A Stray Hair

| Mar 12, 2012
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Artist D <3's Ur Hair

The Cowsills asked for a head of hair, long, beautiful hair, shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen. Lady Gaga wishes she was as free as her hair. Apparently Ashley Tisdale would like you to run your fingers through her self-proclaimed sexy hair. Not that I know who Ashley Tisdale is, but no matter what you want to do with it or how much you have, almost everything seems to revolve around how you coif. Amusingly we like to keep what’s on our head and destroy the rest. Did I shave my legs for this?

No matter it be man or woman it seems everyone is shaving their bits and pieces these days. I personally have to wonder why we bother, but have learned to stop asking. One time I took a full set of photos dressed glamorously as a woman, but leaving my chest and arm pit hair. The responses were incredible. You’d think I had burned the bible! It was clear that people thought I had done something devastatingly wrong.

Setting aside why we do it or why we should bother, since we probably shouldn’t care, we will just face facts that people do and they prefer it that way. Some lovers adore a smooth body and some people adore their body to be smooth. It’s a preference and “everybody’s doing it.” The question is how to do it and do it well!

Cousin It Had the Right Idea

Unfortunately there is rarely an easy way to learn about your personal preference of hair removal. I wish I didn’t have to tell you to experiment when it came to shaving. It’s perhaps the one place where trial and error is not recommended! This is definitely something not to be toyed with especially when passing as a male to female transgendered individual. How very embarrassing when you go out as a female in the afternoon and come home with a five o’clock shadow.

Faces are subjected to plucking often and on a daily basis. Outside of the eyebrows, people pluck anything and everything on the face from chin, ears to nose hairs. Ouch! It’s certainly effective but the patience and pain can drive a lot of us insane. I find plucking to be much like getting a tattoo. It’s not that I mind the droning on never ending pinching, but after a daily regimen of it I am just not that interested in keeping up with it.

Why Ms Simpson, I thought you knew?

Out of several hundred transgendered people I polled before writing this article I found that epilation seems to be extremely popular. An epilator is an electrical device used to remove hair by mechanically grasping multiple hairs simultaneously and pulling them out. The way in which epilators pull out hair is similar to waxing, although unlike waxing, they do not remove cells from the epithelium of the epidermis. Much like all of the hair removal methods that exist this is still painful as it involves ripping out hair. Never forget that you are ripping out hair.

Speaking of ripping, the true masochists in the audience may wish to give waxing a try. If there’s one thing we have learned it is that waxing should be left in the hands of true professionals. You do not want to get mixed up flopping around your bathroom, with a hot can of wax, ripping sheets worth of hair off your precious body. Unless you like that kind of thing. Waxing is a time tested method of truly defeating hair growth for acceptable lengths of time. It may get costly and just a bit painful, but it has been said being waxed by a professional is far less painful than being waxed by an amateur . . . or yourself!

Are you as free as your hair?

There are gels, creams and fancy magical powders that you butter yourself with to just simply wipe the hair away. While some of these products may be effective and possibly painless do you really want to be spreading chemicals over your skin that makes your hair fall out? I may be more organic than some but this is just a little too toxic for my tastes.

When it comes down to it the old fashioned way seems to still be widely preferred. I was lucky enough to be born with the genetics that leave me fairly hairless in the right places. Sometimes nothing beats a razor and some preferred shaving creams. Time and time again I have heard that a nice warm bath with a shot of baby oil into the water works wonders (shaving while in the bath). Oh and for those who haven’t gotten the memo, hair conditioner works great in a pinch if you’re all out of shaving cream.

Aftercare is almost more important than the actual act of shaving. Since you are actually rubbing a harsh blade or plucking deeply rooted hair out of your body there is the easy risk of irritation. Redness and ingrown hairs abound, which is why it appears shaving in that warm bath is best. Relax the pores, open them up and then go to work. Cleanliness and moisturizing is always important after putting the skin through the wringer.

Some close shaves are never close enough. The older I get the worse the “Five O’clock Shadow” seems to get. No matter what a great shave I’ve given my face I can’t seem to get around it. Cover-up makeup is the key to this and can be a great aid especially if you’re in natural light.

Amanda Palmer on the Red Carpet

More permanent methods are available as today you can get rid of anything you don’t like. Electrolysis has been used for over 130 years and, just in case you didn’t know the details, involves destroying the cells responsible for hair growth. They do this by inserting a fine probe into the follicle.

Laser hair removal is by far the most popular for permanent removal. After several treatments you can be hair free. The amount of treatments depends on your hair type. These are all considered rather drastic and obviously expensive. It all really depends on how much you hate your hair and to what lengths you will go. Pun absolutely intended.

Hiding the hair without shaving at all may leave some dissatisfied and further bring out emotions of being undercover. These ways are mostly obvious as far as wearing more clothes or several layers of flesh colored stockings (on legs or body) to better mask what really lies beneath. You’ll find the stocking method used often in the art of drag as most stay masculine and hairy at all other times.

After all that work I still find myself wondering why we bother. I look at the bears, butch lesbians and anarchist punks with great envy that there is somewhere in this culture that lets you have a hairy body while keeping your sex appeal intact. It’s all a preference and unfortunately in the world of fashion and glamour some things will always fall under the category of, “Don’t ask why, we just do. Darling.”

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Category: Style, Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender How To

The Artist D

About the Author ()

The Artist D is a true raconteur and provocateur! He has been performing online since the mid 1990s. A relic from the cam show age before MySpace was any space. Author of In Bed with Myself, an autobiographical tale of transgenderism and Internet celebrity. Executive Editor of Fourculture Magazine and host of the Kawfeehaus podcast.

Comments (6)

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  1. says:

    One more method to mention out of interest-that’s a recent new development that you can buy on line called NONO.It looks like a shaver but the head consists of a small roller which as you roll it over your skin activates the cutter which is a thin wire that gets hot and burns the hair-bit hard to explain really.You know its working as you can smell the burning!Anyway it takes practice and is ok on arms and legs if you do it a few days after shaving when the hair is about 3mm long.It says you can use on the face but after loads of attempts I gave up–male beard hair is just too strong and takes loads of attempts which ends up scorching skin.Fine I can imagine, for women with downy facial hair–and really this is who the product is aimed at.So if you have soft fine hair, might be worth a try.(It costs £65,google NONO.)

  2. Sophie Lynne Sophie Lynne says:

    I have had laser treatments and while they hurt, they are quite effective. That said, I am the ideal candidate for it (fair skin, dark heavy beard).

    For finding someone to do procedures in your area, I found it useful to ask your fellow TGs. They usually know who is good and who isn’t.

  3. juligrlee juligrlee says:

    It’s too bad there is so much misinformation about permanent hair removal. How do you get scientifically proven information about hair removal. I don’t knock shaving or pulling out hairs but as far as my information has taken me, the most permanent kind of hair removal is electrolysis. Where are the transgendered electrologists? If there was an easier way to accomplish permanent hair removal just show the way. We take hair off because that is what is expected of our gender displays. Males can get away with beards but females not so much, unless you are in the circus. Remember the circus? Still few males wear beards as they have fashion drawbacks. If you want to be a woman, and not hide your intentions, I say get electrolysis.

  4. victoria victoria says:

    There have been products in the past like the Noxzema product.

    It can make the feel of the hair less noticeable, but it does not slow or stop hair growth (to date, nothing topically has been proven to slow or stop hair growth, other than Vaniqa.)

    In the electrology biz, we have an adage, “Only pluck the hair you want to keep.” If one is considering permanent hair removal in the future, do not tear that hair out by any means (waxing, tweezing, rotary epilator etc.) It can make the hair worse and more difficult to treat (and painful to treat and more costly to treat) later on.

  5. i think you are a beautiful person for sharing all of your thoughts about this stuff. thank you sweetie.

  6. janetcd janetcd says:

    Have read about a new shaving gel that is supposed to extend the time before “Five O’clock Shadow” shows. The product is Noxzema Hair Minimizing Shave Gel. Have not found the product local at any retailer. Found the product on Drugstore.com and waiting to submit my order with a few other items so that the items will ship free.