Tweezing vs. Electrolysis or Laser?

| Jan 13, 2014
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As a male, I never liked all the hair on my body or face. Between the ages of 12 and 14 I suddenly became covered with hair, Noooooo! I tried growing a mustache and a beard for a period of time, just to see if I could do anything creative with my facial hair. I had a goatee, a Fu Manchu, the ZZ Top look, the Amish look and didn’t feel any of these worked. So I resigned to shaving every other day for the rest of my life.

When I finally came to grips with “Rachel” at 57, shaving was no longer an option because no matter what kind of razor I had or how long I spent shaving, when I was done, I could still feel some stubble, and by the next day the shadow was visible. I watched many videos on hair removal and hiding techniques, but I needed to get to a place of little or no maintenance. Clothes and makeup is enough maintenance for me thanks!

I started to look into Laser and electrolysis. But at the time these weren’t cost effective for me. I realized that Laser wasn’t really a permanent solution and I heard the process feels like having a rubber band snapped on your face — Um NO!

Everything I read and heard was that electrolysis was eventually permanent, but it took a long time to be hair free. I chose tweezing because the results lasted three to four days and once I got the hang of it I was able to cut my time from 3 hours once a week, down to 2 hours to clear my face of hair, and — no stubble!



I started recently to get electrolysis done to a one inch patch on my chin. I asked my technician to focus on that area, to cut down on the randomness of removing hair from a larger area, so I can gauge how long it will take to do the rest of my face once this area is clear of hair. This is also the area that has the coarsest hair that shows the most. I continue to tweeze the rest of my face while getting the treatments to my chin. I heard a lot of comments about how painfull the process is and I have to say, getting a tattoo is far more painful that getting electrolysis and it doesn’t feel like someone snapping a rubber band on your face. I get what’s called a “Blend” that means electrolysis mixed with some heat. The needle is inserted to the root of the hair follicle and you feel a slight tingle and a quick burst of heat concentrated at the very end of the probe. Then the hair is gently pulled out. Each hair follicle has 3 growth cycles and may need dozens of treatments to make the hair permanently gone at that particular point. That’s why I want to concentrate on a small patch at a time.

Back to tweezing. Most people say, “Oh, that must hurt” with their faces all contorted as they think about pulling out hairs. It was somewhat painful when I first started to do it, but now most of the hairs just slide right out and it’s nowhere near as painful as electrolysis. I would guess that some of the hairs don’t grow back anymore and some hairs are definitely thinner or finer to the point that I almost don’t see them.

The tweezers

The tweezers

My routine is usually done early on a Thursday morning before I leave for work in NYC. Then I’m good through Friday and Saturday nights and into Sunday, when I love to go to the flea market. Hair free for 3-4 days is awesome! Tweezing also leaves no noticeable, puffing, or swelling. There is just some reddening to the skin from the hair pulling which pretty much disappears with a splash of cold water and some foundation. Then I’m ready to go.

The electrolysis does leave some little bumps that, (on me at least) lasted for about 24 hours. Not good if you have somewhere to go the same night.

Laser hair removal.

Laser hair removal.

My method of tweezing is very quick and easy, considering that when you pull the hair there is a little wet root ball on the base of the hair and I use that to stick the hair on a clear part of my face. The motion of pull, stick, pull, stick gets faster and faster as you get used to the routine. You also need a good pair of tweezers that firmly grab the hairs and don’t cut or break them off at the point of contact. The only problem areas, like I said, are the chin because the hairs are a bit thicker, and the little hairs right under my nose. These for some reason get me sneezing uncontrollably because they actually tickle coming out.

The electrolysis sessions cost around $60.00 an hour and my technician can do roughly an inch square in that time. That makes it affordable and I can lay off for a few weeks or so if the budget gets tight. I know this is a process like my transition, it’s part of the journey. Sooner or later I will be hair free, then on to the nose! Tweezing won’t make that smaller, LOL!

Love and respect
Rachel Xaviera

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Category: Transgender How To, Transgender Politics

Rachel Xaviera

About the Author ()

61 years young, M-F transgendered human, living full time as Female, on Hormones for 3 years. Married for 24 yrs, it's very complicated, LOL! I am into fetish fashion,latex and leather with a bit of lace here and there. I model part time in NYC and work for "The Baroness." (Latex fashion designer.) Tavel for work and play between Philly and NYC. Work as a home repair/handy person, in the trades 30 years. Singer song writer, guitar player performing on stages all up and down the east coast for over 40 years.I have acted in a few small independent movies. Own my own 24 track digital recording studio and I am a "trained by fire" recording engineer. I love to party and dance, basically have fun! Social drinker, and mother nature..... I am currently working on three books, two based on my life and adventures and one piece of science fiction. I tell it like it is, and live my life out loud. Love making friends and keeping them, (in a cage in my basement, LOL!) I also enjoy the SMBD life style, it's a spanking great time! I carry my own weight through this amazing life and expect everyone I hang with to do the same. My life is hard enough to deal with, I don't need any other soap operas, head trips, momma's boys or daddy's girls. I'm an adult who enjoys other adults, conversations and activities. If I think of anything else of importance I'll update this section as needed. Love and respect

Comments (3)

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  1. victoria victoria says:

    As an electrologist, I would like to add a few points.

    It does not require dozens of treatments to kill a follicle. It may take a few worst case, but not dozens. In fact, blend is excellent for killing a follicle in one regardless of phase, which is why is it sometimes used for a first clearance when working on a small area. After the first full clearance, if the client comes at regularly spaced appointments and a full clearance of the area is done each time the hairs treated will always be in anagen phase (for the most part.) Anagen phase is the best chance to kill a follicle in one treatment regardless of modality.

    If one is planning to have electrolysis, the worst thing one can do is tear out their facial hair. Over time, habitually tearing out the hair can cause the hair to thicken (in diameter) and cause the follicles to become distorted. This difficulty in treating distorted follicles means it will take longer, cost more and result in more pain, and can increase the need for multiple treatments to kill a follicle. I used to tweeze out my beard also, and by the time I had electrolysis it had made my beard even worse. I ended up sabotaging myself in the long run, and I really paid for it.

  2. lucinda lucinda says:

    I have under gone permanent hair removal of my beard, mustache, side burns and had my brows styled using the electrolysis method, as far as I’m concerned, this is the only way to assure that the hair folic has been eliminated. It is a long process and sometimes uncomfortable, but well worth it in the end.


  3. Graham Graham says:

    As someone with experience of facial hair removal, I found this to be an interesting article.

    I had laser treatment on my face about 15 years ago. Actually, the “laser” is a white-light flash-tube of the type used on cameras, but with a substantially higher power output to the point where it needs to be water-cooled; however, it can zap an area of typically 5 square centimetres at a time, so it’s very fast. It works by the melanin absorbing the light energy, heating up, and conducting that heat to the root where it’s cauterised – done correctly, it fries the surface hair in the process. As far as I know, the technique remains less effective on lighter hair for obvious reasons (no melanin), and care is needed when treating people with dark skin to avoid burning.

    I had my treatment fairly late in life (I was 40yo), so I already had a fair amount of grey facial hair; the treatment left me with almost no visible beard, but the white hair still grows – cosmetically, it’s what I want, but I still need to shave daily to remove the white stubble.

    Because of the high density of dark hair on men’s faces, and the large area targeted in a single flash, the process is quite painful to start with, even at reduced power, but it gets progressively easier with each treatment – I think I had six before the law of diminishing returns kicked in. You can tell when you don’t need any more, because a full-power blast from the light doesn’t even tingle!

    I considered electrolysis, but it’s very slow by comparison with laser, so has been replaced by it for most purposes. Although the hourly cost of laser is significantly higher, it works out cheaper in the long run because you spend less than 2 hours in total on the couch. Tweezing, I feel, is only for those with patience, good eyesight, and a high pain threshold … none of which applies to me!