Burning Question-Full Beard Clearance Strategies

Hello, I’m very interested to hear from some of the experienced Electrologists here on how they handle full beard clearance. This is has been a burning question of mine. In school we were taught to start off by scattering the entire beard, then just to continue scattering the beard over and over until clearance is achieved. The reasoning behind this was to prevent over-treating the area and it was explained that collagen damage could result. Once I started out on my own, I realized that if I did this with for example weekly clients coming for an hour or two at a time, that it is easy to lose track of new growth vs. old growth, and I wouldn’t always be treating the hair in it’s growth phase. At that time I asked a few colleagues about beard clearance strategies and I didn’t get any answers. I started doing what made most sense to me, I chose an area of the face, for example the chin, then started scattering that area until cleared so that I could keep track of new growth and make sure I was treating it in it’s growth phase. Then I start to move on to other areas of the face. I continue to do this with the exception of the upper lip which I slowly scatter during their session anywhere from ten to 30 minutes at a time to prevent over-treatment.

So my question is, how are some of you attacking a full beard clearance? Does anyone have any feedback on how I describe my current strategy?

Not to complicate the post, but one of my clients who is transitioning to female, is considering going to a large volume electrolysis clinic where two technicians work on clearing her face for 12 hours, so essentially this is 24 hours of work on just her face in one shot. Other than severe swelling, is she risking collagen damage by going?

Thank you in advance!

First of all, I take into account my client’s desire for whether they want it to gradually disappear (thinning overall) or whether they want to clear it in sections that keep it somewhat masculine looking. Clear cutting areas is definitely faster than thinning since I’m not wasting time figuring out what hair I want to do next.

That said, for a particularly thick beard, I’ll usually start by thinning it out until the density is low enough that I know I’m not going to damage the skin beyond recovery. Even then, a lot of my trans clients like to be really, really aggressive, with some doing as much as 4 hours per week to get started. When their skin reaches the point where I’m not seeing enough recovery from one week to the next, I force them to take some time off. I’ll even clear an entire upper lip in one sitting.

You’d be surprised what the skin will recover from as long as your insertions are good, you use the right equipment and settings (for you - everyone’s techniques are going to be a little different, some people are better at some modalities than others, one machine isn’t necessarily better than another if you’re comfortable with your machine, etc), and you pay attention to how the skin is reacting.

Also, don’t worry about growth phase. Hair can die in any phase as long as you can see it. Telogen is a great time to kill hair and the schools that teach anagen-only are doing everyone a disservice. Schools also tend to be overly safe in their treatment recommendations to limit their liability and to make insurance companies happy - experiment carefully as you gain experience and confidence.

I agree that experience will serve you well for knowing how to be a little more aggressive. I do multiple needle on all trans. clients. I pretty much work in the same area. It seems to be way more effective. It was a little bit harder when doing the blend. More likely to have blistering and oozing. I don’t like to see any of that. But, the skin has an amazing capacity for healing. And the skin was always fine by next appt. Good luck. Joann