What is a facial hair transplant?

Facial hair transplant is a procedure to restore lost or missing facial hair for men who are unhappy with their patchy or scantily grown beard or mustache. It is typically done above the upper lip, on the goatee, cheeks or the sideburns. The procedure is similar to a regular hair transplant.

facial hair transplant

Two main techniques for beard and mustache transplantation are FUT and FUE. In FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) a strip of hair is taken from the back of the patient’s scalp (donor site). Then hair follicles are isolated one by one or in groups of three to four. The isolated follicles or groups of follicles (each knows as a graft) is then transplanted in the incisions made to the areas in need of hair (receiver site).  In FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) method, hair grafts are directly taken from the back of the scalp and transplanted into the incisions.

Why a facial hair transplant?

Having a thick shaggy beard is considered a sign of masculinity and attractiveness by many cultures. Women generally find men’s faces with stubbly or long beard more attractive than feminine ones. According to a study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, women view men with stubble as more attractive for short-term flings than men with full beards, which were seen as more attractive for long-term relationships, The Independent reported.

beard transplant

Not all men, however, are lucky enough to have full facial hair. Facial hair may be lost or reduced in amount because of several factors such as genetics, certain diseases, skin infection, or scarring. This causes many men to consider undergoing a treatment to restore their beards and mustaches (for those who once had them) or give them new ones (for those who haven’t had perfect ones).

Facial hair transplant has become very popular in recent years. According to The Sun, the beard transplant business is now absolutely booming, inspired by the stars such as Tom Hardy, David Beckham and Bradley Cooper.

How is a beard transplant performed?

A beard transplant—or facial hair transplant to use the more general term—involves harvesting hair grafts from the scalp of the patients and transplanting them onto their facial areas in need of hair. Most doctors and patients prefer FUE method as it in minimally invasive with less recovery time needed and no trace of scarring on the scalp. The procedure takes between 3 to 12 hours depending on the technique used for transplantation and the number of hairs to be transplanted.

In facial hair transplant, the skill and experience of the doctor is very important. The procedure requires great preciseness because the doctor should pay extra care to transplant the hairs with the right growth direction so that the result would look more natural and less artificial.

What to do before a beard transplant?

Just like any other surgery, there are some instructions you can follow to have a better experience of facial hair transplant. These are as follows:

  • do not take, vitamin E supplements (or multivitamins containing vitamin E), aspirin and gingko biloba ten days prior to your surgery.
  • Do not drink alcohol, take anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, or over-expose to sunlight three days prior to your surgery.
  • Do not smoke for one week prior and one week after your beard transplant for a faster healing.
  • Make arrangements for your transportation and accommodation (if coming from out of town) beforehand as you will have difficulty doing them after your surgery.
  • The donor site in your back or sides of your scalp needs to be shaved in a FUE method, so be prepared for this and discuss the issue with your doctor, as to how to cover the area. In FUT method there will remain some scarring and sutures on your scalp which will need to be covered too.
  • Take vitamin C 1000 to 2000 mg/day for one week before your surgery which is beneficial to the healing. Taking vitamin K 50-80 mg/day starting from 5 days before and continuing to 2 days after your surgery reduces bleeding during and after surgery.
  • Have a modest breakfast in the morning of your procedure but do not take coffee or caffeinated drinks as they will increase bleeding or sensitivity to medications.
  • Take your routinely prescribed medications such as antihypertensives, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
  • Do not wear pull-over clothes on your surgery day. Wear clothes that do not need to touch your face and head when you are putting them on or off.
  • You may be allowed to bring music with you to listen to during the procedure. Ask your doctor if you are allowed to do so.
beard transplant before after

Beard transplant recovery and post-operative care

The recovery period of a facial hair transplant is very important as you need to take great care of your transplanted hair until they fully recover and become stable. There are some activities you should avoid for some time after the procedure:

  • Rubbing and scratching your transplanted beard (or other facial hair)
  • Exposing your face to direct sunlight
  • Intense physical activities
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Using blood thinners and other similar medications
  • Swimming, using hot tubes and saunas
  • Washing the transplantation areas for 5 days

Things you should do:

  • Strictly follow your doctor’s instructions
  • Take a few days off for a dedicating more time for a more effective recovery
  • Keep the surgical sites (donor site and receiver sites) clean to avoid infection and other side effects. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic ointment for you to apply over the surface of the surgical areas.
  • Sleep flat on your back (rather than on stomach or sides) for several days after your surgery. Let your head elevated by some pillows to help with the healing.

Keep in mind that about two to three weeks after the transplant the transplanted hair would fall out. This is a natural process just as in a regular hair transplant. New hair would eventually grow back about four months later in the same areas and fill out the patchiness on your beard. You can begin shaving again 10 days after your surgery and also after the regrowth of your transplanted hair.

facial hair transplant Iran

What are common side effects of a beard transplant?

Just like any other surgery, a beard transplant may produce some side effects. They are:

  • Swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Numbness
  • Tightness
  • Temporary scabbing and crusts
  • Infection (under poor after-care circumstances)
  • Scarring (mostly in FUT method)

How much does a facial beard transplant cost?

It depends on many factors, the most important of which is where you receive the treatment. In the United Kingdom for example, prices range from £3000 to £14000 depending on the reputation of the doctor, technique used and the number of hairs you want to get transplanted.

Facial hair transplant in Iran

Iran is considered one of the best countries to get cosmetic surgeries for offering the most affordable services.  Economic factors coupled with the high demand for cosmetic surgeries in the country are the main reasons for low costs of such services. Along with regular hair transplant, facial hair transplant in Iran is gathering pace and being offered to interested men by highly-experienced Iranian surgeons. By applying for a facial hair transplant in Iran, you can save up to 70% in costs.