The management of unwanted facial hair continues to be a significant source of frustration and anxiety for most transgender women. Many live in constant fear of a 5 o’clock shadow becoming visible. There is only so much thick make-up you can wear to conceal hair growth. Furthermore, limited access to trans-experienced aesthetic providers and confusion regarding the options, risks, and benefits often pose significant challenges.
That’s why at Dr Aesthetica, we continually seek to educate our patients and the public about the different hair removal options for transgender women.
1. Gender-affirming Hormone Therapy
The presence of male pattern facial hair is high on the list of obstacles to overcome for most transgender women during their transition from male to female. For many, removing facial hair on their beard line is essential to be accepted as a woman in day-to-day life. And this is a valid point since no woman would be happy with male pattern facial hair.
During gender-affirming hormone therapy, a combination of estrogens and anti-androgens are used to emphasise feminine features and minimise masculine features. Typically, estrogen has a more significant effect on body hair than facial hair.
However, facial hair is reported to decrease up to 28%. This means hormone treatment to feminise the body will slightly slow and soften facial hair growth. But is rarely enough to stop it on its own. That’s we recommend considering an additional hair removal option during your transition journey.
2. Laser Hair Removal
While no technique achieves 100% permanent removal of all unwanted hair, laser is the preferred treatment for permanent removal because of its extraordinary success rate (80 to 90% hair reduction).
This is why we recommend laser hair removal to our transgender patients: it works! Really well, if I might add. With laser hair removal, patients can have hair-free facial skin in just a few months.
Another benefit of laser hair removal is shrinking the pores and hair follicle area, which helps create a smoother feminine look to the skin.
Recent advancements in laser technology have made it possible for us to permanently reduce hair anywhere on the body, including sensitive areas like the bikini line and face. The treatment is ideal for trans women and offers a way to achieve a smooth, fuzz-free look without plucking or waxing.
At Dr Aesthetica, we are the go-to laser specialist in Birmingham, UK. So it’s no surprise that we have written extensively about this topic. Two articles that might interest you:
- Top 7 Laser Hair Removal Tips for Transgender People
- Get the Most Out of Laser Hair Removal: 6 Things to do in Between Your Sessions
If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional waxing, epilation might be the hair removal method you’ve been searching for. Epilation uses an electrical device (epilator) to remove the hair directly from the roots.
A major downside to waxing is the tendency for hairs to be pressed flat against the skin, making them harder to lift and remove. Also, wax needs lengths of 2mm hair growth for optimal results. A quality epilator will catch hair as small as a grain of sand (0.5mm) —so there’s no need to wait for unsightly regrowth.
This makes epilation is more efficient than waxing on the short fine hairs found on the face.
Not all epilators are the same, so make sure you find one made specifically for soft or fine facial hairs.
For the best results, exfoliate your face before using an epilator. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and can prevent ingrown hairs. Pain is the major drawback of epilation. But if you can deal with the initial discomfort, every consequent epilation session should be more tolerable. It will take a couple of weeks for the hair to grow back, and when it does, it is usually softer and thinner than before
We can see why epilators are quickly becoming a popular at-home solution for long-lasting hair-free skin for all transgender women, regardless of their skin tone or hair colour.
Electrolysis is known as one of the few permanent hair removal techniques. A very fine probe (about half the thickness of a strand of hair) is inserted through the skin's surface into the unwanted hair follicle. It then sends a surge of current, which destroys the stem cells that control the hair's regeneration. The outcome is a follicle that can never grow hair again.
The downside is that this means you can only target one hair at a time, unlike laser, which has a wide coverage.
For many, using this process for facial hair removal can be painful, lengthy and costly in more ways than one. That’s why electrolysis is often used as a complementary treatment to get rid of that one or two stubborn hairs that don’t respond to the laser.
It is crucial to research electrologists and only work with one who’s licensed. Always ask to see photo samples of people treated by the electrologist and ask for the number of treatments it will take until completion. Warning: the number can be as high as 30!
Transgender Laser Hair Removal in Birmingham
At Dr Aesthetica, we have worked with many transgender clients and guarantee a professional and personal experience. We appreciate you have already come a long way and been through a lot psychologically. You want to get rid of your hair permanently, and that’s what we’re here for!
For our treatments, we use Splendor X, a state-of-the-art proprietary laser technology, that offers unprecedented power, speed, versatility and high coverage rate. This means comfort coupled with better results than any other laser on the market. For transgender laser hair removal in Birmingham, please email us at [email protected] or calling us at 0121 769 0242.