There I was, at the door. It was a very fancy, frosted glass door. And the etching on it, surrounded by frosted lilies, made it quite clear just what was on the other side. It read:
Gwendolyn’s Spa and Esthetics.*
I had been having considerable misgivings about trying electrolysis after all I had read on the subject, but I had my "story" all cooked up and thought it was plausible enough to give it a try. I was so tired of shaving, with its attendant cuts and scrapes, especially on my upper lip, that I wanted to see if I could be rid of the offending scruff once and for all. Well... that was what I was going to say.
I would rather have tried laser hair removal, but with a beard as white as snow that was impossible. Apparently laser treatments only work on dark hair. So, with fear and trepidation I took a deep breath and walked boldly through the door.
The room was warm and friendly, with healthy, beautifully flowering plants. Pictures with an ethereal femininity about them adorned the walls. Soft spa-like music filled the room. A short counter angling across the far right corner gave the place its business appearance. Behind it, a stained glass window let coloured light from the afternoon sun dance across the open appointment book. There were several coats on the rack beside the door, and two rather plush chairs facing the counter were set along the adjacent pink wall. On one sat a young man in, what I guessed was, his late twenties or early thirties. He did not speak.
I waited nervously for someone to enter through the door behind the counter, but after what seemed like an interminable time, in all probability about two minutes, no one was forthcoming.
"Hi," I said, acknowledging the young man.
"Hi," he replied.
"Been waiting long?" I queried.
"No, not really," he said, returning to the current issue of Cosmopolitan which he was reading.
I leaned on the counter, trying to appear as nonchalant as I possibly could. But I was nervous, very nervous!
The suspense was killing me.
The silence was deafening!
I felt the need for a hasty retreat!
Glancing at my watch I mumbled, "Oh dear, I had better get a move on."
And with that I turned and left as quickly as I could.
A lot has happened since that first experience. Yes, I did go back, and yes, I did start electrolysis on my upper lip. But it was a long, slow process. And, it was expensive! So, after about fifteen one hour sessions I stopped. There was no arguing with the fact that the hair on my upper lip had thinned considerably, and that the remaining hair was quite fine. However, I had already spent over $950.00 and that was enough! I felt that it definitely wasn't worth it: all that time, pain and money, and for what? Minimal results.
About a year later I was sitting at a restaurant table with several other women. I was taken by the smooth complexion of the girl sitting next to me, just around the corner of the table. Her face was so clear and fresh that I just had to know the brand of foundation which could produce such a look. You can imagine my astonishment when she told me she had been running behind time and, in an effort to not be late for the dinner, had used just a quick dusting of powder, some blush, a bit of eye makeup and lipstick. That was it! And, she looked positively gorgeous.
"Electrolysis," she explained.
I was amazed. "How long did it take you?" I queried.
"Oh, a couple of years, but it was worth it."
"It must have been expensive," I said.
"Not really. I have the greatest electrologist, and I am sure you would find her fee structure quite easy to cope with. Let me give you her number and you can call her yourself."
And I did.
And I went... to a private house not more than two minutes drive from where I live! How convenient! How private!
I was greeted at the door by a young lady with a warm smile bright enough to give the sun a run for its money and, as I found out during my many visits since that first one, a heart as big as all out doors!
Her name was Jacquie Harrison, and she offered waxing and electrology services for both men and women. Being a highly skilled technician, she was very proficient at it. Working out of her house her overhead costs were low, and the privacy was an added benefit.
More to the point, she was very sensitive to the special needs of the transgender client!
I saw her on an almost weekly basis for five months, and the results more than exceeded my expectations. In fact, I was ecstatic over the lack of hair on my upper lip. Of course, we didn't stopped there. Things progressed to the point where it took only a few minutes to touch up my upper lip, so the remaining time in my one hour appointment was taken up by expanding the area being worked on to include the lower lip and chin. I expected it wouldn't be all that long before we were working on the rest of the face as well.
Alas ill health intervened and Jacquie is no longer in business. I miss her expert touch very much.
Below I have listed a few electrolysis facts taken from Evelyn Lindenmuth's book, "Mom, I Need To Be A Girl":
- Electrolysis IS AN ART NOT A SCIENCE. The skills of the practitioner are more important than the method, or the type of machine that they use.
- Costs can range from $25 to $100 per hour. Some offer discounts for multiple hours paid in advance. Electrolysis schools are a less expensive option.
- One should begin to see permanent results after 20-25 hours of treatment in one area.
- A full beard may take up to 300 hrs of treatment or more.
- Any marks from weekly electrolysis treatments should be gone after two to three days.
- Ask other transsexuals for referrals and look at their skin to see if they have scars or pitting, especially on the upper lip area.
- All electrologists should be using a new disposable needle for each appointment.
- He/she should have and use a sterilizer to sterilize the tweezers after each client.
Fictitious name to protect the innocent!