- Best Results4-8 months
- Treatment Recovery2-4 days
- Procedure Time3-5 hours
- Skin SpecialistDermatologist
- Duration of ResultsLifelong
- AnaestheticBlocks, sedation
- Back to Work2-5 days
Beard Hair Transplantation
Follicular unit extractions, & less commonly follicular transplantation can address sparse or even absent beard hairs. Any design is possible. Clinical indications include aesthetic, gender change or camoflauge of traumatic, surgical or acne scars.
FactsFacts on Beard Hair Transplant; FUE
- The beard & sideburns can be enhanced with hair transplantation
- Transplantation can also improve density
- The most frequent donor site is the back of the scalp
- FUE or follicular unit extraction is the most requested form of harvesting
- Recipient sites are created with a special needle or implanter
- Beard growth begins 4 to 5 months post transplant surgery
What are common reasons for a beard transplant?
The most common reasons include transgender changes & augmentation of low density areas (genetiaclly low number of bread hairs).
Other reasons include hiding traumatic, post inflammatory (acne) & surgical scars (cleft lip repair). Follicular unit transplants in this group are partially covered by Medicare.
What are the fundamental differences between beard hair & scalp hair?
Beard hair is between 1.5 to 2 times coarser than scalp hair. The hair shaft in beard hair is elliptical compared to more circular-oval hair shafts on the scalp.
Different ethnicities will also exhibit different densities of beard hair. Most Asians will have less density compared to caucasians. Beard hair usually has one terminal hair in the follicular unit.
What is a FUE beard hair transplantation?
Follicular Unit Excision is where individual hair grafts are harvested directly from the donor site, most commonly the back of the scalp known as the occipital area. This is the same procedure as scalp transplantation with the caveat that beard hair harvest is usually single hair units.
A round incision is made in the skin around the upper part of the follicle which is then extracted (pulled) directly from the scalp leaving a small open hole measuring less than one millimetre. The advantage of FUE is that it leaves no linear scar. FUE is reasonably pain free and has very rapid recovery.
Will my beard look natural?
Yes. The use of single unit grafts ensures a natural look. The required density can be designed according to your preference.
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How successful is beard transplantation?
Beard transplantation has a very high success rate in the absence of inflammation. Approximately 80-95% of follicles survive the transplantation procedure.
What beard patterns are possible with FUE hair transplantation?
Lots. We can create many beard designs including mutton chops, standard moustache, handlebar moustache, goaties, curtains, soul patches, Fu Manchu, short beards, & many other combinations.
Can sideburns be created with FUE hair transplantation?
Yes, we can create & or enhance density in this area. One terminal hair follicular unit are used in the sideburns.
Where are hair follicles sourced?
Beard transplant hairs are also sourced from the occipital (back) scalp, much like traditional FUE. Unlike normal FUE, I pick single unit hairs (90% of the time), as it looks more natural.
What does the procedure involve?
Design: start off with what you would like to achieve. This of course changes with the times & trends. Understanding your desired density is the first step.
Harvest: standard FUE procedure, namely from the back of the head. With beard transfer, most patients can get away with strip shaving for FUE, this means you can keep your hair long. Harvesting takes 60 to 160 minutes, depending on the extent of beard hair desired.
Transplantation: The fun & creative bit. I use micro-needles, Nokor, slit blades, & Choi implanters. This takes 60 to 120 minutes.
What is recovery like following transplantation?
The timeline of the recovery period goes something like this-
Days 1-5: Care is needed to keep the transplanted area absolutely dry. You might feel some discomfort for the first couple of days. Do not shave for 8 days after the transplant.
Day 3: You can resume non strenuous activities.
Day 14: The transplanted hairs will fall out after about 2 weeks. This is expected. This is normal.
Day 90: Hairs start to re-grow and will continue to grow for a lifetime.
How many sessions will I require?
Most procedures are one session. A top up can be considered for more density if required.
How long will it take to see results?
As with scalp transplantation, follicles will be extruded within the first few weeks. Growth is seen at 3 months & will continue to thicken for another six months.
Does Medicare cover hair transplantation?
There is a rebate for cases of scarring alopecia, most commonly following trauma, burns, surgery or rare inflammatory conditions.
Medicare does not cover trans gender cases.
What are the potential side effects of beard hair / facial hair transplants?
Side effects are rare. In some cases ingrown hairs may occur. These are usually transient as are acne like lesions. Scarring is theoretical, however I have not seen any cases.
For inflammatory conditions like alopecia areata, recurrence can be expected in 20% of cases.
Who are ideally candidates for beard hair FUE transplantation?
Patients with a low density of beard hair are suitable candidates. Facial hair transplantation will give you a full, thick beard, sideburns, moustache or goatee. The principles are the same as a regular hair transplant to your scalp. After a beard procedure, you will be able to shave and style your facial hair however you wish.
Results are for life, hair dropout rates are negligible (however density can vary with hormonal changes).
*If you have hair disorders such as alopecia areata, recurrence either locally or at distant sites is an issue. You will need to be under the supervision of a medical dermatologist.
Davin’s Viewpoint on Beard Transplantation
FUE principles hold true with beard hair transplantation, however follicular units are predominantly single terminal hairs. This procedure can create almost any sort of beard, from moustache to lamb chops & everything in between.
This is a useful procedure for increasing density in patients who have genetically sparse beard hair. Transplants are also useful for covering up facial scars secondary to surgery or commonly acne scars.
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