Transgender and Hair Removal: What You Need to Know

For many transgender individuals, hair removal is an important part of their transition. While hormone therapy can help to reduce body hair growth, it’s often not enough to achieve the desired results. Terminal hair such as on the face and pubic area are not affected by hormone therapy. As such, many transgender individuals opt for hair removal treatments, such as electrolysis or laser hair removal. In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about hair removal as a transgender person.

Why Hair Removal is Important for Transgender Patients

Hair removal can be an important step for transgender individuals looking to transition. For some, it’s a way to reduce gender dysphoria by aligning their appearance with their gender identity. For example, hair removal for transgender people may include permanently removing all facial hair and unwanted hair. For others, it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Regardless of the reason, hair removal can help to increase self-confidence and improve quality of life for transgender people. It is also critical in lower gender confirming surgeries.

Methods of Hair Removal

There are several types of hair removal that transgender women and men can consider. The most common options are electrolysis and laser hair removal.

Electrolysis involves the use of a small needle that delivers an electrical current to the hair follicle. This current destroys the follicle, preventing hair growth. It’s a permanent solution compared to other hair removal methods, but it requires both time and budget considerations. However, electrolysis is effective and versatile, treating hairs of any type or skin type. For areas needed in any lower gender confirming surgeries, the permanency of electrolysis is the only option.

Laser treatments, on the other hand, utilizes a laser to target hair follicles. The heat from the laser damages the follicles that have sufficient melanin to attract the heat. Laser hair removal targets multiple hairs simultaneously, and reduces hair in any given area provided the hair has enough melanin and there’s sufficient contrast between the skin and hair. It can be faster and less expensive than electrolysis if your goal is to reduce hair but still requires multiple sessions to achieve desired reduction. It’s important to note that laser hair removal will not be as effective on light hair, less dense regions or dark skin.

Electrolysis is Permanent Hair Removal

A very small needle-shaped probe and an electric current are used in electrolysis to kill the roots of individual hair follicles. There are three forms of electrolysis: thermolysis (diathermy: short-wave heating), galvanic (direct electrical current creates a chemical reaction), and mix (combination of galvanic and thermolysis). Electrolysis may be used on all skin types and hair hues because it directly mechanically destroys the root. Depending on the patient’s pain tolerance, treatments can last up to an hour and are usually given once a week.

Preparing for Hair Removal

Before undergoing hair removal treatments, it’s important to prepare your skin. This can help to minimize the risk of side effects and ensure the best possible results. It’s recommended to avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, and certain medications prior to treatment. Increasing moisturizing to the area and ceasing all temporary removal methods may be necessary. Your hair should also be the appropriate length for the treatment you’ll be receiving. Be sure to follow any specific pre-treatment instructions provided by your hair removal specialist. Consultations prior to commencement of all treatments is necessary.

Managing discomfort during the procedure

Both procedures will likely cause some discomfort. It is best to evaluate each patient separately to choose the right pain management strategy. Depending on the patient’s condition, hydration, anxiety, and stress levels, the reaction to each treatment may differ. Providing a calming setting, using reassurance, deep breathing, mindful orientation to the device, using a “test-spot,” and pre-treatment with a cold compress may all be useful.

Topical Anesthetics:

Lidocaine-containing products should be given to the patient at first and then as needed (either alone or in compound form). With no or little side effects, topical anesthetics lessen discomfort associated with   procedures. The specific anatomic position, the overall surface area covered, and the length of anesthetic skin contact must all be carefully considered. Topical anesthetics can be used 15 to 45 minutes before therapy, and they are usually taken off during or after the process.

Choosing a Provider

When choosing a hair removal provider, it’s important to do your research. Look for providers who have experience with hair removal for transgender patients and who are knowledgeable about the unique needs of the community. You may also want to consider factors such as cost, location, and reviews from previous clients.


Hair removal in transgender people can be an important part of the transition process. While it’s a personal choice, it can help to improve self-confidence and quality of life. By understanding the different types of hair removal and preparing appropriately, transgender individuals can achieve the desired results and move closer to their authentic selves.