Deciding if Laser Hair Removal is best when Transitioning from Male to Female.

Or what about Female to Male – or what about neither?

So welcome along to Metro Clinic – before we start let’s talk terminology, potential hate talk and misinterpretations. As a very inclusive LGBTi+ supportive clinic we warn you if you’re not an adult or easily offended by graphic chat – please navigate away from this article. In the same way we include our Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Christian and of course atheist clients we see no difference in the LGBTi+ community. The fact we haven’t mentioned Buddism doesn’t mean we don’t have the same respect there too. Some of the terminology used may not be your cup of tea, because we don’t all like Lady Grey or Earl Gray.  Your dislike of a term maybe preferred.  So lets leave labels on the clothes – tell us how you wish to have us address you – a human with the feelings of any other person is a good start.

We once were chastised by a Trans client as we referred to a Female Lesbian client as he. They hadn’t allowed us to get to the point of the message we were conveying. They had chosen when starting laser to be referred to as he. They then when ready informed us as they transitioned with hormones to have breast tissue that he wanted to now use them/theirs/they. In time after they decided to go for genital surgery they we’re ready to be She. She decided She still was attracted to females sexually. (we talk about everything from lipstick to geo-politics during laser believe us!). That’s cool too were here to support with a safe inclusive environment. What’s said in the four walls stays between us – literally.

Finally we also have clients who prefer the term MTF, some Transfeminine and even some like chicks with dicks as they have breasts and wanna keep their disco stick. Other guys like FTM, some like lads with labia’s & choose to have their foo-foo shaped ‘just like a woman’s’ … well actually not the case. It’s not just like a woman – things have moved one as a society it’s time to use the terminology of a persons choice. That said in the same was Queer was used as a derogatory way it’s being reclaimed by many Gay men. But then many gay men like trans masculine guys with hairy chests and a shaped vagazzle down in the lady garden. We’re here to empathise and provide a safe environment. If a term doesn’t sit right with you just tell us what does … it’s even on our online consultation. Similarly we’ve many clients who we meet perhaps in the supermarket – unless they make the first move we’d never talk – not because we don’t see you. We see you but your privacy is our 100% concern. We are all under the umbrella regardless of race, creed colour or even political affiliation. Just no racists, no nazi’s and no nasty’s – anyone who can’t be kind and inclusive will be shown the door.

We also have dedicated days should you choose – not to exclude – our clients are welcome to book anytime – however the local area is safe, unobtrusive and discreet if that’s helpful. We have dedicated Transpeople slots purely to build community and share a safe welcome space. 

Andrew & Laura

“We’re delighted to work with Metro Laser Clinic as part of the TransLibrary Project to open access to hair solutions for the local community. We popped over an article from TeenVogue to Andrew at Metro to get his thoughts from a clinical side on his experience and thoughts. He’s added some notes and comments in [bold italics].” TransLibrary Team

Andrew @translaserglw: Both myself and Laura are delighted to participate in providing this service for the LGBTi+ community. Over the many years we’ve had the pleasure of enabling clients who either wish to transition from presenting as Male to Female.  Many simply are non-binary. In general the majority of our Trans clients have been making the transitioning identify as Transfeminine as most Transmasculine clients wish to get more hair as a general choice. However we also have clients who have a less ‘fluid’ choice too.  Please just be you regardless of the labels, tags or identifiers society insists on. 

To stereotype hair as a strict choice is also not particularly inclusive either. Indeed we’ve many clients who choose to make very personal decisions on genitalia. Others too identify as non binary, gender queer, asexual and every colour of the spectrum of choices. We strive as always to use the name that our clients decide, sometime initially we start with one name and modify when they tell us they’re ready. Additionally we realise that gender, sexuality and self determined choices are totally down to the individual too.

Some clients that transition from female to male elect to shape their hair to suit their chosen genitalia. We’re totally open to all interpretations and personal choices. Because our aim is to provide a safe space where there simply is not stigma or believe us, any personal variation on the spectrum of fluidity.

So here we go – I think as there are few articles that really highlight the differences between Metro TransClinic and other clinics is that we totally come at the from an LGBTi+. I think there’s value to using this article as we always strive to provide what’s know as informed consent. For example we’d often discuss closely the pro’s and con’s for example of a ‘full hollywood’ ie totally moving the downstairs lawn. We truly want you to select and reflect the fact that having a little shrubbery in the lady garden can for some be their choice of femininity.

Plus once it’s gone gals it’s gone – plus we don’t sell merkins!! haha. By the way thankfully things have moved on… did you know the origin of the fuzzy foo foo wig? The merkin, as an object, has been dated back to the 1450s, by women to cover genitals that had been shaved to get rid of lice. It is also used to cover evidence of sexual disease, especially by sex workers, who additionally used merkins to decorate their bodies. Ew – told you nothing phases us. Check out our guys page article on lets talk bollocks!

“Few people, if any, actually enjoy the process of shaving, right? Even if you’re doing it like a pro, it can still feel like a tedious or annoying step in your morning (or evening) routine, especially if it’s an area you want to keep constantly hair-free. Which is why laser hair removal can be an awesome alternative. (Disclaimer: All of this only applies if you choose to remove your body hair, of course — and that decision is completely up to you.)

“Laser hair removal is a process that targets the hair follicle and pigment,” cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, tells Teen Vogue. “The wavelength of the light from the laser goes deep enough into the skin to destroy the hair follicle. Repeated pulses from the laser first eliminate existing hair, and then allow the laser’s heat to penetrate the skin and direct energy into the hair follicles, preventing future growth.” [the concept of ‘heat’ here in general doesn’t apply to NdYag Medical Laser as it’s near infrared and only causes heat as such with a thing called a target chromophore – ie follicle. It’s not true of all hair removal systems like IPL or lower quality].

Translation? If you don’t mind a bit of pain, going through this process can mean you’ll never have to shave the area you treat again (or at least, very rarely). [We never ever use the P – pain word it’s very brief discomfort plus we used ice air to numb and cool the skin].

But does it really work? Well, that depends on a few factors. Before you book your appointment, find out if you’re a candidate.

It works on most skin types. [NDYag works on ALL Skin types – though some other lasers or IPL will harm your skin- not at Metro!]

It used to be the case that laser hair removal really only worked on people with dark hair and fair skin because the laser works by targeting pigment] (like that in dark hair), and with dark skin, it may have aimed for the skin itself, potentially causing burns and pigmentation (or darkened skin). But now, that’s not the case, thanks to new technologies that expand the breadth of laser hair removal possibilities. “Laser hair removal works on all skin tones and complexions, as long as the center uses the right lasers,” Christian Karavolas, tells Teen Vogue. “For darker skin, one needs a wavelength that bypasses the epidermis and gets rid of the hair in the root.”

That said, even the latest and greatest technologies don’t mean it’s perfect. So if you do have a darker skin tone, be sure to consult with your doctor before moving forward; and minimize tanning before your session. “Self tanners are a not recommended at least two weeks before treatment,” Christian says, to avoid chances (even if they’re minimal) of the laser targeting the skin pigment. “Tanning is okay, however if the person is sun baked, then we suggest that they stay out of the sun for 3-to-4 weeks prior to treatment. They would need to be treated with lasers for tanned skin.”

But not on all hair colors or types.

Because lasers are attracted to pigment, they work best on hair that’s brunette or darker. “Laser currently does not work on hair that has no pigment, i.e. light blonde, light red, and white hair,” Christian says.

And it’s also ideal if your hair is coarse. “If hair is very fine, it will not pick up the laser well,” Dr. Frank says. Though all of that could change in the future: Christian says Romeo & Juliette is currently helping with research on lasers that’ll work on less pigmented hair. And Dr. Frank notes that a new technology called LightSheer Desire can be used on all hair types and colors (except for grey), though people with light blonde or red locks “should have low expectations.”

It won’t really work if you’ve recently waxed or tweezed.

But you can shave before right before your session. In fact, you should: “To get the best results, shave before getting laser hair removal, so you can target the hair follicle,” Dr. Frank says. “Waxing or tweezing removes the hair follicle and then we are unable to target it completely. If you have to wax, do it at least a week before, so the hair follicle has time to grow back.”

Different patients may need different numbers of sessions.

Laser hair removal isn’t a one-and-done process: Patients will need to return for multiple sessions over time (spaced out by several weeks) in order to see permanent results. “Hair grows in different stages,” Christian says. “On average, depending on body part, approximately 40% of the hairs are in the growth stage. As we do one treatment, all the hairs go, but the hairs that are not in the growth stage will start to come out. It is for this reason that multiple treatments are needed.”

But how many treatments, exactly, you’ll need depends on your body. “Everyone’s hair grows at different rates, so some may need more sessions than others,” Dr. Frank says. “If your hair grows faster, you will need more sessions than someone with slower hair growth.”

Glasgow Laser Hair Removal

And your hormones could affect how well the whole process works, too. People with hormonal conditions like Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may need more treatment than the average patient. And then there’s the fact that your hormones (and hair growth) change over time. “As we get older, we get hairier and our bodies change,” Dr. Frank says. The goal is to get anywhere between 80% and 90% [total hair removal]. But, he says, it’s possible that you could have new hair growth after you’ve completed all of your sessions; in which case you could go back for “touch-ups.”

If you’re not sure, consult your doctor before attempting a full session.

Even with the new technologies, laser hair removal isn’t a perfect science, and everyone’s body is different. So, it’s always a good idea to schedule a consultation to get your questions answered. The Clinic will be able to do a test patch on your body somewhere (perhaps somewhere not too visible!) and “immediately be able to tell you whether laser will work on you or not.”

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