Although some might argue that society has reached "peak beard" and that the trend for facial hair will fade sooner rather than later, there are still plenty of men out there who want, if not a full beard, at least a bit of facial hair, either in the form of a mustache or goatee. If all you want is some facial hair, but haven’t been able to grow it convincingly on your own, several options are available today, from the least likely to the tried and true.
Who Wants Facial Hair?
While men tend to have a number of reasons for wanting to be able to grow a beard or mustache, one of the major reasons people want facial hair is because it creates what’s considered a more masculine appearance. Men who struggle to grow facial hair or who have hair growth that is patchy or uneven might feel frustrated because they are unable to achieve the look they want. Some men complain that their lack of facial hair makes them look too young, or baby faced, which they think interferes with their ability to be taken seriously in their professions. Studies have also shown that men with beards tend to have a better chance of being hired for a job.
In some cases, a person might have difficulty growing facial hair if he is transgender or if he has transitioned from female to male. FTM transgender patients typically take testosterone, which can stimulate the growth of facial hair, as the female hormones that block the hair growth are reduced. But the hormones most after are not enough to create a full, lush beard on some patients’ faces.
If you want more facial hair, but aren’t getting it naturally, one option might be to try using minoxidil on a daily basis. Originally marketed as a blood pressure medicine, minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles, which can stimulate growth. The medication is applied topically twice a day. There are two strengths available, 2 percent and 5 percent.
Try using the stronger concentration of minoxidil for about a month, applying it to the areas of your face where you’d like to see more hair growth. If you don’t see any results within a month, it’s probably best to try another option. If you do see results and are happy with them, continue to use the product. The results will fade when you stop using it.
Whether minoxidil works or not, you might be on the lookout for a more permanent solution to your facial hair concerns. One permanent option is a facial hair transplant. Although it is surgery, a facial hair transplant isn’t as complicated or drawn out as it might sound. In most cases, the procedure takes no more than five hours. Usually, patients are sedated and receive a local anesthetic, but aren’t completely under.
The hair for the transplant comes from either the back or sides of your scalp. Hair on the back and sides of your head isn’t going to fall out thanks to male pattern baldness, so it is ideal for use during a transplant. The surgeon will choose the hair that best matches any pre-existing facial hair you have. During the surgery, the hairs are transplanted one at a time, to create a natural look. Your surgeon will also pay attention to the angle of the hairs being transplanted, so that they grow in in a way that looks natural.
A few days of healing and recovery are needed after the transplant. The surgeon will most likely recommend that you not wash your face, as the area needs to stay dry. There will be some scabbing in the spots where hair was transplanted. After a couple of weeks, the transplanted hairs will fall out. But, after another few months, they will grow back and will be there for the rest of your life. If you get tired of having facial hair, you can trim or shave them and they will grow back like regular hair.
What About Hormones?
If you’re a naturally baby-faced man, you might be wondering if taking testosterone will help you grow a better beard. While taking testosterone can help those transitioning from female to male grow hair, the hormone will only stimulate the growth of hair if a follicle is already present. If your face is relatively smooth because you don’t have many active follicles, testosterone won’t help the hair grow. In that case, a hair transplant might be your only option.
Hair restoration specialist Dr. Jeffrey Epstein was recently featured in the New York Post, where he discussed the rise in beard and facial hair transplants. If you are tired of the baby-face look or would like to grow a better beard, Dr. Epstein can help. He has practices in New York and Florida, for your convenience. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Epstein, call (305) 666-1774 in Miami or (212) 759-3484 to schedule an appointment at the New York office.