In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association eliminated the term “Gender Identity Disorder,” from its diagnostic manual, and reintroduced the more accepted term “Gender Dysphoria.” To clarify, people who have gender dysphoria are called transgender, and these people are defined as feeling discomfort that their gender identity doesn’t match their physical anatomy.
According to The New York Times, it is estimated that there are about 1.4 million transgender people living in the United States. Being transgender is more prevalent than ever, especially in children and adolescents. Awareness of transgender issues continues to grow, thanks in part to high-profile celebrities who’ve spoken out, like activist Jazz Jennings, Caitlyn Jenner, and Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox.
Gender dysphoria (GD), with the suffix phoria meaning a condition or state, is a condition in which there is a conflict between a person’s physical gender and the gender he or she identifies with. The mismatch between someone’s sex and gender identity can lead to distressing and uncomfortable feelings called “dysphoria.” When a child, adolescent, or even an adult experiences gender dysphoria, they often have feelings of dissatisfaction and anxiety, because they feel that they are essentially “stuck in the wrong body.”
However, not all transgender people suffer from feelings of gender dysphoria. These patients are identified as gender non-conforming. To better understand those with gender non-conformity/gender dysphoria, these individuals do not wish to be the opposite gender, they believe and insist, that they are in fact, that gender.
Being transgender means that a person’s gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex at birth. As transgender activist Jazz Jennings describes it, she is a girl trapped in a boy’s body. When these sex hormones are blocked, the body does not undergo the changes associated with the gender assigned at birth, which is the ultimate goal for those who are transgender.
What may surprise you, is that women produce testosterone as well. Women produce increased amounts of testosterone during puberty, in the ovaries and adrenal glands, while men produce testosterone in the testes. Research has shown, however, that testosterone production is substantially lower in women than it is in men, as women produce just a fraction of the amount of testosterone each day that men do. Levels of testosterone peak for women in their early 20s, and by the time a woman has reached menopause, she will have only about half (50 percent) of the testosterone she once had.
Testosterone is responsible for traits such as body hair, muscle mass, and strength. Men with low levels of testosterone might notice a reduction in these traits, while too much testosterone in women can cause these traits to be more pronounced. However, testosterone in women has many functions. It is important for bone strength and development of lean muscle mass and strength. Testosterone also contributes to overall sense of well-being and energy level. It is best known for its crucial role in a woman’s sex drive, or libido.
For male to female transition, they want to avoid growing facial hair for example, and vice versa, for female to male transition, they want to stop the growth of breasts.
Due to transitioning and hormones, trans people tend to be prone to hair loss. It is commonly believed that Male Pattern Baldness is caused by testosterone. In fact, hair loss for males, is actually caused by dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that is built out of testosterone by the actions of an enzyme called the 5-alpha reductase enzyme.
Among women, this enzyme is present only in very low levels (Low-T), which is why women don’t suffer from baldness as often as men do.
If you are transitioning from male to female, your 5-alpha enzyme levels will fall, so any hair loss thinning caused by dihydrotestosterone will immediately slow down. It is important to note, that however, other conditions or factors such as stress and genetics, can often be the cause of hair loss.
If you are transitioning from female to male, your risk of hair loss will increase. This is because your body will go through the equivalent of menopause, the amount of 5-alpha enzyme will increase in the body, along with testosterone, the reason also why some women’s hair starts to thin out. If males in your family your family are bald or starting balding at any early age, the chances are that you will experience the same susceptibility.
Hair transplantation can play a very important role, aesthetically and psychologically, for trans people. At Maxim Hair Restoration, we offer hair transplant procedures. We perform the following:
The Strip technique: We take a strip of hair from the back and sides of the head, called the donor area. This strip of hair, is then divided into little grafts or units of hair, specifically, one to three hair follicles on each. This is called the strip technique. Each follicular unit or graft is then implanted in the thinning and balding areas, known as recipient sites. Following the procedure, the donor area will have a scar, but it is covered by hair and not visible.
The Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): This procedure is a new and advanced technique that takes individual grafts or follicular units from the donor areas of the patient’s head, and transfers each graft individually to the needed sites. This technique does not leave any scars in the donor areas.
If you are unsure as to what is causing your hair loss, we recommend you consult a hair loss specialist for a personal assessment. Contact Maxim today to find out if you are a candidate for a hair transplant.