It was not so long ago that bushy mustaches and thick, full beards were the preserve of hipsters and geography teachers. But, times have changed. Take a quick stroll down a random Miami Street, and there is a decent chance you will find it awash with gentlemen sporting beards of various shapes and lengths.
From the circle beard-goatee to the scruffy beard and even the power beard (corona beard), our love for beards has arguably never been greater. However, that does not imply growing a beard is easy or even achievable for every man. In fact, there is an increasingly large number of enthusiasts who are not entirely satisfied with what genetics gave them. For such men, the pursuit of growing facial hair they can take pride in has led them to surgery as a last resort.
Facial hair transplants are not as extreme as the sound. Courtesy of cutting-edge technology and a growing pool of highly skilled surgeons, facial hair transplants are often successful and virtually pain-free. Yet, as usual, there is so much to consider when making a choice of this magnitude. Here is a rundown of what you should know if you have been contemplating getting a facial hair transplant.
What Is the Fuss about Facial Hair Transplants?
Some people theorize that the sudden rise in popularity of the beard – and facial hair transplants by extension– is mostly due to the growing 21st-century hipster subculture. While we cannot argue with this observation, it is also worth pointing out that there is an ever-increasing number of Hollywood A-listers who sport perfectly manicured goatees, ’taches and beards. From Drake to Leonardo DiCaprio, Kit Harrington, David Beckham and many more, the influence is too substantial to ignore.
Beard transplants essentially involve taking hair follicles from one part of a man’s body and transplanting it to his jawline or wherever he wishes his beard to grow. While this sounds simple enough, do not be deceived as it is a rather involving process. The two most common beard implant surgery approaches are:
Follicular units are small clusters of multiple hair follicles that emerge through similar exit points on the skin. In both approaches, the surgeon extracts 2000-5000 hair follicle grafts from the donor area before implanting them on the face. While both procedures can produce full, natural-looking beards, the FUT approach tends to achieve fuller beards.
What Is Done Exactly?
Whether you choose to undergo a FUT or FUE, your surgeon will first shave the donor area of your head. A shaved head provides for a better view of the required hair follicles. Your surgeon will administer a local anesthetic before the harvesting commences to make the process painless.
After harvesting a batch of healthy follicles, your surgeon will inject the target area of your face with a local anesthetic before placing the implants. Your surgeon will carefully implant the follicles into your facial skin one at a time, following the beard pattern/shape you had agreed on before the surgery.
You will need a day or two to recover from the surgery. It is normal for tiny crusts to form around each implanted hair follicle, but they should flake off on their own within a few days. You may begin trimming or shaving your new beard after 7-10 days. However, your newly implanted hair follicles may start to fall out after three weeks. This is fine, and new hair follicles should grow back in their place.
Am I a Suitable Candidate for Beard Implant Surgery?
Since both FUE and FUT involve harvesting hair follicles from the back of the head, you must have enough healthy hair follicles in this donor area. Surgeons prefer this location since it tends to have the least incidences of baldness. Most men who eventually go bald still have healthy hair follicles growing on the back of their heads.
Your surgeon will examine the hair follicles on your scalp to determine if you have enough healthy follicular units for the procedure. If you do not have enough healthy follicular units to harvest, your surgeon may recommend alternative solutions.
How Much Is a Beard Implant Surgery?
Beard transplants can be a bit pricey. Depending on the country and city of the procedure and the minimum number of grafts needed, a beard transplant can cost upwards of $15,000. A partial transplant – implanting hair follicles in facial areas that do not grow hair – typically costs between $3000 and $7000, depending on the minimum number of grafts required. You should ask for a clear break down of the costs involved during your initial consultation.
Before the surgery, your doctor will examine your face and scalp to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. Depending on the doctor, this consultation may come at a fee as well. Ask how much this consultation will cost when booking your appointment. Also, since beard transplants are considered cosmetic procedures, most insurance providers do not cover them. Ask your doctor about financing options as some may allow their patients to pay in installments.
How Do I Know My Beard Implant Surgery Was Successful?
Regardless of the procedure you choose, your transplanted follicular units should be settled and growing after three or four months. You will know whether your beard implant was successful if you sport a full, healthy beard after eight or nine months. Beard implant failure is almost unheard of; it is often a result of bad harvesting on the rare occasions it does happen.
When performed correctly using healthy grafts implanted in an artistic hairline design, beard transplant results can look incredibly natural and aesthetic. That said, do your due diligence by entrusting your appearance to a qualified doctor.
Dr. Anthony Bared is a facial plastic surgeon with years of specialized experience in hair restoration. His hair restoration experience and unique background in facial plastic surgery give him the artistic edge needed to produce highly aesthetic and satisfactory results. Contact his offices today to book an appointment and learn more about beard transplants in Miami FL.