Laser hair removal and transitioning
Many transgender and gender non-conforming people are concerned about their body hair. Even with the changes in hair growth that come with hormone replacement therapy, many transgender and gender non-conforming individuals still seek hair removal to achieve their desired results. If someone’s transition goals include permanent hair reduction, then laser hair removal is an effective option to consider.
Those also considering gender-affirming surgery (GAS) may be curious about how and when to incorporate permanent hair removal options into their transitioning process. Here’s your guide to laser hair removal for gender-affirming surgery.
Why laser hair removal benefits the transition
The process of removing unwanted body hair can be frustrating for anyone. For someone transitioning, it can symbolize so much more. Laser hair removal offers permanent hair reduction results so that those transitioning don’t have to stress about the constant maintenance. With a series of treatments, patients can expect to reduce their body hair by up to 90%, drastically reducing the need for shaving, as well as the stubble, ingrown hairs, and irritation that comes with it.
When to consider laser hair removal during the transition process
Laser hair removal can be completed before or after gender reaffirming surgery, depending on your preference and circumstances. Consulting with a practitioner and considering variables like lifestyle and budget will help to determine which timing may be right to begin.
Laser hair removal before gender affirming surgery
If choosing to complete laser hair removal before gender affirming surgery, it is recommended to wait a minimum of three months after the last laser hair removal treatment before proceeding with surgery. This will help to ensure that no further hair regrowth has occurred.
Laser hair removal after gender affirming surgery
If getting laser hair removal after gender-affirming surgery, it is recommended to wait a minimum of 1 year after your GAS to begin or resume laser hair removal.
How gender-affirming hormone therapy drugs affect laser hair removal
Any hormonal changes can stimulate increased hair regrowth. While laser treatments may remove existing hair, excess male hormones (i.e. testosterone) have been known to stimulate faster regrowth. In other words, individuals receiving hormone therapy may eventually see more regrowth than those who are not.
For transfeminine people, using estrogen as a method of hormone replacement therapy can slow down hair growth on the face and body, but it will not completely eliminate hair follicles that already produce hair in those areas.
Laser hair removal can help anyone save time and money over a lifetime. But the benefits for those transitioning can be even greater. Laser hair removal can be an effective treatment, helping transfeminine people reduce unwanted hair on their face or body, and any trans person wanting bottom surgery to reduce hair below the belt.
No matter where someone is in their transition and what areas they are looking to target, the great thing about laser hair removal is that the process is actually quite conducive to the transitioning process. It requires about 6-8 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart. You can shave in between treatments so there’s never a need to grow the hair out. With laser hair removal, you can be confident that your journey to a fuzz-free life will be a smooth one.