Restoring Hair to the Goatee, Mustache, Beard and Sideburns
Facial hair transplant is a procedure which restores hair to areas where facial hair growth is thin or missing. It can be done to restore the goatee and mustache, as well as sideburns, the cheek beard, and anywhere that hair is desired, even if hair has never grown in the area before. Facial hair transplants can also be used to conceal acne scars and other types of scars.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Loss of facial hair may occur for a number of reasons. It can be the result of genetics, laser hair removal, electrolysis, surgery, burns or injury. Transgender female to male patients (FTM) may also benefit from this procedure. Goals for this procedure can vary from a minor filling in or thin coverage of a limited area, to the full restoration of a thick, full goatee or beard. The procedure can be performed on areas where there is no hair, or on areas where hair growth is thin and more fullness is desired.
The number of grafts required can vary but averages are as follows: 350-500 grafts for the mustache, 600-900 grafts for a full goatee, 200-300 grafts for each sideburn, and 300 to as many as 900 grafts for each cheek beard. While not very common, some patients may require and or desire a second usually smaller procedure to transplant additional grafts if they desire more than moderate density.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Just as with a hair transplant to the head, the donor hairs for a facial hair transplant come from the back or sides of the scalp, in most cases by the FUE technique. Which site is used typically depends on which area of the scalp Dr. Epstein feels offers the closest match to the facial hair; sometimes it’s the back of the scalp while other times it’s the side of the scalp. Oftentimes, hairs from the very back of the head will be the closest match for the goatee/mustache region and anterior/central cheeks, while donor hairs from the sides will be a best match for the sideburns and posterior/lateral cheeks. Once transplanted, the hairs are permanent and typically grow just like facial hair with similar texture and other characteristics. Furthermore, the transplanted hair can be shaved just as you would other facial hair.
Dr. Epstein most commonly uses a combination of single and two-hair grafts in order to optimize naturalness and density. He is also careful to place the grafts at the exact correct angle and direction and, in the case of gray hair, he will even go so far as to aesthetically distribute any existing gray hairs into the restored areas. To minimize scarring, Dr. Epstein uses all-microscopically dissected grafts that can be placed in the smallest possible incisions. For patients concerned about future hair loss of the scalp, it’s important to note that hairs transplanted to the face are no longer available for hair transplantation to the scalp – thus, if future hair restoration is desired to address male pattern hair loss of the scalp, the facial hair transplant patient will have fewer hairs available in the donor area with which to work.
Dr. Epstein is truly a leader in the field of hair restoration and facial hair transplantation in particular. He routinely writes scientific articles and lectures at national and international meetings, and authored the chapter on beard hair transplants for the definitive hair transplantation textbook “Hair Transplantation 360” put together by his colleagues. As an expert in this procedure, Dr. Epstein performs an average of three to four of these procedures each week. In fact, many patients travel to him from across the country and the world due to his reputation and unique experience.
Beard hair transplantation using Implanter Pens
Here Dr. Epstein demonstrates the placement of hair grafts into the beard using the Implanter Pen, minimizing the trauma to the grafts for the most natural results and highest regrowth rate.
Donor Hairs for Facial Transplantation
The donor hairs most commonly come from the scalp, which typically grow like normal facial hair in their texture and other characteristics, and can be shaved like other facial hair.
Procedure & Recovery
The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia with an oral sedative, but can be done under twilight intravenous sedation if desired, depending on the patient’s choice. Lasting three to as many as eight hours, it is a relatively easy procedure for the patient to undergo, and essentially painless. As far as the recovery period goes, the first 5 days after the procedure the transplanted area must be kept absolutely dry, and the tiny crusts around each graft will typically fall out after 4 to 6 days, then the transplanted hairs will fall off 1 to 2 weeks later. Meanwhile the donor area will take no more than 3 days to fully heal up. As most patients have the grafts obtained by the FUE technique, depending on the number of grafts obtained, the back and sometimes the sides of the head will need to be shaved for larger procedures, unless the no-shave FUE technique is utilized, a technique in which Dr. Epstein offers for patients who prefer this approach.
By the second day, patients are able to travel home and resume non strenuous activities, however the face will look like something was done for at least the first 3 to 4 days. With FUE no sutures are removed and this area will be fully healed up in a matter of a few days.
The transplanted hairs fall out at around 2 weeks, then start to regrow at 3 months, where they will continue to grow for a lifetime.
Risks & Results
There are few risks with the procedure, and most are those associated with standard hair transplants. The donor site area typically heals up with undetectable tiny dot scars that result from the 0.9mm and smaller FUE punch sites, even with the head shaved.
As this is a procedure in which Dr. Epstein specializes, most patients travel from out of town to have it performed. The entire procedure can be scheduled by email, phone and virtual consultation, by photo review and or webcam, allowing Dr. Epstein to give his recommendations and for his assistants Roxy and Dannette scheduling the procedure with the patient.