During the mid 90s I bought a cream that was supposed to reduce beard growth. It was light blue in colour and a product that I had found after a lot of searching online for something to reduce or eliminate beard growth. I think it cost around £60 for 200 grams which I applied for a period of time. I’m not certain that it had any serious effect at the time, much to my disappointment, so I stopped using it. Up until two years ago I had done nothing else to eliminate my beard or prevent it’s growth regardless that I’ve hated shaving for most of my adult life.
In the spring of 2018 I underwent laser treatment in Poitiers at a clinic providing aesthetic treatments by a doctor who was also qualified as a plastic surgeon. He impressed me with his introduction and a thorough explanation of how the laser process worked. I soon began a series of 15 minute 100€ sessions every two weeks. During the last session I suffered burns to both sides of my neck and resulted in the cancelation of any further treatment. I wrote about this in my article A New Phase
600€ and a few burns later
Not very long after I cancelled the laser treatment I had another consultation at a clinic not too far from home. No sooner had I sat down in the doctor’s office, he looked carefully at my face he said that it was too late for laser treatment. The remaning hair was generally white and could not be removed by the treatment. He suggested I tried using a cream called Vanika. It only weakens hairs and slows the growth, so it wasn’t really very effective and cost almost 60€ a small tube. I probably purchased 4 or 5 tubes before I gave up using it. There really are no alternative treatments to laser or electolysis!
Progression with my transition over the past few months is driving me to seek treatment again for this long term issue. Last week I began researching for a clinic that offered electrolysis. The results: none within easy communting! The nearest and easiest to get to were in Paris or Toulouse. I chose to try Toulouse last Saturday, mainly on the basis that their website stated ‘ALD accepted’ meaning that fees were covered under my medical status. I checked train schedules to see the viability of regular trips. Trains where as low as 15€ each way, could this be to good to be true? I went ahead and made a booking for last Saturday. Getting there wasn’t an issue, a train back was! Only two trains that day were too early for my return. Should I cancel the appointment or drive? I kept the appointment and made the three and half hour drive. I was feeling motivated to get this underway.
Toulouse and back in day – 8 hours on the road covering 660km
Oh my goodness, what an exhausting day that was. And I am still recovering on the Monday morning after. I found the clinic quite easily arriving in good time. I met with the doctor who after a few basic questions offered treatment that day as I had travelled so far. I had been given an appointment in just under two hours time, so I familiarised myself with the local shopping centre to kill the time. I returned a little early and sat in the reception room anticipating my first session of electrolysis. The staff were very polite, respectful and informative. I was offered anesthetic if the pain was too much, but found it tolerable. I had two seperate sessions with different members of staff. I felt that the first was the more skilled in her approach and treatment. A cream was applied to area treated immediately afterwards that had a slight numbing effect. When I finally arrived home around 10pm that evening I immediately looked in the mirror. I chuckled to myself. I looked as if I had been bitten or stung around my jaw line. Slightly swollen with lots of small mounds and red spots where the needle had pierced the skin. I was so exhausted that I hardly recall going straight to bed and falling sleeping.
Time for reflection
Tuesday afternoon and three days after my first session of electrolysis. I remain satisfied that I had made the decision to go to Toulouse. But less so about the quality of treatment now that I’ve had time to process what happened. I have also revisited their website and that of another clinic in Paris that I had considered. When you don’t fully understand a process as complex as this it’s difficult to be objective before possessing first hand knowledge. Which I now have if course. I’ve read all relvant information on both sites, the most pertinent was about their knowledge, history and qualifications in close detail. After a short while I felt complelled to contact the clinic in Paris to request a consultion. Not the best news – nothing available until May 27th. However, I am happy to wait longer to for a superior level of treatment. An additional benefit is that I can book my train tickets in advance and travel to Paris and back for about 25€.