Hair removal can be an important concern for many transgender women and gender non-conforming people considering breast augmentation or other surgeries. For most, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will decrease new hair growth, but doesn’t always dramatically reduce the presence of facial, body and chest hair. Androgen-driven hair, especially facial hair, is an almost universal problem for transgender women and and getting rid of it can be considered a priority for some.
Some of the most popular methods of hair removal in the transgender community include:
- Laser Hair Removal
- Depilating creams
At Beyond Skin we specialise in Laser Hair Removal for transgender patients, with qualified laser practitioners able to administer treatments on facial and full body areas.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal uses concentrated beams of light to target and destroy unwanted hair follicles. Our experienced laser practitioners use Cynosure Elite + machines with both Alexandrite and Nd:YAG wavelengths meaning we can offer treatment safely to all skin types. During a laser hair removal session, a practitioner will use a handheld device to deliver laser energy to the surface of your skin whilst simultaneously blowing cold air on the area to minimise discomfort.
Many transgender patients choose laser hair removal because it offers permanent results with minimal irritation to skin.
I had been really dysphoric about my facial hair for the longest time, and as I have just started transitioning recently it is one of the things that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.
[My practitioner] talked to me throughout the whole treatment telling me where she was going with the laser device, which helped to make me feel less anxious. I felt a fair bit of pain on my chin and upper lip area as that’s where my hair is most stubborn. Other than that the pain was minimal. It took less than two weeks to notice differences in hair growth on my face.
The Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
- Permanent Results
- Safe for all Skin Types
- Reduces Ingrowing Hairs
- Quick Treatment Times
- Cost Effective (Read our blog comparing costs here)
Electrolysis is another permanent hair removal method. Medical electrolysis destroys the growth center of unwanted hair using electric current. A very fine probe (a stainless-steel wire about half the thickness of a strand of hair) is inserted through the surface of the skin at each unwanted hair follicle. The hair is then carefully removed with tweezers.
The biggest advantage of electrolysis is that it offers permanent results. The disadvantages are that it’s time-consuming and expensive. Multiple sessions will be necessary to remove all your unwanted body and chest hair.
Some side effects associated with electrolysis may include:
- Discomfort or pain
- Skin redness
- Localized swelling
- Tiny blisters
- Ingrown hairs
Waxing is an effective way to remove hair from almost anywhere on the body. During a waxing session, a thin layer of hot wax is applied to the target area. Then a thin strip of cloth is pressed down onto the wax and quickly pulled away in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Both the wax and hair is removed during this process.
If performed incorrectly, waxing can lead to rashes, bruises or torn skin, so you may want to seek out the skill of professional. Choosing waxing as a method of hair removal will require multiple, regular treatments to maintain smooth, hair-free skin as the results are temporary.
A blend of mildly caustic chemicals (sodium and calcium thioglycolate), depilating creams fall somewhere between traditional waxing and shaving in terms of hair removal. They penetrate deeper than shaving, but not as deeply as waxing. When placed on the skin, they cause the keratin in your hair shafts to decompose.
The key advantage of depilating creams is that they’re available over the counter and you can remove large sections of hair at once. However, results are not permanent, regular treatments will be needed to limit hair growth. Additionally, depilating creams aren’t as effective for individuals with coarse body hair, and people with sensitive skin can have considerable skin reactions from depilating creams.
Making Your Choice
If you’re interested in permanent results with minimal discomfort we would recommend laser hair removal as the best option. Our experienced & qualified laser practitioners are available to answer any questions you might have about the process and offer free consultation appointments to discuss your options.