Facial Hair Restoration
Some men lack facial hair and desire to have a stronger lower facial appearance for various reasons. Certain ethnicities are less hairy in the lower face and simply cannot grow a substantive moustache and/or beard. Accordingly, these ethnicities may be more likely to request facial hair transplantation to achieve a more masculine appearance to their face. For example, Asians may have limited moustache and goatee hair and may have hair in this region so sparse as to be patchy in nature. At times, the goal is simply to reinforce and to strengthen the existing hair pattern, at other times it may be to create improved symmetry or to extend the area thereby improving the shape, or the goal may be more elaborate and extensive depending on individual taste and donor-hair capacity.
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At times, men or women may want to hide a weak chin, a scar, a previous cleft lip, or early or late jowling, i.e., aging. For men, one of the common examples of facial scar that requires hair transplant would be a cleft-lip deformity. The scar left from surgery may hinder the growth of hair above the upper lip so that a moustache appears broken with the scar appearing through it. For women, scars left from a facelift may require hair transplant to restore sideburns or gaps in hair growth caused by scars left behind the ears. Depending on the size of the scar that needs to be covered, hair can be harvested using either the FU-strip or FUE method. Typically, scars have less blood supply and lower growth potential. It is important to mention that Dr. Lam uses a very extensive array of bioenhancement technologies that promote graft survival and truly help with the growth of hairs in these areas. (Of note, Dr. Lam never removes this hair during one of his facelift procedures.)
Another reason to undergo facial hair transplant is to complete the work for female-to-male (FTM) transgender patients. These trans-men are interested in obtaining the full expression of masculinity and have various objective goals like cis-men would, for instance, moustache and goatee, or a full beard. As with any consultation, it is important to perform an accurate determination of donor hair capacity along with aesthetic goals for a particular individual.
Dallas hair transplant surgeon Dr. Sam Lam routinely performs facial hair restoration either using scalp or beard hairs using both strip and FUE methods. Ideally, a beard-to-beard FUE transplant will provide the perfect color and caliber match but may be limited based on number of usable beard hairs and the extent to which you are wanting facial hair restoration. A consultation with Dr. Lam will provide the best discussion of which route would be preferred in your case.
This individual wanted to have a hair transplant to his goatee, beard, and moustache area to improve the frame to his lower face and to provide a more masculine appearance.
- Ideal candidate
- Men who have thin or sparse beard and/or moustache and desire fuller facial hair coverage
- Men who have any type of scar on their face that is affecting their facial hair
- FTM Transgendered individual interested in obtaining the full expression of masculinity
- What to do
- Make a long-term plan since a body hair transplant may require several sessions.
- If we will be harvesting hairs from your beard, avoid shaving for 48 hours prior the procedure. It is important to keep the beard at a specific length (no longer than 1 to 2 mm or a 2-day growth). If we are harvesting hairs from your scalp using the FUT method, plan on having your stitches (sutures) removed 2 weeks after the procedure.
- If your beard is white, you should color it the day before the procedure using Just for Men for Beard and Mustache.
- If you are from out of town, you will be required to arrive the day before the procedure and will be allowed to travel the day after, staying in town for a total of two nights. However, if you are not in town at two weeks after the procedure, you will need a professional to remove your sutures if Dr. Lam performed an FUT (strip) procedure. Dr. Lam has many colleagues across the United States and the world who may be able to help remove your sutures so that you do not need to stay in Dallas for two weeks or return in two weeks to have your sutures removed.
- What to expect
- Beard harvesting sites heal very quickly and usually cause very minimal discomfort. You will be required to wet shave your beard (the donor area) 48 hours after the end of the procedure. Occasionally harvest sites can look like small white dots but in general a loss of skin color in the beard area is much less likely than in the scalp, and Dr. Lam has successfully harvested hairs from all skin types without concern.
- Scalp donor area heals quickly and could have small white dots following FUE or a thin white line following FUT that might be visible at very close inspection.
- Occasionally, you may experience slight redness of the recipient area that could persist for 4 to 8 weeks and could easily be camouflaged with makeup. (We have medical-grade makeup that expedites healing and can be color matched to your skin type if you should require this product at a nominal cost.)
- Transplanted hair should start growing 3 to 4 months post-procedure and should improve in growth up to 12 months post-procedure or longer.
When would Dr. Lam use scalp hair to restore a beard?In general, people who have sparse facial hair have no other option than to use scalp hair. Though beard hairs are coarser than scalp hairs, the transplanted hairs can be placed in such a manner as to make them look strong and dense. Scalp hairs are almost always the preferred method to cover a larger area and to achieve a full, thick beard.
When would Dr. Lam use beard hairs to restore a beard?When a small scar needs to be covered and the person has strong beard hairs that grow on the upper neck and underneath the chin, beard hairs can be harvested for transplantation in these cases. This beard-to-beard hair transplant provides the best color and texture match without using up precious scalp hair.
When would Dr. Lam use an FUE vs.an FUT procedure to harvest donor hair?Both scalp and beard hairs could be harvested using the FUE method. If beard hairs are harvested, then FUE is the only way to obtain hairs. Rarely, if scalp hair is needed and you do not mind shaving your head, then FUE could be an option as well. Typically, when a large number of grafts are needed to restore a full thick beard, strip FUT is the ideal method of donor harvesting.
Can beard hairs be harvested using the ARTAS robot?No, the robot has been designed only for scalp hair harvesting.
How does Dr. Lam design facial hair?As in hair restoration, there are rules in how hair grows naturally in regards to the direction and location. Dr. Lam will either follow your existing pattern when filling the gaps or covering a scar, or he will design a pattern that matches your facial features. You can show him a photograph or explain what you desire, and Dr. Lam will work with you to achieve your aesthetic goal.