March 1, 2013

Vlog: Second Treatment

Well, here we are at treatment number two!

And I am happy to sum up the video for those who aren’t comfortable watching me talk.  (Maybe it’s just me who hates watching myself talk.)

The laser technician was pleased with my progress, in fact she said (and this isn’t in the video) that my sideburns look “pretty much fine.”  She increased the laser’s intensity and did some of my stubborn chin hairs a couple of times.

What surprised me, though, was that she said I may only need to come in on an “as-needed” basis now.  I’m still trying to get my head ‘round this.  She thinks that the series of treatments I did eight years ago might have permanently damaged at least some of my follicles, because she doesn’t see much of a new hair cycle starting.  Normally it takes several rounds of laser to start seeing a noticeable reduction, because we’re killing off active cycles each time.  But as it had only been one treatment and no new hair coming in to replace it, perhaps the old treatment really did make an impact.

And, now that I’m on medication, I don’t have testosterone stimulating new dark cycles.  I may not need six treatments after all.

But I’ve scheduled an appointment in six weeks, just so I have one, and if I find I don’t have any hair to laser by then, I’ll cancel it.  I really can’t imagine it.  It’s frightening to think this may actually work.  Will anyone read a blog about hirsutism by an ex-bearded lady?

I also mentioned in the video that after my laser treatment I went right over to visit my cousin, who had just had her wisdom teeth out.  I muscled past my own embarrassment--I know I would need some cheering up if I ever had to have dental surgery.  So I talked to her about my issues a little, and she had never noticed but she was not startled or horrified by the news.  She told me about some of her own cosmetic concerns, and it was a great bonding moment.

That’s the first time I’ve told anyone in my family that I’m hirsute, besides my mother, and it was anti-climactic and an all-around relief.  And now I know someone who can use the products I’ve tried that don’t work for me.

Why does it get easier to tell people your problems once they’ve been taken care of?

Well, let’s see what falls out in a couple of weeks...


Callie said...

How's the irritation after you shave on your chin? Mine is really bad and looks so bumpy and dark even after I shave. ( I've had 2 laser treatments so far. )

Just curious. Love your blog.

P.S. Any suggestions for shave irritation?

Anu said...

Congrats.. ! I wish you luck.. This time, it will surely work for you..I pray it results in permanence.. Good luck.. Take care.. :)

Mo said...

I think it's good progress if she's telling you to come in here and there. That's normal considering you had sessions done before. When I had laser hair removal done, I was told the same thing. Unfortunately, I could not afford the treatments anymore, so all my hair returned (dammit!) I became hirsute ALL over again. I am now getting electrolysis done and am on my 9th treatment. Painful, but very effective! So, if you can, maintain the "here and there" treatments because it sounds like you made great progress. Good luck!

Allerleirah said...

Callie - The irritation is pretty bad. I often have to shave more than twice over some trouble spots and pressing hard to get a close shave means lots of ingrowns. If you can, press as lightly as possible and try shaving across the grain before you shave against the grain. Of course, when the hair is dark and coarse and profuse, we have no choice but to break those rules.

Over time, I've done the best I can by using shaving mediums that are less drying (gels or oils that don't foam a lot) and taking days off from shaving and cloistering myself at home to let my skin recover. I also use pure vitamin E oil to encourage healing, or Polysporin if there are open sores. I even use a concealer than has those soothing agents in it so that I have the ingredients working for me all day long.

The good news is, now that I have less hair growing on my chin, I don't have to press hard, and there is almost zero irritation now. Hang in there, and as the results from the laser start to show, things will improve!

Anu - Oh I sure hope so. Thank you so much!

Mo - Hi! You know, it surprises me so much to hear how common my laser results are. A big part of me was so sure the previous series of treatments hadn't done a thing. It's nice to hear an experience with electrolysis, too. They're a little harder to come by.

Thank you, and same to you! Nine treatments... I'm glad to hear it's effective!

CiCi said...

Going into my first (3rd) laser treatment after a long break.

I was curious, what brand name of laser do they use where you go?

Allerleirah said...

Cici, they use the "Alex" laser at the clinic I go to. Eight years ago they used the "LightSheer" on me, which covered a little less area at a time, and didn't have the cold air pipe addition, but my current laser technician seems to think it did its job as well as it could.