Hair removal is painful, in all the ways!
It seems like a long time ago that I nervously pushed the door open to the beauty clinic after agonising about whether or not to start treatment when I haven’t even met with the gender outreach clinic yet. The warm and friendly welcome I received even as that quiet, nervous and shabbily dressed guy made a lasting impression. One that ran deeper than the pain of laser treatment. I look forward to going in, being offered a hot drink and listening to the relaxing music, the staff are always smiling and I have not once felt judged or even out of place.
This weekend saw my last blast of laser treatment – clearing the weeds as my electrologist called it. The laser has had to be at its maximum setting and it has hurt and made me flinch or gasp, every. single. time. We are running out of black hairs to zap, whats left are mostly red and a few white – the joys of my celtic heritage. I was very nervous when I was told to look for magic cream before this session, if laser was sore, how much worse must electrolysis be if you have to numb your face before you start!
For those without children magic cream is a local anaesthetic cream, usually rubbed onto children’s arms for the purpose of giving injections or taking blood. EVERYONE in the UK calls it magic cream! The make I was told to seek was called EMLA, it comes in dinky wee tubes with dressing pads to help absorption or giant 30g tubes for multiple uses – it was the large tube I was told to look for and I went to 4 different chemists in two different towns with no luck, although one pharmacist did offer to order some in for me.
I resorted to ordering online, but when I entered electrolysis as the reason online the chemist refused to send it to me. All of this was to avoid going to my local GP and telling them that I think I am trans and waiting for an appointment but have started on hair removal. I could not tell you who my GP is – the extremely rare time I have made an appointment I do not care who I see as long as they are trained and the first available appointment. I had one last town to try before giving up, but ran out of time so my sister bless her went through the big Boots who were rubbish and then finally Superdrug – who were super helpful and got me two wee tubes, oddly the packets with the dressings were cheaper than those without. She did have to explain to the chemist what she wanted the cream for but she was really nice and very quick to offer future support if more was needed. I had arrived for my appointment with my miniature magic cream tubes and when I explained the hassle trying to get the cream my electrologist said that she was not surprised and she would just use from their own stock and charge me the cost of the tube.
My face was stinging – the more zaps you get in quick succession the more it hurts, and after 20 minutes everywhere feels like you have serious sunburn, which in a way is true – the saving grace is that the machine also has a cold air blower which is heaven and a blissful relief from the laser machine.
We finished up and then cream was applied to my chin and jawline which is where the strongest concentration of hair remains and I was left to lie on a massage table and read for an hour (so glad I took a book) while the cream took effect.
By this time I needed the loo so when I was allowed to move I was told I had to go downstairs – the clinic is located above the health suite in a local hotel chain and the toilets are just open for anyone – it says a lot about how comfortable I am becoming with the treatment that even though my face looked like I had been interrupted shaving I could go and ask a member of staff for directions to the closest loo – the young lad almost hid his amusement very well and was still nice and polite so kudos to the hotel staff.
After answering nature’s call I went back to my wee room and prepared myself for my impending torture. The saving grace being that a large portion of my face no longer felt sunburnt because it had no feeling at all, running my tongue around the bottom of my teeth I could feel a slight tingle, but had no idea what to expect.
What followed was about 3 hours of pleasant conversation as the electrologist zapped and pulled out hairs that had roots that looked inches deep. I could occasionally feel a slight zap almost like a pinprick, but most of the time it was just the sensation of the hair being plucked even though it did not hurt. I had arrived for my appointment before 13:30 and left at 1800. It was a long afternoon and as had become habit I kept the windows open in the car to take full advantage of the cold air as I drove to my sisters house and my waiting children.
I was warned that my chin and jaw might be tender for the next few days after having the double trauma of laser and electrolysis, but my face has calmed down surprisingly quickly, today I have the blotchy facial hair that catches on my teeshirt just as I always do, but overall I have to say that I have gotten off lightly.
I am looking forward to putting the pain of the laser behind me. In two weeks time I have to go back for another extended session of electrolysis because it is apparently better to get as much out at the same time as possible and then get to the pattern of catching anything as it grows back. For me it is a milestone – I am delighted that I can look clean shaven for a full day even if I can feel the hairs myself, I can go 2-3 days before looking like I haven’t shaved at all. At the moment regardless of what happens in October I can say that the money I have spent has absolutely been worth it, I feel so much better about myself.
Next weekend sees my first extended time being Dee in front of family, friends and strangers and while I am SOOooooo excited by the prospect, I am also quietly and unashamedly terrified of showing this side of me to the world.
Online I can chat in rooms and in forums and am happy to just be myself, due to my butterfly avatar I am always treated as female, and I am 100% okay with that, I may not be comfortable with the concept of voice chatting but it is nice to be able to express myself freely.
In the real world I cannot hide behind a drawn picture though.
I do not want to make a fool of myself, to be mocked or ridiculed or rejected, nor do I want to be pressured into moving forwards if it does not feel right for me, or pressure others into being okay with me when this is the first time they will see me in female clothing, I do not want to damage the relationships I have – it will literally be two nights and one full day of many of those little daydreams about coffee and lunches and window shopping and dancing and being seen as a woman in public that I have had literally had for basically my entire teenage and adult life coming true – so it is that place where fantasy will meet reality and I am so nervous about it, no pressure lol!