Just a few years ago, the idea of a beard transplant was laughable. No one was talking about getting a hair transplant on their face so they could enjoy the trend of a full, dense beard. Now, celebrities like boxer Conor Benn who have had beard transplants speak about the process positively and have excellent results to show for it.
What was once a joke is now totally possible and plausible.
As you might guess, a beard transplant is very similar to the kind of hair transplant procedure that can restore a youthful hairline to someone who is balding. But is a transplant the best way? Is this expensive medical path to a good beard a good idea?
Here’s a little more about hair transplants on the face, followed by some ways to maximize the growth you already have. We’re not doctors and don’t offer medical advice, but you may find this general information useful.
What Is A Beard Transplant?
Beards have become so popular in some places and in some subcultures that you can feel like a bit of an outcast if you don’t have one. (So much for the value of individuality.) We all want what we don’t have, of course, and some guys with smooth faces because of genetics want beards. Other guys have decent beards with patches where no hair grows that they want to close. Still others have had injuries or trauma that has messed up their beard growth and want it fixed.
Some people want to fill in acne scars. Others just want better sideburns or a little soul patch to help their faces match their personalities. The most common reasons for a beard transplant are a stronger goatee area and stronger cheeks, according to ISHRS.
Truthfully, however, all that some guys need is a little beard care advice about how to take better care of what hair they have on their faces. Sometimes, a barber or stylist can show you how to use what you have to maximum advantage.
As far as anyone can tell, the recent desire for beard transplants took hold in the United States in New York City, where beards first became a trend. Now, beards are everywhere. And not all of them are natural.
The procedure itself is relatively simple: hair is taken from the neck or head where it grows well and is transplanted into the beard area.
Is A Beard Transplant Expensive?
The cost of a beard transplant varies depending on the part of the country or world where you have it done and whether the transplant is done by a recognized expert with a big name. In general, you can expect to pay $5,000 to $15,000 for a beard transplant from a competent, experienced medical professional.
But cost is not the only thing you have to consider.
The length of the procedure and the healing time are substantial. While the average time in the chair for a facial hair transplant is around 4 hours, the procedure can take 8 hours or more – essentially a full day.
The healing process is complex. You’ll probably want to stay out of sight for up to 2 weeks while the transplant heals. During that time, you will experience some pain and bleeding, which will gradually improve. You won’t be able to shave, and depending on the skill of the doctor who does the transplant, you may be left with permanent unevenness that will make shaving difficult in the future.
And here’s the thing that’s so strange about a beard hair transplant: The transplanted hair will fall out after the first few weeks. It can then be up to 4 months before new hair grows in and your beard starts to form. That means you won’t be able to shave or have a beard for at least 5 months – leaving you in a sort of facial hair limbo that may make you think twice about going out.
But if you can afford it and you can stay out of sight for a while (or don’t care how you look!), why not go for it? First, it’s surgery, and that means it could have complications for your overall health. It could also be unsuccessful.
And there’s more to think about: What if beards go out of style in a few years and you want to shave? Will you be able to shave comfortably? Will the five o’clock shadow left behind look natural? Or will you be stuck with a beard all your life — even when it goes grey or when you get a job where being clean-shaven is the norm?
It’s a lot to consider. But beard transplants aren’t just possible. They’re available now in most areas — and they often work. A lot of men who choose to have a beard transplant go away on vacation to have a doctor in another city perform the procedure, hoping to come back bearded and no one at home will be the wiser. But it would need to be a long vacation.
Alternatives To Beard Transplants
If you can’t afford to get a hair transplant on your face or you don’t want the risk, pain, hassles and recovery time, there are ways to can maximize the beard growth you already have — and they’re easier than you think. Here’s some advice:
Understand that not all hair grows at once. Hair grows in cycles, so a beard that looks thin now may fill in over the coming weeks. It can take a year for every hair on your face to sprout since hair grows in three-month cycles. In fact, some guys shave their beards off every few months or once a year because it gets too dense.
Understand that things change throughout your life. Some guys think that once they’ve been through puberty and get some facial hair, that’s all they’re ever going to get. But most guys gain a little more density every year, so waiting a couple of years can make a difference. Guys in their 30s and 40s often get lots more facial hair than they had when they were 18 or even 25.
Understand that longer is often better. Many guys turn to beard transplants only really wanting better stubble since scruff is also in these days. But choosing the best stubble trimmer you can find with adjustable settings may be all you need to do. Often, a slightly longer setting can make a beard look darker and can allow some small gaps to fill in. And usually, the longer you keep stubble without shaving, the denser it will get.
Understand the value of dye. If your facial hair is there but very light in color, a beard dye that’s one or two shades darker can sometimes help add the illusion of volume. This doesn’t always work — and you certainly don’t want to go unnaturally dark — but look around. There are more dyed beards than you may realize.
Understand that everyone’s different. Maybe it’s simply time to value your individuality. Since everyone seems to have a beard today, why not grow out that mustache, soul patch or those killer sideburns that you can grow? Or why not buck the trend and be clean-shaven? Of course, you can also just let whatever you have grow, and be happy with whatever happens. You weren’t planning to enter any beauty contests, were you?
While a beard transplant is available if you have the money and the desire to go through with it, consider alternatives before you take the plunge. Now that you’re informed, doesn’t it seem better to just make the best of what you have?Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This site also participates in and links to other affiliate and advertising programs. When you click a link on this page or make a purchase after clicking a link, I may make some money.