I’m an eighteen-year-old guy and absolutely cannot stand my body hair! As a student, I don’t have the money to treat large areas on my body at one time, so I had to pick a region that bothers me the most and start there; I decided on my face. Initially, I set out to have just my upper lip cleared, but have since moved onto my cheeks. At the time, I figured that (because it was a smaller area), electrolysis would be my best option.
I did some research on practitioners in my region (Shelton, Connecticut), but was only able to find a handful. Of those that I found, only one was within a reasonable driving distance. I made an appointment for a consultation and have been seeing the woman on a regular basis (approximately once a week; at first for fifteen minute sessions and eventually for an hour at a time) since early last year.
My facial hair is a big problem in my life, feeding into my depression, lowering my self-esteem and causing me to avoid most social interaction. College looms closer and closer for me (coming up this fall) and I just can’t see how I’ll survive there given the demanding workload if I can’t at least achieve some contentedness with myself.
What’s brought me to post on this forum is the frustration I’m feeling with the results I’ve achieved so far. The woman I see is a very nice person, but the way my treatments have been going is starting to seriously upset me.
First of all, the pain is almost unbearable! I apply a generic version of EMLA (a cream by Fougera) with an occlusive dressing (some saran wrap placed over the area) one hour before my appointments, but it doesn’t seem to help very much. Just last week, the pain was so bad that I cried for a time afterwards. I try to drink plenty of water a few days prior to an appointment and avoid caffeine entirely at all times. Nothing seems to help, though! I’ve told her about all this, but she hasn’t offered up any effective solutions. Sometimes (but very rarely) she’ll adjust the setting, but I don’t know whether she’s turning it up or down or what. As painful as it is, my skin doesn’t seem to be especially effected. I have some redness post-treatment that goes away within a few hours. Every once and awhile there’ll be some of what looks like blood beneath the skin, but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced scabbing.
She’s said that she finds thermolysis to be more painful and switched to blend a few times to try and dull the pain, but they are both almost equally unbearable for me; albeit, in slightly different ways. As of late, she’s told me that she’d prefer to use the blend method because it’s more effective than thermolysis. I was under the impression that the latter is preferred; that blend is too slow and not so substantially better to warrant its use. According to her, however, blend offers a 95% “kill percentage” while thermolysis can only boast 15%. She described thermolysis to me as a quicker alternative visually—that the hairs are seemingly being removed faster, but a very large percentage grow back. Nothing on the forums or HairFacts has lead me to believe this information is completely accurate and it’s really upset me since I was only informed recently. I’ve been receiving thermolysis treatments for upwards of eight months. Have I been enduring all this pain and spending my money in vain?
That’s not to say I haven’t achieved some results. The reason I want my upper lip cleared is because of the shadow that’s left behind when I shave, use depilatories, etc. Initially, the hair was extremely dense. It’s definitely more spaced out now and some hairs seem to grow back thinner. The shadow is still very visible, however, and I need it completely gone before I go off to school this fall. I asked her if this was a realistic expectation and she told me that it was, but only if I opted for blend. The problem is, on my upper lip, blend is extremely painful. I just can’t stand it!
Also, after several complete clearances of my upper lip, only a sparse number of hairs grow back from week to week while the shadow beneath the skin remains very noticeable. I inquired about this, and she told me to use Epsom salts to help draw the hairs out faster. I’ve hot-compressed with them a couple times a week (as instructed) from time to time, but it doesn’t seem to do much of anything. Would laser be more beneficial in this situation? Are hairs that haven’t broken through the skin even treatable?
I guess I’m asking for some reassurance and suggestions. I don’t really know where to turn next, but I need to make a decision fast since I’m on a clock. I think it’s kind of ridiculous for me to dread my electrolysis appointments as much as I do because of the pain I have to endure. I’m seriously considering canceling an appointment I have for next week because of how much it hurts me. And this is after eight months of putting up with it! It’s come to the point where I just can’t stand it anymore. I don’t know of any other practitioners in my area, though, so I would be extremely grateful for a referral if someone is familiar. I apologize for my long-winded post. I don’t really have anyone else to discuss these issues with, so at the very least this has provided me a chance to vent my frustration.
Thank you so very much! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />