Transgender Hair Transplants – What to Know About How They are Performed

As part of the gender transition process, a hair transplant can help a person feel as if their outward appearance is matching how they feel on the inside. The appearance of the hair plays a key role in how a person presents themselves to others including how they express their gender to the public. Keep reading to learn how a hair transplant is performed and how it assists in a transgender medical procedure.

Hair Transplant – What is it?

A hair transplant can be described as a surgical procedure that addresses balding or thinning areas on the scalp of a patient. The surgery involves the doctor moving hair grafts from (usually) the donor area on the scalp which is the hair located on the back and sides of the scalp. The hair in this area is resistant to balding which is why a surgeon generally chooses this section of hair to transplant into the targeted area on the scalp.

Gender-Affirming Care – What Does it Mean?

Transgender hair transplant helps affirm the patient genderGender-affirming care is medical care that is intended to improve the well-being of a person whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at the time of birth. In addition, gender-affirming care can help a person live a more comfortable life, minimize their ongoing distress and/or discomfort and allow them to live their life as their most authentic self.

As part of their gender-affirming care, some patients decide to have a transgender hair transplant. Depending on the goals of the patient and their gender identity, there are multiple hair transplant options that can be performed to alter and enhance their hairline and encourage hair growth in other areas of the body. These hair transplant options include:

  • Crown restoration works to promote new hair growth in a section of the scalp that is thinner due to male pattern baldness
  • Hairline lowering/Hair feminization is performed to give the hairline a more feminine appearance through the lowering of the hairline and the creation of a rounder shape to the hairline
  • Facial hair restoration/Chest hair restoration encourages hair growth on the face that is thicker and more visible as well as boosting the growth of hair on the chest

Even though these hair transplant techniques are often discussed in terms of giving someone a look that is more masculine or feminine, the sense of gender of a person is unique to them so the ultimate treatment choice is any combination of hair transplant procedures that enables someone to feel comfortable about their appearance and identity.

Hair Transplant – How it is Performed

The most popular hair transplant technique is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) as this technique does not require the removal of a strip of skin from the scalp. Instead, the hair grafts are individually harvested from the donor area by the surgeon so there is no need for the creation of a linear scalp scar.

Before the procedure is performed, the surgeon designs the new hairline while keeping the existing hairline and the desired results in mind. At the start of the surgery, a local anesthesia is applied to the donor and recipient areas so the patient will remain comfortable during the surgery.

The surgeon creates sites in the scalp by making incisions where the hair grafts will be implanted in the head. The hair follicles are then removed on an individual basis from the donor area and implanted into the sites.

The cost of the surgery depends on a number of factors including the number of hair grafts needed to achieve the new look to the scalp, the cost per hair graft charged by the surgeon, the area of the country where it is performed, and any additional fees charged by the doctor or the medical facility.

Transgender Hair Transplants – How to Find the Right Surgeon

Patients need to research surgeons who are experienced in performing transgender hair transplants in order to locate the right doctor for their specific needs. Once the patient finds a surgeon they want to visit, it is time to schedule a consultation appointment to meet the doctor in person and to be examined by the surgeon.

During the consultation appointment, there are a number of questions that the patient should ask in order to get a better idea about the skill level of the surgeon. Some of the most common questions include:

  • What is the level of experience on the part of the doctor in performing transgender hair transplants?
  • Am I an ideal candidate for the surgery?
  • Are there “before and after” photos of past patients that I can view?
  • What kind of results can I expect to see?
  • What are the possible risks and complications of the surgery?

The doctor will also examine the patient to make sure they are healthy enough to have the procedure and that the person clearly understand the extent of the changes that can be made by undergoing a transgender hair transplant.