In my previous post I talk about Hair – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and explain a little about my obsession with hair. Here I have a follow up post that talks about my personal experiences with HRT as it pretends to hair and the long expensive process of permanent hair removal.
HRT‘s Impact on Hair
Like I said in the previous post, HRT has had some positive impact in reducing hair on some areas while nothing at all or almost nothing at all in others. Something that is worth saying about HRT is that apart from affecting some body hair, it has also had a fantastic benefit on how my skin looks and feels. So the combination of skin improvement with some hair thinning in large areas of my body has had a lovely overall effect on how it all looks and feels. Yay for HRT!
HRT for me made no difference on facial and pubic hair. On the other hand, HRT did have a noticeable and favourable effect on the hair on my head. By virtually eliminating of testosterone, at first I was not shedding as much hair as before HRT and managed to improve my hair density a bit. This was in contrast to the hair I was shedding prior to HRT and my concern of my family’s history of hereditary male pattern baldness.
Even before HRT I wasn’t particularly a hairy person but all my chest hair is now gone, except some courser hair around my areolae that has been treated with electrolysis. My armpits are now the envy of any person that has course hair there. My armpit hair was not too terrible before HRT but now it’s almost invisible. Some laser on the armpits and it will be gone. My hands, feet, arms and legs now have fewer and finer hair that is and will continue to be treated with laser. In the meantime I shave every so often and compared to before HRT it’s a breeze.
Permanent Hair Removal
For me hair is a strong indicator of gender. From all the hair in the body the only 3 areas I want to maintain healthy hair are my head hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Everything else I want gone. Though HRT has made a positive impact on many areas of my body I still need to shave or pluck it. Without a permanent solution it’s a never ending chore.
I’m so happy that I didn’t spend hours of laser or electrolysis on my body hair prior to a few years on HRT. It’s been slow letting HRT do its thing but it hasn’t cost me much and it didn’t hurt. Now that I have fewer and finer body hair I expect the permanent hair removal process to be easier than if I had started it at the same time as my face. The reason is that facial hair wasn’t affected by HRT while body hair was.
Sometimes it feels like hair removal is a test of my determination to move forward.
I used to call my laser hair removal sessions “my favourite punishment for doing this”.
Punishment because it’s painful, expensive and seemingly never ending, and a favourite of mine because the end results have such a profound and beautiful impact on how I and others perceive myself.
If I were to have a suggestion for anyone that finds facial hair a mayor nuisance like I do, it would be to start hair removal now. Not tomorrow and certainly not next week. Start now! Before I even consider my own process I read an article on a British magazine for a trans audience where they were suggesting starting hair removal ASAP. They argued that for the treatments one has to let the hair grow a little so the electrologist can find the follicles or the energy of the laser can be absorbed by the hair shaft. The thing that stuck with me from that article was that the author talked about how bad her dysphoria was during those days prior to her hair removal treatments.
Hair removal before genital surgery is an important consideration for anyone possibly thinking of that king of surgery. Depending on the surgeon and probably the technique used, some ask patients to have hair removal done prior to surgery. To make things confusing some other surgeons ask their patients to avoid doing hair removal in the crutch area as that could weaken the hair follicles that otherwise they could see and cauterize during surgery. And furthermore they suggest that if one does hair removal in the genitals area to be done so ahead of time prior to surgery that there is no hair growth in the area for at least a year. This is so confusing. My conclusion with all this is that anyone that may consider having “bottom surgery”, even if they’re not sure now, to also consider starting hair removal of the area now.
What did I do?
What I did ended up working well for me:
- I started facial hair removal right at the beginning of my process. My recommendation would be to start facial hair removal ASAP.
- As I started hair removal I visited and tried a couple of places that do laser and electrolysis. Meet with both electrologists and laser specialists to determine what would work best for your particular hair and skin types.
- I chose to do laser hair removal with a registered nurse that has decades of experience. Don’t settle with the first one you meet and look for professionals that have experience.
- After 14 sessions of laser hair removal on the face I switched to electrolysis in mid 2019 to get rid of the odd white/gray, the stubborn regrows I still get and the odd places like the tragus and earlobes.
- For arms, legs, armpits, back, chest, etc. that is not the pubic or facial areas I waited for HRT to do its magic. I believe that if I had started body hair removal sooner I would have wasted some time and money as I would have been fighting the same battle that HRT fought for me.
- Also in mid 2019 I started laser hair removal in and around the bikini line. I have a small regret that I didn’t start hair removal in the bikini line sooner since HRT didn’t really change much, specifically closer to the centre of the body. If you’re like me and dislike hair in the pubic area you can start hair removal ASAP since HRT will not do much for you in that area. If you would consider genital surgery or “lower surgery” check the requirements of the surgeons in your short list. Even if you don’t have a shortlist yet you could start hair removal with a professional that works with trans patients in preparation for a possible future surgery.
You can read a little about what I did and my relationship with my hair here: Hair – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.