Hair, hair, hair! Hair’s always on my mind and it’s one of my obsessions! Even as I try to write this I get so many thoughts about it and to a point this obsession kinda feels shameful for some reason.
Before I started my own process I had concerns about hair loss due to my family’s history of hereditary male pattern baldness. Apart from that I did not care much about body and facial hair before.
Kinds of Hair
Now and for the last few years, for me there are 2 types of hair: the hair I WANT and the hair I want GONE!
I believe that the presence (and its quality) or absence of hair, depending on where in the body, has mighty importance on people’s perception of gender. From its length, style, colour, density, weight, etc., and this is just head hair, one can get clear gender indicators. On top of that add all sorts of body hair and the topic is so vast that a book could be written just on dealing with hair from a transgender perspective both transfeminine and transmasculine.
This is the kind of hair I want to be lush and healthy. This hair is oh so precious to me that I can only list 3 places on my body that I want hair and lots of it.
The hair on my head is my top priority. It’s so important to me that it was one of the few criteria I had for myself when I decided to move forward back then in late 2015. It’s so important that in January of 2017 I had a hair transplant to make my hairline rounder by filling in the side temples. My hair is super fine and though its density is not too bad, it still looks like thinning hair. My idea is to try to retain as much as possible so it doesn’t thin too much too fast. I know I’ll never have thick strong hair like the ones you see in shampoo commercials, my family genetics work against me here, but I do make an effort to maintain what I have.
My eyebrows and eyelashes are the other 2 places in my body that I want to maintain healthy and lush follicles. Combined with my head hair’s qualities, I consider my eyelashes and eyebrows as three of my most important gender markers. I have the utmost respect for them so I try to always keep them groomed and in good shape.
This is pretty much every other hair in my body that is not my head hair, eyelashes or eyebrows, and I want it gone. The thing is that there is so much of it and some is just stubborn so getting rid of it is a time consuming affair and in some cases it’s painful and expensive.
HRT has had a positive impact in getting rid of some of this “bad” hair. Specifically I no longer have chest hair as most of it thinned out on its own with HRT. Similarly the hair on my arms, armpits and legs is thinner and finer than before starting HRT.
The real bad hair has been my facial and pubic hair. These two zones are not affected much by HRT and these are some stubborn hairs. To permanently get rid of these there is electrolysis which is done by targeting every single follicle with a needle and an electric current. This process is painful, slow and expensive. Though it is permanent hair removal each follicle needs to be treated more than once, so it feels like a never ending battle. There is also laser hair removal that works best on fair skin and dark colour hair. I’m lucky to fit that criteria and that my facial and body hair seem to react well to laser hair removal treatments. Just like with electrolysis the hair follicles need to be treated multiple times and depending on the follicle it may not be permanent. They call laser “permanent hair reduction” and not “permanent hair removal”. Treatments are much faster than electrolysis since they target a number of follicles at once instead of one by one, but the hair just wants to come back needing multiple treatments every 6 to 8 weeks.
Hair removal was one of the very first things I started when I decided to move forward, and to this day I’m still working on it. Most of my facial hair was treated in 14 laser sessions throughout 3 year but the few white and stubborn regrows are still being treated with electrolysis to zap them out!
Facial hair removal has made a very noticeable and positive impact on how my skin looks and feels and therefore on my gender expression. The idea of shaving my face makes me cringe and on the other hand the feeling of a smooth face and skin in general is one of the best sensations in the world for me. I just love clear, soft, hairless skin, on me or on anyone else – sorry guys, but I don’t like feeling a beard or anything hairy. Yuck!
I thought of some hair that though I don’t like it, it’s kind of needed and cannot be removed. In this “ugly” group I can think of the hair in the nostrils and the ear canals. Yes it’s ugly but we all have it and functions like an air filter. At least the hairs growing in the tragus and earlobes can be zapped with electrolysis.
My Relationship With My Hair
My affinity with my hair, like many other aspects of my gender expression, is a love-hate relationship. I love that I still have my own natural head hair. I love that my type of hair and skin have reacted so well to laser hair removal treatments though I hate that there seems to always be something coming back.
Though I’m terrible with styling my hair and I’m afraid of damaging it since it’s so fine, I do think about my hair everyday and a few times a day. When I think of hair most of my attention goes to “The Good” hair. Almost everyday I pluck any new eyebrow that may be growing in the wrong place, and I’m careful with my eyelashes when I clean my face. As much as I absolutely dislike what it does to the texture of my hair I apply minoxidil with the hopes that I can get some regrowth in the crown of my head where my hair is the thinnest.
For “The Bad” hair I started laser hair removal on the face in late 2015 and recently switched to electrolysis to finish up the odd left overs. Also around mid 2019 I started doing electrolysis and laser on some other areas like the bikini line. In the meantime I do a quick pass with the shaver all over my legs almost on a daily basis.
P.S. Thin hair refers to having few hairs or low density, so thinning hair means active hair loss. Fine and course hair refer to the diameter of the hair shafts where fine hair has a small diameter with little volume and course hair has a wider diameter.