Beard transplant using FUE technique

Most people has long been thought that hair transplant procedures are in a close link to the scalp hair. However, a notable percentage of these operations made for both men and woman are for facial restoration. The facial hair restoration operations consider eyebrows, eyelashes, mustache and beard transplant. The advance in hair restoration procedures makes it possible to restore the hair of the beard and mustache using the newly developed technologies.

Beard hair is lost because of a variety of ways:

  • Trauma, like accidents, electrical, chemical or thermal burns.
  • Diseases which cause loss of beard hair.
  • The inability to grow beard hair because of congenital causes.
  • Plucking the hair of the beard because of nervous cases.
  • Surgical and medical treatments.
  • Trichotillomania or the longing or desire to pluck the facial hair.

Beard Transplant pre-operation plan

Most patients come to the hair restoration clinic with a pre-operated plan to restore their beards. These planned goals are in fact the real reason behind the patient’s visit to a hair transplant clinic. The patient wants to maintain the shape of the beard, not to have full beard out of nothing. The quality and quantity of the donor site of the patient greatly determine the design of the beard and its density. Patients are always aware of the possible future operations when they ask for a full density of their beards. A full beard requires large amounts of grafts which may affect the donor site. The reason behind that is these grafts cannot grow again after transplantation and they will no longer available.

Most patients choose to avoid the linear scar that is a result of the FUT technique. They prefer the refinements in FUE rather than any other technique because it is very accurate and neat, and it makes no scars in the donor site. FUE is the modern replacement of the traditional strip harvesting or FUT for beard transplantation. The reason is that the modern technique is much accurate and it picks specific hair follicles from the donor area rather than a full strip of the scalp. The doctor should listen to the patient’s expected goals and desires.

How many grafts required for each part of the beard?

At first, beard hair transplantation procedures classify the beard into 7 main parts:

1- Sideburns

2- Moustache zone

3- Cheek beard

4- Jaw beard

5- Under beard

6- Neck hair

7- Forebeard (goatee)

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The density and pre-planned design of the beard depend on the quantities of grafts that the doctor will use in each part of the beard. There are 7 main parts of the beard. These parts require different amounts of grafts to restore their hair. For each sideburn, the range of grafts may be from 250 to 300 grafts. The moustache zone needs between 400 to 800 grafts. The cheek needs nearly 300 to 500 grafts. These numbers are not stable but they may vary according to the design and the planning of the operation.

Most patients who seek beard hair restoration have their own design and pre-planned shape of the beard. Patients who seek beard hair restoration are men with some paucity of the genes in the facial zone. Some others may be women in need for transgender and who seek a more masculine appearance. However, some operations need a complementary procedure to fill up previous operations. These complementary operations are also for repairing some imperfections or faults in the growth direction of the hair. Some other complementary operations are for the sake of aesthetic methods or to improve the whole appearance.

The donor area in beard transplant operations

The donor area is usually the sides and back of the scalp. The choice of the suitable area as the donor site of the beard transplant depends on the quality and density of the hair of the beard. The doctor chooses the suitable type and diameter of the hair and how it is similar to the beard hair. The similarity rests upon the quality, diameter, density, color, measurements and volume of the hair itself of the beard. FUE technique depends on that hair on the sides and back of the scalp as the donor hair of the beard.

The common suspicion of most patients comes from the natural look of transplanted hair on the beard zone. Another point of consideration is the smooth of the skin when shaving it, and if the operation will have an effect on the skin or not. All the suspicions of the patient will diminish if the hair restoration specialist could transplant the hair of the beard with a correct angle. Another factor of the success of the doctor is how the new hair is in harmony with the rest hair of the beard.

Beard transplant with FUT or FUE

related: How Follicular unit extraction (FUE hair transplant) works?

There is a thorough difference between the common techniques of hair transplant FUT and FUE considering the restoration of beard hair. The traditional FUT technique causes a permanent scar in the donor area. However, the FUE technique makes no scar in the donor area, and it has the ability to pick up specific hair grafts that are suitable for the beard transplantation. Patients should discuss all the available techniques with the doctor to settle on the most suitable technique for each case. This is because each case has its own characteristics and needs which differ from the others’ needs. Consequently, most hair restoration specialists prefer FUE rather than FUT to undergo a beard transplant, because it does not oppress the donor area.

Doctors with FUE can easily choose the suitable hair follicles that are in harmony with the original hair of the beard. They prefer the single hair follicles rather than the double or triple ones because the original hair follicles of the beard are single in their structure. Finally, most hair restoration specialists refer that FUE technique is better than FUT due to the growth rate of the newly transplanted hair and its stability. The results of the operation with FUE are much effective and scores better growth rate.

How is a beard transplant performed?

There is no clear difference between a scalp hair transplant and a beard transplant. At first, the doctor specifies the number of the transplanted follicles that the beard needs. The planning of the beard transplant is very accurate and distinctive. Most of the cases that need a beard transplant are due to hereditary and genetical reasons. The full operation runs on few fast sequenced stages and in some infrequent cases, a complementary procedure becomes compulsory.

Stage 1: Choosing the donor area

The hair restoration specialist should be accurate when choosing the donor area to undergo a beard transplant. This is because of the special characteristics of the beard hair and its unique direction. The doctor chooses the single follicular units because they are easily directed in their thorough direction.

Stage 2: Local anesthesia of the donor area

The hair restoration specialist has to anesthetize the donor area before picking out the hair follicles to prevent pain. The doctor then washes the donor area with alcohol and antiseptic solution. Then, a topical anesthetic cream is applied to prevent any expected pain due to the prickle of the needle that contains the anesthetic solution. The doctor uses a small needle with a tiny sharp to inject the lidocaine solution into the scalp. There are many factors that affect the distribution of the solution such as the age of the patient and the health condition.

Stage 3: Graft extraction from the donor area

It is better to leave the hair in the donor area long enough to facilitate the procedure of the doctor. After specifying the single follicular units in the donor area, the doctor uses a rotating punch to extract the follicles. The doctor should be aware of the direction of the hair follicles and their angle to prevent any transection. Then, the doctor will keep the hair follicles in a special solution to increase the proliferation of the follicles and to keep them in an active case. This solution also prevents any kind of dehydration of the hair follicles.

Stage 4: Transplanting hair follicles in the beard zone

After carrying out the extraction of the follicles from the donor area, the doctor moves directly to the beard zone to transplant the single follicles. The hair restoration specialist will use a magnifying tool to transplant these follicles in their recipient area. The angle and direction of the transplanted follicles are perhaps the most important factors in this stage. The doctor will use a very tiny needle like the French needle to transplant the hair in the beard zone.

Potential complications and how to manage them

The face will be under the effect of the anesthetic solution and it will be some bruise ar inflammation. The patient may feel some inability to control the jaws of the mouth or to control the saliva due to the effect of the solution. The patient should wait for the first night so as to diminish the effect of the anesthetic solution. Another complication is the pain after the operation and this is one of the common ones. The doctor will prescribe a pain killer such as Brufen or Ibuprofen to relief the expected pain after the operation. Other prescribed medications such as anti-inflammatory and antibiotics are compulsory to prevent any consequences of the operation.