A Year in the Life of a Lip (Electrolysis Again)

bandaid lip

The last time I wrote about electrolysis was over 15 months ago; I wrote about what was only my third session. As I write this, I’ve undergone 62 one-hour sessions of electrolysis. Some things have changed and some haven’t.

The fear and abject horror parts are largely gone. Mainly because I started a deep breathing/relaxation/meditative state kind of thing that takes a lot of the edge off. The pain is still the pain, but science says you experience pain for a shorter amount of time while meditating. It’s a pretty cool concept and one that works well in my experience.

It’s not easy to relax while you are being tortured though, I’m not going to lie. I have to remind myself to relax every 7 or 8 minutes. Things just tense up on their own without you even thinking about it. Breathing is easy, and the meditative state is easy when we aren’t talking (which is most sessions). On the rare occasions that we do talk, the conversation is a good distraction from the pain.

But as I mentioned, it’s been 15 months. During that time the electrologist has only worked on my upper lip. Yes, 62 hours on the most sensitive and painful place a person can get electrolysis. And my upper lip is still not clear of hair. It’s much better than it was, don’t get me wrong, but this is going to take forever. I may not have enough years left in my life.

My miracle of an electrologist is named Courtney Engle. Or I guess I should say was, not is. She still is Courtney, she’s just not my electrologist anymore. She’s moved back to her hometown. I call her a miracle because she showed up when there was no one else doing electrolysis around here. And by “around here” I mean within 75 miles of where I’m sitting. Courtney is a lovely person, I will miss having sessions with her and I wish her well.

So will I have to drive 75 miles – each way – for electrolysis now? No, only a mere 42 miles. Each way. So my old 12.5-mile round trip to see Courtney will now be an 82-mile round trip to see my new electrologist in Cathedral City (near Palm Springs).

It could be worse, I have to remind myself. Electrologists seem to be a dying breed. Everyone uses laser hair removal now. I can’t use laser because most of my facial hair is white. And I wouldn’t use it anyway, because laser hair removal is not permanent. I’m not sure why there are fewer and fewer electrologists, but there are, so I should be grateful there’s one anywhere in the state.

On the bright side, my new electrologist is a trans woman, so we have that in common. Ayin and I met her back in May, and I’ll start with her in a week or so. She favors a different method of electrolysis than I’ve been receiving, and I have no idea what it feels like, so we’ll see how that goes. Cortney said it would “probably be less painful,” but she may have just been trying to put me at ease. We’ll see.

All in all, electrolysis is a slog. My expectations of how long it would take were wildly incorrect and when you’re looking at a painful process that you know is going to last another, I don’t know, five years? – it’s discouraging. It’s a huge investment of time and money. It’s a lot of money, did I mention that? No? It’s a lot of money. There.

Here we are though, on the cusp of a new year. Who knows what awaits us in 2023? It’ll probably be chill, don’t you think? Hmm. Yeah.



  1. Awww, I’m so sorry little bean. I know you will miss Courtney. She was more than just a convenience, she became a close friend–because of what a good person she is. Hang in there Baby. I will be by your side through this all the way to Cathedral City and back, and forever.

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