I’m 43 and I was born a female. During puberty, I began growing facial hair. Around age 13, I began shaving my chin because I didn’t know what else to do about it and it was too embarrassing not to shave it off. Shaving my chin became part of my daily grooming ritual.

A little over two years ago, I got up the nerve to begin electrolysis. I was receiving galvanic electrolysis. By this point, my chin hair was thick, white to dark red with curved roots. The hardest hairs to treat, evidently. Lucky me! NOT!! Sigh. Seriously, nothing is quite as de-feminizing as chin stubble that could compete with your average man’s 5 o’clock shadow. It’s bad enough I have to deal with this, it had to be the hardest to type of facial hair to treat, too?

Anyway, by the time the area was cleared once, I had to stop getting treatments. FYI: electrolysis gets expensive! >> FF >> to 2015, I found out my Flexible Spending Account would cover my treatments if it was recommended by a doctor. Yippee! Off to the doctor I went for that referral. This time I chose a different electrologist because over the months I had noticed some scarring from my previous treatments. A couple of sessions in, I found out the new electrologist was using thermolysis.

I don’t know why I didn’t do this research when I was considering this over 2 years ago. I mean, what was I thinking, right? I seriously don’t know. Anyway, I started doing my research a few sessions into the thermology. I found a site which caters to the transgender community (truth be told, that’s probably the best source for this sort of thing). The site explains the 3 types of electrolysis and their effectiveness. According to this site, the kill rate for galvanic treated hairs is 80%, for thermolysis it’s 5-15% and for blend it’s about 70-80%.

Ok, over 2 years ago the area treated was completely cleared once before I had to quit the treatments and judging by the re-growth, I don’t believe there was an 80% kill rate. Not even close! Now I’m getting an even less effective type of electrolysis. I’m frustrated with myself for not researching this better from the start. However, a part of me is bothered that my current electrologist didn’t refer me to someone who uses the galvanic method. I feel like all the work she’s done and all the discomfort I’ve endured have been in vain. Granted, electrolysis isn’t the worst kind of pain a human being can endure, but feeling a pin prick in each hair follicle isn’t exactly fun, either.

I’m also frustrated because I’m not sure how to proceed at this point. I don’t want to return to the person who left scarring and I certainly don’t want to continue receiving the least effective treatments I could be getting. I don’t know who to go to. So many electrolysis businesses that show up in Google searches are actually laser hair removal and they don’t do electrolysis. I’m not a good candidate for laser.

Ultimately, I think this boils down to fear. Fear that I will never experience life with a hairless face or be able to experience feeling completely feminine or find a man who will love me regardless of the stubble. Fear that I’m really just wasting my time and money on these treatments. Fear that when I’m 150 years old and in an assisted living facility, I will end up with a full face beard because I won’t be able or allowed to shave it off. Fear that when I die and people come to my viewing they will learn my not-so-secret secret: that I was a hairy beast! I just don’t understand why this is a part of my life.

Thanks for reading.

The information on those "kill rates’ is wrong. Galvanic is also many times slower than thermolysis. You did the right thing