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[personal profile] roketsune
Hair Removal

There are numerous ways of removing disliked hair from the face and body, and I had to expend a good amount of time and emotional energy determining what the ideal methods were and why. If you are a femboy, quite possibly the single most upsetting biological trait of yours is hair below the scalp, especially on the face. I kept having visible stubble no matter how forcefully I shaved, that was the one area of the body I couldn't conceal or clothe, and even makeup didn't seem to work. In fact, as I write this, I need to make an appointment for a follow-up laser treatment... Anyway, your ideal set of tactics will vary according to your physical characteristics and aesthetical preferences and monetary resources, but, with all circumstances and factors being ideal, I would suggest laser treatments for hair issues in general and starting with the face, and one or two adjunct methods  during and after that. My explanation of the various methods will make clear why this should be the ultimate recourse generally.


Electrolysis

This is an extremely time-intensive and money-intensive process, with the advantage of it being useful for all skin and hair colors. The method of eradication entails insertion of tiny needles up the shaft of the hair and into the follicle, which are then electrified to destroy the follicle. This I assume is approximately as painful as this sounds, though I never proceeded because even with the 10% transgender discount I would have paid $100 per weekly session for about 50 weeks. This was JUST for the facial area, mind you. Unless you are treating very small resistant regions or various characteristics make laser removal (the other permanent solution) impractical, I strongly argue against electrolysis. It is probably no less painful than laser removal and many times more expensive.


Waxing

I assume everyone understands the mechanics of this sufficiently, so I'll just explain why it's not ideal. First, you need to allow enough hair to grow before it can be violently ripped out, so on a good percentage of your days you will look scraggly, and most people cannot remain within their house and away from people for days at a time on command like me. Second, you either have to go to a salon or work out a home remedy on your own, which is more time and energy spent on research. Third, this is obviously very painful, and even more so if it somehow takes skin with it. Fourth, this is perpetually done every 2-4 weeks, and thus a constant major bleed on energy, time, and money. I have no idea why people rely on this solution other than people are generally stupid or grievously ignorant.


Tweezer and Epilator

The process is fundamentally the same as waxing, sans the wax and paper, and thus has most of the disadvantages. Thus, it must be repeated about as often as waxing, though it is less acutely painful and easier because of the reduced area of effect and the exclusion of wax. There are two devices which are used for this: the manual tweezer everyone is familiar with, and the epilator- a mechanical hand-held set of tweezers on a drum that rapidly turns.  I recommend this more as a stop-gap measure while permanent solutions are pending or in progress rather than as a sole permanent measure.

A manual tweezer has a very limited area of effect and thus would be an extremely time-intensive method of removing facial hair in general. However, its simplicity requires very little time and energy to master the process, and such a device allows you to grab onto and yank out hair which is far shorter than an epilator can manage. In conjunction with lasering and an epilator, this is a valuable and useful tool. On its own, excruciatingly slow and aggravating. It is best used to remove hairs an epilator left behind. If you have this natural compulsion to feel, play with, and remove stray hairs- especially those around the lips- this also will be helpful.

An epilator has a larger area of effect and is merely moved over a part of the body to work, which thus allows a rate of tweezing perhaps 100x faster. However, this also means it will cause a lot more pain at any given time and might make usage unbearable. This is the one I acquired and it respectably serves its intended purpose. I have been told that repeated epilation or waxing will cause progressively less pain and thinning of hair regrowth, but this has happened to a low degree or not at all with me, and I certainly wouldn't advise people count on that when making decisions. My laser treatments have killed about 75-85% of the facial follicles, so there are a significant number of hairs remaining, but few enough to not make epilation an exercise in self-inflicted torture. I doubt I could have employed this as my sole remedy. You can either wait ~2 weeks and do all hairs en masse, or epilate repeatedly and have only a fraction of total hairs be visible and removable at any given time. The first is the least costly in time but the most painful, the second costly in time but less painful and easier to pull off.

A couple of additional things on epilation:

1.) Most of this was written with the facial area in mind. This was not just because this is generally the highest-priority area for femboys, but also because it is quite possible epilation will be prohibitively troublesome on other areas. I was not as sensitive to pain of that sort on the face and it was started only after I had undergone laser treatments. The other parts of my body just seem more sensitive to that type of stress, and even with less dense hair growth. While others may be different and this can- and commonly is- used for other areas of the body, it is very possible you will be unable to do so, especially without previous laser treatments. And, you will be expending far more time epilating if you incorporate more areas into your routine, anyway.

2.) Apparently removing hairs or shaving too closely carries with it a heightened risk of ingrown regrowths, especially on legs and arms. I do notice 1-3 hairs do indeed get stuck under the skin on the face for a while following epilation, but the low number and the tretinoin render this a negligible problem. If you have a great disposition for this phenomenon, you will have to perform exfoliating and moisturizing regimens or abandon epilation. Otherwise, don't pay any mind to those exhortations to do the regimens, as they are needlessly deterring and usually unnecessary.


Depilatory Cream

This is a substance that literally dissolves hair and allows it to be wiped off. While this generally does what it is supposed to, there are major limitations in addition to the risk of more or less giving yourself mild chemical burns. My research on this solution dissuaded me from attempting it, though your experience and needs may deviate from mine substantially.

The advantage to using this is it supposedly removes hair slightly below the skin line, so the effect is greater than can be achieved with shaving. The disadvantages are numerous. Firstly, there seemed to be a unanimous agreement amongst the brands and reviewers that using this on the face, crotch, and genitals was ill-advised. Second, even with use on the limbs and torso only, you run the risk of having dermatological problems because remember this DISSOLVES HAIR IN MINUTES. Third, it is quite possibly less convenient than shaving as far as the process goes, though also simpler in terms of equipment and number of products. All things considered, I wouldn't necessarily advise against attempting this in lieu of shaving, but be forewarned you may well deem it an inferior method and have to go back to shaving. If you are adventurous enough to use this on the face (I didn't remember any reviews of people trying this for the face, but found a very memorable review of genital use exhorting people to NOT try it), please do tell me if it worked well!


Manual/Bladed Shaving

This method of hair removal I find to be utterly inadvisable in all but a few scenarios. It is costly, complicated, dangerous, and has an overabundance of information I had the misfortune of having to sort through when deciding whether to do this or electric. There is both cartridge and 'safety' shaving, there's all manner of shaving cream, there are other associated products... However, my frustration I will transmute into your benefit by sharing what I have learned.

The advantage to manual razor shaving are that it cuts closer to the skinline than the electrical equivalent, the aforementioned 'safety' razor supposedly superior for that. While there are some men who like a customized shaving ritual and this would be another advantage to especially safety razor shaving for them, at least for a femboy or a MtF girl who wants to be rid of facial hair entirely, the pleasure derived from performing an elaborate process every morning is probably zero. Thus, this would be a preferable manner of routine hair removal only if depilatory creams are not feasible, and if somehow epilation/wax also were not feasible, and you just need that additional closeness which electric razors cannot provide.

The disadvantages to electric shaving are numerous. It is far messier than electric razors since you need shaving cream/butter. Since multiple products are having to be utilized and replaced, the maintenance costs are pretty high (there even is a company that opened up just to address the astonishingly high costs of cartridges). Since there are many items to use and remove and such, you lose more time and energy. Of course, if you mishandle the razor or just go over a bump with it, you will nick yourself or maybe worse in some cases. If you elect to go with the old-school types of razors, you will pay a small fortune just for the razor handle and- if you use a knife-type razor- a razor strop. The number of products of either type of bladed shaving are bewilderingly great, about as bad the cosmetics. Also, the advantage I mentioned might not even be perceivable, as I never noticed visually any difference between shaving with a blade and an electric razor.

The most common method of bladed/manual shaving is Cartridge, which is the modern variety that utilizes disposable cartridges with multiple blades and various features such as a gel strip and heightened flexibility. They seem to be easier to use properly than the alternative varieties, but they need to be replaced rather frequently and might be more expensive than even classical shaving. The other common method is the so-called Safety razors, given that name because most of the blade is concealed, an improvement over the even older-school full shaving blades. They use different handles and require a different posture, though you can use both sides of the razor blades. This might be less expensive to actually maintain, though you will commonly be advised to acquire a good brush and some form of shaving substance above the typical cream in a can, and the cost of the razor handles is pretty high, so you will be paying more up front to start shaving this way.

Unless you really have no other alternatives for whatever reason, I really do advise people to opt for electric razors. I hate this method of shaving and I abandoned it long ago.


Electric Shaving

There is also a bewildering number of brands and features associated with electric razors, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. They can do most of what the bladed ones can do for a LOT less hassle. For days  I cannot epilate (pending laser treatment, hair not long enough and I need to leave home, or I need to leave quickly), I use my inexpensive Remington. It literally consumes only ~2-4 minutes of my time to shave my face with this, and paired with the previous laser treatments, it serves its purpose well enough.

The advantages are it is extremely rapid, is reasonably effective, and is low-maintenance (or, should be; some tutorials and product descriptions really complicate this process). Additionally, there is an advantage or two which are offered by each of the two types of electric razors: foil and rotary. Supposedly, the rotary type can better serve curved areas of the face and offers a lower risk of irritation (my foil razor seems to do just fine on both counts; maybe my old rotary just sucks), but is more difficult to clean due to razor head complexity and cuts less deeply. The foil type, in contrast, cuts more deeply, is easier to clean, and seems far easier to use even on curved areas given its shape (straight across, on 1 or more foils), but with the drawback of increased risk of skin irritation supposedly. I suggest people thus invest in a foil razor, though if you're feeling adventurous you could invest in both and tell me whether you notice the same things I do.

The disadvantages are it costs slightly more to acquire a decent electric razor, and this method appears far more costly and difficult than it is because of various product innovations and reviews. There are razors that cost well over $100 (possibly $200 or more; I don't remember for sure) that come with a mount that cleans the razor bit between uses with some liquid solution you also need to buy. The various brands all brag about various features or technology with names and importances they came up with. Do you buy this $30 thing or the $200 one that does this super-swell job of cleansing these blades you hope are appreciably better than those of the $30 one? Do you get rotary or foil? Do you need electric shaving lotion before or after? Are you really supposed to replace the razor or blades every 6 months? The answer in general is: no, you do not need lotions or a pricey razor that has fancy cleaning cycles, and you do not need to replace something so often. If you have chronic irritation after you shave or just like the way one of the pre-shave things feels or smells, by all means get one and use it. However, I use no such accessories- only the razor itself. Since I have sparse facial hair and rely on epilation primarily, my razor- which probably would have been serviceable for years with my pre-laser beard- should function almost forever. Don't allow yourself to be misled or confused: you only need a good low-medium end razor most likely.


Laser

So, this one I have been espousing for this entire entry, and I will explain in detail why. Contrary to the way many or most commentators characterize this, this is indeed a permanent manner of hair removal. It only appears to be temporary because follicles have dormant and active cycles and the ones which were dormant at the start become active later on. Also, if you for some reason have an increase in testosterone or some other rare condition or factor, hair that exists does become thicker and darker. The follicles that are sufficiently zapped are dead and do not regenerate. This is a permanent solution to facial hair, but it will also require a substantial investment in emotional energy, time, and money. If you were prepared to wax away hair forever, this is comparable in the level of pain and aggravation per session, only the sessions are limited in number. Of course, there is also a rather dizzying number of variables and factors which must be considered, and I will simplify that for you.

The process itself is as follows:

-You choose some sort of aesthetical center for treatment. It can be your dermatologist's place (that might cost more, especially if a doctor is the one doing it), or a general aesthetics center offering a wide variety of services. The one I use is the latter.
-You are assessed for treatment suitability. Your skin tone, hair color, whether you are on or doing something that will heighten the risk of dermal damage, budget, and miscellaneous other things are taken into account, and a type of laser is selected. I don't remember the name, but the least expensive type they use is also only recommended for those with pale skin.
-You have the option of numbing gel before treatments, though this will increase your treatment costs ($75 versus $50 per session for me). While this may or may not be needed, I suggest at least for the first time you invest in this. I did not, so on the first session I felt as if my nervous system was being repeatedly assaulted and was almost crying even 15 mins afterwards.
-You lay down on a bed, and your face is prepared with a gel commonly used for ultrasounds. The facial area will require maybe 10-20 minutes from when you walk in until when you leave.
-How exactly the laser is applied depends on the type and device. The default one they use for people worked in pulses: the device was applied to a section, a switch or button was pressed to send a brief pulse (it was quite noisy), the device was moved, another pulse sent, and so on. Once I was given one of their more expensive types for free due to my severe wait time, and that one was constantly active, the wand being slid across the face and singing whatever follicle it ran across. Either way, expect it to hurt significantly.
-Assuming you are able to allow the doctor or technician to finish the process (perhaps a plushie would help comfort you), you are advised to use sunscreen and spend minimal time in the sun for the day, and they possibly also apply sunscreen (at least mine do). You might be given a small cold compress, but I never felt they were helpful or necessary.
-You are asked to set an appointment 4-8 weeks later if you are undergoing a set round of treatments. While I don't know how common this is, at mine clients are given the option of tipping the technician when they are checked out. Don't be a douche and decline to do that if that is an option. I would guess 10-20% would be the expectation.
-In follow-up sessions, the energy level is gradually increased as the number of outstanding follicles diminishes, which somewhat counteracts the reduction in pain the reduction in follicles would bring. However, this is necessary to eradicate the more resistant follicles, typically around the mouth (those have been fucking hard to get rid of).

The advantages of this method are: you save resources (including time and energy) ultimately by resolving the issue near-completely for all time despite the comparatively steep costs (I actually just paid $300 for 6 full-face sessions via a Groupon offer). The disadvantages and potential complications are, however, not insignificant. As I mentioned, this is basically consensual photonic assault, which poses a variety of risks even if done correctly. If your people are competent and you haven't lied to them, likely you will not suffer the worst-case permanent issues or even the serious temporary ones. However, especially on your first or second session, you might have redness for days and numerous whiteheads like I did. This method is not suitable if you are on antibiotics (apparently they make skin more sensitive to photons) or if you are tanning (and you really shouldn't be attacking your skin like that, anyway: the Sun is bad, especially for pale white femboys!), and the going will be harder or even impractical if your hair color and skin tone are not optimal (another reason to avoid the sun like a vampire).


Also, there is an effect which is sort of both a positive and negative depending on how you feel. Some follicles won't die, but will lose all pigmentation. I have a few colorless hairs on my face now, and while that is suitable aesthetically, they're still there and can be felt, and also cannot be destroyed by means other than electrolysis. This only happened to something like 1% or less of them, though. Speaking of gray or white hairs... If you are in your 30's and are having a belated awakening like I did, you need to get this done soon before your hairs start losing color naturally and thus cannot be eradicated this way. The only other option would be electrolysis, and I explained why that is not ideal.

Regarding selection of a place... I suggest looking at Groupon or that Amazon Local thing first, then analyzing the companies' website and reviews to determine whether you ought to go with them. You may elect to get a consultation first (this should be free), but you ought to know ahead of time whether you are an ideal candidate after reading all of this. The vouchers I believe generally only cover the cheapest type of treatment that I described above, so if you don't have pale skin and dark hair, you will have to pay more than that probably.

To conclude this section, I will reiterate this having lower costs for a lifetime of money, energy, and time. You will pay less of these in general and will have superior results anyway, but the price is steep and condensed into a relatively small window. Obviously, if your doctor or aesthetician says this is not suitable you likely should follow their recommendation or get a second opinion. However, this generally will be the superior option, especially for pale and dark-haired Caucasians. Most of the rest require hair growth before they can work and are perpetual, and electrolysis is horribly expensive and slow and possibly even more painful than this.


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roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by http://www.furaffinity.net/user/p-aei (Default)
Roketsune

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