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Beards are in and there is no doubt about it! The modern day beard has become the symbol of a man’s fashion sense. You can see famous sports persons, actors and celebrities sporting perfectly shaped beards. They are a norm nowadays and beard transplants make it easy to have the type and shape desired.
Beard transplant is a type of plastic surgery that aims to increase the density and thickness of hair in the beard area. It does not only change the appearance of the face, but also helps to hide scars or marks caused by previous injuries or acne. The transplant is meant for those with less density of hair in the beard area and a patch with no hair. There are many reasons for men not being able to grow the perfect beard such as heredity, a primary reason for lack of a thick beard; hormones, the area around the cheeks may have lesser blood flow which leads to less nutrients and beard growing hormones, testosterone and DHT. Both low and high levels of these hormones can cause limited beard hair growth or patchy hair; Alopecia Areata, which is spot baldness, can also cause it to appear less dense and patchy; and lastly, lifestyle choices – stress, poor eating habits and irregular sleep patterns.
Process Hair for the transplant is taken from the back of the scalp and depending on the number of grafts needed, they are first matched with the texture and structure of the existing beard hair. At times, hair from the sides of the head is also used to match the beard hair. Once the surgeon is satisfied with the collected grafts, they are implanted in the bald patches of the beard area. The aim of the transplant is to make the hair resemble the natural hair as closely as possible and ensure that it appears natural. On an average, about 900 to 4,000 hair grafts can be used for successful transplant. During the transplant, the surgeon also manoeuvres the hair in such a way that the growth takes place in the right direction.
Techniques used In Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair is grafted one by one from the donor area and then harvested over a larger area. In Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) the surgeon takes a small strip of tissue from the donor area and transplants it on the area where hair is required. FUE is a more common process as the scar is less visible and the healing time is less. However, in FUT, it is easier to harvest a large donor area and therefore, maximum fullness of the transplant is achieved.
Points to remember Take an appointment with the surgeon to set the right expectations and learn about the precautions you need to take. Carry a recent photo of your face and a good surgeon will be able to give you a clear picture of the expected changes, post transplant. If you have a particular shape of beard in mind, carry its picture, too. You might have to take a day off from work on the day of transplant. Before the surgery, avoid taking any medication, alcohol and nicotine without consulting your doctor. The process takes about two to five hours to complete and is done under anaesthesia. Formation of small crusts around the transplanted hair is normal and not a cause of worry. You will be able to go home and resume normal activity the next day. It is normal for the transplanted hair to fall off in a few weeks and then start to regrow in three months. The results of beard transplant are permanent. Make sure that you visit a proven clinic and choose a skilled surgeon. Gather all the information you can beforehand for excellent results.
Dr. Debraj Shome is Director and Co founder of The Esthetic Clinics. He has been rated amongst the top surgeons in India by multiple agencies. The Esthetic Clinics patients include many international and national celebrities who prefer to opt for facial cosmetic surgery and facial plastic surgery in Mumbai because The Esthetic Clinics has its headquarters there.