[Help] 4 years of beard removal journey (Laser + Thermolysis)

Hello Everybody…
…and thanks for this forum. It really contains lots of info!

My name is Diana, I am a 40 transgender woman. I am Italian, but live stably in southern Austria since 10 years.

My beard removal journey started 4 years ago and is (sadly) still going on:

  • Laser: I had 12 sessions (YAG) which cleared a good part of the face. After the 8th session, I saw no further improvement: there was still an unacceptable number of hair on the mustache, chin and neck, although definitely less than in the beginning. Even the laser technician was perplexed, to the point that I got two treatments for free… Long story short, I decided to start electrolysis (thermolysis).

  • Electrolysis: started in June 2019 and went on average every 2 weeks for clearing the face. In the beginning 2 hours were needed for a full clear. Now I need roughly one hour every 2-3 weeks. I must say that during the pandemic I could not get treatment, so there were two windows of 2-3 months were I was shaving (although keeping it to the minimum).

This is what I look like before a session (my electrologist strongly discourages shaving between sessions). I drive 1.5 hours to Italy for electrolysis, so it is not something that I can do once a week, due to work reasons:



Summing up, I think I’ve collected overall something like 100-120 hours of electrolysis. I feel quite disappointed because in my opinion there is still a lot to do and, especially in the mustache, it seems that the same hair is regrowing (although, from what I’ve read this should not be the case, since the growth cycle is much longer than two weeks, which actually makes the situation even worse…).
My electrologist says it’s just genetic and that she cannot do anything about it, that she never had a case like this, etc.

About the session and how I perceive the competence of my electrologist I can say that:

  • I use EMLA as numbing cream.
  • I feel the burn and just a little the hair being pulled. It happens quite often, especially on the mustache, that she needs to burn more than once, because some hair still remains hard to pull after the first shot.
  • I took a look at the machine and it’s name is Zenith something…Looks rather old. It is set to 3 pulses and I think intensity level 4. I asked if she could try increasing the power and she says it is not advisable because she does not want to damage my skin.
  • She had experience with other trans clients, but her main customers are women, some with hirsutism/PCOS.
  • From what she told me, she did not do any specific school. All training gotten on the job by one of the first ladies in Italy who started doing electrolysis in the country, I guess from the 50s onwards. She learned from her and is now 30+ years doing that.
  • Since 6 months I am also doing genital electrolysis in the same place. It is more painful (even with the numbing cream) and for now it looks like all the hair is regrowing.

Sorry for the long preamble. At the end I would just like some feedback from the experts about my situation to understand if:

  • I am in good hands or should I start looking for another electrologist. In the second case, some recommendations would be really of help.
  • If avoiding shaving is really needed (the facial hair is my biggest trigger of dysphoria, it really impairs my life).

Thanks in advance and have a nice day.

Diana

100-200 hours clearing upper lip and some chin hair that was sparse after laser sessions? Yes try another electrologist. In 100-200 hours, a full dense beard can be removed over 18-24 months.

Hello Everybody,

thank you Fenix for your feedback. 24 months for complete beard removal was also my understanding after going through the information material and the posts in this forum.

Well, I followed the advice and went to another electrologist. Surprisingly enough, she uses the same machine as the other electrologist (the model is EPIL ZENIT EVOLUTION, the producer I do not know), so here the comparison of the results will, I believe, depend only on the settings and the technique of the operator.

I had my first session two days ago and I summarize here what I noticed (hope this benefits other forum users who are not sure if their treatments are effective or not):

  • She definitely used different settings. To my perception, the burn is more intense but the duration is shorter, like a half the time compared to before. Interestingly enough, we arrived on the mustache a bit late and the effect of the numbing cream had vanished, so in the beginning I experienced more pain than usual, but doing more and more hair the area got “warmed up” and the pain was actually bearable with very few exceptions. With the other operator, the EMLA was a must in order to withstand the pain. This puzzles me a bit, it seems that less intensity and more duration is actually worse than being stronger but for a shorter time.

  • The operator commented that there was still some thick hair and said that they will probably come back, but thinner, i.e. not a first time right kill.

  • As I wrote in my previous post, during the previous treatments I felt the burning sensation and just a little the hair being pulled, however with this new operator I did not feel the pulling at all. She also commented that for a few hair she needed to burn twice, but 100% felt just the burn and nothing else.

  • 2 hours after the treatment I had much more skin irritation compared to before and tiny white crusts appeared, which for me was totally new (maybe I’ll post a picture next time). I woke up the day after (yesterday) with my mustache swollen and the first red crusts appearing. This was also new to me. Before I just had sparse tiny red crusts and no swell and in the last 6 months or so I also did not need any special cream to reduce the redness.

  • Today the swell is slowly disappearing and only the crusts are remaining, which are definitely more pronounced than before. This probably is a proof that something additional needed to be done…?

It would be nice to hear some feedback from the experts, to confirm that I am in good hands or get an early warning. I have already scheduled another appointment, although the lady said that I should already see something in 1-1.5 weeks in terms of reduction of growth, but I understand that I need to wait at least for a regrowth cycle to assess if the process has been effective.

Regarding the intensity vs. duration, I would also like to hear your opinions (is a higher intensity with shorter duration less likely to cause pain?) because the electrolysis in the genital area is very painful (even with lots of EMLA) and hardly bearable, so my hope is that the previous electrologist was using the wrong settings and that things should get better once I feel more confident to allow the new operator to treat the area.

Sorry again for the long post, synthesis is not a gift I received…

Thanks and have a nice day :slight_smile:

Diana

Looking up the machine being used on you: EPIL ZENIT EVOLUTION … I got THIS!
https://www.mosconispa.it/en/splitting-machine-hide-super-zenit-evolution.html
I hope it’s not a hide-splitting machine!

hello Michael,

Oh… that machine could really be the ultimate evolution! :slight_smile:

However, I managed to get a picture from the website of my electrologist, let’s try to paste it here: