Effect of Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy on Hair Growth: A Systematic Review of the Literature

    Gia T Tang, Sav Zwickl, Rodney Sinclair, Jeffrey D Zajac, Ada S Cheung
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    TLDR Gender-affirming hormone therapy changes hair growth in transgender people, with feminizing therapy reducing hair and masculinizing therapy increasing it, but sometimes additional treatment is needed.
    The systematic review of 16 studies found that gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) significantly alters hair growth patterns in transgender individuals. Feminizing GAHT, involving estradiol and/or antiandrogens, can reduce facial and body hair growth and improve androgenic alopecia (AGA) in transgender women. Masculinizing GAHT, involving testosterone, can increase facial and body hair growth and may induce or accelerate AGA in transgender men. These changes may not always align with the individual's hair growth goals, necessitating additional treatment for AGA or hirsutism. The review also found that medications such as minoxidil and finasteride may be effective in preventing the progression of AGA. However, further research is needed to inform management strategies for hair disorders in trans individuals, particularly in relation to how GAHT affects hair growth and sexual function.
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