35 MTF - Born balding, went bald, recovering hair

Description

I can only upload up to 5 at a time, so I’ll be separating my initial uploads by “era”.
Here is what I had to work with.

Regimen

Factory Settings

Pictures

  1. University. Practically born with Norwood 2.
  2. Just after Uni, there’s clear thinning.
  3. Decided to shave my head to the skin because the hairline was too disturbingly masculine. I did NOT want to look like Patrick Stewart.
  4. This is how bad it looked when I skipped a day or two of shaving. Also note my hairy arms.


This was as bad as it got. I thought I was at peace with shaving my head (and let’s be real, I looked pretty good bald) but I couldn’t shake the gender dysphoria. A few years of hemming and hawing, I underwent HRT.

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factory settings

:rofl:

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Regimen

  • Minoxidil
  • Dutasteride
  • Estradiol
  • Spironolactone
  • Microneedling
  • Exosomes

Pictures

  1. Just started HRT, maybe some minoxidil
  2. Just before I decided to start growing my hair out. Notice that there’s still thinning. This never really got better, and persisted until the time of writing.
  3. Letting it grow out. At this point, I was already on Dutasteride, and had undergone some Exosome treatments. I am not sure if they worked.

At this point, the length of the hair was able to cover some of the thinning, but it was painfully obvious when wet. Notice the baby hairs around the fronto-temporal region. Those never matured, despite my best efforts. (Minoxidil, Dutasteride, Exosomes)

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Estrogen is definitely anabolic for hair growth. At least that’s what I’ve seen time and time again.

Regimen

  • Minoxidil
  • Dutasteride
  • Estradiol Enanthate injections (monotherapy, no need for spiro anymore)
  • Stopped Microneedling
  • Stopped Exosomes

Pictures

These are the last photos from the first batch of photos I posted on r/tressless. My hair at this point was… okay. If I were a man, this would have been fine, I guess.

How I look these days.
My front/center hair generally grows much more slowly than the sides and back, which is frustrating. This is after 3-4 trips to the salon, with the sides and back trimmed but the front and center left to grow. It’s longer than it ever has been, but it’s still frustratingly sparse. These pictures look okay, but this is essentially a combover, and all it takes is a gust of wind to ruin the illusion.

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Unbelievable results, you look amazing

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Thank you! You are very kind :smiley:

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Wow this is great! Congrats! I’m not transgender but I would love if we had more research on SERMs and have a localized feminization of the scalp. I think that would help many people, especially cis-men.

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Had a hair transplant 2 days ago (June 10). These are the before pictures, and serve as the last record of my natural hairline.

Pictures

You can see, the frontal hairs are short compared to the others. This is as far as they go, and if I stick with this, I’ll never be able to have typical ladies’ hair styles. This is why I went for the procedure.

I’m not sure if I should show the uhhhh carnage, in case there are some squeamish folks here. I would post in the Hair Transplants category, but I would prefer to only post there once I have some solid results. Perhaps, if there was a “spoiler tag” like in reddit, I could post them. Paging @craggg :wink:

Love the new photo grid thing, btw!

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Goodbye pixie cut! How did the procedure go??

oh btw,

Perhaps, if there was a “spoiler tag”

check out “hide details” or “blur spoiler” in the gear icon when you’re editing

You will see soon enough :smiley:

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Preface

So these are the pictures relating to my hair transplant. According to my doctor, he would normally go for FUT for trans women he wouldn’t have to shave much of the scalp–just the strip. For trans women, FUT has minimal downsides because the scar will be hidden underneath all the long hair.

However, my scalp is too tight–if he had gone through with FUT, my scalp would try to split apart, leading to more risk of infection, a wider scar, and a more noticeable weird spot at the back of my head even with long hair. This is why we went with FUE.

The downside of course, is that he had to basically give me an undercut, as you will see below. This was acceptable to me, because my hair was still short, so there wasn’t much effort wasted. Shaving my head completely was also an option, but I wanted to keep something.

Pictures

  1. They had to give me pigtails because of the awkward length of my hair.
  2. Had to take a selfie because I looked so ridiculous. My doctor did not shave the immediate temple hair because he needed the guide.
  3. My girlfriend was present (best gf ever) and she took a weirdly flattering photo, despite the hair.
  4. As you can see, the procedure was quite aggressive, using almost the entire back of the head as a donor area. This was necessary because there was a lot of ground to cover in both the mid-scalp and the fronto-temporal region. This was a calculated risk, because I was essentially hormonally female, and there was little chance that recession would reach those follicles.

The morning after the procedure. Looking weird, but whatever. I knew what I was getting into. No swelling had set in yet.

But the swelling started in the evening, and got steadily worse, but exactly as my doctor warned. (Starting from the forehead, migrating to the brows, then the sides of the head, then the eyelids) The last photo was taken just before writing this entry, and I have never looked more like an old asian lady in my life.

At this point, I’ve begun very gently washing my hair with a basin of water, and using a surgical sponge that my doctor gave me to dab on the wounds. There’s a distinct “eggy” smell, but I don’t know what exactly it is.

It has begun to itch, so the challenge for the next few days will be not to scratch.

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I have never looked more like an old asian lady in my life.

hahaha this and that smirk with the swelling is killing me

I hope the healing process goes smoothly for you, how long is recovery supposed to take?

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Thank you! My mom now laughs every time she sees me. :rofl:

The standard timeline according to my doc is 10 days. By the 7th day mark, I should be trying to scrub off the scabs.

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It’s been 10 days since surgery, and most of the scabs have come off.
Redness persists in both donor and recipient sites, with some numbness in the former, and soreness in the latter. All of this is expected.


Not bad, if I do say so myself–enough for me to go out in public.
I do know the little hairs will come off eventually though, so I’m trying to emotionally prepare for that awkwardness.

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It’s healing so fast! When is the shed supposed to happen?

Supposedly my healing is par for the course, as it is almost exactly as his post-op manual predicts. I imagine it has something to do with some… peculiarities about my doctor’s procedures:

  • He advised me to take both pineapple and papaya 3x a day, 5 days before surgery until 5 days after surgery (the goal being to have enough bromelain and papain in my system prior, during, and after the surgery to reduce swelling and improve healing)
  • Instead of ATP solution, he stored all my grafts in PRP solution he created at the start of the surgery. (It is no stretch of imagination to see how the PRP solution helped with healing)
  • He also prescribed a mild steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for the first few days after the surgery, on a linearly decreasing dose. (First day post op was 5 tablets. The next day was 4, etc…)

He actually intends to pluck all the recipient sites out, to avoid any possibility of the hair follicles getting obstructed. I am planning on requesting him not to do that for the hairs around the hairline, as they really help with the dysphoria. I am also aware that they too will eventually fall out, but I want to hang on to this for as long as I can. I also imagine the obstruction risk is low, as HRT has made me very un-oily.

For all the hairs that he plucks, the shed is “immediate” in the sense that he plucks them all out. For shock loss, a few weeks. A lot of my finer hairs have started falling off though, but I’m not sure if it’s part of the shock loss, or simply my normal hair-fall.

To help regrowth along, he’ll be prescribing 15% minoxidil, and continuing my prescription for dutasteride. Most men who undergo this procedure experience regrowth 3-6 months after the procedure, while trans women like myself typically experience regrowth sooner. At least one trans woman patient regrew in a month.

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Interesting, the tropical transplant protocol. Do doctors ever talk about peptides that you’ve witnessed? I’ve been curious why BPC-157 and TB-500 aren’t more common practice after surgery but I don’t follow transplants too carefully

I don’t know much about peptides either, and my doctor hasn’t mentioned them. (bromelain and papain are, to my knowledge, enzymes, not peptides)