Since 1986, Texas has been a destination for people seeking intensive electrolysis for facial hair clearing, especially those averse to pain. Electrology 2000 was founded by Ruthann and Bren Piranio, and in 2006, the company reorganized under new management as Electrology 3000. While customers are almost unanimously happy, several drawbacks include:
- You need a large cash outlay up front.
- You need to book in advance compared to most local options.
- Going there requires spending additional money on travel, food and lodging.
- Going there may require taking time off work (3 to 5 weeks for actual treatment in a year)
- Their intensive treatment results in high skin recovery times (as much as 8 weeks), which may require additional time off if you desire secrecy at work.
- Despite these issues, their clientele is very loyal and very positive about the experience.
Although electrolysis is painful, expensive, and time-consuming, there is a place that alleviates almost all the pain, (possibly) some of the expense, and (possibly) the time to completion. You will have to spend money to travel there and to stay at a hotel. You will also have to use up vacation time for your trip. Their rates are higher, but they claim to take much less time to complete a face. For some, it has been the answer to their prayers. It’s a company called Electrology 3000, and like everything about electrolysis, it evokes very strong opinions. These opinions seem mostly positive (especially from clients), but occasionally one hears spirited opposition to their methods (usually by other electrologists). Let me throw out my usual statement that I have no connection with or financial interest in E-3000. Having said that, I believe E-3000 is the best option available for removing androgen-induced facial hair. I believe my biggest mistake in transition was not seriously considering them. If there’s any way you can make it work for you, I highly recommend at least doing your initial clearing there. The well-known advantages:
- Injections of anesthesia make it almost entirely painless
- You’ll get much closer to completion faster
- Their efficient method lessens regrowth
- I’ve had no reports of permanent skin damage
- A few long sessions may be preferable to many shorter sessions
- High hourly costs may be defrayed by savings in total treatment time
- Transgender friendly and experienced (a co-founder is trans)
- Going to E2000 excuses you from having to try to hunt for a trans-friendly electrologist in your area. If you live in the boonies, or in an area with a small trans community or with little or no coverage on my referral list, that can be important.
- You only have to grow your facial hair out for electrolysis once every six weeks, rather than weekly (or worse), which limits the negative impact on your passability.
OK, now to play objective devil’s advocate… As with anything, there also are some well-known drawbacks to going to E-3000. Most clients are pretty well-off financially, and most have jobs where they can take plenty of time off. If either of these is not true for you, E-3000 might not be a viable option.
- You need a large cash outlay up front: money just to reserve time, and the balance of around 35 hours times $115 to $160 per hour. A typical first session runs $3,500 to $7,000. Although subsequent sessions will be shorter, you will need to come up with another deposit at the time you make a reservation plus enough to cover treatment six weeks later, and every six weeks following for about a year. Most people end up spending something close to $12,000 in ten months to a year. E-3000 is generally not an option for those living from check to check. They do accept credit cards, though, if you can swing a decent credit line.
- In addition, you will spend extra money on travel (plane/bus/train fare plus taxi or rental car), food, and lodging. You could hitchhike, stay with friends, and dumpster dive for food, but otherwise be prepared to spend $50 to $100 a day in addition to your airfare or gas money.
- They’re sometimes victims of their own success. They book in advance and may not be able to accommodate your schedule easily. Growing quickly enough to meet the demand is still a major problem, though, since they are extremely picky about who they hire, and most new hires wind up washing out.
- Going there requires taking time off work (3 to 5 weeks for actual treatment in a year, not including travel days).
- Their intensive treatment results in high skin recovery times (as much as 8 weeks), which may require additional time off if you desire secrecy at work.
- Some electrologists express concerns that such intense amounts of treatment could cause skin damage, but to date, no transgender women who had treatment report this. E-3000 may be a case where the assumption of problems meets empirical fact, and E-3000 wins the round.
Having said all that, I have not had a single report of someone who was dissatisfied with the results, with the only complaints of note being about pricing/scheduling conflicts and unexpectedly high recovery times.
Article by Catherine, a satisfied client
Catherine wrote an outstanding first-hand account of E-2000 in 1996. I include her article verbatim. Emphasis throughout is mine.
Hair Removal for Cowards-on-a-Fast-Trak: Electrology 2000 in Dallas, Texas
Face it: Facial hair is among the more conspicuous secondary sex characteristics, and getting rid of it is a nightmare. It hurts, its expensive, its embarrassing, its horribly painful, and it seemingly takes forever. Why else would there be such hoopla (and such misinformation and greed!) over quick-fix facial-hair solutions such as the various lasers, radio-frequency electrolysis, magical creams, and the like? I had my facial hair removed almost entirely at Electrolysis 2000, a privately held company located outside of Dallas, Texas. In recent months, I’ve read a lot of controversy and gross misinformation spreading among [us] (what’s new?) about E-2000 and their procedures — although almost always from individuals who had no personal experience with the company. I thought it might be worth sharing my first-hand experience after having gone through the E-2000 program nearly from start-to-finish. I have no financial interest whatsoever in this company, and only wish to share my insight and experience.
Hair Removal Alaska-Style
I did most of my transition while living in the wilds of Alaska. There is a well-known shortage of women in Alaska — I was just trying to help even the male::female ratio out. Ahem. In my town, we had only one electrologist and, like most of us living in the wilderness, she had learned to improvise. Her thermolysis machine was a contraption she’d assembled with a snowmobile battery, some copper wires and a couple of salmon hooks as probes. Well, it wasn’t quite that bad, but you get the picture. I was frustrated at the number of hours “under the needle” each week, the high rate of regrowth (and, therefore, multiple zappings of a single follicle), and my pain threshold was very low. I also was experiencing some significant pitting of my skin, which only showed up weeks or months after the sessions. Desperate to avoid any more of this trauma (but absolutely determined to rid myself of facial hair forever), I started making serious inquiries into alternate means, including a “new” hair removal method using a laser beam (cool!). For more, see the extensive information under lasers, and my comments on my experiences with SoftLight at the Washington Institute for Cosmetic Laser Surgery. Suffice here to say that, having spent time and money on laser hair-removal, I am convinced it is not a permanent technique. I do not recommend anyone investing large sums of money into this evolving (but still non-permanent!) technology at the present time. It will not fix your problem, I promise! Frustrated with the weekly electrology sessions, and disappointed with the money largely wasted on lasers, I contacted Electrology 2000 in Dallas. This article shares my experiences with E-2000, describes the procedure they use, summarizes my opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of going this route, and outlines what you can expect during a typical session. I then give some hints for staying on schedule with the E-2000 folks and offer a few practical recommendations.
About Electrology 2000
Electrology-2000 is located in Carrollton, Texas, a rather small suburb of Dallas. The company facility is housed in a small office complex that also includes offices for dentistry, a chiropractor, and several physicians. The E-2000 offices are pleasant and have a nice atmosphere. The electrology rooms are similar to the examining rooms in a dental office, including the reclining chair and bright spotlights you know as a dental patient. In fact, the company is managed by Ruthann Piranio and Dr. Jo Bren Piranio, a licensed dentist who left a family dentistry practice to develop E-2000. The electrology techniques used were primarily developed by Ruthann Piranio. Eight or so certified medical electrologists, all trained at E-2000, are employed by the company. The entire staff is friendly, fun, and quite accepting of [trans] clients in whatever stage of their evolution. Ruthann and Bren are both very wonderful people when they’re not sticking some needle or other into your face. (Bren is also a kamikaze rock ‘n roll guitarist!)
I think the success of E-2000 revolves around these aspects of their treatment program:
- A complete clearing is done at each appointment.
- The process is (relatively) fast and very efficient, with highly skilled electrologists.
- I experienced very little or NO REGROWTH.
- The area under treatment is anesthetized. Pain is Not a Factor.
These were all important factors in my decision to go this route. Having my face completely cleared at single, marathon appointments greatly appealed to my obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Note this may take 3 or 4 days (or more!) if you’re just starting out or have a high-density facial hair pattern. To accomplish this clearing, typically two electrologists treat you (yes, at the same time!) during all-day sessions. Now, this is not for the faint of heart, but it’s fast! I experienced little, if any, regrowth from any treated follicles — which was NOT my experience with other electrologists. I think the high kill-rate is a result of the skill of these electrologists as well as their procedure. In addition, E-2000 uses only insulated probes. I’ve come to believe there is merit in the claim that the insulated probe delivers most of its energy directly to the base of the follicle, while shielding tissue along the flanks of the follicle. I think this contributes to the low regrowth rate and protects against scarring. Indeed, I doubt the skin could tolerate the trauma of so large an area being treated at once were it not for these probes, coupled with the skill of the E-2000 electrologists. (For dissenting thoughts on different probes, see the discussion of probe types, above.)
Before I mislead you into thinking that going this route makes electrology a breeze, you should consider these (sobering) observations:
- E-2000 is located in Texas. No kidding. Texas.
- The treatment is not cheap
- Your skin will be quite traumatized, and you will look like an ape for days.
- Did I mention E-2000 is in Texas?
These were serious considerations for me. I was faced with flying from Alaska and Washington to Texas just for electrology sessions. Try as I might, I could think of no other compelling reason to visit Texas, especially during the summer. Or in the winter. Or Spring… So, in addition to the time and trauma of cross-continent flight, the expense of air-travel (and hotels and meals) must be added to the cost of the treatment. I also worried about the trauma to my skin from the sheer intensity of so much zapping occurring at the same time. There is significant swelling (i.e., you will look like an idiot) for several days following treatment. Redness will last a week or longer, and I suspect it is a month or more before the skin has completely recovered.
Weighing the Advantages Vs. Disadvantages
Given the positives and negatives, why did I decide to go this route? Its simple: I hated electrolysis with a passion! I decided that I simply didn’t want to live for a year or more of weekly electrology sessions, and that I couldn’t tolerate the pain. I HATED electrolysis. I mean, I REALLY hated it. I have some friends who seemed to breeze through unscathed, but as far as I’m concerned the entire ordeal is nothing but a horrible medieval torture — the very definition of Cruel and Unusual Punishment. I tried everything: smeared gallons of EMLA topical anesthetic on my face and covered my head with Saran Wrap, swallowed Vicodin by the bottle, froze my face with ice, and tried various other sedatives to lessen the pain of having an electrical current sufficient to cauterize the blood supply to a hair follicle — and it still hurt! Plus, the idea of growing facial hair to prepare for this torture weekly was anathema to my ego. The most compelling advantage to me was that my face would be anesthetized (by Lidocaine injection), and I would escape the pain. NOW, motivated by my fear of the probe, I rationalized away the other disadvantages thus: I figured the lack of regrowth and efficiency of the entire E-2000 procedure may even out the costs somewhat compared to going around the corner to your local electrologist weekly. I’ve never done the arithmetic to see if this is correct, but I’m certain the superficial financial impact is lessened somewhat by not having to pay for multiple treatments of the same follicles. Moreover, I wanted this electrolysis torture over! Face it: You’ve got to be crazy (or [trans] — or both — or is it the same thing?) to put yourself through this! For me, going to E-2000 was simply the fastest way — by far — to get it all done as quickly as possible, as painlessly as possible. So, I went out and bought an airline ticket. To Texas.
Rumors About Tissue Damage and Scarring
In various posts around the internet, I’ve seen a few reports that some patients suffered scarring and pitting from E-2000. These have invariably been from individuals who had only “heard” that scarring was common from treatment. I did see one on-line posting from an electrologist who claimed two of her clients had “disfiguring scars” from going to E-2000. I inquired by email, but got no response, and the post has since disappeared. Therefore, I have no way to evaluate these claims of tissue damage, except to note that I’ve yet to read an account of anyone who experienced scarring themselves. Again, I can only report my experience. I had virtually no pitting or scarring, and my skin recovered from each treatment without complication (except for the few days of looking like an idiot, which I mentioned earlier). This was not my experience with other electrologists. I typically had petechiae, with small scabs and crusts that formed two or three days after treatment with every electrologist except the E-2000 folks. I had no scarring or pitting from all the E-2000 work I’ve had completed. I’ve also talked with a dozen or so others I’ve met who’ve had their facial hair removed at E-2000, and without exception they experienced no scarring and were pleased with the results. So, until I hear from someone directly with personal experience, I conclude that the claims of pitting and scarring from E-2000 are very likely not true.
Advice is Cheap
If you decide to go this route, here are a few suggestions that might make things easier:
- If you can possibly afford the cash outlay, strive for a complete clearing at each appointment. This may take a few days, especially at first, but if you’re on a fast-track this is the way to kill most active follicles at once.
- Book ahead as far as reasonable, and stay on a regular schedule (Dr. Piranio recommends every six weeks). There is quite a competition for time, and they are typically booked up several months in advance. So, the further ahead you plan, the greater your chances of getting on the most efficient schedule.
- Stay at Motel 6 in Addison. There are nicer hotels in the area, but remember you’re going to look like an ape. I’d rather not parade around the Hilton looking that way. Besides, the other clientele at Motel 6 didn’t look all that much better than me, so I fit right in. The E-2000 staff will pick you up in the mornings at the motel lobby, so you really don’t need to rent a car. (Unless you want to do some sight-seeing, of course. But, did I mention E-2000 is in Texas?)
- JoJo’s restaurant, located next to Motel 6, is a good place to eat breakfast and dinner. They’ve had E-2000 clients coming in for years, and are unfazed (but not unsympathetic!) to what we’re going through. For lunch, try to dart across the highway from the E-2000 offices, and eat at the small soup & sandwich restaurant (whose name escapes me!). They have the best French onion soup in America.
- Motel 6 has a cool outdoor swimming pool with adjacent Jacuzzi. The pool closes early. However, you can climb over the fence at a spot beside the brick pumphouse, and sneak in after hours. I haven’t been caught yet.
Other women share their experiences
The following articles are presented verbatim, with some very minor editing. Emphasis is mine. Another satisfied client writes of her experience:
No pain, no gain. How often I’ve heard that statement ! It seems many people think that electrolysis is a test of their commitment, and by enduring pain will validate their claims of gender dysphoria. There are too many other pains to deal with, this doesn’t have to be one of them. EMLA cream is only effective on some, not all. It also has to be applied properly to work. If it hasn’t worked for you and your pain threshold is low, fear not. At Electrology 2000 injections of lidocaine provide painless electrolysis. There is a little from the injection, so I guess 99 percent painless
is more accurate. Time factor…is another plus. They recommend six visits, at six weeks between each visit. At this point your face is virtually hairless. After five visits approximately 90 percent of my hair is gone.
This means you won’t have to plaster your face with make-up, to hide your shadow for the two long years it normally takes. If you have an average face it will require approximately 35-45 hrs for the first visit. Plan on being there a week. The time goes down dramatically after the second visit. The fifth visit took about 10 hours to clear my face. They say an average face requires about 100 hours. Mine has required 95 hrs, including the fifth visit. The sixth would require about 8 hours. Their estimates are accurate. The less facial hair you have, the less time it takes. What does it cost. [In March 1994, the rate was $88.00 hr.] Wait a minute…I know what you are thinking, only rich people can afford that. I too thought that. […] Travel expense will add some to the final cost. As of 1993, this was still deductible on your federal income tax, under medical. The electrolysis is also deductible. Save your receipts folks !. To deduct this you will need a considerable sum, to meet the deductible. Another reason not to stretch out the electrolysis time, or it will be a 100 percent out of pocket expense. You only receive a small percentage back, but it’s better than nothing. I wrote this article so others with electrolysis problems know there is an alternative, and to put a little something back into the T* community that I have benefited from. Most people disbelieve the results that E-2000 achieves. All I can say is, mirror…mirror on the wall. It tells all! I do not receive compensation for this from Electrology 2000, in case you wondered. I try to return a favor when one is given, and I have nothing but praise for the people at E-2000.
They are 101 percent understanding, and make you feel at home. That sure means a lot, when you’re 1500 miles from home.
I just got back yesterday afternoon from Dallas, where I’d been at E2000 since Wednesday. As some of you may know, I’ve been something of an electro queen up here in Boston. I did recently have to tally up all the hours I’ve done locally for a financial disclosure in my divorce. I refuse to tell you the number! It’s just too embarrassing! Let’s just say that if I’d been flying a plane, I’d be instrument rated for the Space Shuttle by now. All the electrolysis I had ever had done before always left my skin raw, sore, oozing, scabbing, peeling, dry, inflamed. And it hurt like crazy! A couple months ago I was out in San Francisco to see Dr. Ousterhout for a price quote on a brand new head. Oh, my! Did he read me the riot act on the scarring he saw I was getting from electro! “From now on, you’re on a plane to Dallas!” That had me _very_ upset, for a whole lot of reasons, not the least of which is that when you’ve spent a lot of time with someone, even if you do find out later they were cratering your face, you form an attachment, sort of like Patty Hearst, I guess. I honestly was sick to my stomach at the thought of telling my electrologists what Dr. O had said! It really undercut my confidence in my ability to make good decisions to know that I’d screwed up and let someone scar me. I was upset as all hell at the prospect that now that it had been pointed out (some orange peel dimpling), I’d have to look at my disfigurement the rest of my life. And finally, I was depressed at the lost time, especially thinking of how booked up E2000 is, months and months in advance. No kidding, all of this really bummed me out for several days. Things have not turned out so bad, though Dr. O’s admonition was a wake-up call I did need. I did tell my electrologists I wasn’t going to be using them anymore, at least on my face. (But after E2000, I won’t use my local electrologists at all anywhere on my body ever again.) I started microdermabrasion treatments (also called a “power peel”) on the areas of scarring. I’ve had three treatments out of the 10 suggested and the results have been remarkable. Before heading out to E2000, microdermabrasion had already nearly erased any visible marks except in one little area under my mouth where you could still sort of tell if you looked closely. It had also started erasing wrinkles and a few large pores and other assorted reminders that I’m not 25 anymore. Scheduling E2000 was difficult, but not, it turned out, for the reason you think. I _was_ able to get onto their calendar easily enough by gently pestering about every week or so to ask about new cancellations; the worst part was that they really do not want you to have _any_ other electrolysis on the area you want them to work on for a minimum of 3 months to allow a complete growth cycle. (Actually, I went just over two before this appointment.) What I found in that two months was that I had FAR MORE beard than I expected! My electrologists up here in Boston had kept me clear, but not by killing all that much. They did it by treating me constantly. When that stopped, I had a LOT, perhaps a good 30% of what started as a beard from hell, coming back! This week at E2000 was nothing short of incredible. Give me credit, I do know what ordinary electrolysis is like, I can deal with the pain, been there, done that, blah, blah, blah. Trust me, you do not want to waste time with anything but E2000. What can I say? There’s no convert like a new convert. So, hey, I got religion! But I think I saw a miracle. They started Wednesday with two electrologists working on me and, in that first day, totally cleared my upper lip and most of my cheeks and sideburns. The next day, they almost finished my entire beard and did finish it the next morning. Over the remaining day and half, we did South Pole and assorted body parts. When I say they cleared an area – this is the incredible part – I mean they got _everything_! There’s not a hair left on my face that’s not supposed to be there. They got all the ingrowns that had been bugging me for months as bumps too deep in my skin for me or my local electrologists to get. They got EVERYTHING! I have never, ever been this clear. But it goes beyond that. My skin is as smooth and soft as my 8-year-old son’s. There are almost no marks anywhere. You can’t see where the hairs were. My face feels quite supple, not at all dry. There’s some residual tingling from the anesthetics but no pain, no scabbing, no flaking, no rawness whatsoever, only a little general redness. It looks like I never had a beard. I did swell to enormous proportions but even that has been quickly dissipating. I am blown away. The whole thing was quite painless. The only part that hurt at all were the Lidocaine injections Bren would do every few hours wherever they were working. And with the number of injections Bren’s done over the years, she’s definitely gotten pretty good so even that’s not at all bad. (Bren claims to buy Lidocaine by the gallon and I do not doubt her for a moment! They do go through a LOT of it on you over the course of a visit.) Mostly, I’d just put my headphones on with a good CD and go to sleep ’till Bren came in to wake me up for another numbing. Or sometimes, I’d just watch TV (they have TVs and VCRs in every room and an enormous tape library) while they worked. As I said, scheduling turned out not to be so much of a problem as I’d expected. If you call E2000 on any random day, you learn that they’re booked up somewhere into the next century. But, and I know this will be a shock, it turns out some [of us] are flakes. I know, hard to believe, isn’t it? Well, it’s true, and others just run into problems through no fault of their own, scraping up the money or getting away for several days at a stretch, etc. So E2000 does get cancellations. You just have to be able to make up your mind right then and there, on the spot, when one opens up whether you can do it. This visit was a cancellation. It was a block of time that opened up on 13 days’ notice. I couldn’t take the first day as that was the difference between a $1300 and a $205 plane ticket but I grabbed the rest. The rest of my appointments are also mostly other people’s leftovers and cancellations but out of that, we found quite enough time in Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar and Apr. (I skip Nov as I’ll have just had facial surgery and can’t be worked on that soon.) On one level, I say I should have done this a year ago. But a year ago, I was trying to salvage my marriage and thought it would cause more problems if I disappeared for a week at a time than if I just got the work done an hour or two at a time while the kids were in school and my wife was at work. Mostly, I just didn’t believe E2000 could be that different. (It is!) But I try to live without dwelling on regret. I made the best decisions I could at the time. But I wouldn’t ever do or recommend anything but E2000 from now on.
I think it’s important to know that the advantages it has over every other place I looked into go way beyond the anesthesia that allows for longer treatments. I am an E2000 patient, but I am only about a third done with treatment. I would switch in a minute if I thought there was a more appropriate place to go. After all, we’re talking about my face here. So here is why I picked E2000.
1) First and foremost, for all sorts of technical reasons like insulated and flexible probes, E2000 patients apparently have no scarring. None. Zip. None of those little tiny pittings or whatever they’re called that too many T folks acquire. I certainly have nothing like that yet. 2) The technique the technicians are trained in also results in both no scarring and in less regrowth. E2000 zapped hairs, from all I can learn from others, just do not ever regrow. 3) Long, multi-day sessions are great for my schedule and my desire to hurry the process along.
Their ability to offer these long sessions is partially a result of the local anesthesia, but also a result of their philosophy and scheduling policies. 4) I learned once I began treatment that these are really great people, and if you are going to spend four straight days with two people right in your face, they better be good people. And if you’re going to give folks a zillion times more money than your parents spent on your braces, they should be good people. 5) Their practice is now almost entirely transgender focused and that is good for lots of reasons, but mostly because it makes it a very comfortable place for me to have this kind of thing done.Though I’m glad E2000 uses anesthesia, I think I would probably get my treatments there anyway.
The only downside I can see for me is that they are in Dallas. Their hourly rates are higher than most other places I’ve heard of, but judging from other people’s experiences, their somewhat high-ish fees average out over the course of treatment into the same ballpark with other places because there is less regrowth.
Another client mentions a couple of issues she had:
Electrology 2000, great people, but in 2 of 3 sessions, I left with a noticeable asymmetry of my remaining facial hair (beard shadow) which was embarrassing
. P.S. They need to advise new clients of the facial swelling and weeping which result from intensive electrolysis)
Another client has similar concerns:
I still really think E2000 is the way to go, but there are some shortcomings that prospective clients should know about. Their scheduling is really starting to get annoying for a lot of folks.
They are now pretty much booked (maybe entirely) until next February or March [over 12 months –AJ]. That is obviously not their fault, but, from a marketing standpoint, it’s a product problem they need to think about. But please allow me to comment on the other two issues–swelling and asymmetrical growth. When I re-read your page about E2000, which I first read many months ago, I was a baffled by the description of minor swelling or whatever it said. Anyone who has been there on anyone’s first day knows that the swelling is actually and honestly frightening. My face for instance, and I’ve seen others look the same, was several times its normal size for several days, noticeably swollen for several weeks, and red/pink for a month or so.
The second and third days it wasn’t merely swollen, it was terrify-the-children, scary swollen. Someone I have spoken with compared the look to a Planet of the Apes thing. Very apt. Walking through the airport to leave Dallas is horrendous with people, many people, staring in sympathy or fear or disgust. I don’t think I’m exaggerating. Sure, it does get better, and I think is worth it, but I certainly wasn’t warned sufficiently. And I do worry about people misinterpreting the official description (the same I was given on the phone and in person) as meaning that hardly anyone will notice next week at work. They definitely will notice. As for the asymmetrical clearing
, I think this is maybe a more recent problem caused somewhat by the scheduling issues. I gather that people going to E2000 are sometimes not starting out with full face clearing sessions because they would have to wait for as much as year. So they take schedule scraps for their first few trips just to get started. My first full clearing actually took multiple trips to Dallas. And for efficiency’s sake, the technicians seem to resist spreading the work around the face, so you can end up leaving with very dramatic and noticeable growth lines
that stay with you until your next visit. Mine were so dramatic, especially compared with the areas that they had cleared so well, that I had to start shaving twice per day because by mid-afternoon, my face looked ridiculous and people would comment. I know of two other people with this same complaint.
I don’t mean this to be E2000 bashing–I really think they are great, but I wish I had known this stuff before I started. I’m not sure I would have done anything differently, but at least I would have been ready.
Someone else weighs in:
In response to the folks who talked about asymmetry in new growth after each treatment, I’ve experienced it myself, and I think it’s just a normal symptom of the natural growth cycle of the facial hair. My new growth seems to come in “splotches” unrelated to where I’ve been cleared or who did the clearing. I get full clearings every time that I go, so short appointments are clearly not the explanation.
For example, after pass #1, the left side of my upper lip (done by Roxanne) was very clear, but the right (Carrie) grew in heavily. After pass #2, however, the left (Roxanne again) grew in heavily, but the right (Jackie) was very clear. The left wound up light again after pass #3, and (relatively) heavy after pass #4, with Roxanne doing the clearing all four times. So if you notice heavy new growth after a clearing in a spot cleared by a specific electrologist, it’s probably just your natural growth pattern, and not related to which electrologist did the clearing. Denise did my entire face this time (in a single day!), and I’d be willing to bet that A) the new growth that pops up between now and April isn’t going to be even, and B) that fact is unrelated to anything that Denise did.
I don’t think that there’s any appreciable difference between any one electrologist there and any other; they’re all outstanding, and total sweeties to boot. Roxanne is good to have as one of a pair of “doubles”working on you, since she’s left-handed, and can work more efficiently on angles that would frustrate a right-hander; she’s also meticulous, and willing to stay late in order to finish a particular area. But I’ve been worked on by everyone there (except for Ruthann, and Denise’s sister who was just hired), and they’re all great to have working on you.
Catherine mentions darting across the street to the sandwich place for lunch; that probably was written before they started having a “lunch lady” at noon time. Someone collects orders and money from all of the patients and zappers, and goes out to fetch lunch for everyone; you don’t have to leave the building at all. The sandwich place across the street is a frequent choice (their Panini is good); the Alfredo salad from Alfredo’s is also not to be missed.
There are a *lot* of other options besides JoJo’s in the vicinity of Motel6 for food. I usually wait until I’m totally clear before going out to eat; there’s a Winn-Dixie in a shopping center to the right as you head out from the motel where you can buy groceries, and another store across the street from E2000. Motel 6 is absolutely surrounded by restaurants; I’m partial to Graciela’s (recommended by the electrologists), which is off to the right across from Uno’s and Jasmine. (I was unimpressed by jasmine.)
Another reader writes in 2001:
My experiences at E2000.
I first went to E2000 in late Feb. 2000. I never did have alot of facial hair on my cheeks and my neck area was very sparse. i did however have a severe blue beard shadow on my chin and upper lip. Even after shaving 2 times in a row with a blade it still took me a ton of makeup like dermablend and the red lipstick trick to mask this. well anyway, my first trip to E2000 was 3 days of doubles. they got my entire face and neck cleared except for a tiny spot below my left sideburn area. The swelling from this trip was really gross. my upper lip was basically turned inside out and stuck out past the tip of my nose. going to the airport for the return trip home was….umm… something else. I didnt have any bad experiences tho, most people either looked away after getting one glance or tried to ignore or feel sorry for me. It took about 2 weeks for the swelling to go down to the point where i looked like someone with a fat face. It took a month for the feeling to come back in some parts of my face. The second trip took 2 days of doubles to clear my face and they had time left so they cleared my entire upper chest. The swelling this time was not bad at all. I left this time just looking like someone with a really fat face, not gross looking. The third trip was 2 days of singles. again my entire face got cleared and also my chest again clear down to the bikini line this time. Swelling was minimal. My fourth trip is for 1 day of singles and i fully expect them to clear my entire face. I lost my beard shadow after the second trip. It is so great to be able to just do the eye makeup and the lips and a bit of blush and be done. My makeup routine went from 1 hour 15 minutes and still looking terrible before E2000 to now it is 5 or 10 minutes and im done. that is… when i decide to wear makeup! I have not noticed any scarring or pitting whatsoever. I get complements all the time on how good my skin looks. Im 43 and get asked for ID just about everytime now! E2000 is not cheap, but it is worth it. The staff is great, only kindness and compassion come from them.
It is not totaly without pain. the actual electrolosys is painless, but sometimes the injections to numb the pain can really hurt. It is for such a short time tho that it is worth the discomfort. I have not had any electrolosys from any place else, so my view is biased somewhat. I would say however that i recommend E2000 without any hesitation. Even tho im not done yet, I do see the end in site. If i had to do it all over again, well i would have been born with a womans body, lol, well ok if i had to do it over again i would still go to E2000. I have no reason other that to tell it like it is with E2000. In my various adventures with my transistion, i have met about a dozen or more people that have gone to E2000. Not one of them had any regrets. The only thing i think they need to change is to more accurately inform clients what the swelling is going to be like from the first and possibly second clearing. In there defense however, i think they see so many people and are so accepting of us T’s that they dont react to the increased swelling on ones face the way others do. The bottom line… save your money and book your time with E2000, even if you have to wait a year to get in.
I get no kick back or anything from this. my views are my own. people that know me, know i tell it like it is, sometimes even when i shouldnt. 🙂
Another reader writes:
My experience with Electrology 2000
In the Fall 2000 Electrology 2000 moved to a new location at 4222 Trinity Mills, Suite 120, Dallas, TX 75287 (east of the original place). It is now part of a professional Westgrove Plaza. As of December 18 2000, they did not have any TVs installed for their patients, so expect a great deal of boredom if you stay for several days. The new accommodation is at the Suburban Lodge (Suburban Lodge of Dallas, 2661 Westgrove Dr., Dallas, TX 75006, 972-248-8330). The rooms are small but all of them have a kitchenette with silverware, knives, plates, a coffee maker, and a refrigerator where you can keep your ice packs. The rate is very reasonable. You can make a reservation on-line and it really works. If you arrive and the reception is closed (which will almost certainly happen), dial 135 on the dial at the door according to the instructions. The security guard will let you in your room. One more thing, the rooms are cleaned only once a week according to a fixed schedule, so you might want to request additional cleaning at the reception. Packing some additional towels is a good idea. Instead of a closet with a bar and hangers, there is just a shelf, which means that you can’t hang your clothes.
Prior to my visit, I have had about 100 hours of conventional gold-needle electrolysis with local electrologists. Most of my hair was on my upper and lower lip and on my chin with only small or moderate amount on my neck and the cheeks. Based on a telephone conversation, they booked me for three days (2,2, and 1 operator). This turned out to be a huge overkill, by the way. I only needed 18.74 hours instead of the scheduled 40.
Prior to starting the work, I was given a quick technical explanation about the method and a quickie introduction to how hairs work. Then, Bren pumped lidocain into my face and two electrologists worked simultaneously. At the end of my first day, to my surprise, most of my face was cleaned with a few patches of hair on my neck and my right cheek. It was clear that I will not need the full three days and the work can be finished by the noon the next day. They tell you to expect a lot of swelling and redness. Well, a lot of swelling is not a good phrase to describe what will actually happen to your face. Even the “baboon” look is something that we may have hard time imagining. I have pretty sensitive skin and my skin was weeping a lot with a yellowish discharge. By midnight, my face was swollen to unimaginable proportions. I mean, I would never ever think that my face is actually capable of such monstrous swelling. My lips were triple in size and I now understood what it meant to have a baboon face. This can play a real havoc with your psyche. I got hardly any sleep the first night as I was desperately putting ice packs on my face and kept wiping the oozing liquid with a warm washcloth according to the instructions. The swelling began to slowly subside the next day.
There was one thing that scared me when it happened to me the first time because I did not know what was happening. When you get an injection of lidocain to your cheeks and close to the sideburns, and if you are required to tilt your head back, the lidocain will start diffusing towards your eye and you may experience problems with controlling your eye, such as blinking. Also, you vision may become blurred. This will disappear once the lidocain wears off.
Avoid wearing perfume or a cologne because some of the girls are allergic to them (Tisha). I had to change my shirt saturated with Charlie for a clean one during the lunch break.
I was done by noon on Tuesday and my flight back home was scheduled for Thursday. I probably could have rescheduled my flight but I opted for staying till Thursday for several reasons. First, my swelling was so bad that I would scare the heck out of the whole airport and out of my children. I wanted to reduce the swelling as much as I could before flying back home. Also, I got really bad diarrhea and I became dependent on quick access to the restroom for a couple of days. I suspect that it was caused by Ibuprofen, although I do not completely rule out the possibility that that was my body’s reaction to the lidocain. I would estimate that I received about 130 injections during those 18 hours of cleaning.
It felt incredible to run my fingers across my face and not feel a single hair. This has never happened to me before. E2000 is very effective and efficient. Is it painless as advertised? Well, if you compare the amount of pain to the work accomplished, it is almost painless. The lidocain injections do hurt and you may receive over 100 injections in a single day. I also sure that I was not the only one who said “go ahead” instead of asking for lidocain when the operator came to a not-numb place with several dozens of hairs.
The swelling went down pretty quickly and I would say that it was 99% gone in one week. The redness, as bad as it initially was, also improved by a large margin during the first ten days. Ten days after the clearing, I still feel small patches of numbness all over my face. It looks like these will disappear as well, but it may take several weeks.
Overall, I did not find any visible damage from the intense session and I do firmly believe that E2000 is the way to go. Just expect the impossible for the first days when it comes to swelling and redness (I was 7 on the scale from 1 to 10 according to Bren). It does get quickly better though! Good luck.
From a reader in September 2003
I think I’ve plugged them before, but I’ve just returned from Electrology 2000 in Dallas and I *love* them. The results are astonishingly good and the folks are just super.
I think I just paid $105/hour for facial/body work with genital (what they call “South Pole”) work running about $155/hr.
Their waiting list time, while still long, in now in the “months” range, rather than a year+. They’ve updated their website and you can now book, or at least find openings, in their online calendar.
Here’s a new caveat: if you are a brass player, the lidocaine seems to stay “in the muscle” for a *long* time. I’m still feeling it and have been back for over a week now, despite daily practice.
Genital electrolysis at Electrology 3000
After reading some speculation and hearsay on the internet (imagine that!), I wrote to E-2000 co-owner Bren Piranio on April 5, 1998, to ask about E-2000’s genital electrolysis policy, specifically if they do genital clearing on clients who have not done facial work at E-2000. Bren wrote back “We are beginning to, only for those who are [trans] scheduling surgery, and the rate is $160/ hour, due to the difficulty of the work. This was at the electrologist’s request due to the difficulty of the work, not just because it is what it is. It is the genital rate for all such work”– in other words, for clients who did no other work at E-2000, or clients who did all their work at E-2000.
Bren adds that total genital treatment time “may vary from person to person and with the design required by your surgeon, yet it may be a range from 4-8 hours on the average. Not everyone is average– the cycle time is still 12 months as is true for all genital area work.”
As with other body areas, E-2000 numbs the genitals with injected anesthetic prior to treatment. Some people who have undergone genital clearing felt this was the only way to make it bearable, although others found it bearable with just EMLA or (in one case I know) even nothing at all.
The above information is part of my genital hair removal page.
SA in TX shares this experience of her genital (or “South Pole”) electrolysis at E-2000:
The other day, I experienced something which I had never experienced before. I was at Electrology-2000 for clearing of my genital area in anticipation of a visit to Neenah for SRS this coming April. (For those reading this and seeing this discussion for the first time, please note that you need as close to a year of clearing of most of the hairs around your genitals, including scrotal area, prior to surgery if the results are to be fully to your liking.) E-2000, as the company is often called, uses a process which includes numbing administered by a medically qualified individual and then the electrolysis is performed in a painless, rapid manner. I had had my face cleared several times earlier; the electrologists from this company will not do a persons’ privates without knowing her; and this time was to be my first “down there”.
I was a little apprehensive as I arrived in Dallas the night before and had a business meeting with the president of a company with whom mine is doing some consulting. But I told myself that this could be no more painful than my face with its upper lip and other sensitive places. Early next morning, I nonetheless found myself at the office, in a private treatment room, sanitized with white over the couch on which I would lay. I had removed my shorts and panties, covered my thighs and genitals with a paper sheet to ward off the air conditioning and waited. I could see my reflection in the unused television set in front of me where a, truly not bad looking woman with long, attractive legs had laid herself out with them straddling over each side of the couch.
I gritted my teeth and worried. I had never, never willingly let another touch me down there. Hadn’t I always gritted my teeth and resisted during my prostate portion of my annual physical? Wasn’t I very uncomfortable when my sexual partners earlier in life had wanted to do things with those very personal items between our legs? What was I doing here? Why was I going to subject myself to this particular brand of torture. Wouldn’t the needle hurt as it always did as it was inserted?
Then it came to me. Next year I will be penetrated during my first dilation by the surgeon who will have created my vagina. A little later, I will visit my gynecologist for the first time. Nothing new nor bad there, but uncomfortable? Probably. Some day, I may be with a man. How would I react to losing control and having someone touching my clitoris and vagina? Was this not part of my preparation? The thought became clearer. This was a very important first step in letting others take control of me at certain times in my life. I am willingly becoming a woman now and am going to lose some control some of the time. I became serene, and the apprehension left along with the white knuckles.
A little later Dr Piranio, Electrology-2000’s CEO and all important number, arrived and administered a very gentle series of injections which I did not feel. Then, Roxane, my electrologist for the day, came in and we talked about our kids, our lives and rock music. I left about six with a cleared genital area, an appointment to return in October and no apparent swelling nor any pain.
I drove the 3 hours to Austin and haven’t looked back.
E-2000’s General Information letter (1997)
Bren sent me the following information about their service. I quote it in its entirety (emphasis mine):
We have been performing beard removal since 1986 as Electrology 2000, Inc., yet my wife, Ruthann, was doing a very similar procedure for several years before that. The original technique was researched and developed for black men’s beards. There was a specific need because black men have skin that scars very easily and very badly. To make matters worse, they have a tendency to develop ingrown hairs in their beards that give rise to chronic inflammation and infection.
Enter the Transexual and the need for beard removal… the need to finish with no scars… the need to finish ASAP with no regrowth. That is where we began to flourish. We were once a female-related business; now the results of what we do have brought in a huge demand for our services. Our practice now is mainly “T”. We have tailored our methods to getting the job done as quickly as possible, with minimal discomfort, and maintaining the quality results. I know what it means to be hair-free and scar-free. I am “T” also and know first-hand the value of good results, and the quality of life it can help bring.
We usually have a person in for 4-5 days for the first clearing. We will book two electrologists to reduce the chair time. Each has to be paid independently, yet the time is cut in half so it comes out the same. We use novocaine to make the long sessions tolerable and comfortable. We work 8-hour days, yet you can only expect 6-7 hours of actual production from each electrologist per day (they are humans). The first clearing will usually get 40% of the total follicles on the face, and the rest will cycle in at random over the next 10 months. If we can do a complete clearing once every 6 weeks, then you are done at the end of that 10-month cycle. Each clearing takes less time than the one before as you are subtracting from the whole and have fewer left as you do each clearing. Do keep in mind that when dealing with humanity, a wide variation exists and these numbers can vary. While the average falls with in a certain range, the exceptions do come through our door. Some require more, and some require less.
You can expect some redness (pink) for 1-3 weeks from the first few clearings, and less thereafter depending on the number of follicles we are treating. Swelling lasts 2-3 days, and will also get less as the number of follicles we treat decrease.
The hourly rate is […] per electrologist per hour, and the average beard runs 70-90 hours to finish, which for an average beard runs $7,000 to $8,000 spread over a 10-month natural growth cycle. Most folks lose their shadows forever after the 5th clearing. So far the largest beard we have done was near 170 hours and the smallest ran 23 hours.
When we book time, we require a deposit per electrologist per day to reserve your time. If you have to cancel, it is refundable if we can re-book the time. If not, then we pay it to the electrologists who lost the time.
People stay at the Motel 6 in Addison on Beltline Road, or if you want nicer accommodations at a higher price, the Homewood Suites in Addison on Beltline Road. Each day I shuttle folks to and from the motel to the office, as long as they stay in one of those two places.
The best way to book time is by phone. We do tend to be booked up in advance, so plan ahead.
I also asked about E-2000’s policy on inside ears and nose. Bren wrote back, “Ears as far as is accessible. Sometimes the angles we need to access the deeper, inturned follicles require a hole through your head, which we usually avoid.”
Using E-3000 to supplement regular sessions
Some have supplemented trips to E-3000 with regular electrolysis. One woman writes she had 62 hours at E-3000, and then had 130 hours of conventional treatment. Some do their initial clearing there, then keep up with regrowth elsewhere. This seems like a prudent move for those in a hurry to go full-time. The more electrolysis you have done prior to transition, the better, no matter where you do it.
Electrology 3000 (electrology3000.com)