For many men, growing a beard is more complicated than simply eschewing razors and letting nature take its course. Stubble doesn't usually grow evenly across the face, resulting in uneven facial hair rather than a fashionable beard.
You could also have inherited genes that prevent you from growing a beard.
If your facial hair follicles aren't cooperating, you can try a beard implant, just like you can transplant your own hair to the top of your head to address a receding hairline.
A doctor will examine your skin and hair to see if you're a good candidate, and then you'll have to decide whether the cost is justified.
There's no promise you'll be happy with the results, just as there's no guarantee you'll be happy with the results of any medical operation. There's always the danger of scarring from beard transplants.
If you can find a trained professional, though, it would be worth investigating whether a few hours at a doctor's office could provide you with a beard that will last a lifetime.
What does a beard implant include, and how does it function?
A beard transplant includes transplanting hair from one part of your body to your jawline and other locations where you want your beard to grow.
That may appear to be a simple process, but it is far from it. A surgeon can take one of two major approaches:
Extraction of follicular units (FUE). This procedure entails one-by-one extraction of complete follicular units from the donor site. FUE is a less painful procedure, which may explain why it is the preferred option.
Transplantation of follicular units (FUT). In this procedure, a surgeon removes the hair follicles from a thin strip of tissue taken from the back of the head.
A follicular unit is a small collection of hair follicles that emerge from the skin through the same exit point.
Both treatments extract 2,000 to 5,000 hair follicle grafts or more from the back of the head, usually at or below the level of your ears, and implant them on the face.
A graft is a grafted hair follicle
How does the procedure work?
The following is a list of the steps that are involved in the method:
Whether you opt for a FUE or a FUT, your surgeon will begin by shaving the area on your head that will be harvested.
This gives them a better view of the follicles. You'll be given a local anaesthetic before the harvesting begins, so you won't feel the harvesting or the implantation.
The surgeon will administer a local anaesthetic into the area of your face where the implants will be implanted once the follicles have been removed from your head. The surgeon will next implant each follicle into your face skin, forming your new beard according to your and the doctor's pre-surgery agreement.
After the beard implant operation, you'll need a day to recover. Small crusts may form around each newly implanted hair follicle, but they should go off after a few days.
After a week to ten days, you should be able to resume regular shaving and trimming of your new beard.
How can you know whether a beard implant is effective?
The transplanted hair follicles should be established into place and growing within 3 or 4 months, regardless of the treatment used.
The beard implant was successful if you have a full, thick beard that you can maintain as if it had been like that after 8 or 9 months.
Both FUE and FUT produce natural-looking beards, however FUT beards are fuller.
This is because when a strip of skin is removed, additional follicles are frequently taken. If you desire a thicker-looking beard, FUT is a good option.
Beard transplant failure is unusual, and it is usually caused by harvesting the donor area incorrectly. This is why hiring a professional hair restoration surgeon is so important and well worth the money.
Instructions for at-home follow-up
Your doctor will provide you with instructions for self-care at home. One of them may be an antibiotic ointment for your scalp and face.
Avoid the following activities for at least the first few days:
- direct sunlight exposure
- Using a sauna or bathing in a hot tub are also excellent ways to relax.
- arduous physical exertion, particularly anything that makes you sweat
- scraping or stroking the harvested or implanted parts
It's possible that you won't be able to wash your face for a few days or that you won't be able to scrape it. Although your skin will feel sensitive and irritated, try to ignore it to prevent inflammation and infection.
Side effects that could occur
On your face and scalp, you may experience the following side effects:
- crustiness or transient scabs
Scarring in the donor area is typical, although it's usually hidden by your natural hair growth. FUE leaves a lot of small scars that go unseen most of the time. In contrast, FUT leaves a single long scar on the back of the head.
Beard implant treatment might help you to figure up spaces in your beard or create a beard where there was none before.
Beard transplant cost: The procedure is both intrusive and expensive, but the results are long-lasting.
Depending on the type of implant surgery you undergo, you may have a single long scar on the back of your head that can be disguised by hair growth or a succession of little scars that are hard to spot.
If you don't want to go the implant route, you may always use topical medications like minoxidil or take vitamins to help your beard grow faster.
Whatever path you take, discuss the risks and advantages of surgery, topical treatments, and vitamins with your doctor first.
Your genes may be to fault for your lack of beard growth, but if you want facial hair in the future, you have options.