According to both Gillette and Schick, razor sales have dropped as much as ten percent over the past year. Euromonitor International went on to predict that the market for shaving products will continue to decline in 2013 because beards are a trending fashion.
Beards may be all the rage, but for some men it’s a hard trend to follow. Some men simply cannot grow a beard. The hair may grow in patchy or barely grow in at all. For these men, there is a solution. Hair transplants correct more than balding on the top of the head. In fact, they can also help you obtain a full beard.
Dr. Farjo, the doctor responsible for the very first facial hair transplant on a burn victim in 1996, has stated that he’d seen six times the amount of men coming in for facial hair transplants. In the United Kingdom, the number of patients topped 4,500. As more men want to emulate the beards found on celebrities like George Clooney and Brad Pitt, the numbers throughout the world are expected to rise.
Understanding a Beard Transplant
Beard transplants are not vastly different than a regular hair transplant to the scalp. The big difference is the location.
When hair transplant doctors look at a hair follicle under a high-powered microscope, they see that hairs tend to grow in groups. One follicle may have up to four hairs growing from it. When a doctor removes a donor strip that is five centimeters long and one centimeter wide, the number of potential hairs from that strip can give as much as 1,100 hairs.
Once a donor strip is removed from the side or back of the head, the follicles are dissected. The hair transplant surgeon makes a tiny incision on the skin where you want the beard to grow and implants that follicle.
A hair transplant takes time. You’ll have a team of specialists working with your doctor to make sure the follicles do not dry out between the dissection and the implantation. To keep you relaxed during the procedure, a sedative may be used. Otherwise, local anesthesia blocks any pain. Depending on the practice, you may be able to watch a movie or listen to music during the procedure. Otherwise, it’s a great time to take a nap.
Following a beard hair transplant, you will be able to gently wash the area a day after the surgery. Any stitches are removed a week or two after the procedure. Complications are not common, but they can include some swelling. After a few weeks the transplanted hair may fall out, but the healthy follicle soon produces new hairs.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons offers an easy-to-read guide on deciding if you are a good candidate for a facial hair transplant. If you have hair on the side or back of your head you shouldn’t have any problems, but ask a doctor to be sure. Dr. Sheldon Kabaker provides hair transplants in San Francisco and Oakland. To discuss the procedure with the hair transplantation surgeon, call 1-800-914-HAIR.