Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Laser Update

Just writing to update on the results of my last laser appointment mentioned several blogs ago.  About 15 days in, the shedding was almost complete.  My skin continued to soften and heal for a while beyond that.  And now, there has still been very little regrowth.

There are some places that were totally missed by the laser.  The machine my dermatologist uses has a pretty big head. And its apparently a bad idea for any area to be hit with multiple pulses at a single setting.  So, in the end, when there are spots left over that are to small to be zapped without overlapping on to areas already hit, you have to just leave it til next time.  

So, attached is a late evening photo of me. In guy mode sadly! Ahhhh! I hate doing this, but I do want to show what laser does.   In the late evening the contrast between the hit area and the missed areas is very marked.  This angle shows a lot of the missed spots.  But used to I had hair that dark and thick almost all the way down my neck, and thick up until very high on the cheeks.  Now, all there is are these weird looking little patches on each side. 

This is much like my experience the first time, so I expect that with this second laser appointment,  eventually quite a bit of hair will return in some of the areas that are currently bare. But for the moment, my makeup is so easy.

Still, apologize for this picture. So self conscious about having hair on my face. 

I feel like this has been very successful. Much of my face feels nice and smooth. And I'm sure that even after some hair regrows, I'll be so far ahead of where I was.  Of all the effects of a life of testosterone, I find the facial hair the most annoying.  Your face is the first thing people see.  And those transgender girls cursed with thick, dark, fast growing beards like mine really struggle to look acceptable.  I've never felt comfortable in casual clothes, because I have to wear so much makeup to hide the beard, and a meticuluos makeup job looks so out of place with a casual look.  And when I have been out a few hours, I always have to wonder whether the hair is growing enough to start interfering with the texture of my makeup.

And now, at least for the moment, I only have to worry about these little patches around the jawline and chin, and just a tiny moustache. 

Already in the morning, when I check the mirror, its so much easier than waking up to see a night's worth of beard.  So much easier to see the feminine potential of my face (as limited as that is). Anyway, I just look and feel more me, and I can hardly wait for another treatment! =)

PS:  I know this is  a very masculine looking, unattractive photo.  But I am not here to dazzle my audience. I am here to document the emotions and processes involved in my transition. So, yeh, Shandy Alexis stripped of her precious makeup is an odd looking creature. Now ya know.


Renee said...

The picture doesn't look bad. Yeah, we can see the leftover beard shadow, but you have great features and they're obvious. I wouldn't even classify that as "boy mode".

Plus, we've all been there. :)

ms.shandy said...

Thanks so much Renee. Feeling a lot less self conscious now, thanks to your very kind words. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a very lucky girl in that my beard is blonde. It's easy to cover, even with light makeup. However, my friend Lindsay suffers from the same dilemma you have...she has light skin but a very dark beard. I know she wants to have laser done but the time window involved limits her possibilities quite a bit. I'm glad you're able to get that stubble under control. I can only imagine how much more confident and happy that would make you. Since I'm not planning on transitioning, I'm so glad I'm blonde. I keep hoping they will come up with a simple cream that will do the job permanently.

Don't worry about the drab pic...we all understand the feeling of having to face that in the mirror each day. I have a feeling you will be seeing a beautifully smooth and hair free face pretty soon. I may be blonde but I'm still :)Suzi

Tina Jenson said...

Wow! you have very little left. Couple more treatments and you're home free. :) I'm jealous. :p Gotta agree...the face is the most annoying of the testosterone effects but you're almost there now sister. Thanks for sharing.

Lori D said...

I love this photo. Believe me, girl, you already have great features. Just you wait, soon enough you'll look back to this photo and amaze even yourself at your progress. I'm positive!

chrissie said...

Looks fine to me, ms shandy....

With that profile you're gonna break some hearts, cariad. :)

I've been following your laser story with great interest.

I'm just starting my main sessions this weekend, and I hope it soon works as well as that. The test patches last week caused no irritation at all. What red-ness there was, was caused by the highest of the three test settings and that red was gone by the next morning.

Sadly, being a bit older than you, there are some grey and blonde patches in my beard which will not get zapped by the laser. They will have to wait for electrolysis.

ms.shandy said...

I have some grey mixed in too. Mostly up on top though. Just a little in the beard. Those hairs don't even act like laser warms them. So a little electrolysis ahead for me as well. Good luck with it Chrissie!

Wickked said...

Shannon, there's no such thing as "guy mode" for you. There's not a guy's bone in your body. As for the picture, we should be the last people you are embarassed of showing...we understand and support you, regardless of an hour of makeup to cover everything up.

I love ya hon, and can't wait to see you this weekend.

Terra said...

Stop apologizing, the picture looks fine. I'm not sure you could look like a guy right now if you tried. It won't be long before even that is gone for good, and then you'll be able to do that light, quick makeup job you want.

ms.shandy said...

Thanks guys. I love you! I love you! I love you!

dr.morbius said...

I wish you luck with the laser, but I have to say that the pattern that remains on the picture above suggests either a lazy operator or a laser that's too diffuse at the edges. I hope it's not typical.

Anyway, I think you'll be very successful when you're done.