There are two main reasons for hair removal.
- Hair removal for surgery preparation: This is a requirement set by most surgeons for phalloplasty and vaginoplasty procedures. Depending on surgeon and surgical technique used, hair is required to be removed from donor sites for phalloplasty, and external genital area prior to surgery. Hair remaining in the neouretha or neovaginal cavity can cause complications post-surgery. It is important to follow instructions and requirements set by your surgeon. Electrolysis and/or laser hair removal are your only options for permanent hair removal or long term hair reduction.
- Hair removal from the face & body: Feminizing hormone therapy have very minimal effect on reducing hair growth with many being unsatisfied with the degree of hair reduction. Masculinizing hormone therapy leads to increased body and facial hair, which you may or may not wish to remove. The presence or absence of hair can be important part of your gender expression.
The table below provides a quick snap shot to help with your decision making. Be sure to also visit the Choosing a Hair Removal Method page. Click into each hair removal methods to review in detail what’s involved and their pros and cons.
|Method & Description||Hair Removal Need||Result|
|Shaving is is the most popular method of hair removal for the face and legs. There are generally two methods: dry shaving with a foil or rotary head electric razor and wet shaving with a razor blade.||Non-surgical only||Short term – lasts for 1-4 days|
|Chemical depilatories are pastes, creams or lotions that are left on the skin for 3 to 15 minutes, depending on the brand.||Non-surgical only||Short term – lasts for 2-10 days|
|Plucking is a method that uses tweezers to remove the entire hair shaft, one at a time. It is most practical for small areas like the eyebrows.||Non-surgical only||Medium term – lasts for 2-6 weeeks|
|Threading (aka khite and fatlah) is a hair removal technique that has been used for centuries in the Middle East. It involves using a long, twisted cotton thread to pluck several hairs at once.||Non-surgical only||Medium term – lasts for 2-6 weeks|
|Waxing is the second most popular method of body hair removal, next to shaving. It involves applying a layer of hot or cold wax to the skin, and then quickly pulling it off||Non-surgical only||Medium term – lasts for 6-8 weeks|
|Sugaring involves the use of a syrup made from sugar, water and lemon juice to grab many hairs at once and remove them at the bulb. In this way, it is similar to waxing.||Non-surgical only||Medium term – lasts for 6-12 weeks|
|Electrolysis involves the insertion of a probe into each hair follicle to deliver electric currents that destroy the hair root. It is the only long term/permanent method of hair removal.||Non-surgical and surgical preparation||Long term – can achieve long term/permanent hair removal|
|Laser hair removal offers long-term hair reduction, as opposed to the permanent hair removal offered by electrolysis. It involves the use of infrared radiation which converts to heat to destroy hair follicle.||Non-surgical and surgical preparation||Long term – can achieve long term hair reduction|