Hair Removal For Transsexuals

Hair Removal For Transsexuals

We have treated many transsexuals for hair removal in the Studio, all at varying stages into their sex change journey.  We have learnt so much from them and are proud to call them our friends.  It’s not an easy journey to undertake, and it’s not undertaken lightly.  Hair is a big issue, especially on the face for a male to female transsexual, yet it seems that often hormones aren’t prescribed until the person is living in the main as a woman.  Yet having facial hair can really affect this as it is a big part of being able to feel feminine.  Why is someone expected to go to work as a woman, yet have facial hair? Of course it can be shaved, but this often produces the unwanted ‘shadow’.  A more permanent solution is often sought, but faces it’s own difficulties as the hair needs to be there a little for treatment to take place.

Treatment for facial hair removal is a big part of the sex change journey. What treatment is best, should it be laser or electrolysis? I can’t answer this question unfortunately as different treatments suit different people, but we have had amazing success with electrolysis.  It is a long process and requires a high level of commitment, but with a trusting relationship set up between therapist and client it is hugely successful and rewarding. Electrolysis is the only form of hair removal that can claim permanence and I have seen many clients who have been disappointed with their laser/IPL treatments, and then again others who have found it good.  Electrolysis is often still required to ‘mop up’ remaining hairs as laser only reduces them.


Electrolysis is the only approved method of hair removal on the genitalia prior to gender reassignment surgery because of its permanence.  This is also for female to male transsexuals who often require hair removal on their forearm.  The forearm skin is often used to create new male genitalia.

The NHS often do fund for hair removal prior to genitalia reassignment surgery as this is seen as part of the surgical process. However they tend to be quite late in setting up this process and leaving hair removal until the last minute is not advisable.  I would recommend starting treatment for hair removal on the genitalia (M to F) or the forearm (F to M) at least 2 years prior to surgery.  It is best to check with your surgeon (or their nurse) to see if hair removal is even required, as it isn’t always the case.

If you would like to discuss electrolysis for your hair removal requirements we would love to see you.

Electrolysis versus Laser and Intense Pulse Light Treatments

If you are trying to decide which is the best treatment for your hair removal needs, it can be really complicated. Here is some information about both treatments which should hopefully give you the advantages and disadvantages of electrolysis and laser and Intense Pulse Light so that you can make a more informed decision about which treatment is the best for your needs.

Electrolysis is the only treatment on the market that can offer permanent hair removal. It can treat all hair colours including blonde and grey, and is also suitable for all skin colours. It can also be performed on skin that has a suntan, though it wouldn’t be advisable on sunburn! It can be slow as each hair has to be treated individually, and it can take more than one treatment for that hair to be permanently treated. So how many treatments are required? This is a common question that is often asked and one that can’t be clearly determined at the start of treatment as many factors have to be taken into consideration. It can depend on the extent of the condition, how often treatments are given and hormonal influences. Treatment is progressive and with time and patience results can be very successful for most people. Electrolysis is more suitable for hair conditions that are refined to smaller areas, though can be carried out on large areas if time and budget constraints are not an issue. For genital hair removal prior to transgender gender reassignment it is the only recommended treatment due to the permanent option. Transgender clients often prefer it as facial hair removal because of the fact that it can offer permanence, even though it can take time, money and patience.

Laser and Intense Pulse Light treatments offer permanent hair reduction. In other words it won’t clear all active hair follicles but will reduce them back to a lesser level. If a clearer result is required then often electrolysis can be performed to ‘mop up’ the remaining hairs. It only works on darker hairs as pigments are required to heat the follicles in order to render them unable to produce hairs. It is also better if the skin is fair to provide a greater contrast between hair and skin colour. Laser and Intense Pulse Light treatments cannot be performed on skin that has a recent sun tan. Because the hairs aren’t being individually treated it is beneficial for larger areas requiring hair removal as it can be quicker and cheaper. On the down side it has been reported that sometimes the hairs treated can regrow after a couple of years. Intense Pulse Light is often more successful if the skin is fairer and lasers can be the treatment of choice for darker skin colours.

It is always important to have a thorough consultation prior to whichever treatment you choose. Ensure that all your questions are thoroughly answered and that you feel confident in the hands of the therapist performing the treatment. It is important to have a patch test especially prior to laser and Intense Pulse Light treatments to ensure that treatment is appropriate, and hairs are responding at the required level of the machine.