so a lot of hair per square inch and they are harder to remove. I'm a worse case scenario and it will probably be 250-400 hrs of work to truly remove ALL hair from almost my eye area down to the bottom of my neck.  I've done 85-100  hrs so far over 15 months. Basically weekly, 1-1.5 hrs at a time.  Point being- start now, it's going to be a part of your life for a while. Find a person you like, you are going to be with them A LOT.

As far as HRT. IT DOES NOT AFFECT BEARDS AT ALL.  It does soften the facial skin but has zero effect on "terminal hair".  Growth rate and quality of the hair does not change with HRT. (Body hair does to a certain extent and it should slow or stop "male pattern baldness tendencies). Softer skin can mean different pain tolerances or reactions. Mileage may vary.

The biggest factor is your electrolysist's ability to use enough current to kill the follicle the first time around without causing too much pain and damage. (if she doesn't, the regrowth tends to be finer and easier to kill)   If you are sensitive to the pain, she has to use less current or just goes slower so you can tolerate it.  This is where those large volume places come in. The can give you sedation, use numbing injections and then go to town faster and higher currents than you would tolerate otherwise.  They get higher first pass follicle kill rates so your over all hours of electrolysis will be significantly lower.  If you have a lot of dysphoria about your beard, you also only have to grow it out once every 2 months.  The down side- it's more money for the visit (but not over time), your face will be a swollen mess for a week or two, and you may have to travel to do it.

Weekly electrolysis -or longer intervals- are slower but cost less per visit so from a cash management may be better for some people.

If you don't have a very high pain threshold ( or even if you do this makes the visit less challenging) I recommend getting a doctor to write a prescription for a custom made numbing cream of Benzocaine/lidocaine/tetracaine in 20%/6%/6% concentrations.  You take that to a pharmacy that does "compounding". your insurance will probably cover some of it but if not, an 8oz jar is about $200 and lasts for about 6 months of weekly visits.  Your electrolysis tech can then work much faster.  I barely feel it when I use that stuff except for lip areas.

I'm about to go for my first large volume clearing of the face today at Precision Hair Removal. I added it to my genital clearing appointment since I'm gonna get their sedation/injection protocol anyways. I'm about to have FFS surgery and while my face is about 70% cleared, my lip area is only 40% and from my jaw down the whole neck area hasn't been touched. I'm hoping they can finish clearing the face and get a first pass down the neck since I won't be able to get any electrolysis for the next three months. I want to give my face some time to heal before surgery and then it takes about 6 -8 weeks to let the swelling go down post op.

 

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Bri2020 "I'm hoping they can finish clearing the face and get a first pass down the neck since I won't be able to get any electrolysis for the next three months. I want to give my face some time to heal before surgery and then it takes about 6 -8 weeks to let the swelling go down post op."

 

That will depend on how much bonework is done. Give it three months and you'll see the new you peaking out. Your timeline is good though.

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The New York Times ran this article in their "Ask Well" column today about hair removal. While it is oriented towards cisgender women, I found myself thinking "electrolysis" the entire way through. I am sure some of us have tried the other ways discussed like plucking, waxing, or creams though (myself included). I am linking it here, hopefully by gifting it the paywall is removed.

 

NYT Hair Removal article

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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I had a 2 hour session this afternoon and my electro-angel, Flora, pretty much cleared my face. The upper and lower lip were a beast, but I actually fell asleep in the second hour. Flora told me I was snoring!

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15 hours ago, Erica Gabriel said:

I had a 2 hour session this afternoon and my electro-angel, Flora, pretty much cleared my face. The upper and lower lip were a beast, but I actually fell asleep in the second hour. Flora told me I was snoring!

That's always good!

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Here are the blow by blow pics of my last session.  First genital clearing was VERY effective and she only needed an hour to clear the scrotal and penile area. She had to do 2.5-3hrs on the perineum since she didn't touch that on the 1st visit. Her expectation based on early results in 2-3 more visits to finish. I may choose to see my local person for the final one since it won't take long.

I had 1 person working the genitals, 2 on my face.  Total time on face was 7.5 hrs of actual work x 2 technicians. Brutal.

I used their "comfort protocol". The sedation part wasn't terribly effective. He said it would be "conscious sedation" which technically means you are so out of it you are in a "twilight" state but not "asleep". That way they don't need to breath for you.  I was able to have a coherent conversation with the doctor the whole way through the shots (when I wasn't cussing). So basically, not a lot of sedation. The doc is very good a numbing- brutal yes, but effective at getting the fields blocked.

Half way through we took a break and I asked how we were doing on time thinking we had done 5 hours or so. Nope, only 3. F#$($. I was so done by then. Here's that point:

16CA336E-89EC-4333-BEB3-FC187F1D3170.thumb.jpeg.3204239f7cc0382e462fbaa85d7386f2.jpeg

Shortly after this I had an emotional breakdown on the table and started sobbing. Not from pain, just the sheer exhaustion. I've gotten to the point in my transition where I am struggling emotionally from the non stop interventions that are painful and exhausting. Every week it's something. They were understanding and comforting and I got my -crap- together in about 15 minutes. (I told them to keep working though because I just wanted this done as fast as possible at this point.)

 

at 9:30pm when I got out of the office (I arrived at 11:45am) (and another small breakdown on the ride back to the hotel). then the next morning and every morning till today.

B432E141-B809-4C70-8D16-93311CFC68B4.thumb.jpeg.ef40b303a713a5fee25a5fec3b63c377.jpeg485697E4-7152-464B-B929-478693922E08.thumb.jpeg.225a4e75545ce182e352243a48d80e97.jpeg0DA7563C-0225-4C56-BE2F-40A2FA2E68B4.thumb.jpeg.adbc6deaaea5ecc258bbc58aa77e9dc1.jpeg9938AB05-6412-49EC-A8B5-0066A9C8F49D.thumb.jpeg.4f766640b5633de99ee0930509e50807.jpeg73E19324-4509-4453-B749-2C1D90C4ED04.thumb.jpeg.bdae34bf963f9818a4172ff66cd4a27a.jpeg

So 4 days later the swelling is significantly reduced but definitely still looking worse for wear. Some minor bruising on the neck and chin. Beside the day after, I haven't been uncomfortable but it did take me a few days to physically recover. I go back in March for another genital clearing but no face since I will be post op from FFS. I will pick back up locally for my weekly 90 min sessions on the face in April.

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OMG! Bri I feel so bad for you! I have never swollen up that much. I feel like I've had a slight sunburn but very little, if any, swelling. Dang.

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Well, I have been looking at this issue for a while, and adding up the cost of the procedures, the cost of electrolysis, the length of time it will take, and the unknown end result, I have decided to end this process for me. It seems like an endless journey to get to some semblance of maybe passing as a female. I have two nightmares with the process. The first is that it will take until I am 70 to finish all of this. The second is that I wind up looking like Fred Flintstone in a dress and sound just like Fred Flintstone while talking. While it is a deep desire, practicality must take a role in this. I look at one quote for 117K to get a new face and voice, I look at how many places do not take insurance. It will take over 200 hours of electrolysis...or go and pay upwards of 20k to get it done more quickly. The idea that insurance picks up any of this is a pipe dream. 

I appreciate everybody's help and answers, however, I am making a retreat. I hope all of you nothing but the best. I know this is a difficulty journey. 

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The ACA mandates that insurance covers a lot of this. After six months on HRT my insurance reimburses me for my sessions. I'm around 40 hours in and it has been totally worth it though I go every week. I'm sorry it's so overwhelming. Perhaps a light dose of HRT can help you at least feel like yourself.

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21 minutes ago, Erica Gabriel said:

The ACA mandates that insurance covers a lot of this.

 

@Erica Gabriel, I unfortunately haven't had luck with this, and have found that most insurance companies do not cover it.  Here's one article that discusses it:

 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/2763193

 

In my case, being retired, I'm covered by Medicare plus a supplemental policy.  Neither seem to support it.  If you can point me to specific examples where it's covered, I'd appreciate it!

 

Thanks,

 

Astrid

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Hey Astrid

I am on Medical and all my Electrology is cover. However, i live in L.A so it might differ from state to state

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8 hours ago, Astrid said:

 

@Erica Gabriel, I unfortunately haven't had luck with this, and have found that most insurance companies do not cover it.  Here's one article that discusses it:

 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/2763193

 

In my case, being retired, I'm covered by Medicare plus a supplemental policy.  Neither seem to support it.  If you can point me to specific examples where it's covered, I'd appreciate it!

 

Thanks,

 

Astrid

I’m sorry you’ve had difficulty with coverage. I have Kaiser through my workplace and, besides copays, cover everything. 

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17 hours ago, Katie23 said:

Well, I have been looking at this issue for a while, and adding up the cost of the procedures, the cost of electrolysis, the length of time it will take, and the unknown end result, I have decided to end this process for me. It seems like an endless journey to get to some semblance of maybe passing as a female. I have two nightmares with the process. The first is that it will take until I am 70 to finish all of this. The second is that I wind up looking like Fred Flintstone in a dress and sound just like Fred Flintstone while talking. While it is a deep desire, practicality must take a role in this. I look at one quote for 117K to get a new face and voice, I look at how many places do not take insurance. It will take over 200 hours of electrolysis...or go and pay upwards of 20k to get it done more quickly. The idea that insurance picks up any of this is a pipe dream. 

I appreciate everybody's help and answers, however, I am making a retreat. I hope all of you nothing but the best. I know this is a difficulty journey. 

I get it. It’s daunting. Don’t get overwhelmed. There are answers to all these issues.  I’ve known people to relocate to a state that offers Kaiser just to get everything covered!  It all depends on how important it is to you.  I’ll be honest. I had the same fears. I was 54 when I started   I didn’t think I would ever pass so why bother. But here’s the thing: once I started and got on HRT and living full time in femme, I was so happy I just didn’t care if I ever “ passed”. This was me 18 month ago and recently. I haven’t had ffs yet and many people say I don’t need it. I’ve been on HRT 16 months or so , last a bunch of weight, grew my hair out ( many wear wigs also) and had a little over a year of electrolysis at this point. Do I pass, maybe some days to some people. Do I care, nope. I do want to look as feminine as possible but if I couldn’t do a thing at this point I could live with it. A LOT can change over a year of two. Mostly your mental perspective.  Don’t give up. Look for solutions. I’m not saying it will be easy, but you can do hard things EF0349EF-5923-41C3-BEBD-42EE2322DC60.thumb.jpeg.c6e7eb5774af0e5a8c9335591461dc9b.jpeg3D95E439-67A6-4698-8D29-764C27A0A900.thumb.jpeg.6aede4393bd28d906eba729be6c3f84f.jpeg

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4 hours ago, Jeanette West said:

Sadly, I am 100% out-of-pocket.

Me too.  But it's been money well spent.  

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