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Gorilla Jaw and Other Fun With Facial Electrolysis

I walked into work yesterday expecting to pick up a cute and kicky little nickname. Gorilla-Jaw. Trust me, it’s not as feminine as it sounds, but it was sure how I felt. I did actually know a girl known as Gorilla-Jaw back in college, and felt even worse about my unkind thoughts toward that poor petite little blond girl with the simian jaw line. And no, nobody kicked me in the head or anything. I just had my first electrolysis appointment on Monday.

You will be astonished to hear that in spite of my soul crushing temporary deformity, this is not one of my usual airing of grievances I like to throw out there. I’m quite pleased with the results. I’m also very sore, very swollen, and very dismayed that I have like 93 more hours of this before I’m done. Fuck. Once again I have to say that anyone who thinks this is some kind of lifestyle choice is fricking insane.

If you are a long time reader, you may remember that I began facial hair removal by subjecting myself to getting shot in the face with lasers, and griped about it plenty in an old post. It did help, quite a bit, but after 6 treatments I got the impression that any dark hairs it was going to kill for good were probably gone, and it didn’t touch the grey ones. Going full time has necessitated meticulously shaving every single day, and my poor skin is starting to show the effects. Even buying top of the line razors does not quite achieve what the commercials promise. Yeah, it’s close, but in a ‘horseshoes close’ kind of way. Not quite cutting it.

I booked an appointment with the local guru of trans facial hair removal. I’ve seen his finished work and had the chance to ask them, for real, how good he really is. Apparently pretty good, or else they are all of the mean spirit type who are now secretly laughing that I got roped in as well. I choose to think otherwise of my sisters and I’m comfortable with that. I showed up to Executive Clearance and was pleased to find that his pricing model was structured as such to keep overhead as low as possible. I also noted that he must be a huge wrestling fan because his collection of paraphernalia was impressive enough that I suspected the storefront had a revolving sign that sometimes read “James’ Shop of Highly Specific Sports Collectables”. I was hoping this wasn’t his little way of telling customers that he knew the moves to hold you down if need be, because he probably could have. He also had both ‘Mannequin’ and ‘Mannequin 2’ in his DVD collection, which was unquestionably worrisome.

James was itching to get going and prepared by washing up and brushing his teeth, something I deeply appreciated. I lay back on what was essentially an old-timey hospital gurney and fired up the equipment. It’s always nice when something about to be used on your face needs to be audibly fired up until crackling with energy. Laying back, there was a monitor about a foot above my face, on which James liked to play movies from his computer. Today’s viewing pleasure included a full trans lineup – ‘Transamerica’, ‘Kinky Boots’, and ‘Breakfast on Pluto’. Nice, as I had not seen any of them yet. As the credits rolled, he got to work.

Electrolysis is considerably different than laser hair removal, and much more personal. Peering through intensely lit magnification, James would grab my face to center the target follicle, insert his super duper thin probe down the hair shaft, zap it, then pull the hair out with a tweezers. The combined pain effect is similar to a bee sting, between the pinching, the electric shock, and the plucking. James’ philosophy is to only zap the root and follicle to avoid blowing out a larger hole in your skin. This is great for appearance, but pulling the root through the hair shaft is like yanking a tennis ball through a garden hose. Pinch, zap, yank, pinch, zap, yank. 3500 times over a 9 hour period. In all fairness, we did break for lunch.

I’m a glass half full gal, so I’ll start with the upside. He uses top quality equipment and with many thousands of hours of experience, he’s about the least painful game in town. Most will only book clients for 2 hours at a time because that is the limit of their pain tolerance. James will keep you below the critical threshold for up to 12 hours; craftsmanship not seen since the really gifted medieval torturers. Also, he got 3500 hairs that will never grow again. The immediate downside is that the effect of zapping and plucking 3500 hairs is a face that takes on the look of someone who needs an immediate epi shot.

The real piss of this is that I will have to go back. Lots. Typical beard removal takes 100 to 150 hours. The laser treatment puts me on the very low end of that, but still, holy shit. In the 8 hours of treatment, he got my chin, upper lip (holy potatoes ouch!), and upper cheeks. Yes, that’s it. I don’t know what plans you have every 6 weeks for the next year and a half, but if they don’t get you labeled ‘Gorilla-Jaw’, they have to be better than mine.

About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

8 responses »

  1. Hi there! I’m a little late to the party lol. How in the world did you stand a whole day of electrolysis? Did he use a numbing cream? I use an over the counter lidocaine cream that doesnt work that great.

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  6. Yeah the number of grey hairs does worry me a lot in my case too: laser has done wonders for the dark hairs. I think though there are very few light hairs on the upper lip – mainly else where on the face. Only hour of pain will tell.

  7. Do I hear crying? I don’t know what Mannequin #1 or 2 is so I’ll have to take Becky’s word for it as far as that being the scariest thing about this post. I’m finality about a month or two from having my face done “yahoo” after a year and a half my face will be free, except for a few hairs here and there of course.
    After awhile I got use to it, a little pain but not bad, Laser still would get me around the lips and directly under the nose. She has been doing my arms and back, both of which are not far from being done too. The front is next and some other place as well:), that ought to be interesting.
    I love you, “Ape Girl” you have fun at your next appointment and remember, You only have a hundred or more rounds to go on your face, Almost There:)
    NO pain NO gain, Erin

  8. Hiya Sis,

    OK I’ll start with Ooooh poor baby! Offering as much sympathy as I can, knowing that with most of my beard being grey and white, I have similar experiences in my future.

    I have to say though the the scariest part of this whole post was finding out that there was a Mannequin 2. The first was more than enough.




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