“I love what I do! I love what I do! Look at the people I get to meet! All different kinds!”
At a glance, ‘enthusiastic electrologist’ doesn’t immediately come to mind when you meet Tracy Lowe. As he will tell you, “I believe that I am the only electrologist on the planet who is 6’3” and African American with Native American (Muskogee Creek) and Scottish heritage. Certainly, I’m the only one that I know of!” And then comes the laugh- joyful, warm, appreciative, kind- and you begin to see how this person could have easily transitioned from 18 years in law enforcement to someone who is now dedicated to achieving great outcomes for his clients.
In his hometown of Colorado Springs, Mr. Lowe works with his wife Gezelle (aka Gigi) who worked as an electrologist for 15 years running Cameo Electrolysis before he joined her business. Since Colorado is an unregulated state, Mr. Lowe became Gigi’s apprentice after deciding that he no longer wanted to work as a police officer in their community. He says, “My wife started me working on toes, then underarms, then fingertips, then men’s ears- once she felt my proficiency was reached, I began work on faces and other body parts. Gigi thought that I would be bored as an electrologist, but I love my work! You see the joy you bring to people and the change you help to make in people. Many of my clients are transgender, and when they reach the point where they’ve had their surgeries, that’s a win for me! That’s like a party for me because they’ve reached where they want to be.”
Mr. Lowe credits his mother, a U.S. Navy nurse, for raising him to choose jobs where he would serve others. He says, “Everybody needs help every day in some way or another. My beliefs are founded in my background as an American Indian: I enjoy what I see: the blue sky, the color of green foliage, the water, the breeze, the sun on my face. I believe that my life is better now than it was five minutes ago because I’ve gotten the opportunity to be here and experience these moments with you
Also, like many electrologists, the path Mr. Lowe took to find this calling took a few turns. After high school, he worked as a drummer. With Colorado Springs as his base, he toured for several years and filled the time between gigs with construction work, driving jobs, cleaning jobs; or as he says, “whatever there was”. But after his first child was born in his late 20s, he changed course in order to be at home with his family, eventually moving into law enforcement first as an EMT, then a firefighter, and finally a police officer.
In each of these pursuits runs a common thread of helping others. Mr. Lowe says, “The nature of what I do comes down to one basic premise: I find joy in giving and being able to do something that benefits someone.
“For me in our office, the majority of my clients are transgender MtF (transitioning from Male to Female). For a lot of my transgender clients, I’m the only other person who is handling that area of their body. For me it’s about removing hair. For them, they must be comfortable enough to take off their clothes in front of you, and then to lay there, partially nude, while you stick them with a probe. This is intensely personal and very intimate. The way I see it, there is a huge amount of trust placed in my integrity not to make them feel less than whole in this process. I don’t make jokes unless they open that door- although I have found some of my clients to be some of the funniest (and occasionally crudest) people on the planet! I’ve had to stop my work because I was laughing too hard, and the great thing about that is that it shows me that they’re comfortable.
”To do what we do, you can’t dislike people. You’ve got to be comfortable being really close. You can think about the work as elevating their self-esteem- you are helping to give them a reason to keep going. Overall, in the LGBTQ community, there is rampant drug abuse, alcoholism, and suicide. And these are things that come about because these people and this community are not able to be accepted, or where they’re at there is a lot of resistance and animosity. For members of the LGBTQ community, they have to first be honest with themselves- who they are. And, after coming to terms with who they know themselves to be, then they have to go into the world and present themselves. That’s not the easiest thing to do in a world where some people believe that this community is made up of ‘sacrilegious, terrible people’. LBGTQ people have to regularly endure this. I think of individuals who suffer because they have no one to tell about themselves: their family, their friends, their community will hate them. So, what do they do? They hide, they drink, they soften the blow by taking drugs, and at the absolute extreme, they commit suicide. I want to be that guy who opens the door and tells the world, ‘You know something, this community is beneficial. This is a community of people that we can learn from. This community has suffered the slings and arrows of being ostracized. You don’t know what it’s like for someone who doesn’t know you to hate you just for showing up.’ As a uniformed officer for 18 years, I was called every name you can think of, I’ve been spit on, I’ve been in fights, I’ve been shot, I’ve been stabbed- but I’m still here. I love my clients, and I want them to know that I’m proud of them. I want them to know that they’re the greatest people in the world- the LGBTQ community: these are the toughest souls on the planet!”
When asked whether new clients request a female or male electrologist, Mr. Lowe states that their policy at Cameo Electrolysis is to offer either option. “Our number one priority is to help the client. Some of my wife’s clients prefer to have a woman work on them; most of my clients don’t have a preference but will go to whoever has time on their schedule.
“Our home is in the country, but our business is in a 3-bedroom house in a residential area. I believe that it’s more comfortable and less obtrusive than a sterile doctor’s office. When you walk in the front door, you walk into a living room with the kitchen in the back. Gigi and I each have our office decorated to reflect our personalities: in my office, there’s a radio station poster with a guitar on it, my bass is hanging in one corner, my guitar is hanging in the other corner, there’s music and my album cover are there, and plants and elephants are everywhere. Gigi’s office is bright blue, and origami hangs from the ceilings with a bookshelf quilt hanging on one wall.
“We tell people that they don’t have to just come here for electrolysis- you can come here and just hang out. You want to come here to have lunch? There’s a kitchen in the back. You want to take a nap? There’s a guest bedroom with a king-sized bed in it. We do psychology, mentoring, act as a soft shoulder or place to land- some days a client will come in and not be ready to have hair removed. On those days, I don’t make any money, but instead just sit with them and talk through wherever they are. Even though I didn’t make any money for that hour, I didn’t ‘lose’ anything- I was able to provide that client with the thing they needed. When I’m able to be generous with my time or consideration for others, I never feel like I’m losing anything because I believe that losing is an attitude. If I appreciate and learn from what’s in front of me, and I return smarter, better, and with greater reserves for my life.”
When asked about his experience using Ballet needles, Mr. Lowe is again enthusiastic. “The thing I like about a Ballet is that it’s a tough probe. I love their shape; I love the stiffness; and I love that they’re gold-plated since gold is one of the best conductors of electricity. And I just love them because you can get in deep to the follicle and get good removal. I started out using strictly Sterex 2-piece needles; I never even thought to use a 1-piece needle. But then Gigi said, ‘Well, you might want to use a 1-piece on a certain client’, and she was right. The thing I think is so beneficial to a Ballet probe is the fact that it’s shaped conically. Its elliptical shape helps you tell when you’ve achieved a full insertion or when you can go in deeper. You can see where you’re going if you have a conical top above the tip, you can see that you’re inserted to the right depth. Above and beyond that fact, I love the stiffness and how durable they are. For the technique that I use, the Ballet probes are awesome! When I worked as an EMT, I used to start IVs and place catheters. The way that I use probes is informed by those skills in that I use the same mentality, and the Ballet probes are built perfectly for that. For about 95% of my clients right now, I use size 4s or greater on their faces– these are some heavy hairs! Usually when I have someone with fine hairs, I’ll use the 2s or 3s because they’re more flexible.”
When he’s not busy at their practice, Mr. Lowe keeps busy teaching martial arts, building hot rods, working as a gun broker and firearms instructor (He’s a nationally registered Chief Range Safety Officer.), and practicing with his band Flying Circus/Flying Lowe to prepare for their next album. He says, “I look at life as an opportunity to grab everything you can and do everything you can because you’re going to get to a point where you can’t.” Well said, Mr. Lowe!
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