Facial hair transplantation is a procedure which restores hair to areas where facial hair growth is thin or missing. While this procedure is most commonly performed on the goatee and mustache areas, it can also be performed on beards, sideburns and cheeks. 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. 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, 600-700 grafts for a full goatee, 200-250 grafts for each sideburn, and 300-700 grafts for a cheek beard. While not very common, some patients may require a second procedure to transplant additional grafts if they desire a very thick 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. Which site is used typically depends on which 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. 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.
Dr. Epstein often uses grafts containing one and sometimes two hairs in order to achieve the most natural appearance. He is also careful to place the grafts at the exact correct angle and direction and, in the case of gray hair, he will even go so far as to aesthetically distribute any existing gray hairs into the restored areas. To minimize scarring, Dr. Epstein uses all-microscopically dissected grafts that can be placed in the smallest possible incisions. For patients concerned about future hair loss of the scalp, it’s important to note that hairs transplanted to the face are no longer available for hair transplantation. Thus, if future hair restoration is desired to address male pattern hair loss of the scalp, the facial hair transplant patient will have fewer hairs available in the donor area to work with.
Dr. Epstein is truly a leader in the field of hair restoration and facial hair transplantation in particular. Many surgeons have little to no experience with facial hair transplantation but Dr. Epstein performs an average of three to four of these procedures each week. In fact, many patients travel to him from across the country and the world due to his reputation and unique experience.