Beards are becoming more popular. A YouGov survey found that almost two-thirds of men in the 18-39 age group now have facial hair, up from 43% ten years ago . As a result, many men with patchy or uneven facial fuzz are turning to beard transplants to give them a rich, full beard.
Your beard says a lot about you as a person so needless to say beard transplantation is becoming popular with men of all ages. However, like FUT & FUE hair transplants, there are benefits to finding the right time for a beard transplant. Just like choosing the right age for a scalp hair transplant, how old you are isn’t always the most important factor when it comes to deciding when you should get a beard transplant.
So, when is the right time to get a beard hair transplant and is there a minimum age for hair restoration surgery? Read on to find out more.
Beard hair transplants are very similar to scalp hair transplants.
The hair transplant surgeon will take hair follicles from an area on your body where there is healthy hair growth. This area, known as the donor area, is normally in a place not affected by pattern hair loss.
There are 2 options for hair transplantation: FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) or FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). Your hair transplant surgeon and you will decide on which is the better option based on your hair characteristics and hair loss.
In an FUE hair transplant, hair follicles are extracted as individual follicular units and transplanted to areas of hair thinning. In a FUT hair transplant, a strip of skin is removed and then divided into individual hair grafts. These grafts are then transplanted into areas of your beard where there is hair thinning or no hair at all.
You should see an immediate change in your beard hairline after surgery. Days after the hair transplant surgery, you might notice the transplanted hair follicles shedding. This is known as shock loss and is completely normal.
2-3 months post-transplant is when you should see some initial hair growth. Patients should see final hair growth results in 12 months after their hair transplant surgery.
Some men can begin to notice balding or thinning of the beard as soon as their late teens or early twenties. Many then look to beard restoration treatments to preserve or restore their facial hair. But is this too young for surgical intervention?
From a safety standpoint, there’s no reason for men at a young age to avoid beard transplants. When performed by an experienced beard transplant surgeon, beard transplant surgery is very safe. Your age won’t increase the risk of negative health effects or serious infection.
However, if the procedure is done too early, there are cosmetic issues that may arise. If you’re still losing hair (which many people in their teens and 20s are) a beard transplant won’t stop this hair from falling out. As a result, having a transplant too early can lead to bald patches in areas where you’re experiencing continuing beard hair loss.
Balding or thinning of the beard can happen over the course of years, so it’s not uncommon for additional bald patches to appear around the existing transplanted hair. The only way to correct this is by undergoing an additional beard transplant surgery.
If your beard looks patchy, but you’re still losing hair, it’s still worth speaking to a trichologist. Addressing hair loss early can prevent you from losing more of your natural hair, which may minimise the need for beard hair transplantation.
There are a variety of non-surgical beard restoration therapies that the surgeon can recommend as an effective alternative.
There’s little evidence to suggest that medications like Minoxidil and Finasteride — both of which are successfully used to treat scalp hair loss — can stimulate beard and facial hair growth . However, other alternative treatments like laser therapy may be used to minimise further hair loss in these areas .
Not all men grow a beard at the same rate. Some men don’t see a full face of hair until they hit 30 . That means sometimes the key to a great-looking beard requires nothing more than a little patience. Your hair transplant surgeon shouldn’t recommend a beard transplant if your beard is still growing. Instead, they should suggest that you wait a year or two to allow your beard to grow naturally.
However, some men are unable to grow a full beard without surgical intervention. This is not always easy to identify in younger men. An experienced hair transplant surgeon may be able to perform a microscopic evaluation of your face to help determine whether or not your beard is likely to grow.
As well as your current rate of hair loss, the cause of your hair loss needs to be established to determine the best treatment course. Common causes of beard bald patches include:
Some reasons why you might lose hair, such as stress or eating disorders, result in temporary hair loss that can be reversed if the underlying cause is addressed . In these instances, your hair loss consultant can refer you to the appropriate physician to help you address this.
Your hair transplant surgeon will take all these factors into account. If they decide that a beard hair transplant is the best treatment for your beard loss, then it is perfectly safe to go ahead with the procedure at any age.
The truth is that there’s no ideal age to get a beard hair transplant. It depends more on your current rate of hair loss, the underlying cause of hair loss, and the success of other non-surgical treatments.
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