If I can quote a fab film in my last post, why not a superb song in this one? Firstly, dear reader, apologies for not writing for ages. I am rubbish – and I promise to try to do better in the future.
I once kept a diary – back in 1998 – and had lengthy spells then when I’d write nothing. Every entry began with “Dear Diary” and I used to apologise to the book even then. No-one ever read it but me.
A year or so later, I burnt it because I didn’t want anyone to know my secrets if I died in a car crash or whatever and they were sorting through my things. Sad really – I’d love to read that diary now, almost 20 years on.
Anyway, I digress, just for a change. So much has happened over the past couple of months – not least telling another friend (today!) of my transgender self (all good – more later) and changing my title to Mx with pretty much every company and organisation that I’ve ever registered with.
But more on those things later. I need to update you on those frickin’ laser beams! So, when I last wrote, I’d had my patch test, I’d got my blessing from Georgie and I was hoping that I didn’t turn out like Chessboard Guy.
Since then, I’ve had two treatments and my third is on Thursday this week. Let’s rewind a couple of months…
My first appointment was with Emma, the same fab lady who did my patch test. I think she’d originally said it would take about 45 minutes for my first treatment – but it took about twice as long as that. Kudos to her for not rushing it and missing bits. And she did a great job.
I’m not going to lie to you – that first facial laser treatment hurt. A LOT. I have a pretty high pain threshold, but I did lie there digging my thumbnails into the flesh of my fingers a fair bit.
Some bits of the face were fine – such as the cheeks. But above the lip, the chin, jawline and neck were pretty painful.So that’s all of it apart from the cheeks then.
As I said in my last post, laser feels like a quick “snap” from a rubber band. But in the patch test, only one hair was zapped – then another and another. This time, the laser was targeting a whole host of hairs at the same time, so multiply the pain by lots.
All that said, Emma left plenty of time between zaps to let my skin recover – and there were plenty of soothing ice packs, too. She’s also great to talk to, chatting about me, her, the company, laser and beauty treatments generally. And the whole transgender “thing”, which she’s perfectly cool about.
As the treatment drew to a close, I was given plenty of moisturiser, and loads of the dark hairs that had shot out of my face were wiped away. The results were amazing – more successful than I ever dared imagine. Most of the remaining dark hairs could be pulled out easily over the next few days because the roots had been fried. This wasn’t plucking – just a gentle pull between finger and thumb.
The only downside – and one which I wasn’t expecting – was the spots! I’ve never really suffered with spots but, over the next couple of weeks, dozens of whiteheads – almost like acne – sprouted up. I assume this was down to dead hairs underneath the skin that hadn’t yet worked their way out.
It was minging and involved lots of squeezing like a teenager and scrubbing with a charcoal face wash, but they soon disappeared. If you’re reading this and it happens to you, don’t worry, it’s not permanent. Most of mine had gone after ten days and all by two weeks. It’s also pretty common, if you do a Google search.
Anyway, as I say, the results were amazing. After just one treatment, I reckon getting on for 90% of my dark facial hairs were history. Again, if you’re reading this and wondering if you’ll be able to grow a beard if you change your mind after your first treatment, forget it. If your skin and hair are like mine, it’s bye-bye beardy.
That reminds me. I got two minutes into my laser treatment and was asking myself (in my head – not screaming out loud so that Emma could hear): “Why am I doing this? Why am I spending hundreds of pounds to destroy what was nice stubble?” This feeling passed after another couple of minutes, though. And, two months later, I’ve not ever regretted going through with it. On the contrary, I’m really happy.
A few days after my first treatment, I had a DM on Twitter from a lady who does the PR for the firm where I have my laser done, Centros Unico, in Derby.
She wrote: “They have a great opportunity with BBC Radio Derby to talk about male aesthetic treatments, ie facial laser hair removal, and their growing popularity. We really enjoyed your blog and were wondering if you would also be interested in going on air to talk about your experience. Thank you in advance.”
Crikey. I was very humbled by this – and amazed that people actually read these thoughts of mine in this blog – but of course I had to decline. I would have taken part in an interview but, obviously, the chances are quite high that someone would have heard my voice and… cover blown.
My second treatment was less remarkable – it was with a lovely Eastern European lady and I’m sorry to be rubbish but I can’t remember her name. She was ace, though, and as well as chatting about the treatment, told me all about the cool places to go in her country. I hope to visit one day.
This treatment was far, far less painful even though the power had been turned up. Mostly blonde hairs remain now – even after just the first session – and it seemed that they weren’t falling out as easy as the dark ones after the first treatment. Maybe we need to really turn the power up to 11 this week! I had a few spots but far fewer than the first time.
So that’s pretty much where I’m at. I do need to shave more and, afterwards, my skin is silky smooth to the touch. It’s really lovely. However, if I forget to shave for a few days, I look like a 13-year-old with a few blonde “bumfluff” hairs sprouting. It’s not a good look!
Finally, another word of warning to anyone – male, female or non-binary – considering laser hair removal on your face – it will really make your fillings jangle when you’re getting zapped on the skin over them. Be warned!