Facial hair clearing
Table of contents:
For almost every male-to-female transgendered person, the beard is the real project area for electrolysis hair removal. Facial hair is among the more visible secondary sex characteristics, and getting rid often is a nightmare for trans women. It hurts, it’s expensive, it’s embarrassing, and it seemingly takes forever.
At 2pass Clinic we developed an intensive program that clears your complete facial hair during a marathon session.
Advantages of intensive electrolysis versus the classical program
- Less time needed from start to finish. It will considerably speed up the process. There is no faster way on the planet yet.
- Another advantage of the intensive program is that you have to let your facial hair grow only once per clearing session instead of once every week for a normal 1-2 hour session.
- The pain pump makes the treatment tolerable. If it still hurts too much for you we can inject local anesthesia which will make it pain-free.
- Electrologists trained and experienced in killing beard hairs of trans women. At 2pass Clinic we are obsessed with 2 things: no scarring and a high killing rate.
In the video below we'll talk about the advantages more extensively. Mind you: the 6 months time frame is for the average beard SHADOW. Total treatment time is longer.
Find an infographic here about the different programs.
- When beginning your transition the most important thing to remember is that “nothing happens overnight”. The permanent removal of facial hair is a time-consuming, but wonderfully worthwhile process, and you will need patience and commitment to achieve your desired results.
- You also need to remember that electrolysis requires a considerable financial investment. Make sure that you can afford to see the process through and not be disappointed.
- A marathon session is not a walk in the park. It is physically and emotionally a hell of a ride.
When to start facial electrolysis?
Anyone who is planning to go full time is strongly advised to seek permanent facial hair removal as soon as possible in transition. For some trans women, it is the most time-consuming and expensive part of the entire process. More information on when to start your electrolysis.
Should I be on hormones to start electrolysis?
No. Beard growth is driven by a genetic response of the hair follicles to the hormone called ‘androgen’. This response of the hair follicles is genetic, and sadly we cannot yet change the genetics of your hair. From our experience, unless the masculinization process is put to a halt early in puberty, or the individual naturally has sparse beard growth, extensive facial electrolysis is usually necessary for trans women.
How long will it take to clear my facial hair? How many clearing sessions will I need?
- This is probably the most frequently asked question, and one we can unfortunately not answer with certainty. There are many factors influencing the number of sessions needed to clear an area, some of which are still unknown to us.
- To fully clear your facial hair permanently it can take anything from 8 months up to 2 years in some cases. The number of sessions needed varies from 8 to 15 sessions. The number of hours needed varies from 90 to 300 hours.
- But can you give me an estimate based on the average person? On average, if we do a complete clearing of the face every session, about 8 to 10 sessions will be needed to fully clear the face in 100-150 hours. If they adhere to a 6 weeks interval the average person will have her face cleared in about one year.
- But mind you:
- Those are averages, we cannot guarantee this will be your time frame.
- This average is based on the average density of beard and lip and the average response rate to the treatment.
- We have experienced that there are patients where the treatment is less effective, with more regrowth of stubborn hairs. It really varies greatly from person to person.
- For the moment we can unfortunately not give any guarantee except the following: in the end, we always win. We are working hard to analyze our results and investigate what causes the difference in effectiveness and what can be done about it.
- If we notice after the first session we don’t have the desired killing result we will try different programs on different areas of the face. Some of these programs, like the blend programs, take at least 6 times more time. You have the risk during this second session that clearing cannot be completely finished, which is very distressing as you want to get rid of your facial hair as fast as possible. We fully realize this but still need to insist: in the end, once we found the correct program we will get you to the finish earlier.
We do a complete (partly non-permanent) clearing of the average beard and lip every 6-8 weeks (ideal to catch as many hairs in the growing phase as possible).
- Approximately 60% of your hair follicles are active during the first clearing. Although all hairs will be cleared during the session, about 25-50% of the treated hairs will grow back, together with the 40% inactive hairs, you will have the impression between 75% and 90% grows back after the first session. More information on regrowth after electrolysis and a whiteboard movie explaining the basic concepts.
- Your first sessions will account for the longest of all the clearings. Each follow-up clearing will involve less time as there are progressively fewer hairs to be treated.
- We use a pain pump which makes the session less painful. Local anesthesia can be added if needed which makes the treatment painless.
- It is important to stick to the 6-8 weeks interval to have as many hairs in the visible stage as possible.
- MOST (but not all) patients will lose their shadows permanently after the 4th clearing, as long as they adhere to the 6-8 week clearing interval.
Video of Jessica having her first electrolysis session
How many days of intensive electrolysis do I need to book?
If you don’t have a full beard anymore because of laser, electrolysis sessions or hormonal effects, booking 4 days as your 1st session is not necessary. The pictures below give you an indication of how many days you need according to the density of your facial hair.
Book conservatively because you pay for the time you book.
Program of an intensive day
- 8h30-9h00: preparation of pain pump
- 9h-9h30: First day of session only: treatment plan discussion or discussion of previous treatment with a comparison of before and after pictures (rest of the days the treatment starts at 9)
- 9h30-13h: treatment time
- 13h-13h30: lunch: we provide soup and bread for lunch in the guesthouse (free of charge)
- 13h30-16h45: treatment time
- 16h45-17h: last day of session only: removal of the pain pump and booking of a new appointment if necessary (deposit can be paid in the clinic)
- BREAKS—For every hour of treatment, a five-minute break is foreseen for you and the electrologist to stretch the legs and go to the restroom, have a drink, etc. Well-timed breaks are needed for your electrologist to keep performing efficient insertions.
- Important to read for the genital zone! The electrologist will swap with another colleague after 4 hours if you booked a full day of intensive treatment of the genital zone. This is because the zone is very physically demanding for the electrologist in terms of the position she has to work in. Also, longer breaks of 10 minutes are needed regularly to keep the focus.
How do I prepare for my electrolysis clearing session?
The most important preparation is to stop shaving 3 days prior to treatment. The length of the hair should be at least 1 mm to be able to grab the hair with tweezers. More information on preparing for your session.
Redness and swelling are to be expected and are normal reactions of the healing skin. More information on what to expect after electrolysis and aftercare.
Frequently asked questions
Is electrolysis hair removal painful?
The short answer almost no electrologist dares to give you is: yes it is. Some people can bear it, others barely. The longer version: Everyone has their own tolerance to pain. Descriptions of the discomfort vary from “no worse than a mosquito bite,” to “like having a rubber band snapped against my bare skin hard.” Electrolysis can give a stinging and pricking sensation, and each hair has to go through it. The degree of also relative to the area of treatment. Certain spots, such as the upper lip, are known to be more sensitive than spots like the brows. But! Luckily we provide a pain pump, with which you will barely feel any pain at all! More information about the pain pump!
Can I shave my hair in between electrolysis hair removal sessions?
Yes, one of the common misconceptions about electrolysis is that you have to let the hair grow in-between sessions. In fact, you can treat the hair as you would usually, even shaving the legs or face. The hair doesn’t have to be any longer than 1-2 mm for electrolysis to be effective. It is even contra-productive because it makes insertions more difficult. It is important you stop shaving 3 days prior to your electrolysis session. We should emphasize that in contrast to popular belief, shaving off the hair will not thicken it, coarsen it or make it grow more rapidly.
Can I do Electrolysis at your clinic while recovering from the surgery?
Yes, you can. We suggest you book 1 day of electrolysis a few days after the surgery through our website. If you have a choice though it is probably a more comfortable option to book the electrolysis a few days before your surgery.
I have some discoloration on my face after electrolysis, is this normal? Will it go away?
Hyperpigmentation can occur after electrolysis. The inflammation caused by the electrolysis destruction can sometimes stimulate melanocytes (pigment cells in the skin) to produce pigment. This reaction is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. When this happens in electrology, tiny dark patches or dots appear 2 to 6 weeks after treatment where each hair was epilated. These marks may persist for 4 to 6 months, but disappear as the skin recuperates. This reaction can develop on any patient. However, this reaction is most common in darker-skinned patients. It rarely occurs in lighter-skinned patients. Sunlight seems to encourage this reaction. Therefore we advise our patients to protect against the sun for 2 to 3 weeks after treatment. In very rare instances, inflammation from electrolysis arrests the pigment production of the pigment cells and causes white spots or hypo-pigmentation. In all such cases, the melanocytes recuperate and the skin fully returns to normal; usually within several months.
I suffer from psoriasis, can I still get electrolysis?
On active psoriasis, zone electrolysis is contra-indicated.
I suffer from PCOS, can I still get electrolysis?
It is not a contra-indication, but in some people it doesn’t really help because too much new hair is recruited. You can read about the details of electrolysis on people with hirsutism/PCOS.
Why can I not cancel my session less than two weeks in advance and get a refund like in a hotel?
We understand your concern. If you cancel 3 days of an intensive program less than two weeks before, we will not find another patient to replace you because people need to plan these types of things in advance (take time off from work, etc). So these 3 days we will have to pay our electrologist, but she will have no client to treat. It is simply a different cost and income model than in a hotel. A hotel needs approximately the same staff if there are a few people less or more. In contrast to hotels, we don’t have 300 rooms and have some vacancies anyway most of the time. It is actually the same policy we use as with our operations (but there the cancel time is less than one month instead of two weeks). We hope you understand our policy.
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