If you are an average Joe suffering from a patchy beard or just dreaming to have a thick beard and you exerted all possible solutions at your disposal to obtain that alpha male beard, worry not anymore because you just hit the jackpot with this article and we might have a solution for your dilemma
What is Beard Transplant?
As the name implies, it is a procedure whereby healthy hair follicles are taken from the donor (usually the patient) then transplanted to the skin of the facial area to give the appearance of a natural looking beard or mustache. The hair that is taken to be transplanted is taking from an area that is not so visible such as the back of your head. The reason being is to maintain the consistency of a natural looking facial hair. Your surgeon has to be highly skilled to implant the hair follicles at natural angles, therefore reflecting an original hair growth pattern. On average, your surgeon will require 4000-7000 hair follicles to provide the best possible outcome, but sometimes only 2500 is needed to give you a full beard.
Following your successful beard transplant after 2-3 weeks, you will notice the implanted hair will begin to fall off (shedding). However, that is entirely normal as new hair will start to flourish. At this point you may start to wonder, is it possible to graft hair follicle from donor areas such as leg or chest. Your surgeon will consider it as a last resort, because it is essential that the donor's hair is similar in caliber and texture to existing facial hair.
According to the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons, there are 2 significant methods to go about beard transplanting:
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE):FUE is the most popular method, in this treatment, your hair follicles are grafted from the donor area then harvested in the desired area (beard or mustache)
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT):in this treatment, a small strip of tissue is taken from the donor area via microscopic dissection, this method will leave a minor scar.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Before addressing the pros and cons of this whole treatment, let us review the advantages of FUE and FUT procedures.
- No minor linear scaring.
- Faster recovery period.
- Scars are difficult to find.
- No pain experienced during or after the procedure.
- Ability to harvest a large quantity of hair in a short period.
With that being said, it is important to have a holistic understanding of this treatment which you can obtain through examining the pros and cons of beard transplant. Starting with the benefits of a beard transplant:
- Several studies suggest men with facial hair are more likely to be considered attractive. Those studies also indicate facial hair entails security, strength, and confidence.
- Beard transplant is not a painful procedure. Because this entire procedure requires minimal invasion and medical innovation is currently at is finest. However, you will experience a pinching sensation.
- Beard transplant doesn't need a long recovery period after the procedure you will notice some redness and minor swelling, but it will fade away the following days. Besides these minor symptoms, beard transplant has no other side effects.
- Beard transplant is considered a permanent solution for individuals suffering/lacking from facial hair.
- The entire procedure is completed within 5 hours. You will be able to leave immediately after the process.
- After the procedure, you will be able to grow beard naturally, allowing you to style it, and trim it as you wish.
Whereas, the downside of beard transplant treatment can be:
- It is not cheap. You might have to dig deep in your wallet. However, you can think of it as a valuable investment. Not forgetting the results are long-lasting. Also, it is cheaper in countries such as Turkey because it considered one of the leading medical travel destinations.
- You have to donate hair from another body part to be harvested, the most common area in the back of the head, because it has a closer resemblance to facial hair in regards to texture.
- The initial implanted hair will fall off after 3 weeks. However, the new follicles will enable you to grow hair naturally. Your doctor will explain to you this is a part of the growth cycle.
What are the temporary side effects of a hair transplant?
According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), it is estimated that it takes about 7 - 10 days for your facial skin to fully heal to the point that the treatment is not evident. But in some cases, it was reported patients might need 2-4 weeks for swelling and redness to resolve. In the first week following the procedure, extreme care must be exercised when shaving around the newly implanted hair. Also, these are some general side effects of beard transplant: minor bruising, sensitivity at the donor area and implanted area. Your doctor will prescribe you antibiotic ointment to prevent infections.
Are there any post – procedure scars?
It is important to note, the donor area is not easily visible (back of the head), and in the case, your doctor did not have enough hair follicles to graft he will opt to take hair follicles from other body parts area such as leg or chest. Moreover, if you decide to go with FUT treatment method, as far as the incisions go to obtain the hair strip will be much smaller and less noticeable. Beside the minor linear scar is in an area hardly visible, this treatment bares no other significant aesthetic threats.
In a nutshell, beard transplant is not the only way to treat your lack of facial hair, but it is a permanent solution. Other solutions include but not limited to hormonal treatment, however, discuss with your doctor your available options to determine the best possible outcome.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in July 2019.