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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.

 

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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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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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Running out of steam

I really don’t want this blog to go the way of so many, where the author has an initial burst of enthusiasm and then runs out of steam and posts less and less.

The truth is, the loss of steam is not in my blog but in my life. I’ve had a little bit of a lean patch of late, what with stuff, work, laziness, lack of motivation, depression, and also that incident last month probably affecting me more than I thought it did. Certainly the muse hasn’t been on me lately and I haven’t felt motivated to do, well, anything really.

Also that date that I had last month sadly came to naught. He seemed like a really nice guy and we emailed every day and then suddenly… nothing… for a week. Then a text (in response to mine) that promised more info later. But it wasn’t forthcoming. I feel quite downhearted by it and don’t understand what I did that caused such a promising start to so abruptly end. 😦

Having said that negative stuff, I have my next session of laser hair removal this Saturday. Pew! Pew! I’m really excited by it. Although it will be my third visit to ProSkin, it will only be the second treatment for each given part of my body, since my first two visits were essentially splitting one session into two visits. From this visit onwards it’s going to be the whole body in one session. We have 2½ hours allocated for Saturday, and it will probably take that long too. Eeps!

So far I’ve had great success from the laser. My arms are completely hair free apart from the odd one, which is great. My legs are pretty hairless too, but there are patches of hair here and there. Same story to varying degrees for the rest of me too. So it’s all very encouraging. Only downside is that grey and white hairs are unaffected, so I have just as much of those as I did before, only they are now a lot more visible. So when I’m further down the line on this, I’m going to have to look at either electrolysis or the newer Applisonix Ultrasound system to remove those. Obviously you’re getting into the law of diminishing returns there, but it’s got to be done to complete the job.

Anyway, hopefully things will perk up again soon and I’ll be back to my old self again shortly. Fingers crossed.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal

 

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Pew!Pew! Three

Today I had the rest of my first Laser Hair Removal treatment.

Last Saturday was the easy bits – legs, bum, bikini line and back. But today I had the really painful parts; tummy, chest and face. I also had arms and shoulders, but they were inconsequential.

God it hurt. I don’t just mean unpleasantly uncomfortable, but more like this…

 

It’s said that there is a fine line between pleasure and pain. I am by no means a masochist (far from it!) but every time we stopped for a few seconds during the most painful and intense bits, I burst into giggles. Mainly from relief but also from endorphins. It was odd!

Anyway, pain is but a transitory sensation and it soon passed. And I am so happy and excited to be treading this path. It is so going to be worth it!

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

 

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Pew! Pew! Two

Cynosure Elite

Cynosure Elite

I had my first proper session of “Pew! Pew! Layzorz!” today. I had full leg, bum, bikini, underarms and back done. Next week will be chest, tummy, arms and face. After that I’m going to switch to everything in one session.

The girl who did it was really nice and we had a good natter and swapped make-up tips, which was fun.

The laser hurt at times, occasionally a lot (like she was sticking needles in me) but it was bearable. But I’m really not looking forward to the face next week.

Only embarrassment today was when she asked me how I wanted my bikini line trimmed (ie. how much to take off, and what shape to go for) and I didn’t know because I hadn’t really given it any real thought. LOL. It’s not really something I’ve researched but I guess I’m going to have to now. So we just went for something basic for now and we can refine it when I have an idea what I want to do.

To the Internetz with SafeSearch turned off!!

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

 

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Pew! Pew! Lasers!

It’s said that even the longest journey begins with just a single step. Well, in my case, this one begins with a Patch Test.

I have decided to embark on a programme of Laser Hair Removal, with a view to ultimately having a hairless face and body. I’m fed up with having to do so much shaving and depilation before I can go out in girl mode, and feel like Cinderella with the clock approaching midnight when it comes to facial hair (sorry to break the Suspension of Disbelief by mentioning that). I should also be able to wear a less heavy foundation when all the facial hair is gone, which should be good.

So today I visited a ProSkin clinic and had a Patch Test with their Cynosure Elite Laser Hair removal machine. The girl who did it was really nice and seemed very knowledgeable, and did test treatments on my leg, arm, chest and face. I have to be honest and say it really stung, especially on the chest where my hair is quite coarse, but I think I can bear it. And the rewards will be worth it, I hope!

So this is all very exciting!

Meanwhile, I’m back to Salsa classes on Monday. Woot!

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

 

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