Transgender Hair Loss and Treatment
Transgender is the name given to people whose gender identity does not match with the gender they were born with. As an example, an individual may be born as a male but as he grows he may believe himself to be more of a female than a male. This change can be observed in the childhood itself and becomes quite apparent by the time the individual is about 4 years of age.
Transgenders describe themselves to be transsexual and look towards changing their gender completely physically, either from a male to female or female to male. Some of these people are also termed as having a gender identity disorder. Such individuals seek professional help to bring their gender presentation in sync with their gender identity. This can be done through a variety of medical procedures. These procedures are extremely exhaustive and complex. We will discuss here about hair loss experience by transgenders and different ways to treat them.
Different types of hair loss in Transgenders
Female to Male:
A transgender who has gender identity of a male but is born as a female will have hair loss that is seen in females. The common hair loss pattern exclusive to females include conditions like Androgenetic Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, or hair loss due to an injury or trauma. Additionally, hair pulling is yet another cause for hair loss in females. It is actually a behavioral disorder where a female pulls at her hairs out of habit and breaks it causing damage to the hair follicles.
Male to Female:
In Transgenders who are born male but have a gender identify of a female will have hair loss that are common in males. Some of the conditions that cause hair loss in such individuals include Androgenetic Alopecia, Telogen Effluvium, and Alopecia Areata. Androgenetic alopecia is a genetic condition which can affect both males as well as females. Males suffering from this condition normally start to lose their scalp hairs in their teens. It is of gradual onset which worsens with age.
Telogen Effluvium is the second most common cause hair loss. Scientifically, about 90% of hair follicles actively produce hairs while the other 10% are in a static phase called as Telogen phase where no hairs are produced. Telogen Effluvium occurs when maximum hair follicles enter the Telogen phase and stop producing hairs. Alopecia Areata on the other hand is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system of the body attacks the hair follicles and damages it thus inhibiting production of hairs.
Treatments for Hair Loss In Transgenders
Nonsurgical treatments for Hair Loss in transgenders are the same as with those given to males and females. These treatments include administration of medications. Finasteride and Minoxidil is the most effective and preferred medications used for treating hair loss conservatively.
The primary surgical treatment for Hair Loss in Transgenders is Hair Transplantation. There are basically two ways of hair transplantation, namely Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE and Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT. Both these procedures are minimally invasive and have very little risk associated with it.
As of recently, Direct Hair transplantation has also come into prominence as the most effective way of hair restoration and preventing Hair Loss. It is actually an advanced version of the FUE method of hair restoration procedure.