Hair Removal In Our Transgender Communities
If you are a transgender man, woman, or any other gender non-conforming individual that is seeking out specific services regarding hair removal, it is best to have a treatment performed that is individualized to your specific needs and transition goals.
During the transition phase of our trans women, having a smooth, 5 o’clock shadow-free skin would definitely be a cosmetic goal as well as a milestone. This will make you feel considerably more comfortable in your own skin and would also be the perfect time to consider genital hair removal, especially if you are looking into SRS (sex reassignment surgery).
So, what’s the best way forward? Let’s have a look at all your options as well as what we offer at The Laser Beautique. Although we offer full body hair removal, in this blog we are focusing on hair removal in both face and genital regions.
Let’s Talk About Hair Removal Options
There are temporary hair removal options that you can look at like shaving, waxing, threading, epilators, or depilatories creams, but unfortunately these will only offer temporary relief and WARNING: most temporary options can be described as a form of torture. No lies!
For an example, the epilator is an electrical device used to remove hair by mechanically grasping multiple hairs simultaneously and pulling them out. It’s similar to having multiple tweezers working at super speed, removing hairs from the root. As you can imagine, this is far from a pleasant experience. Just looking at an epilator close, can send you running for the hills.
Threading, in my opinion, is just as bad. Instead of an electrical device torturing you, a thin thread is used.
Waxing, Hot wax, strip wax, any wax. Torture! Shaving is not a great option if you are looking for comfort.
Shaving, Nobody wants a 5 o’clock shadow or nasty shave cuts. Did you know that razors are mostly non-degradable. And in Africa there are no companies that recycle razors! Where do all the razors go!?
Depilatory creams, in my opinion are nasty. They smell too terrible, it’s a real time suck and if anyone has ever been brave enough to try using any depilatory cream brand down under, and lived to tell the story, it would be a horror!
Right now, you might be thinking so then what are my options. The Laser Beautique has a more permanent solution on offer that is 1 comfortable and 2 pain free. So where do you sign up?
The Laser Beautique solutions come in a couple different forms, including Electrolysis and Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (Laser).
Let’s Talk About Where To Start
There is so much noise out there around lasers. So many different laser clinics, beauticians, aesthetic spas promising the world and yet we still hear stories of people being burnt and scarred. But why? The simple reason is because the aesthetic and beauty industry are unfortunately not regulated. People buy cheap easy accessed technology to save a buck and fall for the false advertising of quick fixes.
A key example is many companies are marketing laser hair removal but in fact they don’t have a laser, they have an IPL (Intense Pulse Light).
BIG difference, big difference in price as well as results.
IPL is more of a scatter gun approach and the surrounding tissue is affected where laser is a direct filtered light which offers a pinpoint approach of treatment. Laser technology is more expensive and sophisticated where IPL is less expensive. IPLs are great technologies for skin rejuvenation, not for hair removal.
Benefit of Choosing Laser Hair Removal:
The treatment itself is very comfortable and pain-free because new age devices use a cooling tip that assist in your touch receptors not reacting as well as a technique of in motion is used that will gradually increase the temperature so by ensuring your treatment is indeed pain-free.
The one truth to know about laser is that lasers are only effective on dark, pigmented hairs, and unfortunately does not work on grey, blond, white, or red hair.
For more information on laser hair removal please review our treatment page as we have listed the FAQs.
For the second option we referred to electrolysis, at The Laser Beautique we use a device referred to as Apilus, electrolysis re-invented and it’s a game changer for clients with white, fluffy, grey, or red hairs. For more information about Apilus see www.apilus.co.za
Let’s talk about Electrolysis:
Electrolysis is a method of removing individual hair from the face and body. A probe is inserted into the hair follicle and down the hair shaft. This is a natural opening, therefore inserting the probe is not painful at all. The electrologist then releases energy in the form of heat and destroys the hair follicle.
The probe is then removed from the natural opening of the hair follicle and the hair detaches from the root.
Once the hair has detached the hair slides out with tweezers. For more information and videos click here
If you have ever heard about electrolysis, you would have heard more horror stories and let’s, be honest, old electrolysis technologies were not only torture, but the devices also resembled an old car radio, remember those radios with twisty knobs? That’s how old electrolysis devices worked. One would have to tune into the right frequency, if the frequency used was not spot on, it would zap and burn! Thank goodness for Apilus, electrolysis re-invented.
Benefit of electrolysis is that it is safe and effective on all skin and hair types and has the most successful results for permanent hair removal. It has proven to be the most popular treat.
Deciding Between Laser or Electrolysis?
In our past experiences, Trans-gender clients initially start on a course of 8 of laser to thin out the density of dark hairs, say on the genital area and there after follow-up and complete the remaining hair removal process with electrolysis.
It is important to understand that you will need to have electrolysis as the next step after your 8-12 treatments of laser hair removal. Very often we recommend electrolysis to our clients to get rid of the stubborn unwanted hair that is left over after your laser treatments.
Remember it is very possible to have hair left over after your course of laser. This is because laser will get rid of all pigmented hair but what will be left behind is light or vellus hair. Hormones will also play a huge role in your hair growth.
If you still a bit hesitant, best advice I can give you, is to book a FREE consultation and test patch at The Laser Beautique for both so that you are fully informed. You may even book for both!
Yes, you read me right, I said FREE. Yay, we all love a freebie, right? You can book here today.
Let’s Talk About Feelings:
It is normal to feel nervous and embarrassed prior to your first laser or electrolysis treatment. Know that for us, this is a routine treatment, and we will try to make it as comfortable as possible for you. Our Beaug-icians have lasered everyone everywhere! Men, woman, upstairs and downstairs, front, and back. There is nothing we haven’t seen so you can feel comfortable and make yourself at home with us.
To give you a little peace of mind, usually clients will come into their consultation nervous and embarrassed and feeling anxious. Let’s face it, how would you not feel this way when you naked and exposed by a stranger. However, by the 3rd treatment our Beauts and Beauties (TLB guests) are fully naked, on the bed and eager to start before our Beaug-icians is even ready. As the results have been worth the awkward initial encounters.
At The Laser Beautique, we call our aestheticians Beau-gicians, as they perform magic. Literally, if I told you, 10 years ago, that we would be able to remove all your unwanted hair painlessly and permanently, you would never have believed us. This is new age magic happenings right before your eyes.
At your consultation, your Beau-gician, will take the time and give you a full run down of how laser and electrolysis work and what to expect so that you can make an educated decision about what suites you best and your budget. Your Beau-gician will use a flip chart with fun illustrated images to run through all the do’s and dont’s prior and post your sessions.
During your consultation it is very important to be fully transparent about what stage of your transition journey you are on. For example, let your Beau-gician know what medication or hormone treatments you are on and most importantly your needs and wants moving forward. So that the best possible treatment plan is created for you.
Another discussion is what procedures you have undergone and what procedures you are planning in the future. The more information you share about your journey, the better for your hair removal journey with us.
Reason for the above information needed is to ensure that expectations are understood and met in a realistic time. With the treatments for laser and electrolysis any flush of hormones or change in medication can delay or affect the treatment outcomes. If our Beau-gician has the knowledge of your plans for surgery or medication she will plan a course and advise the recommended sessions that you could require.
Why Genital Electrolysis Before SRS?
Genital electrolysis is performed prior to SRS to avoid any problems with hair in your new vagina. In most patients, the area between the anus up to a part of the scrotum is going to be used to create the back wall of the vagina. The area from the scrotum up toward the base of the penis will also be used to build up the vagina. For most patients that require skin grafts for vaginoplasty, scrotal tissue is transplanted during SRS.
The most important reason to have the hair in that area removed is that there is a high risk of infection of the hair follicles. This risk may be higher even due to the friction that you will experience against that part of the skin during dilation but also during intercourse, for example. And since the skin is no longer exposed after surgery because it is folded inward, it’s too late to remove the hair later on.
Many SRS surgeons emphasize that patients should have genital hair removal prior to SRS since it strongly influences the operation and its outcome. Some may not want to perform SRS if you still have hair in the area used for your neo-vagina.
Caution: Many surgeons use a “scrape” technique during surgery, where they scrape away the hair follicles, but results indicate this is not effective and complicates recovery (e.g., ingrown hairs). We recommend you rely on electrolysis.
Duration & Time
When you are planning, you need to think practically and create a timeline that includes the time it will take to complete your course of laser and then “clean up” remaining hair with electrolysis.
A full course of laser hair removal can take up to 16-18 months as the time between your laser treatments lengthens. First you could come every 3 weeks and then it will take longer and longer for hair to grow and by the last few treatments, you may wait 6 weeks between the treatments. Keep in mind that this does all depend on one’s individual hair growth cycle. You will need minimum about 6-7 sessions of electrolysis to clear the area completely. However sometime electrolysis can take up to 1 year. This depends on how much vellus hair remains after the course of laser.
How Much Hair Needs To Be Removed From The Genital Zone Before Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS)?
Vaginoplasty, using Penile Inversion, is the most common MTF genital surgery.
- This utilizes the penile skin to line the vagina, and the scrotal skin to create the labia.
- Some SRS surgeons use a perineal skin flap at the posterior end of the vagina, it is best to have electrolysis in this area.
- It is suggested to remove the hair around the base of the penis and the hair on the midline between the anus and the penis.
- If you plan to have genital electrolysis, please do consult with your surgeon as to his or her preferences.
Remember this is a process and journey. Rome was not built in a day. It is important to be patient with your doctors and your Beau-gican during your transition, but most importantly be patient with yourself, you will get to your destination in time. This is a journey of creating the best you and we are here to help every step of the way
We aim to please and want your success story to be ours too. We walk this journey with you as our motivation for work is to create hair-free, comfortable skins for all, no matter who you are or going through.