Genetic hair loss is extremely common in both men and women. Though this inherited condition affects the top of the scalp in both sexes, the shedding displays in different ways for each.
This can become an issue for people who are transitioning or considering a transition into the sex they feel they were born to be. Particularly in the case of male to female transitions, the pattern of shedding may not only hamper a person’s new look, but could lead to them being mis-gendered.
Women (cis) with Female Pattern Hair Loss tend to experience general hair thinning in the affected area. Although it can appear more pronounced around the temples, cis women rarely develop a receding hairline – one the signature traits seen in cases of Male Pattern Baldness. Cis men tend to develop more intensely defined areas of hairloss, such as a receding hairline or thinning crown, and can even develop baldness – something that is very rare in cis women.
Many of those transitioning – whether male to female or female to male – are aware that hair loss treatment for Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss exists, but can be unsure as to which they would use, or if they would even be suitable.
Regrowing hair and preventing baldness
Personalised treatment plans are tailored to each client’s individual needs, whether the transition is from male to female or vice versa – the same as we do for our cis gender clients.
For this reason, it is important to be fully open about your situation with your hair loss specialist so that they can put together the course that best fits not only your pattern and level of shedding, but also your medical profile.
The same clinically-proven drugs that have been cleared by the MHRA and FDA to treat androgenetic alopecia – finasteride 1mg and minoxidil – are used as the cornerstone. These work by blocking the DHT hormone which causes thinning hair in people with an active genetic predisposition to hairloss (finasteride 1mg) and opening the potassium channels to promote hair growth in the case of high strength minoxidil. Together this powerful pairing can often help in regrowing hair and preventing baldness.
This approach often also includes the use of ancillary hair growth boosters as recommended on a case-by-case basis.
One of these booster options is Belgravia’s exclusive food supplement for healthy hair growth – Hair Vitalics. These come in gendered “For Men” and “For Women” formulations so sometimes knowing which product to choose can be confusing. The advice of the clinic’s experts is that clients – or non-clients, as Hair Vitalics are also available to purchase separately – should choose the formulation that best corresponds with the gender they identify as and feel most comfortable using.
Transitioning later in life
The Daily Mail recently reported on male to female former builder, Nicola Trahearn, who opted for a more invasive hair loss solution as part of her transition. She spent £7,000 on a hair transplant procedure.
At 50 years of age, it may have been the case that her hair thinning had become too advanced and she had developed bald areas where the follicles were no longer active. In these situations surgical intervention can work well as pharmaceutical hair loss treatment requires active follicles to be truly effective in all of the relevant areas.
However, reputable surgeons tend to still recommend that anyone planning a hair restoration op follow such a treatment course for at least six months prior to surgery. The reason for this is to maximise hair growth and prevent further hair fall. This helps to ensure a fuller donor area and leaves the scalp cleaner for the surgeon to work with – hopefully leading to better results.
According to the Daily Mail, Ms Trahearn, signed up for a technique named follicular unit extraction (FUE), where the harvesting of donor hair was performed by a robotic device named ARTAS. This technology is claimed by advocates to be better at scanning donor hair and working out which units can be extracted without leaving visible gaps in the donor site than relying on surgeons to do this manually.
A video on the Mail website shows some footage of Ms Trahearn’s procedure, which took place at a UK clinic, and it is not for the faint-hearted. Despite advances in science, hair transplants do require a certain resolve on the part of the patient and are perhaps not well-suited to the squeamish. Ms Trahern said the operation was “a little painful” – proof, perhaps, that anyone hoping to make a saving by going to a cheaper clinic overseas is risking a lot.
What the operation will hopefully do is give her the confidence to grow her hair and ditch the wig she had been wearing. She will likely have been advised to begin – or continue hair loss treatment, too, as part of her on-going aftercare. This will help to preserve results by preserving the at-risk hairs surrounding the newly-implanted grafts.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.