We’re in the middle of #noshavenovember, but if your attempt at growing a full beard has left you feeling a little sparse, then perhaps a beard implant might be something for you.
Why some men cannot grow facial hair
Facial hair emerges from hair follicles that are quite similar to those on the scalp. However, some men just do not seem to be able to grow substantial facial hair. Some men rely on using over-the-counter solutions like oils or minoxidil, this may work to thicken the existing, slow-growing facial hair, but this will definitely not increase the number of hairs on the face.
So what separates the beards from the whiskers? Genetics play a large role in determining the number of facial hair follicles that are actively growing. The actively growing facial hair will appear coarse and pigmented, and start growing around puberty. Depending on the individual, one can have different characteristics of facial hair, whether wavy, curly or straight.
If your genetic code has determined that your hair follicles on your beard are not programmed to actively grow to resemble that of a dapper gentleman, beard implants (or more commonly known as beard transplants) could be the solution for you.
Who will make a good beard transplant candidate?
A good beard transplant candidate is someone that is crystal clear about the shape and density of the beard that he wants. The doctor and team can provide advice as to what would suit the patient’s face, but beard transplants are very much a matter of personal taste.
Secondly, the patient must have an adequacy of donor hairs for the transplant. This would be considered in combination with any pre-existing hair loss conditions, as there could be effects on the ultimate result of the beard transplant.
Men who undergo beard transplants in Singapore typically have sparse to minimal facial hair and are looking to wear a more masculine appearance. Personal preference has a lot to do with this aspect as some prefer a clean cut appearance, while some other men prefer to look rough and tough.
Some of our patients have sought only to thicken up their existing beard or moustache as the distribution of growing hair follicles was sparse and they were unable to shape their facial hair according to their preference.
If Karl Marx didn’t have a beard, and if he had a receding chin. Image credit: Esquire Magazine
One other group of patients who opt for beard transplants in Singapore are patients with short or receding chins. A well-projected chin and jawline are commonly associated with masculine strength; whereas short, receded chins (prognathism) or a double chin with a hidden jawline can appear less attractive. We see this fairly often in Oriental populations, and beard transplants have been used by many Singaporeans to not only cover the chin, jawline and double chin, but also double up as an added masculine feature.
How do beard transplants work?
Beard transplants in Singapore have to be done considering the ethnicity of patient in this multicultural and vibrant society. Your complete aesthetic features need to be considered, including face shape, pre-existing facial hair, density of existing facial hair and the texture and feel of the native facial hair – if any. This will all be addressed during the consultation, where a discussion of your desired effect and what outcomes can be expected.
Hair follicles taken from the back of the scalp are harvested using a technique called FUE or FUEE now – which stands for Follicular Unit Excision and Extraction. This technique has been used for decades to restore hair for balding men and is a safe, minimally-invasive harvesting technique done by a trained doctor and team. These hair follicle units are checked for quality under Mantis Elite microscopes and are manually cut to an appropriate size, containing only one hair follicle per graft.
The surgical team then places them into the area of the desired beard transplantation. Depending on the suitability of the candidate, the success rate of this surgery is around 90%. This means that 90% of the hair transplants will grow as naturally as the hair follicles that originated from the back of the scalp.
Image credit: 5meanders
What will a beard transplant “Singapore-style” be like?
The procedure begins with anaesthetising the area of excision and extraction, where the follicles are harvested. Following that, the patient will not be able to feel any pain or discomfort from the harvesting process. We lightly sedate our patients to keep them comfortable throughout the extraction process, which is done face down.
Following which, nerve blocks are administered to the area of planned beard transplants, once again, to ensure that the patient feels no pain. Tiny slits called ‘sites’ are made by the doctor, which will determine the direction of hair growth. This is important, as the making of ‘sites’ will ensure that the transplants will mimic the natural growth pattern and direction of a man’s beard.
Once the transplantation is complete, dressing of the surgical area is done and the patient is discharged home on the same day. A 2,000 graft procedure (i.e. a full beard reconstruction) will be a whole-day process, typically lasting 8-9 hours.