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Transgender woman with hair loss? What are the options

1 July 2022

Vanity is nobody's stranger, and for many people, a beautiful head of hair is an important way to look good. This desire for a full head of hair takes on a different connotation if you were born into the wrong body and cursed with the biological reality of your born gender. It will be a painful prospect to go through a long transition to the desired gender and then be confronted with the typical pattern of male pattern baldness. Is there anything you can do about it?

Transgender woman with hair loss

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to adjust sex characteristics to the desired gender lowers the number of hormones associated with male traits, such as testosterone and DHT. It also increases the number of hormones associated with female characteristics, such as oestrogen. This is interesting because DHT is the major factor responsible for hereditary hair loss. It stands for dihydrotestosterone and is a male hormone that attacks the hair follicles and stops hair growth. Does this mean that hormone therapy can stop hair loss or even make hair grow back? There is both anecdotal and scientific evidence online. However, a lot is still unclear. 

Male pattern baldness

It is common knowledge that most men will eventually face hair loss. But cisgender women should not be surprised either. About half of all women will be affected during their lifetime. It manifests itself more in the form of diffuse hair loss. Where diffuse means: all over the scalp. But why is there a difference in the pattern of hair loss between men and women? There is no clear answer to this question. It seems to have something to do with scalp tension. In fact, research showed a link between the tension of the skin on the head and the pattern of male hair loss and its progression. Where our skin lies most tightly around the underlying membrane (galea aponeurotica), it showed the first signs of hair loss. Namely the crown and near the inlets. Why hair loss in women does not follow that pattern is not entirely clear and requires more research. 

HRT and hair loss - Undergoing hormone replacement therapy?

Once a transition is started using hormone replacement therapy, many changes take place. Concerning hair loss, it appears that it generally inhibits the effects of hereditary hair loss. But this does not mean that it works for everyone. If you have thinning hair at a young age, lowering testosterone in the body means that less hair falls out. But it is not wise to assume that hair will become fuller or grow back completely.

However, there is hard evidence to support these claims. In this study: Scalp Hair Regrowth in Hormone-Treated Transgender Woman, it can be seen that the hair growth of a transgender woman visibly returned during HRT treatment. However, this is the result of only one trans woman and is therefore not sufficient evidence. Researchers do think that the combination of more oestrogen and DHT blockers changes the muscle and bone structure around the head. This reduces scalp inflammation, which normally leads to an increase in DHT production. This is therefore eliminated and can reduce hair loss.

What is possible for trans women with hair loss?

Hair loss in the male pattern is not only undesirable for cis men, but certainly for trans women as well. It is therefore very understandable that a solution is sought. And what is possible for trans women who are worried about inlets and their crown? Many trans women opt for a hair transplant. After this hair transplant, many clinics recommend the use of hair growth products to increase effectiveness. Two of these products are lotions to promote hair growth. These lotions are clinically proven to stimulate hair growth and help accelerate regrowth after a hair transplant.

Neofollics lotion: € 34.95

Neofollics hair growth stimulating lotion contributes to stimulating new hair growth and preventing hair loss. It also contains a high concentration of 10 proven active ingredients.

Spectral DNC-N (Nanoxidil) lotion: € 41.95

 This is a hair growth stimulating lotion with a concentration of 5% Nanoxidil plus other active ingredients.