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Thread: Electrolysis

  1. #1
    Member Amanda_Nicole's Avatar
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    Electrolysis

    Hi ladies,

    Does electrolysis hurt more while on hrt? I want to start electrolysis but getting closer to starting hrt and I don't want to postpone it. Any advise would be appreciated.
    Hugs,
    Amanda

  2. #2
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    I dunno. it hurts. get a script for prescription numbing cream. pm me if you want the recipe.

  3. #3
    Member HelpMe,Rhonda's Avatar
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    I've done laser, epilation, waxing and electrolysis. I'd say electrolysis and waxing are the two most painful. But i do nothing more than regular over the counter pain medication before and after

  4. #4
    Little Mrs. Snarky! Nadine Spirit's Avatar
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    Electro is painful but I don't know if it is more painful on HRT than not. I changed my hormones about a year or so before I began electro. What I do know, (after listening to my electrologists for over 3 years now) that electrolysis takes far longer if you are operating on T instead of E. T makes the hairs, especially facial hairs, stronger and more resilient to being zapped.

    Anywho, regardless of any pain, electro is super worth it! I have not shaved my face in over a year and that feels absolutely amazing!

  5. #5
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    I don't see why it would be more painful, but it can be slower. Depending on how much HRT affects your facial hair, it may be physically more challenging for the tech to do their work.
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  6. #6
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    Is a persons perception of pain altered by their hormones? Now that is a great discussion topic for a Friday night over wine and pizza.
    Does Electrolysis hurt? Yes, some places more than others. Top lip = OMG vs cheek = meh sort of thing.
    As others have said, there are solutions available.

    Now to compare say electrolysis vs IPL. they both hurt, but IPL is a LOT fewer shots per session so I was able to tolerate it better. For example IPL top lip was three shots (left, right, centre), I jumped and shed a tear or two but it was three and done. Electrolysis was an hour of tears even with the numbing creams.

    BIG NOTE here: IPL works on some hair, ones where there is dark pigment. It does not work on greys �� so you probably will at the very least need to finish off with Electrolysis. (For me IPL got the job maybe 80% done)

    Best advice I can give you, talk to your technician. If they know what they are doing, they can advise on pain prevention etc.
    (make sure you do find a technician that knows what they are doing, it's way to easy to end up scared for life with these devices in the hands of inexperienced people)
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  7. #7
    Member Amanda_Nicole's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your advice. I have a lot grey therefore, I am choosing electrolysis. I have scheduled an appointment and looking forward to starting this phase of my journey.

  8. #8
    Member HelpMe,Rhonda's Avatar
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    I don't know if my pain perception has changed on HRT but definitely my ability to stoically sit there and take it without reacting is not what it used to be!

  9. #9
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    I started both at the same time. One thing about the pain - it is worst at the start and easier with time (after few full clearances). I recall that most hair I had at the start used up to 6-8 pulses per follicle and now it is usually 1-2. Just be prepared it takes long time. I am learning that to get from 98% clear to 100% clear seems like and endless process. I'm 168 hours total already (3.5 years). However, I don't shave at all these days and what grows is not visible to a naked eye.
    Last edited by Katya@; 07-08-2021 at 11:47 AM.

  10. #10
    Aspiring Member MarieTS's Avatar
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    It was almost 24 months of near hell, full body clearance; a portion of it laser which really was much easier. Began mones about two and a half months in. Procedures felt the same regardless. I still maintain the belief that facial hair removal is Job #1. It is just something you have to do, and will be glad you did, when it is finally over. My techs were sweethearts and did an excellent job preventing scarring.

  11. #11
    Member Amanda_Nicole's Avatar
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    I really appreciate everyone advice. I plan to start at neck and work my way up.

  12. #12
    Aspiring Member MarieTS's Avatar
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    Happy 4 U Amanda! U will luv the time savings, and especially saying good bye to the shadow that always seems to be there despite a close shave and expert makeup application. It was the best thing I did at the start of my transformation. The results are totally worth the occasional ouchies!

  13. #13
    Girl underconstruction Paulette's Avatar
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    it is painful either way, but lidocaine injections are your friend. At the end of the day the only thing you can do is pull up your big girl panties, put on a phony smile for your techs to see and hang on until the last hair is dead and gone.
    Just and older girl trying to experience all that life can bring.
    "Life is not a dress rehearsal"

  14. #14
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    I?ve had laser on my face 3 times. Each one was painful and each time didn?t cause shedding so it wasn?t effective. The tech offered to increase to the machine to the max setting for the 4th try. I decided I would rather switch to electro which is a sure bet than do another painful laser session possibly for no reason. I?ve had one hour of electro and for me it was unbearable even with lidocaine. To give some perspective, I am have been on HRT 3 years and I?ve noticed a difference in my skin and sensations on my skin. But I had a half dozen tattoos before transition and have gotten 3 more since transition. That pain seemed relatively the same, though my skin is more easily irritated in the afterward. So for me, my guess is what is painful for you is probably about the same with or without hrt. I have found clinics that offer local anesthesia via injection. This obviously costs more but it helps with the pain and you can do longer sessions which should shorten the amount of sessions you need. This is also good for me bc to do electro, you have to allow some hair growth, bc my hair grows so slowly I?d have to have a shadow almost all the tome for as long as it takes to get my face cleared. So instead, I?ll have a small handful of longer sessions and if need be I can take a long weekend to let the hair grow out before my appointment and I don?t have to have stubble for days in advance to prepare for it on an ongoing basis.
    Last edited by ashleymasters; 07-17-2021 at 12:14 AM.

  15. #15
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    Some of my clients say HRT made it more painful. Some say it doesn't. Seems to vary, much like how HRT makes some people more emotionally sensitive and others it doesn't.

  16. #16
    When in doubt? Smile! Chrissi's Avatar
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    On a scale of 1 to 10 from least to more painful
    Pre-HRT: center (lip area) 15.3; further out (cheek area) 11.7
    On HRT: center (lip area) 15.1; further out (cheek area) 11.5

    I think the decrease in pain for me was largely due to my being "used" to it more and developing mind and medication strategies that worked better for me.

    OTC topical cream and analgesics are your friends!
    Smile! You'll always brighten someone's day, including your own from their return smile!

  17. #17
    Member natasha's Avatar
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    Yeah, it hurts. But it is well worth it

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    I completed electrolysis forty years ago.

    If shaving takes five minutes a day, I have saved over 1200 hrs, about 50 days.

    If shaving costs $2 a week, I have saved over $4,000.

    The biggest payback for me was not having to do that disgusting routine every day.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ceera's Avatar
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    I am MtF trans, and I have been getting electrolysis done all this past year, once a week for the last seven months, to prepare my genital area for my lower surgery. I will be getting my face done after that.

    One major bit of advice for reducing pain from electrolysis is to be very well hydrated before each session. My Esthetician told me, “I want you to arrive with your bladder so full you’re sloshing, and bring a water bottle to sip on during the session.” She explained that when you are well hydrated, the moisture in your skin allows each electrical zap to cause a small steam explosion inside the hair follicle, allowing her to do the work at a lower voltage, causing less pain while working better and faster. It really does make a HUGE difference. With it, the pain is tolerable for a full two hour session. But when I am not sufficiently hydrated, I have to ask her to stop after as little as 30 minutes.

    Pre-load your system with an OTC painkiller an hour or two before your session. Same dosage you would use for a strong back ache. That way it will be able to help you minimize the pain throughout the session. A topical painkiller applied to the skin can also help, and some esthetician’s recommend that to all their patients.

    Some estheticians now can work in conjunction with a doctor to do a local anesthetic prior to your session. Imagine doing your facial electrolysis while your face is as numb as if you were at the dentist getting your wisdom teeth removed. Virtually no pain during the session, and the esthetician can work much faster, and for as much as six hours or longer in a single session. Costs more, as you have to pay the doctor for the anesthesia, but worth it if pain slows you down or prevents you from doing it. My esthetician is the first one in my area to offer this, for facial or genital electrolysis. I have not done it yet, as I am tolerating my genital work okay without it. But I probably will when she starts on my face.

  20. #20
    Silver Member Devi SM's Avatar
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    Wow! A lot of different experiences but most of them have something in common, pain and I'm not the exemption.

    I was more than a year without any numbing cream. For some reason I got a bad skin reaction, more uncomfortable after the session that do it without cream (2 hours each week)

    I start some weeks ago electrolysis down there and if cream works, I feel nothing. Sometimes cream doesn't work and now reading what Ceera says about hydration, that could be the reason.
    I tried again the same old cream in my face and works but as powerful as in the genitals. Technician yold me skin in genitals is more porous so better absorption.

    After all these more than 2 years,out of my face hair is white or grey (I see no color on it, so transparent or white), most under the chin. I think 6 more months and I'll be done, but still seeing sometimes, just a few very thin, small hairs growing in the upperlip but you know? I do tweezer every month upperlips and eyebrows to my wife so one day I'll say, no more electrolysis. I'm and old 62 years old transwoman, who cares? Lol

    Answer to.your question? Who knows? I think it will be painful anyways....
    Last edited by Devi SM; 08-16-2021 at 12:09 PM.
    Instagram @devisanm, Facebook Devi San Martin
    HRT 04302018 Full time 03/2019
    Electrolysis on face started 08/2019, down there for SRS 06/2021
    Orchiectomy 06/03/2020
    Legal name and gender marker changed 10/26/2020

  21. #21
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    I started electrolysis once a week as the pandemic was just beginning. When my tec started telling me all the places she and her husband were going I was getting nervous and when she told me they were going to a big wedding I stopped. We made progress on my neck and was just starting on my jaw and cheek. When things get better I'm going to start back. Pain wise the neck wasn't bad, the cheek- I decided I would need help and I didn't want to think about the upper lip. But such is the price I'm willing to pay to not have to shave before going out. The cost will just be what it is, so I won't get that new pair of shoes I saw online.

  22. #22
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    Sherie,
    Same here. On my 3rd extended leave of absence from electrolysis due to covid. So frustrating but not much I can do until my youngest child would be eligible to get a vaccine. We can't control how other people behave but we can take steps to mitigate the risk to ourselves and our loved ones.

  23. #23
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    All of my electrolysis was done after starting HRT. With the exception of the central upper lip area and the odd zinger (either of which could suddenly jolt me through the roof), I never found electrolysis particularly painful. It was pretty much 95% go to sleep - and I fell asleep often on the table - and 5% excruciating, with little in between. I had exactly one really uncomfortable session for some reason. While that session concentrated on the area below the chin, that area didn't bother me in other sessions. Go figure.

    Also, I never found topical painkillers helpful. I tried them a couple of times then didn't bother. The after-treatment was more important to me. I made a point of using ice packs followed by chilled aloe gel. The cold packs had the effect of briefly making the redness worse for an hour or so, but improved healing time and felt GREAT!
    Lea

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