Reminder: No matter what permanent hair removal method you choose, start with face work, and begin body after face is under control. You may need to supplement laser hair removal with electrolysis. Also, try to start genital work one year prior to bottom surgery if possible.
2001 update: Any further electrolysis and hair removal I need, I don’t consider to be transition-related. That’s a good feeling!
2002 update: As of the end of February, I have not had any facial hair removal of any kind (not even a little 15 minute session) in about six months. I have four or five medium-coarse hairs on my upper lip and a couple of wispy ones along the jawline.
final update: I have not had an electrolysis session since 2002.
My face took approximately 350 hours total, breaking down roughly:
- 52% in year 1 (first 12 months)
- 26% in year 2
- 17% in year 3
- 4% in year 4
- 1% in year 5
I don’t claim my treatment time is typical. Mine has taken longer than the average I have seen reported, in part because my first year was done without hormones, plus my facial hair was very coarse. Also, my electrologist had never worked on a trans woman from the onset before.
My chart: 1995–1998
- 5/95 started under jawline
- 8/95 began working down cheeks (after 26 hours)
- 9/95 first time entire face is clear (after 48 hours)
- 12/95 whole face cleared each session (after 104 hours)
- 1995 total hours: 113.5
- 1995 average hours per month: 14
- 1995 average hours per week: 3.3
- 7/96 started hormones: 100 mg spiro, .625 premarin daily
- 8/96 increased hormones: 100 mg spiro, 1.25 premarin daily
- 9/96 began doing back of neck when needed (not included in these hours)
- 11/96 last time I ever shaved my face!
- 12/96 increased hormones 100 mg spiro, 2.5 premarin daily
- 1996 total hours: 129.75
- 1996 average hours per month: 11
- 1996 average hours per week: 2.5
- 4/97 increased hormones 100 mg spiro, 2.5 premarin daily; + 20ml estradiol injections 2x/mo.
- 4/97 began shaping brows (not included in these hours)
- 1997 total hours: 81.5
- 1997 average hours per month: 6.8
- 1997 average hours per week: 1.6
- 1/98 began less than one session per week, as needed
- 3/98 began genital electrolysis (not included in these hours)
- 6/98 stopped hormones for SRS, had SRS
- 7/98 resumed hormones: 5 mg progesterone, 5 mg premarin daily
- 9/98 treating less than a dozen facial hairs each treatment
- 11/98 went in once all month
- 12/98 went in once all month
- 1998 total hours to date: 15.5
- 1998 average hours per month: 1.3
- 1998 average hours per week: 0.3 (under 20 minutes)
The zig-zag pattern is partly due to every other month having five weekly sessions instead of four. A line of best fit would show a steady progression leading to completion. A couple of months are unusually low because of missed treatments due to work-related travel.
In order to gauge progress more accurately, the chart for 1999 and beyond is in minutes per month. That’s a pretty exciting day when you start thinking of it in minutes instead of hours!
My chart: 1999-2000
It was kind of amazing– there was this point when all of the sudden I just didn’t need to go any more!
- 5/99 first month with no appointments needed!
- 1999 total minutes : 369 (6.15 hours)
- 1999 average minutes per month: 31
- 1999 average minutes per week: 7
- 2/00-8/00 no appointments needed!
- 2000 total minutes : 87 (1.45 hours)
- 2000 average minutes per month: 7
- 2000 average minutes per week: less than 2
Sally’s electrolysis chart
Another woman has also logged her 200 hours of electrolysis into a chart to show diminishing regrowth over time. As with mine, her first year was about 50% of her total costs.
Body/genital electrolysis table
Prior to transition, I had done some electrolysis on my back and back of neck. This turned out to be a waste of time and money, since much of that body hair went away after starting hormones. I urge you to spend all your time on your face until you can be cleared with less than an hour a week.
|1998||Genital work||Body work|
final update: in 2000 and 2001, I needed minor amounts of work on my chest and butt. This amounted to a total of a few hours.