Transgender Consumer FAQs
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
15. I'm a pre op transwoman and a patient at XXXXXXXXXX Gender Identity Clinic. I have been told by my consultant that I need genital electrolysis and have applied for funding from my Primary Care Trust. I am having difficulty finding an electrolysist.
1. Funding for treatments such as transgendered hair removal varies from location to location. Ask your Doctor about entitlement. The Primary Care Trust offer funding for those who are offered surgery.
2. During electrolysis a small probe is inserted into the follicle following the direction of the hair. The hair must be at least 1mm long so that the electrolysist can see the angle of the hair and be able to tweeze it out. Shaving two days before is permitted if the hair is going to be long enough to treat. This does depend upon the individual’s hair growth rate.
3. You will receive the correct aftercare product along with written aftercare instructions from your electrolysist. These are available within the salon/clinic at an affordable cost. It is important to use a product specifically formulated and tried and tested following electrolysis to soothe, calm and protect the skin. Antiseptic creams can be too heavy for the skin and could cause an adverse reaction as the heat is unable to escape as the skin is unable to breathe.
4. Immediately after treatment the skin will be quite warm and tender. Sterex have a specially formulated Aprés cream containing pigment to help mask the redness. This product is specifically designed to soothe the skin and will not cause an unwanted reaction that may be triggered by the use of make-up. Make-up must be avoided for 24 hours within the treatment area as the empty follicles are a portal for bacteria to enter.
5. You will be given written aftercare advice by your electrolysist. Following the treatment the electrolysist will apply an aftercare product. The Sterex aftercare products are specifically produced to soothe, calm and protect the skin to avoid unwanted reactions. The aftercare products contain ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Witch Hazel and are in a gel formulation to enable the skin to breathe. These products are available to purchase at the salon at a relatively low cost. The aftercare advice is part of the electrolysis treatment and must be followed morning and night for the following 24 hours or until the skin has fully healed.
6. For electrolysis there is no 'typical' treatment as all clients are treated as individuals. Treatments can vary from a short 10 minute appointment up to a 2-3 hours+ depending upon the area being treated. All treatment planning will be discussed on the day of the consultation. During your consultation you are encouraged to ask as many questions as possible so you are informed correctly about your course of treatments.
7. It is very difficult to predict how long the course of electrolysis treatments will be. The average time to treat a full transgendered beard is likely to be a minimum of 1-2 years of intensive treatment (approximately 100 – 200 hours) and 9 months for the genital area. This coupled with hormone replacement therapy gradually slows down and stops hair growth. A full treatment plan will be discussed with you on the day of the consultation.
8. The treatment is charged by the timing of the appointment. Average prices for a 15-minute appointment will cost between £15-30 and a 30-minute appointment will cost approximately £25-55 depending upon location and in some cases, experience. The cost will be discussed along with the treatment plan with your practitioner. Treatment for the genital area may be priced differently. Arrange to have a full consultation prior to treatment to discuss cost with your practitioner.
9. Immediately following treatment it is usual for the skin to feel hot and tender. Your practitioner will give you written aftercare advice for you to follow along with a suitable aftercare product to apply.
10. The electrolysists that have successfully completed the Sterex Transgendered Course have been fully trained in treating the genital area which means that they are experienced and specialists in this field. Look for the link ‘Find a Salon’ and look for the practitioners with the TG logo.
11. Sterex offer training for electrolysists who specialise in this area. Look for the 'Find a Salon' link on the home page of the website or contact Sterex on 0121 708 2404 for your nearest specialist electrolysist. Practitioners offering this service following training with Sterex will have a TG logo with their details on the website.
- A fresh pair of disposable gloves
- A fresh pair of sterilised or disposable tweezers
- The couch should be lined with fresh disposable couch roll
- Your skin will be cleansed/sanitised with gloved hands prior to treatment
If you have any questions regarding hygiene do not hesitate to ask during your consultation and treatment.
13. No, it is not a problem. During the consultation your electrolysist will record all your details and call you by the name that you have given. Further into the consultation your electrolysist will discuss where you are in your journey to becoming a female. It is important to know which medications you are taking and when your surgery is planned for. The consultation is both private and confidential.
14. It is possible to use an anaesthetic product prior to treatment. On the day of the first visit for your consultation you can discuss this with your electrolysist. If applying the product yourself it is always advisable to fully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. A patch test in the area may be advisable. Products, such as Emla are available to order on line. A 5g tube costs approximately £2.99 + vat. Emla cream contains two medicines called 2.5% Lidocaine and 2.5%Prilocaine. These belong to a group of medicines called local anaesthetics. It is also possible to visit your G.P. for a slightly stronger cream if necessary.
15. To find a practitioner visit the Sterex website homepage and click the link; ‘Find a Salon’, and input your postcode. Any specialist electrolysists in your immediate area will have a TG code by their entry. Alternatively you can visit the B.I.A.E. (British Institute & Association of Electrolysis) website; www.electrolysis.co.uk, click the link ‘Find a Member’ to find a specialist practitioner in your area.
16. At the beginning of the course of electrolysis there will be different stages of hair growth appearing between treatments, you may only shave or trim these hairs. This will clear the hair temporarily without interfering with the root of the hair and affecting results. It is very important to avoid tweezing, threading and waxing during the course of treatments as this can stimulate hair growth.
17. A very fine disposable sterile probe, about the size of a small eyelash, is introduced into the individual hair follicle to the correct depth and a burst of energy in the form of heat is released. The hair is then removed. With repeat treatments this eventually destroys the root of the hair by cutting off the blood supply which feeds the hair starving it of nourishment, nutrients and hormones. As a result of this the hair becomes finer with often lighter hair growth and eventual demise of the hair. The ability of the hair follicle to produce a hair is destroyed rather than the hair itself.
18. All professional electrolysists will discuss and explain the aftercare advice following an electrolysis treatment. The skin will be warm and sensitive with empty follicles potentially allowing bacteria to enter. Applying a Sterex aftercare product to the immediate area will aid healing of the skin and prevent adverse reaction(s).
The aftercare advice is recommended for the first 24 hours following treatment:
- Wash hands and apply aftercare product to the area using fresh cotton wool
- Avoid picking or touching the area
- Avoid soap and perfumed products to the immediate area
- Avoid sunbathing
- Avoid swimming, steam rooms and saunas
- Avoid further heat treatments to the immediate area
- Avoid all temporary methods of hair removal except trimming or shaving
- Keep up with appointments to obtain desired results
19. Laser and electrolysis are a very effective combination. Laser/IPL work well when treating larger areas although they cannot claim to permanently remove hair as they are only used for permanent reduction. Electrolysis can permanently remove hair although each individual hair is treated separately. All procedures can work well together. During the initial consultation your electrolysist will discuss and explain how they plan to treat your hair.
20. The amount of hair present, the skin type and the density of the hair growth affects the amount of hair that will be treated on the day. If the hairs are sparse they can be treated in one treatment, depending upon quantity and available time. The amount of hair that requires treatment will affect how long the appointment is scheduled for. The skin will be sensitive following a treatment and therefore to allow the skin to heal naturally not all dense hairs in one concentrated area are treated. You can return in the week, depending upon healing rate, to have the remaining hairs removed. All this will be discussed on the initial consultation when you and the electrolysist agree on a treatment plan. As a transgendered client with dense coarse terminal hair growth it is unlikely that all hair will be cleared in one appointment and frequent lengthy appointments are necessary.