Pain is Beauty?

Lately, I’ve really been feeling the need to find a more permanent solution to my facial hair problem. Thus far, I have simply been shaving it very closely and covering-it up with concealer; while this looks pretty good from a distance, up close it makes me look like I’m suffering from some kind of skin condition; neither does the skin feel particularly smooth.

Moreover, my facial hair is very coarse and fast growing; by the end of the work day, it has grown outwards and stabbed through the level of make-up, making me look, once again, just like a man. I had hoped that Hormone Replacement Therapy would at least slow down this regrowth rate, but (while it has had some effect on my body hair) this has not been the case for my beard or moustache.

So I want to get rid of it, and am now looking into options to do so. Unfortunately, all of them seem either inordinately expensive (I might point out that I am a graduate student), extraordinarily painful, or both.

My preference would be for laser hair removal, and I have the optimal pigmentation (dark hair on very pale skin) for this work. However, it appears to cost around a hundred dollars a session (which seem to be done weekly, or thereabouts), and I simply do not have the money for this. What’s more, I’m not sure how many sessions it takes before it’s done. Is it ever done, or do I just have to keep having hair removal sessions?

Electrolysis has the advantage of destroying my hair follicles completely and of being absolutely permanent; however, it is prohibitively expensive (I was given a ballpark figure of around $8,000, which amounts to almost half a year’s salary). I have also heard that it is excruciatingly painful; if normal people find it to be so, then I shudder to imagine what I would think of it, as I have extraordinarily sensitive skin (thanks to autism) and a low threshold of pain.

Finally, one of my readers has recommended that I invest in an epilator. These are comparatively inexpensive (~$150), and supposedly, repeated use eventually prevents the hair from returning. However, they work by physically ripping out short hairs by the roots; I have read that their application is equivalent in pain to tearing off a hundred band-aids at once every time you use it; apparently, it doesn’t rip-off skin the way that a hot wax does*, but I’m not sure if this is still the case for dense, deeply rooted male-pattern facial hairs. Indeed, I have no idea whether it actually works on beards because all of the online testimonials that I have read from guys who tried it basically said that they had to stop after the first few seconds because of the severe agony.

So as far as this is concerned, if any of my readers have any suggestions or clarifications of any kind to offer me, they are more than welcome to do so. As far as I am concerned, I am once again wishing that I could have transitioned before puberty, or better yet, been born female in the first place!


*Ever tried to hot wax your beard? Not recommended! My face felt like it was on fire for about a week and a half afterwards and people kept thinking I was having an allergic reaction.


About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
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6 Responses to Pain is Beauty?

  1. Adrian says:

    One of my friends got just a little bit of electrolysis, and it solved her “you can tell I have facial hair even though I shaved” problem (your facial hair and her previous facial hair sound about the same). I mean, she certainly still has to shave in the morning, but it’s made a world of difference. If I can manage to get in contact with this friend (she’s rather unreliable), I can give you actual helpful details, but my point is even if you can’t afford all the electrolysis you need, you can maybe afford some.

  2. Alexandra says:

    I’ve been doing laser at about $250 a session at that little place in Tuscany Village. Generally it takes 6-8 sessions,each a month apart, though after just three my hair was pretty hard to see.

    The term “reduction” is a little misleading, because when it kills follicles, it kills follicles. But it only kills “a reasonable chunk”, so basically the hair is consecutively thinned.

    It doesn’t hurt too badly if you use the recommended topical aesthetic first (I accidentally used a weak one on my first session and did not enjoy the experience). Consecutive sessions hurt less, because it only causes pain at the hair follicles.

  3. n8chz says:

    In my case, my beloved Josie (also a transwoman) and I found that getting trained, licensed and equipped as electrologists was less expensive than paying retail for full “beard” removal, even without using the license to earn money. The requirements for British Columbia appear similar in scope to those of Michigan:

    Minimum educational requirements for admission into the two training schools in British Columbia is completion of grade 10. The schools’ 500 hour training program consists of 360 hours of practical experience in the three modalities of hair removal and 140 hours of theoretical instruction, proper use and maintenance of equipment, and office procedures and practices. The Council concluded that the training for electrology focuses on the application of a narrowly defined technical procedure but does not provide, nor does the practice require, an education in a broadly based body of knowledge which should form the foundation of a profession.

    Only two training schools in the province could mean higher tuition, though. Ouch, bad news. But this is the age of the Internet. It’s probably not entirely impossible to acquire an epilator (electrolysis machine) w/o a license. There are also now a lot of laser devices in the consumer marketplace, but the overall tone of that industry is a little infomercial-y for my taste. I’m more than a little skeptical. Best of luck.

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