Saturday, July 21, 2018

The True Pain of Electrolysis

Sitting in the front office getting my chin numbed.
It is with grave misfortune that I neglected to heed the advice of those who have come before me in regards to electrolysis.  That advice was to start now!  And I will repeat it, if you are contemplating the possibility of one day doing this to yourself, stop thinking about it, and just go do it!  Seriously!

My issue?  My issue is that I didn't ever really think that I would be doing this!  I mean, why start something if you never intend on doing it?  Simple right?  Right.  Dur-da-dur!  So what changed?  Some simple sorts of things.  You know that simple little thing that says, I have now legally changed my name.  And this coming school year I will be expecting my students and fellow staff to refer to me as Mrs.

I'm mostly doing alright with that thought at this point.  It is something that I am trying to own, because that is the only thing to do.  However, there are a couple of difficulties that I have been considering.  One - I don't like shaving every day because it hurts and causes me some serious irritation, especially on my neck.  Two - I don't like wearing a wig everyday as they can be painful and quite warm.

Made it back to the room.
An easy way to solve one of those issues is to finally pony up and do what it takes to be rid of my facial hair.  I did a bit of research, got references, made phone calls, and soon had an appointment.  I will eventually write about who I decided to go see, because I LOVE her!  She is the best.  However, I don't want to taint her services with the tone of this post, which I am about to actually get to.

The point, right?  The point is the true pain of electrolysis.  When I went in, I was totally inexperienced.  I have never had this done, ever, anywhere and now I was going to pay to have someone do it to my face?  Yikes!  Alright, so I had it done with a bit of numbing cream on my face.  She worked on my chin and cleared what she could in 2 hours.

During the session I asked her what her thought was for a treatment plan.  She recommends a complete clearing of the face once per month.  Which she could do in marathon 8 hour sessions with 2 electrologists working at the same time, while having lidocain injections.  This would need to be done for a total of 12 to 18 times.

I did mention that I am a math teacher right?  Alrighty, well shall I crunch some numbers then?

Warning - if calculating triggers you, skip ahead to the next bold line!

I survived!
Lets first take a look at the total hours needed.  An 8 hour session with 2 electrologists is 16 hours.  16 hours done 12 to 18 times is 192 - 288 hours.  Next, we need the costs, right?  Well that is $125 per hour per electrologist, which is about average for the area.  As well, have you had it done?  On your face?  The lidocain injections are pretty close to mandatory, well at least for me!  Those are an additional cost of $50 per hour.  Okay, two electrologists, and injections, per hour comes out to $300 per hour.

However, a math problem twist - I will most likely only need 2 electrologists for half of that time.  But you can't just can't halve the cost, because you'll still need the lidocain.  Which means your per hour cost drops by $125 for a per hour cost of $175.

Which means what?  $300 per hour, multiplied by the range of hours of 96 to 144, gives a range of total cost from $28,800 to $43,200.  And $175 per hour,  multiplied by the range of hours of 96 to 144, gives a range of total cost from $16,800 to $25,200.

Calculating over!

For a grand total of $45,600 to $68,400.  Alrighty, if you know me in real life, you know that I don't swear here like I often do in real life!  So, swear warning, avert your eyes little ones, what the fucking shit!!!  That is the cost of the new 4 wheel drive truck that I want!

A close-up of what was done.
Once I got those numbers in, I realized what the true pain of electrolysis is.  Now yes I do pay for an experienced technician.  She has also worked with hundreds of trans clients.  She has about 30 years of experience and she works at an express rate.  Which is a concern, not just the cost per hour, but how effective is each hour?  You may pay less, you probably will pay less, but be careful of what you are willing to pay for.  Remember, this is your face.  Your face people.  Your face!

So yeah, I pay quite a bit.  I have obviously not paid to have all of that done yet.  It is a cost that will be spread out over time.  So far I have had about 15 hours of work done, and I have not been fully cleared yet.  I think it will take about another 4 to 5 hours.

Shall we also add in that I need to drive to LA to get it done?  Yeah that takes me 3 to 4 hours, each way.  Yeah there is that as well!  But that is really minor compared to the other costs.

Alrighty.  I'm done here.  Thanks for visiting!

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Love doing what is right for yourself!


  1. Hi Nadine,

    I'm currently 85 hours into my electrolysis journey and it is a joy...sarcasm on! My mustache is mostly gone and my chin is definitely thinner as are my cheeks. My mustache and neck are my problem areas. My neck is easier to shave now, but I am thinning out my black hair before attacking the white. I'm probably only 25-33 percent complete, but that been 4-5 hours a month, so I've been going for almost two years.

    I got that advice (electrolysis first) and am glad I did. My first her appointment is on 1 August, so I am looking forward to that.

    Best wishes


    p.s...that area nearest the nose is new level of hell! Ha ha

    1. Thank you for your thoughts! I appreciate you writing and sharing. I just made it through 1 full clearing. It took 20 hours! Eek! Best of luck to you!

  2. That cost is HORRIFYING! I am curious though as to why you ruled out local electrologists. Was it experience with transgender clients? I have one in mind that I was going to try. Hugs, Tanit

    1. Hi Tanit. Hope you are well. Yes the cost is truly horrifying. I’m hoping it will turn out to be far lower than that estimate. But it is best to plan for worat case scenerio right? Why LA? Experience. As well as the facilities. The office I go to has nurses right there to give lidocaine injections. Which are super necessary! Much of it is that I do not like the care provided in most of the Valley.

  3. Dear Nadine,

    I have been a fan of your blog for quite some seems we are both on the same journey, but I am just a little behind you...except for electrolysis. I do have my initial endocrinologist appointment next week, so wish me luck!

    I had received that bit of advice (remove facial hair first!) early in my "transition" so I have been going for the last 22 months (84 hours of zap time) usually 3-4 hours a month. While my mustache has been a real ( and painful) bugger to remove, it's on it's last dying gasps. If you haven't had the pleasure yet, that area right below your nostrils is a DELICATE one, to say the least. OUCH!!

    I have thinned out noticeably everywhere else (shaving really gets easier)and am focusing on removing the black hair first as it's the most noticeable. I am about 50/50 on the black grey/white ratio being that I am in my 50s.

    Just keep at took a while for the results to be seen. I do wonder what people at my job think when I go in with a patchwork set of facial hair growth and a red patch where there is no hair. Ha Ha

    Again, I truly enjoy your blog and look forward to your new posts.



    1. Hi Katherin! Thanks for writing! Is this the same human as the commentor above? If so, thanks for making sure your comment was made. Blogger can be a bit wonky at times.

      I’m jealous of your early start on the electro. Good for you for listening to the given advice. Yeah around the nose is bad for sure. So is right on the lip edges. Oh gawd, that’s horrible!

      Best of luck to you! And I super appreciate you reading my lowly little blog and contributing to the discussion!

    2. Sorry for the typo on your name!

  4. Hi Nadine,

    I remember in the past you had bought a home laser thingy. I was wondering how that worked out. I'm pretty furry and was very interested.

    Love you, Love me, best wishes,

    1. Hi -

      Sorry for my super delayed response - I've been a bit busy lately.

      Well, my home IPL did work well for me. Though honestly it is a bit difficult for me to really tell at this point being as I have switched my hormones since using it. When switching to E, it will affect your overall body hair growth. So, the best I can do is estimate how well it worked prior to switching my hormones. I figure, that with my darker hairs it eliminated about 50% of them. It did nothing for any of my hair that was anything but black or super dark brown.

      So, I suppose the really question is, was it worth the time, and money? I would say yes. But be careful with this opinion, as many people have different hair and different skin and an IPL machine can be affected by both of those factors.