Reminder: Start with face work, and begin body after face is under control. 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.
2019 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|
2001 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.