Hair Loss Considerations for Transgender and Gender Diverse Patients

One of the biggest considerations for this patient population is what if any gender affirming treatments the patient may have had or plan to have, as we know these treatments can directly affect the hair. The good news is that regardless of what may be causing the hair loss, there are often great hair loss treatments for transgender patients available.

Hair loss may seem like a part of normal everyday life, but it doesn’t feel normal to many individuals. Hair loss can be a difficult experience for anyone, as the condition comes with the emotional and mental stigma, and can especially be daunting for transgender and gender diverse individuals. One of the biggest considerations for this patient population is what if any gender affirming treatments the patient may have had or plan to have, as we know these treatments can directly affect the hair. The good news is that regardless of what may be causing the hair loss, there are often great hair loss treatments for transgender patients available.

Prevalence and Causes of Hair Loss in Transgender Population

While everyone’s experience with hair loss is different, and although genetics may factor into an individual’s hair loss, studies show that there is likely an increased prevalence in hair loss in patients utilizing gender-affirming hormone therapy and hair loss. 

Gender-affirming Hormone Therapy

A recent study found that the prevalence of androgenic alopecia was 2.5 times greater in  trans males utilizing masculinizing gender-affirming hormone therapy compared to cisgendered women (Journal of American Academy of Dermatology). The study also found that the pattern hair loss was 1.3 times greater when compared to cisgender men.

It is important to understand that the masculinizing gender-affirming hormone is testosterone, and is common for people to have androgen-induced hair loss after they start taking testosterone.

Similarly, the same study shows the prevalence of androgenic alopecia was 1.9 times greater in trans women utilizing feminizing gender-affirming hormone therapy than cisgender women. This likely has less to do with the hormone therapy - which can actually help with the pattern hair loss - and more to do with the individual having a higher rate of testosterone prior to hormone therapy. Prevalence of pattern hair loss was not statistically significantly increased compared to cisgendered men.

It’s important to note that Scarring Alopecia and Alopecia Areta must be ruled out from these considerations of hair loss for transgender individuals. This is because there has been an increase in all populations for these types of hair loss. Additionally, diagnosing these types of hair loss can only be done by an experienced hair loss specialist in using trichoscopy.

Gender-affirming Surgeries

Like any other major surgery, the body goes through a lot of physical, mental, and emotional stress, particularly in transitioning patients. It can be incredibly overwhelming as well as life-changing, as this is a big decision for those looking to transition.

Additionally, the physical body needs to do a lot of work to heal from gender-affirming surgery. Because of this stress, this can cause Telogen Effluvium shedding approximately 3 - 6 months after surgery. 

Hair Loss Treatments for Transgender Patients

As with every patient who walks into a Medi Tresse office, there are hair loss treatments for transgender patients that can help treat the hair loss, inclusive of those transitioning. Our customized treatment plans were created with you in mind. 

Treatment Options for Androgenic Alopecia

It’s important to note that not every treatment is the best one for every individual. Everyone is different, and has their own unique experiences surrounding hair loss. Our hair loss experts will help you decide on what is the best treatment plan for you during your initial consultation

Below are some of the most common and recommended treatments:

  • Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma/Optimal Platelet Concentration (PRP/OPC) Therapies: PRP is a minimally invasive treatment that uses the patient's own growth factors and high concentration of platelets to heal the hair follicles. At Medi Tresse, we have the ability to better deliver the optimal concentration of the PRP solution and advanced technology in a completely painless fashion without needles. Our Painless PRP utilizes a medical device that delivers powerful mist jet streams that infuse into the scalp through hydroporation. This turns the PRP into droplets and entering the scalp subdermally. Currently, PRP and OPC Therapy is available at all of our locations. Check out this interesting case study on OPC.
  • Minoxidil (Oral or Topical): Minoxidil is the only FDA approved topical treatment for hair loss. It has been shown to regrow hair and stop further hair loss for those experiencing pattern hair loss.  Minoxidil can be utilized topically or as a prescription oral medication. You can read more about the differences in this blog post.
  • Supplements
  • Hair Transplants: Hair transplants can be very intriguing for individuals as they are the only permanent solution to hair loss. This minor surgical procedure involves removing hair follicles from the back of the scalp and planted into desired areas. However, the new No-Shave FUE technique does not require shaving the donor area. Read more about the revolutionary No-Shave FUE here.

Treatment Options for Telogen Effluvium

Thankfully, Telogen Effluvium is a temporary condition that can be treated and hair can be restored after about a year.

Telogen Effluvium usually presents as excessive shedding and can occur from all parts of the scalp. In most cases, Telogen Effluvium can resolve on its own. However, if a patient is finding that it is not resolving, TE can be helped with the following treatments:

  • Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): LLLT utilizes a laser cap device through cool beam lasers that directly affect the scalp by promoting hair regrowth right at the follicle. Red and near-infrared laser light can encourage tissue repair and recovery. LLLT is a safe, comfortable treatment option that is non-invasive and stimulates hair regrowth at the same time. Read more about choosing the right laser cap device for your treatment plan here.
  • Supplements: Hair growth supplements can help to promote and boost rejuvenation in the hair follicle. Like prescription Minoxidil, supplements can be taken to help enhance the treatment plan.

Considerations Before Starting Hair Loss Treatments for Transgender Patients

At Medi Tresse, we understand that knowing your options and choosing the treatment that is best for you can be overwhelming. This is why we book an initial consultation with every patient who walks through our doors. 

It’s important to provide all relevant information with our team during your initial consultation. This includes any upcoming medical procedures such as gender-affirming surgeries. Additionally, knowing any hormone therapy medications can assist in determining the best treatment option for you, as well as potentially altering the effectiveness of said treatments. This also helps to determine when to start treatment.

If PRP/OPC is a part of the treatment plan, it is likely that we would put the treatment on hold if there are any upcoming surgeries. Similarly, any upcoming changes to hormone therapy could potentially affect the treatment plan. 

Rooted in Compassion, Guided by Science

Medi Tresse was founded on two main pillars, first, providing safe and empathetic care to all of our patients. Second, we provide customized treatment plans that take into account each patient’s unique hair loss situation. We understand that dealing with hair loss can be a difficult situation and there is no one size approach for every patient.

At Medi Tresse, we understand that the treatment considerations for one patient’s hair loss is going to be unique. This is no different for each and every transgender and gender diverse patient. We know each and every patient will have different hair loss needs and considerations when it comes to treatment. We are confident that our caring team will create the best possible treatment plans. 

If you are experiencing hair loss, please contact the Medi Tresse office closest to you to book your consultation.

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Our Locations

Boston, MA

888 Worcester Street, Suite 95
Wellesley, MA 02482

Medical Director: Mary Wendel, MD

Phone: (774) 314-3900Visit Medi Tresse Boston Office

Worcester, MA

108 Grove Street
Worcester, MA 01605

Medical Director: Mary Wendel, MD

Phone: (774) 314 3901Visit Medi Tresse Worcester Office

New York, NY

65 W 36th St, 11th Floor, NY, NY 10018

Medical Director: Mark DiStefano, MD

Phone: (347) 704-2370Visit Medi Tresse New York Office

Westchester, NY

2 Overhill Road, Suite 320
Scarsdale, NY 10583

Medical Director: Mark DiStefano, MD

Phone: 914-704-3070
Visit Medi Tresse Westchester Office

Chattanooga, TN

7305 Jarnigan Rd, Suite 110
Chattanooga, TN 37421

Medical Director: Deborah DiStefano, MD

Phone: 423-664-4494Visit Medi Tresse Chattanooga Office

Welcome to Medi Tresse

The Medi Tresse team is composed of experts in female hair loss. We are committed to offering innovative, non-surgical treatments for hair rejuvenation in women. Whether you are simply looking to increase your hair’s thickness or want to stop more extensive hair loss, Medi Tresse has a wide array of solutions ranging from platelet-rich plasma therapy to low-level laser therapy.

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