Facial hair transplant is a procedure which restores hair to areas where facial hair growth is thin or missing. It can be done to restore the goatee and mustache, as well as sideburns, the cheek beard, and anywhere that hair is desired, even if hair has never grown in the area before. Facial hair transplants can also be used to conceal acne scars and other types of scars.
Loss of facial hair may occur for a number of reasons. It can be the result of genetics, laser hair removal, electrolysis, surgery, burns or injury. Transgender female to male patients (FTM) may also benefit from this procedure. Goals for this procedure can vary from a minor filling in or thin coverage of a limited area, to the full restoration of a thick, full goatee or beard. The procedure can be performed on areas where there is no hair, or on areas where hair growth is thin and more fullness is desired.
The number of grafts required can vary but averages are as follows: 350-500 grafts for the mustache, 600-900 grafts for a full goatee, 200-300 grafts for each sideburn, and 300 to as many as 900 grafts for each cheek beard. While not very common, some patients may require and or desire a second usually smaller procedure to transplant additional grafts if they desire more than moderate density.
Just as with a hair transplant to the head, the donor hairs for a facial hair transplant come from the back or sides of the scalp, in most cases by the FUE technique. Which site is used typically depends on which area of the scalp Dr. Epstein feels offers the closest match to the facial hair; sometimes it’s the back of the scalp while other times it’s the side of the scalp. Oftentimes, hairs from the very back of the head will be the closest match for the goatee/mustache region and anterior/central cheeks, while donor hairs from the sides will be a best match for the sideburns and posterior/lateral cheeks. Once transplanted, the hairs are permanent and typically grow just like facial hair with similar texture and other characteristics. Furthermore, the transplanted hair can be shaved just as you would other facial hair.