I’ve decided to have a hair transplant – and it’s tomorrow. This time tomorrow, I’ll be in surgery, with my head literally cut open. It’s no easy ride, this transition lark.
I’ve written a few times on here about my endeavours to bring back my head hair by using a combination of Finasteride and Minoxidil, aka Regaine/Rogaine.
I honestly thought the days of sporting nice hairstyles were gone forever and that I’d either have to shave off what hair remained, as I did for a few years, or, if I was ever brave enough to transition, to wear wigs.
The Minoxidil has worked wonders and I’ve had some incredible results. Thousands of follicles which had been sleeping for years, are now wide awake again, and the hair is back on top in the middle and at the back.
It’s not quite as thick as at the lower back and sides, but it’s more than thick enough, especially as my hair is naturally wavy, so this waviness hides any thinner areas.
But I had to stop using the Minoxidil as it was making a right mess of my scalp. I was using the foam type of Regaine. All was fine for the first few months, but then my scalp became really dry and scabby – not attractive.
When you stop using Regaine, called Rogaine in the US, you’re supposed to notice quite a bit of hair loss, as all its effects are undone. To be honest, I didn’t notice any at all, so I can’t be 100% certain it was working in the first place. I have to conclude that my results thus far have been down to Finasteride alone.
But while the results in the middle and back of my scalp have been nothing short of miraculous, I can’t say the same for the front. Apart from my Steve McClaren-style “hair island” right at the front, all the scalp around it is barren of hair. The chances of Hair Island ever becoming reconnected to the mainland were looking impossible.
This began to concern me. Any trans woman wants to look as feminine as possible. And you can’t really look that feminine with a whole chunk of male pattern baldness going on at the front of your scalp.
This was highlighted a few weeks ago by my very good friend Tom, who I’ve mentioned on here before. I’ve known him since 1985 and he’s a splendid chap. But one night, over a couple of beers, he pointed out, in as tactful a fashion as he could, that my hair was becoming something like a clown wig. Thaaaaaaaaaaanks!!! I have to say Pennywise isn’t really the look I’m going for!
I responded that I could bring hair from the top and sides forward and sidewards to cover the baldy front bit. But I realised I was being a tad over-optimistic. A few weeks passed, my hair grew longer and longer, and all it served to do was highlight the fact that the front of my scalp was as barren as life on the Isle of Arran. Oof.
I became even more concerned a week or two later when Tom and I visited a local micropub in another town. The larger-than-life landlord was running a quiz during our visit, and thought it great sport to have a pop at the punters as they left.
It was all good natured, but this guy had no filter at all. At one point, a few elderly people got up to leave. Among the party were two immaculately dressed ladies. I can’t remember the exact words he used, but he accused them of being swingers!
I was very relieved I wasn’t en femme that afternoon – or heaven knows what treatment I’d have got as I left. But I still didn’t escape the landlord’s barbed put-downs.
“Art Garfunkel’s leaving, ladies and gentlemen!” he roared down the mic. I saw the funny side at the time – but it made me think: I need to sort out this hair once and for all. I do NOT want to look like a f*cking clown, or Art Garfunkel!
I’d never even considered a hair transplant until that moment – I thought it was something only the rich and the famous did. So it was time to do a bit of research…
Click here to read how I did my research to find my surgeon.