Beard and Moustache Reconstruction
Facial hair transplant is a surgical technique generally done on men suffering from patchy or spotty hair loss from moustache, sideburns, goatee, and other parts of a beard. Hair loss could be due to burns, surgical scars, hereditary, or other accidents. Some men equate keeping a thick moustache or beard to strength and masculinity, while it is a religious requirement for others. Furthermore, a thick, well-groomed beard or moustache is a fashion statement.
The moustache and beard transplant are more technical and tricky as the angle and direction of hair differ in different areas of moustaches and beards. Hence, it needs meticulous planning and more significant planning on the surgeon’s part to understand their natural pattern and has to be accordingly customized.
What is a Beard Transplant?
This surgical procedure picks hair from one body area and transfers it to the face to build permanent hair growth. A beard transplant is done on people who prefer a look with fuller hair but cannot grow it alone.
Like other transplants involving hair, a beard transplant is a multi-step process. The surgeon starts by harvesting hair from another part of your body. The sides and back of the scalp are preferable harvest locations.
As there is a high risk of your immune system rejecting hair from another person, the hair implants should only come from your body when having a beard transplant. In addition, your hair will best match and look natural. If you have insufficient hair on the back or sides of your scalp, the surgeon may suggest harvesting hair follicles from other body parts.
The second stage of beard transplant entails the surgeon implanting the hair onto the face. The actual location of the hair transplant is dependent on your objectives. If you already have hair on the face, you may only need to fill in patches. Those with little to nonexistent hair on the face may require to add hair to their chin, upper lip, and cheeks.
When doing a beard transplant, the surgeon usually uses any of these procedures: follicular unit transplantation (FUT) or follicular unit extraction (FUE). Each procedure has individual advantages and disadvantages. When consulting with your cosmetic surgeon, they will review each method and inform you of the one they recommend based on your objectives and hair needs.
The outcome of a beard transplant is permanent. When the hair starts growing, you can style your beard as you wish. You can also shave it when you want.
Beard and Moustache Reconstruction Techniques
According to healthline.com (2022), beard and moustache restoration surgeons will use one between two techniques during the procedure. The primary difference between the two procedures is how donor hair is harvested. Another distinct difference is the type of scar left after the surgery.
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) is where the surgeon removes a long, narrow strip of skin and hair from the donor location. This can be the back or sides of your scalp or another body part where hair grows. Obtaining the hair as a strip allows the surgeon to extract many hair follicles at once. FUT is suitable for patients with little hair on the face and who wish to achieve a fuller beard. The procedure does not need a linear incision that leaves a scar on the donor location. If you wear your hair long, you can easily hide the scar.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) entails harvesting hair one by one. The surgeon harvests the follicles using a small punch tool, which leaves the patient with a string of tiny dots in the hair donor area. Patients who have FUE often have minor discomfort than those who have FUT. Scars from FUE are much easier to conceal because they look like tiny dots. If you want to cover a smaller section of your face, you may consider FUE. This procedure is also suitable for those who like to wear short hair.
An ideal donor site is the scalp area (lateral and occipital, which don’t undergo balding). This site typically has a sufficient quantity of hair follicles to be transplanted. Hair on the scalp is thick enough compared to that on other body parts.
Surgeons look for distinct characteristics of follicular units and hair shafts that indicate a better prognosis. These include thickness and color of the hair, the thicker and darker the hair, the more improved the appearance.
The other suitable donor area for beard and moustache transplant is the beard itself. A good place is the one under the jawline. It is ideal because of the follicle’s physical characteristics, but it is limited in the number of follicular units that can be extracted. The beard area can be a donor site when fewer follicular units are required or if the occipital zone is not enough (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, 2022).
Candidates for Beard and Moustache Reconstruction
An ideal candidate for a beard or moustache transplant is one who wants fuller or thicker beards and has sufficient hair to donate for the procedure. The hair used in the surgery should come from the patient’s body.
The person undergoing a beard or moustache transplant should be in good health. If you live with a chronic medical condition, you may be advised to first control the disease before undergoing the procedure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure or diabetes can increase your susceptibility to complications during and after the process. It is also crucial to evaluate why you want a beard transplant. Is it because you want a full beard in the long term? Or is someone pressuring you to grow a beard? It would help if you also had realistic expectations from the transplant. This includes knowing you won’t leave the surgical Centre with a full moustache or beard. Typically, the hair will fall out within a week and then grow within several months (zousz.com, 2021).
Lastly, your candidacy for a beard or moustache transplant may be affected by your age. Hair growth on the face typically begins during puberty and is among the last phases. Hair growth on the face continues throughout your 20s. So, people under 30 may want to wait and see before they decide to have the procedure. Also, you should explore different types of beard butter to treat your skin and beard the right way after/before reconstruction.