Friday, 8 April 2011

High pain threshold

As promised in my last post here is an update on my laser hair removal session.

A few weeks ago I started looking for someone to perform laser hair removal of my beard area. Zee had told me that I needed to go the laser route as the system she uses and also a lot of IPL systems wont do anything to my hairs as they are the wrong colour.

I searched on Google and then went and looked on UK Angels and Transgender Guide. I managed to come up with a few suggestions, both of which were in Taunton, that were within a reasonable traveling distance.

The first place I contacted the lady who ran it asked me a few questions about my skin type and hair colour and then told me that I wasn't a suitable candidate. After a few more minutes conversation I managed to persuaded her to at least do a consultation in person rather than over the phone.

I drove to Taunton, found the place and at the agreed time rang the doorbell. We went through to her treatment room where she promptly told me that by just looking I wasn't a suitable candidate. She handed me a leaflet on IPL to read so that I could understand why. I asked if she new of any other means for me to get rid of the hair in my beard areas but she wasn't really interested and didn't offer anything constructive.

I was a bit upset by this visit because its an hour round trip from my home to Taunton and back. To be dismissed within minutes with no real suggestions of any alternatives was a real letdown. On top of that plastered across the front of her home were a lot of signs, one of which read "Laser Hair Removal".

I contacted the other place that I'd found and was told by the lady on the other end of the phone that they didn't treat areas as large as a beard area. A bit disappointing but at least she saved me a trip for a consultation.

The third place I tried was a clinic in Dorset. Their response was even simpler. They didn't do hair removal.

By now, all of my initial options had panned out so I expanded my search. Eventually I came across Dr Emma Scully, who is based in Southampton. I'd found another couple of options but Emma was the person I contacted first.

I rang her one lunchtime while sitting at a picnic table outside work. I explained  what I was looking forward to and Emma spoke to me for about 30 minutes explaining about hair removal, the problems I might face and ways to overcome them. I have to admit that I did suffer from information overload, although most of what Emma told me I could follow.

A couple of weeks later I rang Emma and made a booking for today, 8th April  2011.

After a perfect drive down I arrived at Emma's.

We went over a lot of the same information about problems and ways around it. Emma also asked me about when I was out in the sun last as I was a bit red, slightly tanned. Emma told me that we could still work at removing the hair but I have to start using suntan lotion when I go out in order to make sure that my skins is as pale as possible. I will be doing that as of tomorrow.

Emma eventually wrote up some notes and filled in the necessary paperwork. I have to admit I could understand the problems and if Emma had said that she would treat me this time I'd have been happy to leave things until next time.

In the end after being there an hour my skin had calmed down and was a lot paler. Emma decided to do a treatment.

We went into the treatment room and I lay on the treatment couch.

Emma kept telling me to put myself in a happy place and to try and stay relaxed. Emma started off with a patch test and when everything went fine she started with the proper treatment.

What can I say? Having the hair stripped from your body by means of applying hot wax to it which then gets torn off was no where near as painful. However, I was able to stay relaxed enough that it stung but didn't hurt too badly. The initial zaps were at either 17 or 21 joules which was sufficient to kill most hairs.

Towards the end of the treatment Emma used an air blast to numb my skin while she used and even powerful laser to zap the hairs. I think this one went up to 30 joules.

All of this actually brought tears to my eyes but I persevered and we were done.

After a few minutes any pain had gone and after another short chat I left and headed back for home.

I have to admit that the session went really well. Emma certainly knows her stuff and is able to explain things clearly. My next appointment is in 6 weeks time so I'll have to book off the afternoon.

I was quiet emotional in the car on the way home. The realisation that I was finally doing something towards going full-time was amazing. I did think that I was going to cry at one point. I may still do.

Roll on the next session.


  1. Hi.
    Your post rang true for me. I have now had 4 sessions with Emma and would like to discuss your experience but away from any prying eyes.
    I will give one of my email addresses hoping you might email me.

    1. Hi, I'd be happy to discuss my experience. Let me know how to contact you.