Category: hair removal

Hospitals and Hair

By , May 6, 2010 7:48 pm

Tonight is my last night at the hospital. (Fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.) The gallbladder was removed last night, along with the bazillion more gallstones it contained. My parents actually claim the doctor said my gallbladder had 100 more gallstones, which is disgusting if it’s true.

This morning, after lugging myself to the bathroom, I looked in the mirror to see something of a stranger. First, because one of my roommates had put my hair into two braided pigtails last night, before I went into surgery. I’ve been way to lazy to remove ’em, so they’ve stayed the last 24 hours. Second, because the IV fluids, coupled with little food, have given me a simultaneously gaunt and water-bloated look. On top of that, I haven’t really bathed all week, so my color is way off and I’m all blotchy.

Most obnoxious, though, was the little soul-patch beneath my lower lip, a  remnant of my facial hair that the laser removal hasn’t been able extinguish.

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Hair Removal Done Right

By , November 17, 2009 4:09 pm

I’ve noticed I still get some hits from older posts about hair removal, and wanted to give an update. I’ve had a full treatment (I think 4-6 sessions?) of laser on my face, which cost some unknown mom-financed amount of money. I’ve also finished 5-out-of-6 of the package of sessions I bought for my arms/legs/chest/stomach, which cost $4,300. On top of that, I’ve had some touch-ups on my face, for the niggly hairs below my lip and on my jawline that just can’t take a hint – maybe one touch-up a year, at $50 a pop, for the last few years. I also wouldn’t be shocked if I choose to do touch-up sessions on my arms/legs/etc, even when I finish the 6th session sometime in the next month or two. So easily $5,000 or $6,0o0, of which I paid for about $4,500 with my own money.

I’ll cut to the chase: Was it it worth it? Hell yes.

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Ow!

By , June 27, 2009 10:09 am

I fucking cut my nipple while shaving! Dammit, that hurts! I’m ready for the laser removal to be done so I don’t have to deal with shaving my chest anymore…

Hair removal followup

By , June 10, 2009 10:38 pm

I’ve seen some searches coming in lately about laser hair removal, as well as the No! No! hair removal system, and I wanted to post an update.

First, should you spend money on a No! No!?

No. No. You should not.

(Sorry, I had to.)

I’m not convinced that it can’t work, but it must take forever and was difficult and unsatisfying to use. I don’t think it contributed to any hair removal for me, and buffing afterwards did not leave me smooth and clean as promised. It also ended up smelling like burnt hair, which wasn’t particularly pleasant. (As a side note, if you want my No! No! let me know and I’d be happy to hand it over.)

So what should you do instead?

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Peeing standing up, passing, and more!

By , May 17, 2009 8:12 pm

Some random thoughts for this beautiful Sunday evening…

First, I was at the beach today for a friend’s picnic birthday party and, when nature called, went to the disgusting port-a-pottys.  The Surgery has been occupying my mind lately but, all sorts of deep and philosophical body-image and personhood discussion aside, peeing standing up rocks. Those port-a-pottys were absolutely inhuman in their filth and I could barely manage to stand in them for the thirty seconds it took to pee. Had I needed to sit down, I would have held it (like the cis girl who did try to use ’em and instantly gave up upon opening the door).

Second, I had another round of laser on my legs this weekend (and need to go back because they only booked me for an hour when I said it would take an hour and a half…grrrrr…).  The woman performing the laser, who I’ve known since I started going to this place four or five years ago, is really nice and we were chatting about this and that. She obviously knows I’m trans, since I’ve been going there since before I started transitioning, and has been really sweet about it. Well, yesterday she also had someone in training in the room, and we were all chatting. One of the two women was complimenting me on my skin, and I said something about how estrogen helps it. The woman-in-training said, “Oh, are you on birth control?” Score one for passing! (I said, very simply, “No, I’m trans and am on lots of hormones,” and she responded, “Oh, ok.”)

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Oh dear god it itches!

By , March 1, 2009 3:07 pm

Edit: I called the hair removal place, as I realized “I’m reacting differently to something that’s been fine in the past” is usually a bad thing. They said to try neosporin as well, and icing, and to call again on Tuesday or Wednesday (about a week since the treatment) if the redness hasn’t gone down. Oh well….

As I mentioned in the previous post, I recently went in for my third-of-six session of laser hair removal for my arms, chest, and stomach. It was less painful than it has been in the past, and didn’t take super-long, either.

Unfortunately, four days later, my arms are still covered in little red bumps and itch like crazy! This is a known possible side effect of the laser, but I haven’t had it so strong before, and it’s driving me insane. I’ve been using hydrocortisone, which is what the hair removal place recommended in the past, and I’m also using perscription lidocaine and prilocaine, which is a topical anasthetic which is supposed to be used before treatment. I’m not sure if it’s actually effective for this, though a Google search seems to indicate it could be, but I want the itching to go away!

I’m going to maybe try a cool washcloth as well, and if it’s still driving me crazy tomorrow I’m going to give the hair removal place a call. It’s a ‘good’ reaction, in that it means it killed the foliciles, but it’s less good if I gnaw my arms off at the elbows…

-R

Every time it gets a little easier…

By , February 26, 2009 9:12 pm

I went in yesterday for another round of laser hair removal. This is the 3rd round of the 6 I paid (well, went into debt for) for back in August. I did my chest, stomach, and arms, so I still have to go back for my legs next Wednesday. I guess it’s more like part 5 of 12… I’m also going to do a facial touch up next Wednesday, because some pesky hairs can’t take a hint.

I’m all prickly and red now, though, which is obnoxious. It usually fades away in a day or two. I should rub hydrocortisone on the parts that are really itchy.

In more exciting news, I’ve almost saved enough to pay off the hair removal. When I signed on the dotted line in August, I was committing to pay $4,390 by the end of August, 2009, or start facing interest charges. I’ve been saving money in an interest-bearing ING account, and plan to pay them off in mid-August to get as much interest money as possible. Although interest rates have been dropping, a little ‘free’ money is better than none! (If you want an ING referral, let me know! If you join with something like $200 in a savings account, I get $10 and you get $25!)

So yeah. I have something like $4200 in the bank right now, and I figured if I get around $4300, most of the remaining will be made as interest. With my next paycheck, next week, I should have that off my back!

Which is good, because this weekend I am going shopping! I sent out an email to some girl friends asking for help to find me a wardrobe. I have, like, four pairs of pants and five tops that I’m just cycling through, and it’s getting ridiculous… So, as much as it pains whatever testosterone that’s left in my system to do it, I’m going on a shopping spree! Round 1 is tomorrow, with NP (and possibly a friend from work), and I might be doing more on Saturday and/or Sunday.

Ridiculous.

-R

Second round of hair removal

By , December 26, 2008 9:58 pm

I had the first part of the second round of hair removal today, covering my arms and torso (I go back on Sunday for my legs).  It went much better than last time, for a couple reasons.

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The cost of transitioning

By , December 15, 2008 10:55 pm

Lets look at dollars and cents…

  • $45/month for hormones (assuming I stay on a similarly good insurance plan)
    • May go up to $60/month if/when I go on progesterone
    • TOTAL COST: Somewhere around $650 so far…going off for a while this summer makes calculating the exact amount a little difficult…probably somewhere around $30,000 over the rest of my life (making a lot of assumptions, including that the cost of drugs will never go up or down)
  • $1,000+ for facial hair removal, so far.
    • I need to go back and do some more touch-ups, each one running an additional $100 per session
  • $4,390 for body hair removal, including chest and torso, arms, and legs
    • Like facial hair, I’ll probably need to do additional touch-ups at some point, each running hundreds of dollars
    • This also doesn’t include my back, neck, or shoulders, all areas I may want to do someday
  • Around $45/month for therapy
    • I’m counting this as an indispensable part of the transition, and once I use up my insurance-alloted number of sessions it’ll go up from $15 out-of-pocket per session to the full $90 (unless I can talk my therapist down from there…)
    • TOTAL COST: Somewhere around $750 so far
  • At least $6,700 spent so far
    • More than my rent for a year
    • More than my car is worth
    • More than I spent going to Paris twice last year to visit G

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How Laser Hair Removal Works

By , September 2, 2008 12:13 am

A comment on this post asked for a little more detail on what laser hair removal entails (although G thought the commenter’s description, “I just picture you lying on a table while doctors shoot lasers at you and you whimper,” was pretty acurate to her understanding as well). (And, for those of you who’d like to skip ahead toward the end, where there’s a good bit involving how much it did hurt, feel free to do so now.)

First, lets cover how it works. Laser hair removal works by “selectively heating dark target matter, (melanin), in the area that causes hair growth, (the follicle), while not heating the rest of the skin.” (So sayeth Wikipedia.) What that means is they shoot a laser at a small area of skin and the wavelength is tuned to be absorbed by the melanin, destroying the follicle’s ability to grow hair. The area hit by the laser varies between specific lasers but (from my experience) is generally a bit smaller than the size of a dime. This means doing a large area (say, arms, legs, and torso) takes a long time and the denser or thicker the hair (facial hair or thick leg hair) takes longer. In addition, hair grows in cycles, meaning the hair growing now is not the hair that will be growing two months from now. So even if laser hair removal were 100% effective on active follicles (which it probably isn’t) you’d still need multiple sessions every couple months to cover each set of follicles as they become active, usually around every two months.

After a session, the hair will seem to be growing back at first but then (hopefully) the individual hairs will fall out. This is because there’s a little bit of hair still existing below the surface that doesn’t get removed with shaving (hence why waxing works for a longer period than shaving) and that little root beneath the skin still needs to get pushed out. Then, there’s a relatively hairless month, followed by a gradual return of hair as the next wave of follicles become active. (But hopefully less hair than was growing before!)

After that, it’s rinse and repeat.

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