A full head of hair is a distinguishing feature that adorns, protects, and indicates good health and youth. Baldness in women is particularly distressing because of the greater social stigma associated with hair loss when compared to men.
Hair line and hair density are important to consider for trans men who are undergoing feminization. After breast augmentation, gender reassignment surgery, or facial feminization surgery, a receding hairline, bald spot on the crown, or thinning hair at the top of the head can detract significantly from the feminine appearance you have undergone so much to achieve.
At Beverly Hills Transgender Surgery, Dr. Alexander Sinclair takes a comprehensive approach to transgender feminization. He understands that the relationship of the hair and facial components is as important, or more so, than any one feature taken individually. If thinning hair, bald spots, or a masculine receding hairline are detracting from your transition to femininity, Dr. Sinclair can perform hair grafting to further refine the process.
Thinning Hair Solutions
Hormonal therapy and testosterone blockers such as finasteride and spironolactone will decrease hair loss and lead to better density. Noninvasive solutions for hair loss include weaves, wigs, extensions, and hats. Scalp advancement often done during facial feminization surgery can lower the hair line by 1.5 to 2.0 centimeters.
The gold standard for hair restoration is follicular unit micro and mini grafting. Four thousand grafts or more can be placed in a single procedure under local anesthesia. The satisfaction rate is high and the surgery can be repeated if more grafts are needed.
Hair Grafting in Transgender Patients
By the age of 50, approximately 50% of the male population will experience male pattern hair loss, and in 20%, it can start as early as the late teens. Testosterone blockers can arrest the process in male-to-female patients, and hair that was lost can be restored with hair grafting for a more feminine appearance.
Female-to-male trans patients receiving hormone replacement therapy (testosterone) may develop male pattern hair loss, for which testosterone blockers may also be prescribed. Hair grafting can help replace what was lost for a fuller, more attractive head of hair.
Follicular Unit Micro Grafting
Hair transplants have changed a great deal since their introduction to the U.S. in the 1950s, and the results are much more natural looking and attractive. In the follicular unit micro grafting process:
The surgeon removes a donor strip of hair from the back of the head, where the hair is thicker, then sutures the incision closed. (The scar at the donor site will be completely concealed by the surrounding hair.)
Tiny grafts are cut from the donor strip under a microscope.
These grafts are implanted close together in tiny recipient sites.
Each follicular unit micro graft contains no more than one to three and occasionally four hairs. A combination of different sized grafts is generally used in hair restoration. One-hair grafts are implanted in an irregular pattern along the hairline, while two and three-hair grafts are placed further back for greater hair density. Two or three hairs in a tiny bunch is the way hair grows naturally in most people, so hair transplantation using follicular units is virtually undetectable. The result of this procedure is fuller, thicker, natural-looking hair.
What Happens after Hair Grafting?
Transplanted hair will begin to grow in 3 to 4 months after grafting. Dr. Sinclair may prescribe a medication to be applied topically at night to accelerate hair growth. In some patients, the hair will start to grow almost immediately. A second or third hair grafting procedure may be performed in 4 to 6 months to further increase hair density.
Hair-Grafting Plastic Surgeon
Thinning hair may make you unhappy with your look, whether your true gender identity is male or female. If you have experienced male pattern hair loss, follicular unit hair grafting might be your best option. Dr. Sinclair at Beverly Hills Transgender Surgery serves patients throughout the greater Los Angeles area, and beyond. Contact us for a consultation about our advanced hair grafting techniques.