Facial Hair?

I am 29 year old white male and cannot grow facial hair. Is there something I can do besides a facial hair transplant or rubbing rogaine on my face every night? How is it that a transgender that was born a female are able to grow natural looking facial hair. I can grow a little under my chin (about 40 hairs) but nowhere else. I really need help. Thank You.

Doctor Answers 13

Facial Hair Growth / Beard Transplant

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Transgender females to males take testosterone, but I have performed
beard transplants on several FTM transgender patients with success.
Similarly, I regularly - on average once or twice weekly - perform beard
transplants on men seeking thicker beards.

Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Stimulating Facial Hair Growth

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Facial hair transplant and Rogaine are the two most effective treatments for beard growth. Hormones (the origin of the problem, due to genetics) can have dangerous side effects, unfortunately. Transgender (female to male conversion) could experience regeneration of dormant follicles in the facial area from extraneous androgenic hormone use, because the dormancy of the hair was caused by the influence of female hormones and suppression of male hormone effects. In your case, you are genetically devoid of hair in the facial areas. Hence simply using extra male hormones may not help your situation and as mentioned previously, it could pose health risks. Have you tried using Rogaine? I would recommend that approach first, and if that doesn’t work, consult a hair transplant surgeon.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Hair loss & growth is in the genes

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Actually Rogaine might help; give it six to twelve months.

if you are genetically programmed to have minimal facial hair, your follicles have a minimal response to the hormonal signal telling the follicle to produce a strong terminal hair. Rogaine works by a different pathway.

Alexander Lewis, MD
Walnut Creek Dermatologic Surgeon

Facial Hair Growth

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Facial hair transplant and Minoxidil are the the only two effective treatments for beard hair regrowth. Transgender individuals can experience regrowth of dormant follicles when using testosterone  on the face because the dormancy of the hair was caused by the influence of female hormones and suppression of male hormone effects. I would suggest first trying minoxidil, and if this doesn't work, consult a physician that specializes in hair restoration.

Dr. Robert Jones

Robert Jones, MD, FISHRS
Mississauga Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Facial Hair Growth Stimulation

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Facial hair growth in males is directly proportional to the level of circulating androgenic hormones testosterone and 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (5-DHT) AND the sensitivity of your dermal papilla receptors to these hormones. 

I recommend a physician visit for a complete medical (and family) history, exam, and blood tests to evaluate your levels of circulating androgens. If you are deficient, prescription therapy (testosterone) may accelerate facial hair growth, BUT, a word of CAUTION as this may have unintended consequences. The hair follicles on your head and the ones in your beard react paradoxically (opposite) to circulating 5-DHT. Increased blood levels of 5-DHT are associated with Male Pattern Baldness (MPB), which you likely want to avoid. So, therapy for one problem (lack of facial hair) may lead to unintended consequences (balding), and the need for multiple therapies (ie: testosterone therapy and rogaine/minoxidil to prevent/treat MPB). 

If you have normal androgen levels (most likely), your next best options are: waiting for your facial hair to fill in with topical application of minoxidil (may help improve your beard density), hair transplantation, or micropigmentation of beard hair follicles. This last option would have a better cosmetic result in combination with a hair transplant (3D growth) so you avoid a 100% 2D appearance (micropigmentation alone).

Thank you for your question.

Facial hair at 29

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Some men just have very little facial hair based on their genetics.  The two treatments you mentioned really are the best options.  Rogaine used on a consistent basis can be a good starting point, but you would need to use it every day for at least 6-12 months before giving up.  

Hair transplantation to the beard can work really well to thicken facial hair and is essentially a permanent solution.

All the best,

Matthew Richardson, MD
Frisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Facial Hair Growth

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Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do that effectively changes how much hair grows on your face, apart from a surgical option in the form of beard transplant.

Some men grow more facial hair than others. If you're wondering why the diversity, then the answer is one word - genetics.

I think its important for boys / men to look at facial hair growth like one's height or skin colour. It isn't something you can control or change.

Each individual is unique and people are beautiful in all shapes and forms. We must understand this and learn to love ourselves for who we are.

29 and wants facial hair

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You can try minoxidil and see if it grows hair. If that does not work, then a beard transplant may be the only option for you

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Don't be envious of your female friend who has a beard.

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Don't be envious of your female friend who has a beard. That is probably hormone therapy or even a hair transplant. Did you ask?

Facial hair is a genetic trait that you inherited from your parents. It is a secondary male characteristic trait that shows with the onset of puberty. You can't grow more facial hair with medications or supplements. The only way to add more facial hair is a hair transplant surgery.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Transgender hair

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It will be difficult if not impossible to grow a full beard with Rogaine or hormones.  In addition, hormones have many potential unwanted side effects so they must be used cautiously.  Your best bet is a hair transplantation. 

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.