Male, need removal of facial hair

Hi I’m new here and could use some help.

I’ve had a disproportionatly heavy mustache since I was in HS. I’m now 24 and even when shaven the black shadow remains. I’ve had done laser treatments 5 times(staggered, not consecutively) with little help. The first 3 removed the hair for a couple weeks before it would come back(red and swollen for a week). For the next 2 I had to go to a new place with a different type of laser. This one did nothing. Every time my upper lip would be painful, swollen and red as hell for at least a week. And I could not shave the hair that came back during that time thus making me a hermit.

I understand my laser removal would have worked better had I had it done on a schedule. But my schedule does not allow for a week of downtime every month.

I’ve read of electrolysis. Is this a better alternative? Any advice at all?


I guess more specifically, 3 questions:

1)Is electrolysis effective for dark, coarse hairs?

2)Will it be irritated for an extended period of time for only the first time? Or for many follow up sessions?
The reason I ask is cause I can only follow up on this if I can go to work the next day and it not be noticable. And I must be clean shaven. I can take a week off for the first treatment.

3)If yes to 1, Does anybody know any good electrologists in St. Louis?

Electrolysis works for all types of hair.

With the kind of overgrowth you describe, the first treatment would swell up your upper lip and jawline, possibly the chin also. Later, it would not be a noticeable thing, if the post treatment effects can be much lower.

First timers can have noticeable swelling for 2 to 5 days, later, treatments won’t be that bad.

There are many variables to what your situation will be. In the best case, you can catch it, and keep it bare from there in comfort, with no ongoing swelling…

You can’t be clean shaven for an electro appointment, because the electrologist needs to be able to grab onto the hair with his/her special tweezers to properly insert the probe.

On the plus side, you won’t need a week of recovery time.

Thanks for the replies.

If you guys could help me relate this to my laser removal experience it would be helpful. When I had laser my upper lip would be not only red but unshavable for about a week. When I shaved it would not work and it bled A LOT. A few days after electro will it be similar? Could I shave it smooth and put on makeup to cover redness? Or will it be too swollen or irritated?

hey turtle, after an electrolosis treatment. it is possible you will have scabs 48 hours later and so shaving will irritate the skin and the newly formed scabs (which work to heal the skin). so its in your best interest to not shave if you have scabs. If you dont get scabs and if any swelling goes down, you can shave. but remember you need the hair long enough so that the electrolosis can take out the hair at your next appointment. so infact, you might end up not shaving at all once you start electrolosis as it will be your regular regime hair removal (weekly or more hair removal). you get it? you need the hair long enough for electrolysis removal and if you got weekly appointments, shaving too close to your treatment date is not a good idea as you need some hair showing out of the skin to be treated.

good luck!


Give your electrologist 2 or 3 days growth. Once you get treatment, leave the area alone for 24 to 72 hours. Once you really get into it, you will be able to shave once or twice a week and still not have any real hair growth. Electrologists can treat hairs that you can’t see, although you would be able to feel them.

1)Is electrolysis effective for dark, coarse hairs?

2)Will it be irritated for an extended period of time for only the first time? Or for many follow up sessions?
You will need to schedule quite a lot of time for male facial hair.

It’s quite difficult for electrolysis to kill all the hair on male facial when compared to other body parts, before I get attacked, this is from my electrologist. (Not referring to inserting probes here.)

In other words, male facial hair needs a lot of treatments, either Laser or electrolysis.

3)If yes to 1, Does anybody know any good electrologists in St. Louis?
Now, my recommendation, find multi-probe galvanic electrolysis to save your time and save your skin. I know when comparing to theromolysis, it’s a lot harder to find multi-probe galvanic for some popular reasons: No instant result from galvanic and a much high set up cost for galvanic. But galvanic won’t destroy collagen. Scientific fact tells us heat converts collagen to gelatin. And theromolysis kills hair by high frequency, that’s heat.

Thermolysis if done properly will not destroy your skin. If you schedule long appointments up front you will be done quicker.

Coarse,thick hairs living very close together in a small area such as the upper lip are definitely a challenge,but the right strategy, utilizing any form of electrolysis with properly chosen levels for the right amount of time, will get you permanent results.

The main concept to adhere to is to scatter the work so the skin is not overtreated in this area. Too much energy from any kind of electrolysis, in too small an area can lead to overtreatment, thus destroying too much tissue. You will need a lot of patience up front when you scatter the work because this is a gradual thinning process needed to protect your skin, no matter what kind of electrolysis is used.

I would most likely choose the blend for your situation, which as you may or may not know, is a combination of heat (thermolysis) and galvanic (chemical),the best of both worlds. Yes, it may be a challenge to find a good multi-needle practitioner, but if your search proves fruitful, by all means try it out. Do yourself a favor and ask for a treatment with the blend method, too, to see where you’d like to settle as you gradually reach your goal to thin the area.

Finally,stick with this as there is no other option for you so far in 2005 if you truly have a goal to clean-up this area. If done with care and strict,meticulous attention to the healing process of the skin, what you now imagine your upper lip being in the future will become a reality.


I would like to see a picture of what this multi probe equipment looks like , does anyone know of a website where I can see one.Thanks

I have a consultation on Wednesday. Any advice on what I should ask? She’s been practicing in the area for 10 years, I’m not sure how long before that.

Here are the things that were important to me:
How long has the electrologist been practicing? Which modalities do they use and which would they be using on you? Has the electrologist his or herself had electrolysis work done? Does he/she use disposable needles? Is the office clean and sanitary? Are the electrologist’s certifications on display? What days/hours is he/she available for treatment? What is the cost per hour?
Other than that I would get a sample treatment if I felt right about it. It’s really about how you feel because I have been treated by four electrologists and have settled on one i LOVE. she is the cheapest of the four just by chance. the most expensive and most highly recommended of the four was by far the worst so sometimes it’s hard to tell. Above all, you should make sure everything is sanitary and that they have a good amount of skill. i know they say that some who haven’t been practising long can be just as good or better, but i prefer to go with someone who’s been practising awhile and who has also had work done on their own body. good luck to you!


Clareblend has a picture of their multi-probe epilator at

This is a six wire unit. Each black wire has a opening for a sterile probe to be inserted. Each wire on the rack is pulled toward the area being worked on and the first wire/ probe is inserted into one hair follicle,then #2 wire and probe is inserted into another hair follicle,then #3 wire/probe is inserted into a third hair follicle,etc.and so on until all six wires are inserted. My multi-needle rack has 16 wires that have independent circuits,so I can do 16 hairs at a time as opposed to six hairs at a time. Some units have 32 wires. I was hunting for a picture that I have seen where it shows an actual client having a treatment, but I have given up looking for it tonight. Sorry. It’s really kind of crazy or even scary to see someone having a multi-needle electrolysis what with all the wire with probes attached to a hair follicle. It truly is a slow, gentle and effective method for coarser hair and curvey hair not to mention, the regrowth rate is much less than what you get with flash thermolysis.

Again,even if you wanted MNG, you may have to search far and wide to find someone who is committed to this modality.


Gotta be kiddin me. Had my consultation scheduled 7:00pm yesterday and the doors were locked. Pondering whether to buy her excuse when I call…

Hi Turtle:

Nice name!

Seriously though, I have had 9 laser sessions and am currently at 70 hours of electrolysis on my face. That includes the whole face and neck too.

As others have said you need a few days growth visible for
the electroligist to see the hair, find the follicle and get a probe in there and remove the hair with tweezers after treating.

You need to stick to a regular recommended schedule.

You may get some swelling, especially at first. Sometimes you may get some red marks or scabbing. It is best to wait a couple of days afterwards to shave the area, so if you got a friday night appointment it will probably be a lot better by monday.

Aftercare is crucial. Tea tree oil and aloe vera help it to heal quicker.

Pretreatment you may need emla or some such anasthetic as well as tylenols, but it depends on how sensitive you are.
I am extremely sensitive.

I had dark hair and a shadow before, pretty well all over.
Now if I don’t shave for 7 days only a few sparse hairs will show at very close examination, like if someone were in-my-face.

It is too bad about the locked doors, but don’t give up.


Over my 46 years in practice my sons and I have helped hundreds of male patients as yourself. Unfortunately, your laser experience is becomming very common in our offices. All you need is a few ours of Thermolysis treatment to just thin out your beard and you will be happy for life. Please read very carefully the site: before you have further treatment. Good luck, FG

Man this forum is great, thanks for all the responses!

Thank you that is exactly what i wanted to hear. I probably didn’t make it clear that all I wanted was thinning out. Assuming it will look natural(pleeeeease), I’m pumped.

I have a question regarding this sentence from the Q&A on the site you linked

Most important: if you feel the hair coming out after treatment, nothing is being accomplished, only tweezing. Find a new electrologist.

By ‘coming out’ I assume he means ‘growing out’ and not shedding. Correct? (Insert pun here for man ‘coming out’ by doing hair removal)

And you said you’ve seen my problem of laser not working. What was happening when the hairs would shed? They’d just grow back in a week or two.

Finally, you said I’d only need a few treatments for thinning. How far in between should/can I wait? Should I try to find someone who’s done male facial hair before?

Thanks again


I would just like to add that I feel the laser did help somewhat in thinning out my facial hair, so I don’t cosider it a total waste. Besides that I now have some experience with it.

As far as thinning out ones beard, my goal was to get rid of it completely. I found that takes a long time and a lot of patience. Sometimes it feels like you are not getting much better, but if you stick with it eventually you will be happy with the results.


At the moment, what LASER does best is reduction of hair.

Much of the high volume arguing around here is over the fact that what most people want when they look for hair removal is total removal of all visible hair, and that is not something that LASER can promise. Even the studies that were submitted to the FDA for clearance of the devices only hypothosized that total removal could be available some day.