Facial Hair Transplants or Beard Transplants have exploded in the news recently, despite not being all that new.
We’ve been talking about facial hair transplants for quite some time here at The Private Clinic. Of course, it’s a more of a niche procedure. Its popularity is dwarfed by interest in hair transplants to the scalp but nevertheless we are seeing a growing number of men interested in the procedure – partly down to the recent media interest no doubt. Procter and Gamble, the powerhouse behind brands like Gillette, added to the milieu with their news that razor sales are falling across developed markets.
Is this a new era for facial hair? Time will tell. In the meantime, I wanted to explain a little bit more about why people are getting beard transplants.
How Is It Done?
The most popular and minimally invasive method available is the FUE method. Small incisions are made around hair follicle units and then they are carefully extracted, leaving behind barely visible non-linear scarring. The extracted hair follicles are prepared and then transplanted to the face, creating a natural-looking result for fuller facial hair. It takes a while to perform but that’s the only downside. It’s a walk-in walk-out procedure using only local anaesthetic with very little aftercare – very easy on the patient.
Why are people getting it done?
While we haven’t conducted a survey, our patients tell us they want a facial hair transplant for one or a combination of the following reasons:
- Cultural reasons – many Arab cultures in particular value facial hair as a sign of masculinity and virility. While it may seem extravagant to some, it can be a big issue in cultures where facial hair is far more common and holds more cultural value.
- Fashion – facial hair has been spread across the magazines and much discussed across the internet, TV and radio. We don’t live in a country where standards are so strict anymore. Facial hair is cooler and more acceptable in the workplace these days.
- Genetics – not all men can grow beards or the amount of facial hair they would like. However not all men are able to grow a full beard, with many only able to grow patchy, thin beards, if any at all.
- Illness/Injury – the body is dynamic and ever-changing. Sometimes this means we lose hair where we don’t want to, especially when it comes to illness or injury. Some men may just want to repair part of their facial hair growth area to fit in with the rest of their face.
Just another fad?
Jeremy Paxman set tongues wagging when he debuted his beard on TV’s Newsnight recently. Gary Barlow and David Beckham have been cited as top celebrities for facial hair, along with George Clooney and Brad Pitt. It’s a popular look for people in the public eye but facial hair has long been popular, the Ancient Greeks also saw it as a sign of virility. So even if part of its popularity is down to fashion, the trend shows no sign of dissipating. It’s growing in popularity but it’s unlikely to make the leap from niche to mainstream for now. For those that will benefit though it can be life-changing for all the right reasons.