Category Archives: Transsexual

Bruce Jenner: Becomes a woman at age 65 and gets more hair

Yesterday’s biggest news story in the US per Google Trends was about Bruce Jenner’s heavily photoshopped but still stunning transformation on the cover photo of the latest Vanity Fair magazine.  He also officially announced his new female name of Caitlyn Jenner.  The video clip further below has more images.

For those who do not know, Bruce Jenner was an Olympic gold medalist American athletic legend in the 1970s and appeared on the front of Wheaties cereal boxes: an honor that is only given to the best of the best athletes in the US.  Bruce epitomized the American macho male.  His transition into female Caitlyn at the very late age of 65 has shocked a lot of middle aged and older males who were his fans, and I talked to one at a bar yesterday who was quite depressed about it!  I on the other hand am always happy to see a male-to-female (MTF) transsexual so that I can examine whats going on with her hair.  More of my thoughts follow the video.

I have covered MTF transsexuals on this blog before (e.g., see Danielle Hallett and transgender couple) for one specific reason: my interest in what happens to their scalp hair once they get on antiandrogens and female hormones such as estrogen, and especially if they also have MTF surgery where the testicles are removed.  Such surgery guarantees that further balding will cease (or never start if it hasn’t already).  However, there is no guarantee that such drastic surgery will regrow hair on totally bald scalp, although estrogen supplementation after castration can regrow a lot of hair it seems.  This would imply that hair is never permanently gone, as has been postulated in various recent studies (hair is still there, but progenitor cells are gone).

Bruce Jenner’s scalp hair does seem to have become better since he commenced his transition to Caitlyn.  However, he was never balding significantly and the closest photo I found of him with some very mild frontal hair loss is here.  So its hard to tell how much hormone therapy has helped his hair and whether he actually grew new hair, or whether his existing hair became thicker and fuller. One of the articles I read yesterday mentioned that Bruce Jennner had some kind of hair related surgery as part of his transition.  His main transition surgery went on for 10 hours.  It does not seem like the now Caitlyn Jenner has had genital surgery yet, so she is still producing significant male hormones.

In future, if I cover a transsexual story, I hope to only focus on ones where the former male was significantly bald and gained hair after becoming female.  However, this story was so huge that I could not ignore it. Besides representing yet another milestone in the transgender world, it represents even more of a drastic shift to the left in American culture, which much of the rest of the world often ends up following.  If China, Russia and the Islamic world shifted left in a similar manner, I think the world would be much more peaceful. Imagine if Vladimir Putin and the Saudi King were to convert to women!  It would definitely lead to much more peace in the world in my opinion.

Caitlyn’s new Twitter account got a million followers within a few hours and currently has over two million followers.  Even president Obama replied to her Tweet.  Really unbelievable how the world has changed culturally and technologically in the past two decades.

The Instructive Case of Transsexual Danielle Hallett

Until around 15 years ago, I always had to suppress a laugh on the rare occasion when I saw a MTF (male-to-female) transsexual person. I did not know anything about the biological basis for transsexualism, and did not realize the stupendous struggles that these people have to endure for most of their lifetimes.  Family, community and religion based judgement and ostracization of transsexuals can often be brutal, although these issues have improved significantly in recent years in the developed world (and a few other places such as Thailand).  Fifteen years ago I essentially thought that transsexuals were semi-crazy people experimenting with themselves for some twisted type of entertainment!  How wrong was I.

My feelings about transsexuals changed drastically over the years as I met more of them and learnt about the problem in detail via youtube and the Internet in general.  Moreover, as I began losing my own scalp hair while gaining a decent amount of body hair at the same time, I started becoming increasingly curious about male and female hormones. Today I find the whole process of converting from male to female very fascinating, even though I have no intention of doing so myself. I would definitely prefer the scalp hair of a typical woman though.  One other thing that made me more interested in transsexuals was that every single MTF transsexual that I have talked to over the years has been very intelligent and I am not sure why this is so. Perhaps their numerous struggles from a young age make them more likely to become astute thinkers and observers? Perhaps they have been gifted with both men’s and women’s strong suits when it comes to intelligence (assuming you believe that sex differences in different areas of the brains do exist)?  Most of the videos on youtube from TrannyGirl15 are good examples of a high level of intelligence. I especially like this one.

It should be noted that I have never talked to a FTM (female-to-male) transsexual person in real life.  Besides there being more MTF transsexuals than FTM transsexuals in general, my interest in the former is much more significant because once they become female, they often have to go all out to get back the hair that they lost while they were male.  FTM transsexuals on the other hand often seem okay with losing their scalp hair!  How extremely annoying that there are people out there who will take drugs knowing that they could then very well lose their scalp hair.

Danielle Hallett Gets Her Hair Back

In any case, the reason for this post is to discuss the amazing transformation of Darren Hallett to Danielle Hallett.  Danielle has a major internet trail documenting her transition and its aftermath, including over 1,500 often very useful posts on the hairlosstalk forums where she is known as GeminiX.  The most impressive thing about Danielle’s transition is that she seems to have done most of it in her late 30s and early 40s, when she was already middle-aged and significantly balding.  Transitioning when young is a lot easier, at least hormonally speaking. Here are more of Danielle’s photos from 2012, when she had already had several hair transplants.  She has had several more since then.  Also see photos on her own website.

In my recent post on estrogen and hair loss, I pointed out how it was amazing to read that estrogen supplementation in castrated individuals can grow back substantial amounts of fine/vellus/ invisible/dead hair.  This goes against what many scientists have said for years — i.e., hair that is dead will never come back.  According to one of Danielle’s posts on the hairlosstalk forums:

As far as I can tell I grew back hair that I had lost in the 5 – 10 years prior to starting medication, I have transsexual friends who recovered what appears to be far more hair than me who started treatment much sooner into the MPB ‘journey’.  My theory is that medication can reverse all hair loss if the hair follicles are still there (even if dormant for a long time), but once they are gone, they are gone.

In essence, she seems to be saying that hair that has been dormant for as long as ten years can still come back and is not totally gone. No-one seems to be in agreement as to when hair is “totally gone”. Around 15 years ago, Dr. Marty Sawaya stated that she had a patient who had been totally bald for decades and yet still regained most of his hair while on Dutasteride.  Not sure how much I can believe from that one somewhat controversial anecdotal case though.

It also seems like Danielle Hallett was never castrated, although I am not certain about that. In future, I hope I can find more well documented cases from middle-aged or older MTF transsexuals who regained a lot or most of their hair after both castration and estrogen supplementation.  Perhaps hair is never gone permanently and can be rejuvenated even decades after it disappears!?  Wouldn’t that be wonderful.

Danielle Hallet is active on Twitter, on Linkedin and on Facebook. While the Daily Mail article I linked to earlier in bold mentions how successful and rich she is, one of Danielle’s forum posts indicates that she was homeless at one point of time.  On top all that, she also had a gastric band procedure to lose weight.  All-in-all, one heck of a story and transformation, with Danielle’s 154k Twitter followers at the time of writing this post a testament to her great story.