Tame the tangle of long transgender hair

For the last three years I’ve been growing out my hair. My regular trips to the salon include color, highlights and getting my split ends taken care of. Slowly and steadily my hair has grown, from just below my chin, to my shoulders and now three inches down my back. As much as I enjoy my long flowing locks, I have just begun to realize that hair is like a pet, and requires care and feeding to be happy and healthy. It can also get underfoot and trip you if you’re not careful.

The travails of long hair

I bet many of you reading this are rolling your eyes at me right now – maybe you’re not able to grow your hair long or have challenges with a receding hairline. You’re probably wondering what I could possibly have to complain about, right? I’ll admit that I am blessed to have a full head of my own hair. But it’s not all sunshine and roses here! There are very real and pressing issues that need to be discussed!

Food and hair don’t mix: My favorite food is Vietnamese noodles. I absolutely love pho, and eat a vegetable pho with fresh tofu just about every week at my favorite pho place just down the road. As my hair has grown I’ve noticed that the tenuous balance between eating pho without spilling it everywhere, and keeping the broth out of my hair has been disrupted. It is genuinely difficult to keep my hair pho free, while at the same time leaning far enough over the bowl to avoid splashing down my shirt as the noodles dance towards my mouth.

Exceptional Voice
Learn how to handle beautiful long hair

Learn how to handle beautiful long hair

Lather, rinse – phew too tired to repeat: Washing my hair has become an event unto itself, that I try to do as infrequently as my personal hygiene standards will allow. It’s not just that I go through shampoo and conditioner like hot dog buns at an all you can eat convention. Washing takes time and energy. Even once it is clean and conditioned, the fun begins. I now need to dry my hair and detangle it. All told it adds an extra 30 minutes to my morning routine.

Color grows out: I think there is a plot amongst colorists. They know that it will be impossible for you to look in the mirror at your faded roots without thinking about giving them a call. It’s like an ad built right in to your body – it’s genius! If I get my hair colored I’m then a slave to the salon every 6 weeks for touch ups.

Hair gets everywhere: On the floor, in the shower, in the sink, on the chair. Strands of my hair make it everywhere. It’s not that I shed at any prolific rate, just that a few strands together seem like a lot more. And vacuum cleaners have a much harder time picking up the hair – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to unclog my machine because of immense hair build up.

It’s not good to dwell too long on the challenges, so getting right to some advice for how to tame your tangle of long hair.

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Hair Advice for Crossdressers

Buy a good hairbrush, and use it often: A good hairbrush will glide smoothly through your hair, and feel nourishing and invigorating when you brush your hair. I use a boar hair brush, because it doesn’t get tangled in my hair as easily. I try to give my hair a good brush every night, this helps release the natural oils and distribute them in your hair to make it strong and healthy.

Use conditioner – lots of it: Conditioner is your best friend – it helps to seal in moisture in your hair, and revitalize it after too many weeks of a harsh hairdryer’s heat. I personally prefer to use organic conditioner, such as Avalon organics, because I try to treat my hair with the same respect I treat the rest of my body. I don’t like pesticides and chemicals to be part of my life journey.

Brush from bottom to top: Brushing from bottom to top protects your hair, because you get all the snacks on the ends out before brushing from the top. This means there is less pressure and yanking on your scalp. This women demonstrates how she brushes her gorgeously long hair.


Don’t be afraid to experiment: Hair is one of the most versatile fashion accessories. We can wear it up or down, curled or straight. We can change the color and texture, add highlights or lowlights. We can pin it or tie it in ribbons, and it always looks sexy when we toss back our head and laugh with joy.

What are your favorite tips for dealing with long hair?

If you’re not fortunate enough to have your own hair, I recommend a human hair wig. Human hair tends to fall more naturally, and be easier to keep clean and styled.


More Articles by Vanessa Law

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I’m passionate about creating a safe space for everyone in the transgender community to find laughter and friendship on their journey. I completed my physical transition in 2011 and through it I lost everything, and gained everything. I am blessed that I was forced to gaze inward and embark on the journey to discover and live my authentic self. My deepest wish is that all who wander here may find peace, happiness and freedom.
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9 years ago

i’ve had VERY long hair for many years & i NEVER use a hair dryer because i feel it damages the hair. i also think that i only need conditioner like, once a week because of this. using conditioner more often seems to ‘build up’ and my hair doesn’t seem to look and feel as natural. if you do use conditioner every day, try ‘stripping’ it once a week by using diluted (half cold water) vinegar or lemon juice for your final rinse !

9 years ago
Reply to  Polly

also … a high side-ponytail looks cute & keeps it out of my face & food ! !

hishanna' class='avatar avatar-64 photo' height='64' width='64' />
9 years ago

I bush and comb my hair in the shower went i rinse the shampoo out of my hair with bush then the comb.

8 years ago

Today I went out for the first time in 7 years and I wore my new sweater dress and my new leggings and my new flat soled boots.Underneith I had push up cups in my favorite bra. And since I don’t have any padded panties yet I wore some smoothing shapers and a cami. I felt wonderfull. I shopped I went to Dots to show them the boots I bought there as a man. They were very receptive. And made me feel girly.I took a walk It was fun!!!!!

Micheal' class='avatar avatar-64 photo' height='64' width='64' />
7 years ago
Reply to  Joyce

I’m happy for you, that’s a big step. I feel you not only fully indulged in your experience you had a very satusfying one as well. CONGRATULATIONS!

8 years ago

Thank you for the confidence you are giving me. I truly am in heaven while I am here.

Toni Ginamaria
Toni Ginamaria
5 years ago

I have hair down to the middle of my back, just to my bra strap. Have found what works for my hair type. No tight hair ties! A loose scruncie sock bun or elastic from a pair of stockings. Wash hair only every 3-4 days with a cleansing conditioner, a drug store (Walgreens has Ren pure). Wash, then shave body & legs, rinse followed by a another good deep conditioner shave my face, rinse one last time. Blot dry or wrap a towel on my head, slattern on moisturizer, blow dry partially with a ion ceramic hair dryer (Con air… Read more »

Toni Ginamaria
5 years ago
Reply to  Toni Ginamaria

Just to update, had my hair cut and colored at a Redkin salon and asked for a Olaplex treatment, the color a 7 level Gold Copper Chromatic with 8 level GC on the ends with Olaplex added. Had a coupon for eyebrow shaping and tint in a neutral shade slightly darker. Wow what a difference and I am so pleased at how it came out. The cut didn’t noticeably effect my length but my hair is softer healthier shiner and easier to style. Also got new Aphrodite Breast forms from the Breastform Store, my last pair of tits Gold seal… Read more »

Jessica Lace
Jessica Lace
3 years ago

Any good tips on simple, easy to do hair styles? I have a long honey blonde human hair wig. I’m getting better at braiding, but want to try something…sassy…???

Fiona-Ann Moss
Active Member
2 years ago

hi vanessa, just stumbled across this post, and yes! I did roll my eyes. its wigs! long haired wigs!, nightmare! they get tangled for fun, I stupidly wore my wig in bed asleep and the hair on my scruffy Yorkshire terrier dog looks tidier! I dont think even a miracle will restore my wig, so I have bought two more which are not! going to be worn in bed 🙂 .

great topic 🙂 .

fiona xxx

skippy1965 Cynthia
Trusted Member
2 years ago

Hey Vanessa! Finally have the hair I always wanted-down to just above the bra strap-wanting another 3-5 inches still. I only wash and condition about once a week cause its so thick it takes forever. Adds about 45 minutes to shower/drying time! In between I use dry shampoo. I had thought bout coloring but as you say that just ties up time and money forever. And lots of folks have told me they love how my hair looks grey/silver/brunette mix. Heck people pay big money to get the blend I have! So I am keeping it au naturel! After all… Read more »

1 year ago

Wow ! Hair that beautiful! I wondered about dry shampoo, I will have to try that.

Rowena Gold
7 months ago

“What are your favorite tips for dealing with long hair?” During my misspent youth I was a hippie with hair down to my waist, even longer than my SO had. Then I joined the rat race and had to conform to the short hair standard which I did until I retired. I just stopped having haircuts and allowed it to grow out again over the past 4 years. It has been trimmed twice since then but is now about bra band length at the back. Yes, it gets frizzy and tangled and it took me a while to figure out… Read more »

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