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Laser update: bikini line

In a previous post I mentioned the new course of laser hair removal that I am doing. It’s going very well, and it’s time to give you an update.

I’ve had one more session on the face since then, but this post is an update on how successful the sessions on the tummy and bikini line have been.

[WARNING: NSFW pics]

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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Hair Removal, Photos, Uncategorized

 

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More laser hair removal (pew pew anew!)

More laser hair removal (pew pew anew!)

In a previous post I mentioned that I was re-commencing laser hair removal after 3+ years, and since then I have had several sessions so I thought it was worth posting an update for those that are interested.

I’m going to go into some fairly intimate detail, so if you might be offended by such things then you may want to skip this post.

But, if you’re happy with it, then read on…

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Posted by on November 11, 2017 in Hair Removal, Health and Beauty

 

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Time to break out the lasers again

shark_with_laserIt’s now been over 3 years since I last had laser hair removal treatment.

Mostly, things have stayed pretty much static on my body. As I mentioned in my last post on the subject, regrowth on my arms and legs has been minimal – I still have individual hairs here and there; nothing that a couple of minutes with a razor can’t sort out. My underarms have developed a soft downy hair, but it’s very easy to take off with a razor. The regrowth on my tummy hasn’t got a whole lot worse, but is still very evident. Likewise my bikini line. The sparse regrowth on my chest and bewbs has come back a little but not unacceptably so – a few moments with a razor sorts it out.

However, the regrowth on my face has been extensive, to the point at which I am struggling to hide beard shadow even with high coverage foundation.

As I result, I have decided it’s time to recommence laser hair removal.

The ProSkin clinic that I used previously is no more. The company behind ProSkin went into administration in 2016, and then were bought out. Looking at their website, it seems that the only clinics now operating are in London.

Googling for other clinics in my area who also use Cynosure lasers threw up Destination Skin in Festival Place in Basingstoke, which is convenient for me.

I contacted them, and got a phone call response, where I talked with AnneMarie who is keen to see me for an initial consultation next week where she can do a quick patch test (largely unnecessary considering how much laser I have already had, but necessary for them as they don’t have access to my ProSkin records of course) and also discuss with me what my requirements are.

The plan is to do some maintenance on my body regrowth and to attack my face in earnest with a view to completely eradicating my facial hair. I would imagine that is going to involve another whole course of laser for my face, and also a fair bit of electrolysis too. Due to my age, my facial hair is rather “salt and pepper” these days, and laser will only address the pepper. For the salt, we’ll have to use other methods like electrolysis.

I’m quite excited by this, as I have never been happy with having to trowel on foundation and would like a more natural look, but that is currently impossible with my beard shadow. Also, every time I blow my nose I have to touch up my upper lip to replace the foundation wiped away, and this is a constant source of annoyance and worry for me. As is getting foundation on people when I hug or kiss them. It would be nice to never have to worry about that again.

More news as it happens.


Update: You can read a follow-up post here.


 

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2017 in Diary, Hair Removal, Transgender

 

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Pew Pew Anew!

Smells like victory.

It’s been almost 5 months since I had my final session of laser, and in the intervening time I have kept an eye on how successful it has been. On the whole it’s been pretty good; an awful lot of my hair appears to be gone. However, I have had some regrowth.

On my arms and legs it has been limited to individual hairs here and there; nothing that a couple of minutes with a razor wouldn’t sort out. Likewise with my underarms. My tummy was a whole different story though and has had pretty much total regrowth (albeit sparser and thinner). My bikini line likewise. My chest has suffered some regrowth too, albeit not to the same extent as my tummy. And on my face, there has been some return – not enough that I can grow anything more than salt & pepper stubble after almost a week but definitely enough that girl mode still needs a lot of foundation to cover the shadow.

So, I decided it was time to have a 7th session of laser and made the booking. I had the session today.

The girl who did the treatment was an emergency stand-in who had come over from another branch because the regular girl was ill. This didn’t bother me too much as I have only had one session with the regular girl as the ones I started out with have both left now so I have no real attachment to anyone.

She suggested we ramped up the intensity since the notes said I coped fine with the previous settings; something I was very happy to do as I was just about to ask for that. So right away I felt we were on the same page. And, indeed, it very quickly became clear that she was very competent, thorough and fastidious. I got a very definite sense of her doing a proper job and not skimming over things in a hurry, which is something I can’t say for the girl I had last time who did the whole body in record time. When I posted about it at the time I said that I thought she had done a good job but I can see now, with comparison and with hindsight, that she rushed it rather.

The more intense settings were extremely painful at times, and we had quite a bit of ‘snap, crackle & pop’ and a definite smell of burnt hair in the air. Smelled like victory.

Another thing that was pretty cool about this therapist is that pretty much nothing phased her. I tentatively asked if she’d zap my bum crack and perineum and, without even blinking, she said she was happy to do that, which is totally awesome. I’d already shaved myself down to a neat triangle and, um, also in the areas I just mentioned (I’m probably giving TMI here) and she just zapped my bikini line to where I’d shaved and also the aforementioned (blushes). As I said earlier, she was very fastidious which means I am a little sore because hairs got zapped that have never been zapped before. But it was so worth it.

For my chest and face, she dropped to a smaller spot size but put the intensity up even further to compensate. The chest didn’t hurt much but the face was excruciating and we did it in little zaps with rests in between. She also zapped hairs on my underchin and neck which I realise now, with hindsight, that the previous therapists missed. So, as I said, this girl was *really* thorough. I mentioned this to her by way of compliment and feedback, and she said that she likes to provide a level of service that she would want to have if someone was doing it to her, and also she doesn’t like to waste customers’ money. Amen to that – I wish more people had that attitude. She also said that she wished she had my pain threshold to do the entire body at once. I have to say, I’ve never considered myself to have a particularly high pain threshold. But I can be pretty determined when I want something and I have quite a lot of mental fortitude, so I just deal with the pain because I know it is transient and it is worth it. I don’t think I would cope well with systemic or chronic pain though.

Finally, and this is a first, she got me to sit up so she could check the tops of my shoulders and did some final zappage there. So, just to say this one more time, she was *really* thorough and fastidious. I really felt like I got good value for money on this one.

It turns out that the branch she usually works at is actually closer and more convenient for me. The only reason I go to the branch that I do is for historical reasons; it’s because a good friend recommended them and was able to get me a referral discount there too. But the people that my friend recommended are long gone now so I have nothing to keep me going back there. I’ve therefore asked for my records to be transferred to her branch so that I can get her again.

Right now I’m a little sore but extremely happy about today. I’m looking forward to seeing what the long term effects of today’s session will be. Certainly I am left wondering where I would be now if my previous 6 sessions had been done to this standard.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Diary, Hair Removal

 

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The final “pew pew” (for now)

Today I had my sixth and final full body laser hair removal session. That’s not to say this is the last time I’ll have laser, but it is the final session of the six full body sessions that I paid for up front in exchange for a discount.

Cynosure Elite

Cynosure Elite

For this session I was with a new girl who I had not had before, as the two that I had built a rapport with have both left for pastures new. However, this girl (whose name I did not get) was extremely efficient, professional, confident and quick. It look quite a bit less time than in previous sessions to do the whole body and the professionalism extended to having absolutely no hangups about zapping wherever I wanted to be zapped (*blushes*).

On the whole, it hurt a little less than previous sessions although the chest and tummy were still rather painful. And, of course, the face was really painful but a little better than previously. As with last time, we used the same 15mm spot size on the face as we used on the body, only she stretched the skin on my upper lip (the most painful part) with her fingers before zapping me, and also rubbed / massaged my skin with her fingers between zaps. This seemed to make a huge difference to the pain (or perceived pain anyway). I mean, yes, it still really hurt but it somehow seemed more bearable.

One little thing that did make me giggle was this little snippet of conversation:

*crackle* 
"Some of your hairs popped right out of their follicles"
"Um, that's good, yeah?"
"Oh yes!"
15mm

15mm

We finished up in record time; just over 90 mins I think it was, compared with the 2+ hours it usually takes. Yet I didn’t feel like this girl was rushing; she was just very efficient and confident. I did tell her so, and she thanked me for the compliment, although I’m convinced it all came out wrong and that I sounded like an idiot. Oh well.

Now that this course of six is over, I am going to take some time out to review the results and keep an eye on the regrowth. Then I can decide what areas need further treatment, and how often.

From shaving myself in the bath this morning, I can say that my arms and legs are pretty much hairless now apart from the odd rogue hair here and there. Certainly I would not need to shave them before going out, although for a special occasion I might carefully examine them and take off any stray hairs with a dry disposable razor.

My chest and tummy are likewise, apart from a couple of hairy moles which can’t be lasered. But. again, the razor will take care of that. My chest has been a particular success as before I was pretty much denied low tops as no matter what hair removal I used on my chest (I tried waxing, depilatory cream, shaving and an epilator*) I would end up sore, red, blotchy and, in some cases, bleeding. But no more. Yay!

My back was never particularly hairy, although hairy enough I would think twice about wearing a dress or top that showed it. No such worries now.

Finally, my face. Sadly my facial hair was a bit ‘salt and pepper’ (with maybe a hint of blonde) before and, whilst the laser has eliminated all the pepper, the salt is unfortunately still there. This means that although pretty much all the dark hairs have gone, I don’t have a smooth & hairless face. The inescapable fact is that I will need to have extensive electrolysis in order to finish the job and that is really going to hurt.

Would I recommend this to others? I would, but with certain caveats. The results will depend on your hair colour and skin type. I am very lucky in that I have dark hair and fair skin, so I am absolutely perfect for it. What would have been even more perfect is if I’d done this 10 years ago before I started getting any grey hairs, but there’s not much I can do there. But if you are suitable, and can afford it, then go for it. Certainly I have no regrets.

 


Footnote

* – I am of the opinion that the epilator should be banned under a special meeting of the Geneva Convention as a “cruel and unusual punishment” and banned from sale or use.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Diary, Hair Removal

 

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Zap, Crackle and Pop

On Saturday I had another session of laser hair removal, and since this was session 5 of 6, I wanted to see some real progress. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been huge progress already; far from it. My legs and arms are pretty much hairless apart from the odd little clump of hairs, or lone stray hairs, or soft downy hairs. On my chest and tummy there are more clumps. Nothing that is too much of a problem, but when you’ve made as much progress as I have then what is left becomes more noticeable and annoying. It’s the Law of Diminishing Returns, of course.

The one area where I really wanted to hit things hard was the face as it’s proving particularly stubborn. Last session I decided I could have taken more to the face and we were treading too softly. No pain, no gain as the saying goes. So this session I asked for the same 15mm spot size as we’d used on the body, and the same intensity.

“This is going to hurt”, said the therapist.

Well, no kidding. It was extremely painful. Imagine, if you will, being stabbed in the face with a heated needle. Now, imagine multiple needles in a 15mm disc and you have some idea of what it felt like. We had to take frequent breaks and I had to tell her several times not to turn the intensity down because it was clear it was *really* hurting me.

After we had finished, it felt like I had been slapped in the face several times and my face felt stingy, sore, and the skin felt taut. It was far worse and more intense than previous sessions, but that’s because we’d previously gone for a smaller spot size and a lower intensity.

Writing this on the following Monday evening, I still have some discomfort in the face and still have some red blotchiness, so it’s clear that I really got zapped far harder on Saturday than in previous sessions. Hopefully that will show some good results though.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal

 

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Pew! Pew! Swipe! Swipe!

A couple of days ago (ie. Saturday) I had another session of laser hair removal. Nothing much to report really – it hurt like hell as usual, and it took two hours as usual. I’m definitely showing progress though, with large areas of my body completely hairless now apart from annoying little clumps here and there. But my face, especially the upper lip, is still stubbornly refusing to die off although hair growth has been much reduced. But I can definitely see me having to have further sessions on the face beyond the six I pre-paid, and I’ll probably need electrolysis too in order to get the light-coloured hairs that the laser cannot get at.

Jane Norman dress

Jane Norman dress

Whilst I was in Epsom, which is where I go to for the laser, I did a little shopping. I don’t enjoy shopping half as much when in guy mode, but I’m confident enough in myself that I have absolutely no problems buying girl stuff when presenting as a guy. I find staff are generally completely fine with it; they either assume I’m buying for a girlfriend or simply don’t care. Besides, a sale is a sale isn’t it?

Anyway, I saw this absolutely gorgeous sweater dress in House of Fraser in the Jane Norman concession. Unfortunately it was full price and a little more than I would want to pay, as it was £32, but I absolutely adored it. I think it will look fantastic with a pair of leggings or thick tights, and knee length boots.

What I didn’t realise is that it is 10% Angora. I’m allergic to animal hair on the whole, especially cats, and also I don’t tend to wear wool as it makes me itch. So I’m hopeful that I’m not allergic to Angora hair or else this could be the only garment I own that requires me to take antihistamines in order to wear it. ha ha

Now, really I shouldn’t have bought that as I’m trying to cut back on my spending at the moment. So I certainly shouldn’t have bought my other purchase. But, again, it was one of those “I must have that” things. I went into Jones Bootmaker and I saw these Timberland boots and fell in love with them because they are exactly what I have been looking for.

Timberland Boots

Timberland Boots

There was a little bit of confusion with the member of staff when I asked if they had them in my size. She went away, and after a while came back with them in a box and moved as if to take me to the till. I said I’d like to try them on, and she apologised and went away again and came back with another one. Presumably those were the ‘trying on’ pair. So I thanked her as she handed them to me, and casually said that I knew I wasn’t really dressed for buying ladies stuff that day but the boots were so nice I had to. A little light bulb went on over her head, and then I tried them on and walked around the shop in them not caring what anyone thought about me.

They fit perfectly and were really comfortable, so a purchase was made.

The boots are waterproof (as you would expect from Timberland), and as you can see from the photo on the right, the lower part of the zip opening is sealed so stepping in puddles should not be a worry. With the weather we are having in the UK right now, that could be a distinct advantage!

The leather is heavily grained and feels very sturdy, but is also butter soft. I think it may be Nubuck from the texture of it and the way it’s almost suede-like when you stroke it. Naturally when I got them home I gave them several coats with Scotchgard-equivalent generic “Leather, Suede and Nubuck Protector” spray.

I adore the lace detail on the back, and also the fact that it’s functional as well because it’s not lacing; it is elastic. It’s a lovely little design detail.

Price-wise, they were equivalent in price to my DUO boots. However, Jones were running a £20-off offer which lessened the financial sting a little bit.

I can’t wait to wear both the sweater dress and the boots, and I think they will go really go well together. I plan to wear them this Saturday when I go up to London for another session of Voice Therapy.

 

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Pew!Pew! Six

laser-symbolI had another session of laser yesterday. It hurt just as much as the last one but I just gritted my teeth and got on with it. The pain is only transitory and the redness and swelling goes down really quickly with me. By the time I left I didn’t even look like I’d had laser, even on my face. I guess I’m really lucky there because some people are inflamed and blotchy for several days after.

I’m really pleased with how it’s going so far. My arms are completely hairless now, as are my legs apart from the odd rogue hair here and there. My back is also looking really good too, to the extent that I’m now confident about wearing tops and dresses that show your back. My tummy and chest are pretty good too, although there are little clumps of hairs here and there still. Hopefully this latest session will have nobbled some of those. We’ll see over the next few weeks.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

 

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Pew!Pew! Five – with added ‘ewwww’

I had my third session of laser on Saturday. I decided to grit my teeth and go for the 15mm rather than the 12mm we had to drop to last time. Initially it was very painful but then I sort of got ‘dialled in’ to the pain and it became a lot more bearable. It was still excruciatingly painful at times though, especially on the chest and tummy. For the face she dropped to a 12mm but that is usual. That too was very painful but fortunately over pretty quickly. So basically I managed to have a session on the settings she would normally use, rather than the milder ones we had to go down to last time due to the pain levels. So I feel sort of proud of myself on that.

I still haven’t worked out what the 15mm and 12mm refers to. From research on the web, it looks like it is the spot size. Yet Cynosure’s own website states that the 15mm spot size has a lower fluence (energy delivered per unit area) than the 12mm, which confuses me as the therapist says the 15mm is ‘more intense’ than the 12mm. If someone could explain this to me I’d be grateful.

Inflamed hair follicles from laser treatment

Inflamed hair follicles

One side effect of the 15mm is that your hair follicles all swell up, making you look like you have some terrible skin complaint. Fortunately it calms down after an hour or so, although I’m still very red and blotchy in places almost 48 hours on, especially on my chest and tummy. My face is also quite sore-looking and stubbly. If you’re thinking of having laser done and you have a Y chromosome then be aware that, for me at least, it is almost impossible to get a smooth shave for a few days after no matter how close you shave. It’s just something I’m learning to live with. From experience I know I will be smooth again by a week later which is fine as I go to work in the week ‘in disguise’ (so to speak).

Talking of next week, I have my next Voice Therapy lesson next Saturday in London. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been practising as best I can since my first lesson and it will be interesting to see how I have got on. I hope my cold has cleared up by then though, because right now I am able to do a quite passable impression of the old Carlsberg adverts. LOL.

Then the weekend after that I have friends over for the weekend. So it looks like I have a busy schedule for once. Yay!

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

 

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Pew!Pew! Four

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had my second session of laser treatment yesterday. It was my third visit but only the second time any one part of my body had been treated.

I confess I had been expecting it to hurt a whole lot less, but I was sadly wrong there. Actually, to be fair, some parts barely hurt at all, but the bony parts of me, and also my chest and my face really hurt. Like *really* hurt, as if someone was stabbing me with hot pins. Eeps!

We started off with the 15 (I have no idea what the units are, or whether it refers to spot size or to intensity) and we tried that on my hand and wrist, and it hurt a lot. And then all the hair follicles swelled up and I looked like I had a skin disease. It was rather horrid actually! I couldn’t take that intensity so we dropped it to a 12 and it was a lot better after that. My arms are quite freckly though and that made it quite painful as the pigment absorbs the laser. Although it does have the benefit of reducing the pigmentation which could be good.

We did the legs after that, and that didn’t hurt too badly apart from some coarser hairs up on the upper thighs. And also my knees that hurt rather a lot. But that was nothing compared to the pain from my chest. I have some pretty deep follicles on my chest hair and they properly hurt. And smelt too! Horrid burnt hair smell.
We then took a bit of a break by doing things that didn’t really hurt, like bum, bikini line, back and neck. All that was left after that was the face, which was the worst of all. Less said about that the better, but at least I survived. All in all I was in there about 160 mins (ie. just 20 mins shy of 3 hours).

The salon room doesn’t have air conditioning, and also the cold air chiller has to dump its heat somewhere so just dumps it into the room. Also the laser machine itself generates a lot of heat too, so the temperature in the room was gradually rising and rising. I was just in my undies and also I like it hot, so I was finding it more bearable than the poor beautician in her uniform. We were both visibly wilting by the end though, and it was pretty unbearable. I think I’m going to write a letter to ProSkin about it, and say that I think they absolutely have to install aircon in there, or at the very least some heavy duty extractor fans to draw the overheated air out. I’m also surprised the Cynosure cooler doesn’t have some kind of ducting to dump its hot air somewhere else.

My only worry about writing the letter is that they might instead decide to simply not offer full body treatments in one session, and that would be a big bind for me as it takes me around an hour to drive over there and I don’t want to double my journeys.

I have to wait another 6 weeks now before I can have my next treatment. That feels like forever right now!

 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

 

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