In many areas of society, they ability to grow a full, thick beard is seen as a sign of manliness and of a man being virile and strong. Although that is not necessarily true of beards, or the ability to grow them, not being able to sport impressive facial hair is often a concern for many men who want to join in the latest trend of impressive goatees and well-groomed beards. Thankfully, recent technological developments have made beard transplants much quicker and simpler and more readily available to those who want to be able to grow and full and thick beard.
One of the burning questions men have about beard, goatee or side-burn hair restoration (other than simply, ‘does it look good?’) is of course, ‘Are there any beard transplant side-effects?’
When people think of being able to restore natural-looking facial hair with a simple procedure, they think ‘there must be some kind of catch!’ Like, ‘I’ll have a great beard, but I’ll have to sacrifice SOMETHING important.’ Often, they think there must be some sort of hormone treatment required, leading to thoughts like -‘I’ll have a great beard, but my voice will become high-pitched and girly.’ (Thank goodness that’s an impossibility!)
Well the key difference with today’s facial hair restoration surgery is that procedures no longer have the side-effects or the lengthy recovery time they used to. A full, natural-looking beard transplant can be skilfully performed in under 10 hours and has little or no side-effects beyond common-sense care and the clear guidelines outlined by your surgeon prior to surgery. As with any surgical procedure, there is of course a recovery period however most men are pleasantly surprised by how fast they can go from beard heart-ache to beard point break!
What are beard transplant side-effects?
Side-effects, if patients carefully follow the after-care guidance given by their beard transplant specialist, are minimal. However, since a transplant is a surgical procedure, patients can expect some general tenderness, redness and low-level swelling to occur in the facial area during the period very soon after the beard transplant surgery (usually about 5 days). With care and patience this will naturally heal. You will be advised what kind of contact you can make with your new beard and when. While you may not be able to wait to stroke and groom your new beard, it is important that your new hair follicles are given the chance to bed-in and heal with as little disruption as possible. So, for the first couple of weeks it is important that you try to refrain from causing too much friction to the transplantation areas.
Another side-effect, which may cause alarm, but which is a natural part of the process, is hair shedding. Yes, it may seem absurd and not to mention unfortunate to have hair loss following the procedure, however this shedding side-effect is to be expected with many patients, is a temporary beard transplant side-effect, as the donor hairs bed-in to the follicles. Although the hairs themselves ay break off and shred, the follicles themselves will still be alive and healthy underneath the skin and they will produce new hair strands and the hair will grow back as advised by your surgeon in around the three-month time frame.
Unexpected side-effects of a beard transplant
If you are experiencing other side-effects or physical reactions you are concerned about, this may be a reaction to having the surgery itself. Those who experience vomiting or heavy fatigue after the surgery should contact their surgeon or GP straight away for guidance however in most cases side-effects such as these are not present.
As with any procedure there is also the potential risk of infection. If you experience any pain, sensitivity or persistent swelling combined with a fever then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Other side-effects to come might be raised self-confidence, easier beard care, a groomed look and subtle admiration from women and men alike…
How does the beard transplant work?
The principles are the same as a specialist hair transplant to your scalp. There are typically two types of beard transplant. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) beard transplant works by directly extracting the donor follicles from the head, using a tiny semi-circular incision which allows the individual follicle to be pulled directly from the head. This is then grafted directly onto the beard area.
With a follicular unit transplantation (FUT) beard transplant, the procedure uses cutting edge technology which involves harvesting the hair follicles and then working microscopically to create hundreds of tiny, natural-looking grafts ready to be implanted which are either individual hairs or double hair grafts.
In both FUE and FUT the scarring to the donor area is kept to an absolute minimum, allowing hair to grow through the scar tissue and ensuring there will be no hair loss in this area. The number of grafts can range from a few hundred to a few thousand. To provide a natural appearance, the hairs are transplanted as individual (and sometimes two hair) grafts. Great care is taken to assure natural growth and appearance including the careful placement of the grafts at the exact angle and direction of typical growth. Once placed, the microscopically dissected grafts of a beard transplant are permanent.
What is the beard transplant recovery period?
The procedure is essentially painless as is the recovery period. For the first 5 days after the procedure, care is needed to keep the transplanted area absolutely dry. By the second day you can resume non-strenuous activities. You will often be advised to refrain from grooming the area or touching as much as possible in order to allow the transplanted follicles to rest in their new location and to ensure that they are not disturbed or blood flow to them interrupted. The transplanted hairs will fall out after about 2 weeks and then start to re-grow some three months later where they will continue to grow for a lifetime. A beard transplant can conceal scarring (such as acne) or trauma (such as scars, burns or accident) as the implantation of the follicles will encourage hair to grow through the scarred skin or replace areas of follicle which may be lost due to skin damage.
Will I be able to shave and style my beard as normal after the beard transplant?
After a beard procedure, you will be able to shave and style your facial hair however you wish. To provide a natural appearance, the hairs are transplanted as individual (and sometimes two hair) grafts. Great care is taken to assure natural growth and appearance including the careful placement of the grafts at the exact angle and direction of typical growth. Once placed, the microscopically dissected grafts of a beard transplant are permanent. Therefore, once the new hairs have begun to grow on their own after the three-month mark, you will be able to shave, trim and style your new beard without worrying that you will damage the follicle placement.
The Wimpole Clinic provides expert advice to our male and transgender clients on beard transplant options, beard transplant side-effects and facial hair restoration. Get in touch with us now to book a free, no-obligation beard assessment or to find answers to any queries about transplant procedures.