Beard transplants have become six times more popular just within the last 10 years. We’ve seen the demand shoot up the stratosphere–thanks in part to the “hipster” aesthetic, observes some doctors. Chris Hemsworth’s majestically bearded Thor also graced screens for the first time in 2011. Coincidence? Maybe not.
Not everyone is born with the genes of a hairy Norse god, though. Fortunately, beard hair transplants have come a long way since the first hair transplant was conducted in 1996, and is now one of the most in demand procedures in men’s cosmetic surgeries. If you’re considering getting a beard transplant, then below are answers to some of the burning questions you’ve probably been itching to ask:
1. Facial hair transplants are not limited to beards
Facial hair transplants are not limited to beards. You can choose to get a goatee, a moustache, sideburns, eyebrows–basically any hair on your face is fair game. Facial hair transplants are not only for finally sporting the beard of your dreams, it can also help cover acne scars and other facial blemishes.
2. You can shape the beard of your dreams
Beard hair transplants allow patients a fair amount of control over the outcome. You can talk to your surgeon beforehand about your ideal beard’s shape and size. It’s best to take photos for reference to make sure you and your surgeon are actually on the same page before the procedure.
3. The donor hairs are taken from the scalp
Just like traditional hair transplant surgery, the donor hairs are taken from the back portion of the scalp. The sides of the scalp can also be used. The donor site will often be determined by which areas closely match the appearance of facial hair.
These grafts are harvested through FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) or FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). There are pros and cons to each procedure, mainly that FUE results in less noticeable scarring, but FUT allows the surgeon to harvest a greater volume of grafts in one go. Consult with your surgeon for the best course of action for your needs.
4. It takes several hundred to thousands of hair grafts
The number of grafts you’ll need depends on the facial hair you want. Mustaches take an average of 350 to 500 grafts, while goatees require higher, around 600 to 700. Sideburns will need 200 to 250 grafts each. For beards, surgeons transplant an average of 2,500 hair follicles, sometimes more in cases where patients want a fuller bodied beard.
5. The procedure can take up to four hours
How long the procedure will take depends on the facial hair the patient wants. For beards, surgeons typically take 2 to 4 hours to finish. The exact length of the procedure will vary for each patient.
Be wary of places who can guarantee faster surgeries. Beard transplant is a delicate procedure–hair follicles are being arranged and inserted deep into your skin. You do not want surgeons rushing through the procedure. That just leaves you at risk of developing patchy facial hair, or worse, an infection from poorly grafted transplants.
6. Transplanted hairs will fall out after two weeks
Patients should expect a fair amount of hair loss a couple of weeks following the procedure. This is known as “shock loss”, and is a completely normal part of the healing and recovery process.
Hairs will grow back within three months. While the phenomenon is not fully understood yet, many theorize and attribute shock loss to changes in blood supply in the scalp, trauma following surgery, or a reaction to the anesthesia. In any case, the “shocked” follicles begin growing hair again after a period of time, you just need to give them time to adjust to their new homes!
7. There will be risks involved
Like any surgical cosmetic procedure, beard hair transplants also come with certain risks. Post-operative risks include bruising, swelling, and redness in the area. Many patients wonder if there will be some pain following the procedure. The short answer? Yes. Your surgeon just cut off a piece of your scalp. Patients should expect some pain and discomfort, which can be easily managed by painkillers. Scarring is also a risk, but one that can be mediated with proper aftercare.
8. You may have to take a day off
The procedure can last up to 5 hours, so you will definitely need to use a sick day for the procedure. You might also want to use the following day to recover, and for the most noticeable of the redness and swelling to subside.
9. Gray will stay gray
If you have salt-and-pepper hair, your new beard will naturally be the same color. Contrary to what some people may believe, gray hair is not unhealthy hair. They are just the result of hair follicles who have stopped producing melanin. Your surgeon will strategically transplant gray hair so the beard is not spotty and looks natural.
10. Forever bearded
Beard transplants are mostly permanent. Just like normal facial hair, they regrow when you shave or wax them off. There are no take-backs if you suddenly want a smooth chin. While surgeons may be able to remove the grafts, there is no way of doing so without leaving some scars. You can also have it lasered away, but that defeats the purpose of uprooting perfectly healthy hair follicles from your scalp.
A beard transplant in Sydney typically costs between $7000 to $10000, depending on the extent of work you need done. While obviously not steep, it pays not to be cheap. There is no accounting for the quality of transplants from clinics who advertise cheaper, faster services. We at Sydney Hair Transplant believe that when it comes to surgical procedures, safety should be at the top of your list, not cost.
Have more questions about beard transplants? You can call us at 1300-656-236, or schedule a free consultation with our hair loss consultants.