LOS ANGELES – Beards are all the rage these days, but not every man is blessed with fabulous facial hair. More and more of them are getting hair transplants on their faces.
Follicularly-challenged men are spending thousands of dollars for the perfect goatee or sideburns. Justin says his facial hair transplant was so perfect and subtle that his friends and family haven’t noticed. He wants to keep it that way.
The hipster beard has gone mainstream, but not all men have the hair to get there. This man, who asked to be called Justin, wanted a full goatee. But as he puts it, there wasn’t a lot of growth going on.
“I just wanted a more distinguished look. I’ve always wanted to be able to grow like a full beard,” Justin said.
Ken Williams, DO, Hair Restoration Surgeon at the Irvine Institute of Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery said, “We did all of this area here, and I see a lot of the follicles that we put in.”
Williams has noticed an increase in the number of people like Justin asking for more hair on their faces.
“We take that hair from the back of the occipital region of the scalp, we take that hair and we transplant it and individually insert it into the face where hair follicles are lacking,” Williams said.
It can take a couple of hours to most of the day, depending on how many hairs are transplanted.
The hairs fall out in two to three weeks, but grow back in about three months. Justin has spent about $20,000 on three procedures, but he’s pleased.
“It’s just fuller, it’s just fuller, thicker, which is exactly what I was going for,” Justin said.
Dr. Williams says facial hair transplantation can work for almost anybody from men who want full beards for religious reasons, to men with scars, to transgenders.
“It doesn’t matter what gender they are, which orientation they are, the color of their hair, the color of their skin. This is something that can be done for anybody who wants facial hair,” Williams said.
But most guys don’t seem to be going for the lumberjack look. A search for the most requested beard turned up Brad Pitt.
Patients are under a local anesthetic and say the procedure’s not too painful. Williams says people with active cancers, bleeding disorders, or who are taking anti-coagulants are not candidates for the procedure. The success rate is about the same as that of hair transplantation on the head.