Facial hair changes have an onset of 6-12 months and plateau after about 3 years. Unfortunately, hormone therapy alone will not completely reverse terminal hair growth that has already occurred. You may find that your beard thins over time and that you start to grow vellus hair. You may find that the hair on your chest also thins out and becomes more vellus in nature. Hormone therapy may also promote terminal hair to grow at a slower rate.

Terminal hair growth is permanent and will not resolve with hormone therapy alone. You may need to consider electrolysis or laser hair removal to achieve the effects you desire.

Terminal hair is pigmented hair that is coarse and textured. Prior to therapy, you can observe terminal hair in your armpits, pubic area, and on your scalp and eyebrows.

Vellus hair is the light, translucent hair that covers your body except for your palms, soles of your feet, and lips. It will give your skin a softer appearance.


Face & Skin Changes Along a Timeline 

Surface Anatomy

On the other hand, hormone therapy has the potential to slow the process of balding. Although therapy alone may not completely reverse balding, it can offer assistance to regrow hair around a receding hairline. The hair on your head will become thicker and grow at a faster rate. Hair growth is different for everyone and some may grow more scalp hair than others. However, if therapy is stopped scalp balding will resume.

Before Therapy

  • Skin Softening

  • Beard Growth Slowing

  • Dry Skin

  • Less Oil Production

  • Pore Size Decrease

  • Cheek Fat Increase

  • Vellus Hair Growth

  • Reverse Balding

  • Beard Thinning

  • Cheek Fat Increase

  • Reverse Balding

  • Thick Scalp Hair

6 Months

1 Year

2 Years

As the skin on your face changes, you may also experience softer skin texture, partially due to the changes in your pores but also because your face will hold onto more fat beneath the skin, otherwise known as “subcutaneous fat”. You will still have the same bone structure of your jaw line, however, it may become less pronounced with the increase of subcutaneous fat. Your skeletal structure does not have the potential to change unless therapy before the completion of puberty.

2 Years

The effects of hormone therapy on your skin affects everyone differently. Some individuals may find that they have an increase in oil production for a short time and have mild acne flares, similar to those one would experience during puberty. Even if you do undergo this stage, overall your pores will shrink and you may find your skin becomes drier.

It is still important to maintain a healthy skin regimen, especially as your face dries out. This may include using a facial scrub, toner, and non-comedogenic moisturizer with SPF to lessen the effects of unwanted acne and promote moisture.

Be sure to look for the word “non-comedogenic” on any facial care products moisturizer to ensure that it is formulated to not clog your pores.



© 2019 Sam Nigro, Augusta University

Hormone therapy is not required for any transition or queer experience. Changes from hormone therapy that are outlined in this website are not guaranteed. All changes from hormone therapy are dependent on genetic makeup and can be different for everyone. 

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