One of the best things I did when I was stil dealing with social anxiety personal acceptance, was continue with both laser and electrolysis hair removal. Mostly laser. I never kept track of how many hours of pain I’ve tolerated. Which is probably a good thing. But, for a good number of years, I went in on a regular basis. I figured I didn’t have much to lose. Except the hair. If I decided not to transition, but kept getting rid of the body hair that I loath, then there would be one less symptom of dysphoria to battle the rest of my life.
Today, I shaved at 12pm. Hey, it was a lazy Sunday. Don’t judge. Now, as I type this, it’s been nearly 10 1/2 hours. I just looked in the bathroom mirror. Now, if I hadn’t of done so much hair removal, there would be the dreaded “5:00 shadow”. But, damn near all of my dark hairs have been killed off by the laser. What remains when I let it grow out is almost all white. After a full day, the only trouble spots on my face visible in the distance most people would stand next to me in a conversation, are on my chin and to a much lesser degree on my upper lip. It seems the goatee area is more dense than the rest of my face. If I look away from the mirror and rub my fingers around my face, I can feel much more. But, those aren’t yet visible after 10 hours.
So, as I fade laser out of the picture and shift toward electrolysis (laser is best with darker hairs), I think I’m going to have them work on two areas at first. The goatee area and my neck. I get really bad razor burn. And it seems the hairs that grow down there are very stubborn and rough white hairs. Getting rid of the razor burn is a priority as well. I still might have them do laser once or twice a year until I’m done. Just in case. But, it’s time to do some heavy electrolysis.
The next time I go, I’ll ask what kind of laser they use. When I first started down this route after breaking up with the girl friend, I was told that laser wasn’t very effective. If you compare how much laser I’ve done, versus electrolysis, I’d say it’s 90/10 in favor of laser. I always have them set it on the highest settting. And the pain is very temporary. There is some redness, but it’s usually gone by the time I get home. If not before. Don’t get me wrong. It hurts like the devil. But, it’s only for a split second. I think the best way to describe it is if a really hot rubber band is snapped up against your face with a lot of force. And if you have your whole beard area treated in one sitting, that’s about 20 times.
I used to ask people if it hurt. And I would be really scared of hair removal because of the pain factor. But, what really got me on the bench was my hatred for this wretched hair. The pain wasn’t as bad as I expected. And I’m sitting here today thankful to my past self for putting up with it. I’m that much more ahead of the game for it.
Sidenote: Afterthought. A couple of years ago, my Brother in Law had a beard growing competition with his friends and his dad, I believe. I think it was tied into a birthday celebration or something. I don’t remember being asked if I wanted to participate. And I didn’t volunteer. By that time, I had done at least 20 laser sessions. There would be no way I would win. 😛