Pain on male face

I am a 26 yr old male and I have been getting electrolysis on my face for almost 2 years. I go for 30 minute weekly sessions. We have always used EMLA on my upper lip, but recently, my practioner has started to work more on the middle of the upper lip, and right by the nose. Anyway, the pain is almost unbearable!
I am almost ready to just tell him to not worry about the upper lip anymore. But on the other hand, I’ve come so far, I’d hate to give up. I’m pretty much happy with the clearance, so I could probably stop right now. I originally just wanted to have my beard thinned out, but after the great results I started to get with electrolysis(after getting disappointing results with epilight), I just kept going for full clearance. I feel like I look like a teenager with the smooth face, but I still have that cluster of rough, course hair on the middle of my upper lip that I’d like to get rid of.
My practioner suggested I could get a novacaine shot from a willing dentist, but I would feel embarassed asking my dentist(whom I just started seeing) for just a novacaine shot. I live in a southern town, and I don’t think that would go over well if I told him the reason I wanted it.
But he is right though. A few weeks ago, I got a filling, and right after that, I had my electrolysis session. I didn’t feel anything on the place where I got my shot.

Anyway, so does anyone have any other suggestions?
I think I’ve tried all the suggestions I’ve read on this site with the relaxtion, drinking lots of water, etc.

Thanks a lot!

I live in California and when I mentioned it (the novocaine shot)to my dentist, he said it was illegal to do that other than for dental work. I’m not sure how it is in other areas of the world.

Wow kevs. It sounds very extraordinary that you remove your beard with electrolysis just because it feels better/smoother - most who do this are TS women. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all! It’s just that one have heard a lot about what a time consuming thing it is to remove male beard. You must have a very good practitioner becuase you don’t complain about scabing and scaring. Did you have a lot of beard? 30 minute weekly sessions doesn’t sound like you had a lot of beard.
Sorry but I don’t have any advice to give you about pain other that I have experienced that the body gets used to pain if it is experienced freqeuntly. I had a bad habit to pull out my beard hair with my fingernails (I have very thick beard hair) and it hurt alot in the beginning, but after a while it didn’t hurt any more and now several years after having stopped my habit, I can still pull ut beard hair anywhere on my face without it hurting - even from my upper lip! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Wow, I didn’t know getting a novacaine shot would be illegal. Hmm.

Yeah, I know it sounds kind of weird to want my beard removed since I’m not a TS, it’s just a personal thing. I joined this site a couple of years ago when I started epilght on my face. At that time, I just wanted my beard to be a little thinner. I hated shaving and then still seeing the black dots all over my face. I just feel so much better when my face is smooth. I know it’s not something anyone else notices, but I notice it. I wouldn’t say I had as thick of a beard as some men, but it wasn’t thin either. But the epilght turned out to not be permanent. So I started with an electrolysist. And like I said, once I saw the results, I just wanted to keep going. I only have to shave about 2 or 3 times a week now, where I used to need to shave maybe twice a day(once in the morning, and then again if were going out at night).

And no, I haven’t had any problems with scarring or scabbing. Everything’s went really well. I’m really happy with the results.

As far as the pain, it’s still not something that I can say I’m used to, even on the less painful parts of my face. I mean, I’m used to it in a way that I know what to expect, but I still feel it pretty intensely. One thing that’s helped is to breath deeply and just relax. I find it’s usually less painful if I just relax instead of tensing up. But when it gets to the upper lip, the relaxing is out the window! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> I guess it’s different for everybody.

I have a very thick beard myself but I shave only like once every three days. But I have brown skin and black hair and the stubble actualy looks good hehe. But I have a very white friend who has dark beard and he doesn’t like his beard either because of the “shadow”.

Did the practitioner work on your beard with the “clearence method” when you try to clear an entire area of all hair and then move on to a maintainance phase where you treat hairs as they grow in to keep a cleared look, or did she do the “thin out method” when you don’t treat all hairs but try to achieve an even reduction of hair quantity? Like treating every second or third hair.

Pssst, wanna buy sum novacaine? We’ll start an underground market here! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> Anyway, I think getting a smooth face is very logical for non-TS guys. Advertising media sure thinks we want to be smooth for our partners (yup), and I also HATE shaving, stubble, in-growns, etc. So, permanent removal should be welcome for millions of us. Its just the cost, pain, & time that keep this a limited solution. I am completing LHR to get an initial clearance and will then use electro to complete the job (full face, neck, keep the moustache). I am hairy and will keep the chest, arm, leg hair, but have certain areas to clear. I think this desire is more common that we hear. Any others out there?

Wow, I didn’t know getting a novacaine shot would be illegal. Hmm.

Yeah, I know it sounds kind of weird to want my beard removed since I’m not a TS, it’s just a personal thing.

Well, the novacaine shot wouldn’t be illegal per se, but the dentist could lose their license over providing it.

Are you sure you want to remove the hair from your upper lip? Doing that leaves you with a feminine look, no?

I’m under the impression that Electrology 2000 (in Dallas?)uses 'caine injections everyday. Also, a past poster, redhead, had lidocaine injections in California when he had work done on private parts. If I’m not mistaken, an R.N, who was also an electrologist, administered the injections. Each state has their own guidelines for the allowance of injectable meds for electrology use. It’s not legal to do this in my state (Ohio).


If you can’t get hold of drugs, etc., you can always try this …

If the pain gets too much, I tend to dig my thumb nails really hard into my fingers. It seems to have the effect of overwhelming the pain sensors in your lip and focussing your concentration on your hands.


I think it’s perfectly wonderful for a guy to remove his beard hair, I wish my guy would do it, then I wouldn’t have to beg him to shave and feel that stubble in between shavings.

Did the practitioner work on your beard with the “clearence method” when you try to clear an entire area of all hair and then move on to a maintainance phase where you treat hairs as they grow in to keep a cleared look, or did she do the “thin out method” when you don’t treat all hairs but try to achieve an even reduction of hair quantity? Like treating every second or third hair.

At first, I think he was trying to clear one area at a time, but then I asked him to do it more evenly. I’m basically on maintainance now, with the exception of the upper lip, which we’re still trying to clear.

Are you sure you want to remove the hair from your upper lip? Doing that leaves you with a feminine look, no?

I think it’s more of a clean, young look, as opposed to feminine. IMO, anyway.

Pssst, wanna buy sum novacaine? We’ll start an underground market here!

Hee! I wish.


For the record I am TS.

I have had electrolysis from before HRT to after HRT, and the areas you describe hurt no matter what. Right under the nose can bring tears to your eyes in a second.

I use Emla and also take some tylenol ahead of time. It still hurts somewhat. Since you are so far advanced it should not need too much work there anyways. Tough it out!

Men can get rid of facial hair too. It is a personal thing and doesn’t make you less of a man. Just one who hates facial hair.


Thanks for the advice, Aliciadarling.

I guess I’ll just have to tough it out, especially since I’ve come so far. The Tylenol could help.

Have you reached full clearance? And how long did it take?

Hi Kevs:

I usually get full clearance, but the upper face above the jawline always gets full clearance. I had 9 laser sessions and 94 hours of electrolysis so far. The throat area at the front is the last bastion of stubborn hairs to conquer.

I need to go back sometime soon, but am recovering from major surgery right now.

Right under the nose always makes my eyes tear up, and it is worse now that I wear mascara, since I can end up looking like a drowned racoon. I actually find the pain more intense now that I am on HRT, than it was before. My skin is more sensitive.

If you apply emla for at least an hour beforehand, have the electrolygist do the most sensitive area first before the numbing effect wears off a bit.


Hi Kevs and everyone! I’ve been reading different forums at hairtell for
sometime now and am finally making my first post now. I’m a straight male
and your post really addressed some of the questions that have been going
through my mind. I have super sensitive and dry skin and HATE shaving–it
irritates the hell out of my face and causes white as well as red bumps and
some ingrown hairs. I have to let at least three days go by before I can
take the razor to my face again–it still causes heavy bleeding and
irritation. Even though I use a Mach3 Power razor and “sensitive” shaving
gel, I still bleed a lot and my skin burns after shaving. I need a thick
or “rich” cream to stop the bleeding–even “alcohol free” moisturizers and
so-called “sensitive” men’s shaving lotions/balsams just cause further
irritation and allergic reactions. It’s probably due to the fragrance or
whatever they put in these “men’s products” but they don’t work for me and
also start making the hairs grow back immediately–it’s weird, I can
actually see the black hairs re-growing and can’t maintain that “smooth”
look for long. The whole pre-shaving and post shaving process takes about
30 minutes and my face feels uncomfortable for days. I find that
fragrance-free women’s facial creams soothe much more effectively and don’t
cause the hairs to start growing back immediately.

Due to the time and redness and irritation involved, I’ve considered going
permanently smooth. I’m really fed up with the whole shaving process and I
agree that most women prefer the smooth look and with all the media hype,
it’s surprising that more men don’t consider this option. However, the pain
factor and time as well as money really turn me off. BTW, what is the
average price for a electrolysis session and does it really take years to
get rid of facial hair? How long would it take to just “thin out” the
beard? Does anyone know if laser would be less painful and faster? What
about the price? I really don’t know if these are even options due to my
sensitive skin–I get rashes and bumps if I use the wrong cream or
sunscreen, so I don’t know what these treatments would do. Alternatively,
has anyone tried some of these “stubble reducer or stopper” products? Do
they work, or are they just a rip-off?

As an after thought, I really don’t understand why people think it’s gay or
get bent out of shape if men take care of their appearance by getting
electrolysis or do some form of body shaving. The only reason a lot of
“average” looking women look good is because they put time into and take
care of their appearance. IMHO, I think that everyone wants to look good,
so it’s sad that men are chastised for taking pride in their appearance and
are often too embarrassed or afraid to go into a salon for waxing to get the
image they are seeking.

Well, this got longer than I planned but I’d appreciate any comments or
advice that others may have on the laser or electrolysis for facial hair
reduction/permanent removal.

I agree with you - I think people’s opinion can be daft sometimes. Especially when it comes to what’s considered ‘manly’.

Not so long ago, everyone seemed to think men were somehow ‘odd’ if they wanted to get rid of their body odour. Now barely an ad-break goes by on TV without some sort of men’s fragrance being pushed.

If you would like to give permanent hair removal a try because shaving causes you so much grief, then go for it!! And good for you!

If you decide to try electrolysis, you will be able to take quite a few treatments before anyone notices any thinning of the hair on your face at all.
I suspect, if your hair is very strong and tough, it might take a few zaps to weaken each hair before it dies completely. So you might find that if you only target the thickest hairs, then shaving becomes easier as the hair that you have left becomes softer.

As for price, I pay £30 an hour (which is about $52). But you might find prices vary a lot.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on.


Hi Smooth:

Being well groomed does not make you gay, and you should try to get over caring what others might think of that. It is a waste of your life to care too much what others think.
Some gay guys have nice beards or hairy faces, so that misconception about being well groomed, and being gay is just a bunch of crap.

For shaving you may want to try a fresh razor which you should change every week. Wash your face thoroughly with a moisturizing soap such as Dove and take at least a couple of minutes to let the beard soften. Then use a good gel such as Gillette Satin Care for sensitive skin on your damp skin. Shave downward first, with the grain. After that wet your face, and apply more gel. Now shave against the grain, but not pressing overly hard. Afterwards you may want to apply a moisturizing balm.

Using womens skin softeners is smart, and does not make you a woman, gay or any other such nonsence.

Electrolysis takes time and committment. You need to get a trial treatment and consultation to know how it works, cost,reaction, etc… For a full male beard it could take a couple of years or more.

Good luck, Alicia

Thanks for your advice. After reading more about laser and electrolysis, I really don’t think it’s an option for me–a lot of people write of infections and scabbing. I have a very low thresehold for pain and based on what Kevs and others write, electrolysis is not for the faint of heart.

I don’t use soap on my face–really dries my skin out but Physiogel or Cetaphil cleaners for people with sensitive/allergic skin as well as a non alcohol toner which are available here in Poland. I really think the “manly scents” which they put in men’s balsams are the main culprits for further skin irritation. My dermatologist said that these special “men’s creams” are just a bunch of media hype and they are really a lot more expensive then regular creams for women–the only difference is the packing and fragrance if there is one.

Have anyone tried any other method of hair removal on the face such as waxing or epilating? I bet both of these could be really painful though!


You should at least go for an electrolysis consultation (or two) before deciding that it’s too painful for you. I, too, have low pain threshold, but found electrolysis using flash to be very tolerable on the nape of my neck. Don’t put all your faith in anecdotal evidence, try it for yourself!

Best regards,


Hi Smooth:

You should take your dermatologists advice about your skin.

Waxing/epilating is not recommended for the face since it can cause irritation and ingrown hairs. If you have ever had an ingrown it can be very nasty!

I am not sure about the state of electrolysis in Poland.
If you use a topical anesthetic and some tylenol, the electrolysis really does not hurt that much, except for a couple of areas which varies from person to person. My worst areas for pain are just under the nose and the jawbone and throat areas.

As the last poster said you don’t know till you try it.

Good luck, Alicia