For most every male-to-female transgendered person, the beard is the real project area for permanent hair removal. It should be noted that properly managed hormone therapies will greatly alleviate or eliminate bodily hair, and accordingly, the need for body electrolysis.
Generally, the misconceptions concerning beard removal are:
* Underestimating the amount of facial hair and the difficulty in its removal, and * The improved structural appearance in the lower facial area as a result of permanent beard removal.
Most hirsute (possessing hair) transgender women remain clean shaven, and only experience some small degree of facial hair growth before shaving, or in some instances, before waxing. This hair growth is, as the expression goes, “the tip of the iceberg.” The beard hair seen from one or two days growth is mainly made up of very fast growing, coarse hair. There is a large amount of facial hair that is slower growing and a finer texture. To really judge the amount of hair present, one would need to let the beard grow for about one month’s time. At that point, taking a scissors and cropping the beard would reveal many finer hairs, possessing color and length, along with the course beard hair normally seen. This is a true amount of actively growing hair. And considering that about half of the beard’s hair follicles are in the resting stage, one would need to double the amount seen to approximate the amount of hair follicles truly present.
In many individuals, there are enough active follicles present in the beard to distort the lower face somewhat. Much of the hard, masculinized features of the lower face are a direct result of the beard. When looking at the male upper lip area in profile, the bearded area above the lip (moustache area) is often rounded outwards. This rounding is the result of all of the active hair follicles present in the upper lip region. Also, the fleshy area of the lip appears thinner than a female. This is the result of the fleshy part of the lip being pushed inward by the large amount of active follicles present in the moustache area. The same effect, to a lesser extent, occurs with the lower lip. A relationship typically exists between the thickness (often seen as blueness) of the beard and the rounded, thin lipped appearance of the individual.
This same thickening and associated angularity or protrusion occurs around the jaw line and chin as well. While differences appear between males and females with the bony structure of the lower face, much of the excessive heaviness in the lower face is often the result of the beard. For this reason, we do not recommend considering facial plastic surgery until the overpowering effects of the beard are first removed.
By contrast, as the beard lessens during the course of treatment, the face changes and begins to look boy-like or feminine. The skin areas around the upper lip (moustache) and lower lip flatten, and the fleshy portions of the lips become more pronounced as they are no longer being pushed inward. The overall heaviness in the lower face decreases and the skin softens. These effects are accentuated by hormonal therapy changing the texture of the skin and the way in which it drapes over the face. With proper hormone therapy and sufficient electrolysis, most individuals have a rather feminine appearance in about two years time.