A beard transplant or a facial hair transplant procedure is not recommended for patients suffering from spot baldness or diffuse pattern balding, as these conditions affect the donor area. The back of the head is usually used as a donor area for a beard transplant procedure.
How To Prepare For The Procedure?
At least a week before the beard transplant is set to begin, patients must stop the intake of any aspirin, anti-inflammatory medicine, vitamins, or herbal teas. If you have been taking any of these medicines, please inform your beard transplant doctor.
How Is The Procedure Performed?
Local anesthesia or a mild sedative is usually used for a beard transplant procedure. The patient’s donor area is then shaved to about 2 mm. This is done in order to improve visibility in the area and allow the doctor to pick the best possible hair follicles.
With the FUE technique, a micro motor and a micro punch are used to harvest hair follicles from the back of the head. Tiny incisions are then created in the receiving area, whilst keeping in mind the beard natural’s growth direction. Most incisions are half a millimeter in width. The hair follicles are then placed into incisions.
The donor area is then wrapped in bandages and the recovery period can begin.
Patients will be required to follow a set of instructions provided to them by the doctor. Antibiotics, painkillers, and sleeping pills need to be taken as instructed. Patients should also refrain from rubbing, touching, or scratching their beard for a week – the implanted hair follicles require ample time to heal properly.
Tiny scabs may also form around the donor area, where the hair follicles were harvested – patients need to refrain from scratching or breaking them off. It’s best to leave them to heal on their own.
Beard Transplant Side Effects
There is a risk of infection after a beard transplant procedure, but it’s highly unlikely. Antibiotics are administered to treat it if it occurs. Some patients may require more than one beard transplant until the desired result is achieved.
An article on beard transplants reveals that the procedure may have a few unwanted side effects, including:
- Itchiness around the beard for around a week
- Swelling and tenderness
- Redness around the face
- Pain and discomfort
Beard Transplant Success Rate
Beard transplant reviews set the success rate at around 90%, at least 6 months after the beard transplant procedure is performed.
The implanted hair follicles will first fall off, 2-3 weeks after the beard transplant before they will begin regrowing naturally over the course of a few months. Full beard transplant patients enjoy a boost in confidence, as they feel more masculine with their full set of beards.
The new beard will need to be trimmed though, as the implanted hair follicles tend to grow continuously throughout the patient’s life.
Beard Transplant Techniques
DHI for Beard Transplant
DHI or direct hair implantation is a relatively new hair restoration technique that works on the same principles as FUE. This technique is also called a “Micro-FUE” due to its similarities. With DHI, no incisions or cuts are necessary for the scalp region, instead, the doctor will use small micro punches with a diameter of 1 mm or less.
Given the size of these micro-punches, direct hair implantation is a minimally invasive procedure, with no visible scars remaining in the donor area. With direct hair implantation, hair follicles from the donor area are extracted one by one before the transfer, ensuring that they don’t get damaged in the process.
The procedure itself can only be performed by a highly trained hair restoration specialist in order to ensure its results. Once all the required hair follicles are collected, they can be implanted in the beard area with a process similar to FUE. Reception holes are created in the beard area and the hair follicles can be implanted.
FUE for Beard Transplant
Follicular Unit Extraction or simply FUE is another widely used beard transplant technique where a punch is used to harvest hair follicles from the donor area. The punch is centered around a single hair follicle or group of follicles, creating a circular micro-incision.
This technique will leave the patient with small holes in the donor area – these holes usually heal in a couple of weeks, leaving small white scars once the recovery period is fully ended. After enough hair follicles are extracted from the donor area, the doctor will start implanting them into the beard region.
A follicular unit extraction is a great option for patients since it is a minimally invasive technique and patients are able to resume their work quite quickly. The only disadvantage of this technique is the fact that it’s more expensive than other beard restoration procedures, namely FUT.
The survival rate of transplanted hair follicles can also be lower than with other techniques, but this is dependent on the skill of the doctor performing the procedure. Picking an experienced beard transplant specialist will help minimize any risks associated with the procedure.
FUT for Beard Transplant
Follicular Unit Transplant or simply FUT is a traditional procedure used for hair restoration. This procedure is still used by certain hospitals and doctors around the world. The procedure begins with outlining a narrow strip of the scalp region – the back of the patient's head to be precise.
This area is rarely affected by alopecia and hair follicles from this region are generally healthier with a better chance of surviving the transplant. A microscope is used to remove the hair follicles from the donor strip – these follicles are divided into units made up of one to three hair follicles.
Once this part of the procedure is complete, the incisions in the scalp can be closed and transplantation of the follicles can begin. Follicular unit transplant procedures are usually more affordable since the extraction phase is not so time-consuming.
Patients with short hair should opt for a different technique since this procedure will leave a long scar along the back of the patient’s head. Also, patients predisposed to keloid scarring should consider a different type of surgery.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in July 2022.