A full, thick beard increases a man’s confidence, but not everyone can grow adequate facial hair. Beard restoration or beard transplant is quickly gaining popularity among men who struggle to grow a beard. Men should choose an experienced board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon to perform their beard transplant to ensure natural-looking results and significantly reduce the risk of side effects and complications.
What is a Beard Transplant?
A beard transplant is a facial hair transplant procedure that fills in a patchy beard or creates a full beard in patients who are unable to grow facial hair naturally. The surgeon removes hair follicles from a donor zone, usually located in the back of the head. According to the doctor’s discretion, the donor follicles are relocated to the beard and mustache area using either the FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) or FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) transplant procedure.
The risks associated with beard restoration are minimal, and complications are rare. Beard restoration is an outpatient cosmetic operation that typically involves only minor discomfort and swelling. But, less-common beard transplant concerns can include pain, excess swelling, bruising, redness in the area, infection, and scarring.
Is a Beard Transplant Risky?
There are risks associated with any cosmetic procedure, including a facial hair transplant or beard transplant procedure. However, a skilled and artistic hair transplant doctor provides outstanding results with significantly reduced infection risks and potential complications. The benefits of beard transfer far outweigh the low surgical risks for most patients when the procedure is performed by an experienced, qualified doctor.
The risks for a facial hair transplant and beard restoration are the same as any hair transplant procedure. The chances of developing complications are minimal, and it is rare for discomfort to last longer than a few days. Most men can return to work shortly after their beard transplant surgery.
Beard Transplant Risks
- Nerve damage
- Poor results
- Hair loss
After hair transplant surgery to treat patchy or thin hair, both the harvest area and the recipient area require special care. The patient must keep both sites sanitary to prevent infection or folliculitis. The doctor will review the patient’s lifestyle prior to surgery and provides personalized home-care instructions and supplies, including antibiotic ointment to use on the scalp and face.
Avoid the following activities until your surgeon says you have fully healed from your procedure:
- Direct sunlight exposure
- Use of the pool or hot tub
- Strenuous exercise or activity
- Activities that generate sweat
- Scratching, rubbing, or touching the implants
- Scratching, rubbing, or touching the harvested area
Temporary Side Effects
Immediately after the surgery and for several days, the skin will remain sensitive and itchy. Do not pick the scabs and avoid touching the area because doing so can cause inflammation at the site and result in irritation and infection. The following side effects are typically temporary and last for several days:
- Scabs or crusting
The FUE technique creates small, usually unnoticeable scars, while the FUT procedure creates a long horizontal scar in the donor area. Mild scarring in the donor area is typical, but the patient’s natural hair conceals the area. The doctor chooses the best procedure for the individual patient’s needs.
Implant recipient areas shouldn’t experience noticeable scarring, but temporary scabs, crusting, redness, and swelling are expected during the initial recovery. The patient should contact their surgeon if the symptoms worsen or continue past two weeks.
Risk of Infection After Beard Restoration
Advances in beard restoration have significantly reduced infection risks when a board-certified facial hair restoration surgeon performs the procedure. As outlined by the surgeon, proper aftercare protects the donor site and the graft area from harm and provides excellent results.
Infections can be severe and may impact the individual’s health, cause hair loss in areas previously not experiencing loss, and significantly reduce the beard transplant’s success. The primary cause for infection is unsanitary conditions in the donor site or graft site. The risk of infection is very low, but the beard’s appearance can be destroyed by severe infections and may need follow-up restoration surgery to correct the problem areas.
Tips for Avoiding Infection
- Avoid touching the graft and donor areas
- Do not remove or pick scabs along the donor area
- Follow the doctor’s post-op care instructions to keep the scalp clean
- Attend all follow-up visits
- Avoid tobacco products, smoking, and alcohol during the recovery period
Signs of infection After Beard Restoration
The first signs of an infection after beard transplant are:
- Excessive bleeding
- Extreme redness
- Burning sensation
During an active infection, these side effects would gradually get worse after a week rather than show signs of improvement.
Steps to Take During Active Infection
Signs of infection will grow progressively worse without intervention. According to PubMed.gov, treatment is crucial, and the patient should have the condition addressed immediately. The patient should contact their surgeon directly if they notice unusual discomfort, redness, swelling, excess bleeding, or burning sensations in their scalp after the hair restoration procedure.
Preparation Reduces Risk of Infection
Proper care and preparation are essential aspects of risk reduction. The surgeon performs a complete exam and provides the patient with pre-op and post-op instructions before the surgery to help avoid infection and promote the best possible outcome after a FUT or FUE beard transplant. Read the doctor’s at-home-care instructions and prepare properly to reduce the risk of infection and complications after the procedure.
Folliculitis: Infection of Hair Follicles
Folliculitis, an infection within the hair follicle, is a rare risk associated with beard transplants. This issue typically improves on its own, but in some cases requires medication. It is essential to follow all of the aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon to prevent folliculitis, which presents as:
- Red skin
- Small red bumps
- Crusty sores
- Pus-filled sores
- Inflamed skin
- Painful bumps
If a patient experiences any of the symptoms listed above in the treatment area, contacting the hair transplant surgeon is the key first step. Depending on the symptoms and type of folliculitis (bacterial, viral, fungal), the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic cream, oral antibiotic, or antifungal treatment.
Having a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in beard transplants perform the surgery dramatically reduces the risk of complications, including folliculitis. Early intervention reduces the risk of scars and damage to the transplanted hair.
Botched Beard Restorations
George Clooney, David Beckham, Tom Hardy, and other Hollywood stars wear a full beard with pride. A full beard has steadily gained and maintained popularity for the last 20 years. The beard trend is definitely here to stay, but approximately 50% of men experience patchy growth, and some are unable to grow more than stubble.
Progressive FUE beard transplants allow men who dream of a beard to reach their goals at last. While the risk of a botched beard restoration is low, some patients have experienced disastrous transplants that require extensive time, money, and pain to fix the damage. Some marketing companies encourage men to travel overseas to Turkey and other locations to get cheap beard transplants.
Men report scarring in the donor area, hair loss, pitting in their beard, acne, and folliculitis after visiting unqualified facilities in the US and abroad. Scams and dangerous hair transplant procedures are risks that men take when they don’t research their surgeon. Watch out for unqualified clinics and inexperienced hair transplant doctors all over the world.
Reducing Risks: Find a Qualified Beard Transplant Specialist
Choosing a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon to perform the procedure will significantly reduce the possibility of rare complications occurring, and a skilled surgeon can provide the best, natural-looking results. Comparing prices is only one aspect of choosing a transplant doctor. It is also essential to select a hair restoration surgeon who consistently gets excellent reviews from satisfied customers and uses the latest technological advances, such as the FUE method.
Men can reverse laser hair removal or treat naturally thin hair to experience natural growth of a full beard, goatee, sideburns to conceal facial scarring, a repaired cleft lip, or burns. Men must choose a reputable surgeon who can give them the beard they want. Looking at patient reviews and before and after photos is a great way to start your search.
Possible Reasons for Hair Transplant Failure
1. Inexperienced Surgeon
FUE and FUT transplant methods require advanced training under a master hair transplant surgeon. Sometimes, hair transplant failure results from an inexperienced surgeon not correctly placing the graft in its new position. Graft placement is one of the critical stages of hair transplantation and is essential to the patient’s final appearance after the recovery.
Less experienced doctors may harvest the follicles from an unfavorable area, which could result in a poor aesthetic outcome. Overharvesting of grafts by an inexperienced surgeon can cause significant damage to the donor area, which can cause baldness. Overharvesting refers to excess removal of grafts from the donor area, leading to areas of missing or thinned hair in the back portion of the patient’s scalp.
Experience is a significant factor when it comes to cosmetic surgery. Do not risk being a trial and error patient for an inexperienced transplant surgeon. Read online reviews and testimonies from prior patients before choosing a hair transplant specialist with advanced experience in beard and facial hair transplants.
2. Poor Candidate for Hair Transplant
A beard transplant or hair transplant can transform people’s lives for the better, but not everyone is a good candidate. Before the surgery, the doctor will need to see a detailed medical history and information on the patient to determine if they are a good candidate for beard transplantation.
Weak or thinning hair may also lead to an unfavorable outcome. The patient must have a sufficient supply of healthy donor hair. The doctor will determine this factor during the medical evaluation.
Extracted hair follicles will not grow back, and an inadequate amount of hair will result in a poor aesthetic appearance for the donor area. Severe thinning at the nape of the neck can result from an unsuccessful hair transplant.
3. Poor Personal Care
Personal care is essential to graft survival and success. Transplant failure or severe infection can occur if the patient scratches the area or fails to properly care for the donor or transplant area. The treated area will be sensitive, but it is not difficult to achieve excellent results once the hairs have been transplanted.
Gently cleanse the area and follow all hair and facial washing instructions. Following the doctor’s instructions and advice, avoid sun exposure and refrain from exercise that causes you to sweat during the healing process. Patients should contact the doctor without delay if they experience symptoms such as excess swelling, pain, or redness.
4. Hair Clinic Dishonesty
The reputation of the transplant doctor and the clinic or doctor’s office is essential. Conduct research to evaluate the credibility of the doctor and the facility or hair transplant clinic. A suitable doctor prioritizes their patients’ well-being, health, and hair transplant outcomes.
The doctor’s level of experience is crucial to the outcome of a beard transplant. Ask to see before and after photos from prior patients.
5. Unrealistic Expectations
The patient should ask the prospective surgeon what to expect in the months after the hair transplant. Misunderstandings can stand in the way of a successful outcome and realistic expectations are key. Hair transplant surgery is the first stage of the procedure, and the subsequent postoperative recovery is just as critical.
Do not rush the recovery process. Be sure to follow all of the doctor’s instructions and attend any follow-up exams. Keep in mind that there are times when a second operation is needed to achieve the desired results.
6. Existing Hair Conditions
As a whole, modern beard and hair transplants are very safe and patients typically experience outstanding results. However, a hair transplant may fail in patients with unsuitable scalp conditions. Existing alopecia and other hair loss caused by underlying medical conditions or medications can trigger hair transplant failure.
A comprehensive evaluation will provide the patient with a full range of nonsurgical and comprehensive surgical options that provide them with the results they desire. Is important to choose a qualified facial hair transplant specialist.
7. Aftercare Mistakes
The patient must follow their surgeon’s instructions during the recovery, including avoiding smoking, activities that prompt sweating, hot tubs, and swimming. Smokers should stop smoking two weeks before the surgery and remain nicotine-free after the treatment. The doctor will explain haircare and hairstyling changes depending on the transplant procedure.
The aftercare instruction process is relatively easy. However, patients who do not comply with postoperative instructions are more susceptible to scarring and potential infections. Aftercare is a crucial part of the treatment process and directly affects the success of the beard transplant.
What to Expect After Beard Transplant
Patients have better results when they know what to expect after their hair transplant. The beard transplant incisions are barely detectable after ten days if the patient carefully follows the postoperative care instructions.
The doctor may provide medication during recovery to reduce the risk of infection and swelling. More than one transplant session is sometimes needed depending on the size of the beard the patient desires.
The newly transplanted hair typically begins to grow in about ten weeks, is usually long enough to groom in six months, and is completely grown out in about one year. Some shedding of the original hair is normal and may cause the results to appear thinner. But, this shedding is temporary, and it begins to grow back as the transplanted hair grows.
There is some variability between individuals, but most beard transplant patients experience excellent results without difficulties when a qualified hair transplant specialist performs the surgery and the patient complies with all aftercare instructions. A beard restoration surgeon will explain the benefits and risks during the facial hair transplant consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
A botched beard restoration is rare. Poor surgical skill and/or inadequate self-care can cause poor results, but these mistakes are highly unlikely when an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon performs the surgery. It is essential to choose a qualified doctor who displays photos of beard restorations completed at their facility.
The FUE treatment takes about ten days for the recipient area to heal, while the donor area in FUT involves a linear scar that could take much longer to heal completely. The linear scar used in FUT typically requires longer to heal, but it isn’t much riskier.
The individual’s natural healing process plays a role in healing and whether the treatment is more complicated. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to creating excess scar tissue; this is a risk your doctor will discuss with you during your consultation.
FUE is the first choice for most hair transplant surgeons. However, FUT may be needed based on the number of follicles required to create the patient’s beard. The FUT utilizes a strip of hair to access multiple strands at once.
The main advantage of follicular unit extraction (FUE) is a faster recovery and tiny scars versus the strip of tissue that is removed for FUT. FUE vs. FUT techniques is something that your hair transplant specialist will discuss with you during a consultation.
The risk of severe scarring is minimal when you follow all provided self-care instructions after the hair restoration treatment. The scarring risk is also significantly reduced when a board-certified plastic surgeon completes the hair restoration procedure.
FUE technology involves less visible scarring in the donor area than FUT, something your surgeon will explain. The plastic surgeon will review your medical history and examine your scalp and facial hair to determine which treatment is best for you. If you tend to scar, the doctor will discuss this concern and make some suggestions to reduce this risk.
FUE and FUT procedures provide very similar results. The beard restoration specialist would provide you with the best treatment based on your hairstyle and needs.
The risk of noticeable transplant scars is minimal when you work with a highly experienced surgeon who can strategically create thin or tiny transplant scars. Regrowth will look much more natural when an experienced surgeon completes the treatment. FUE scars are circular and easier to hide within the natural hair growth; however, scarring varies depending on the number of follicles extracted from the donor area. The body’s healing process also plays an essential role in the fading of the scar. Some individuals are predisposed to keloids or excessive scarring. Scarring is an important discussion to have with your surgeon during the consultation.
If you have experienced a botched beard restoration and have scars, you can schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to repair your beard and reduce the appearance of existing scars.
A good beard transplant candidate cannot grow a goatee, sideburns, mustache, or other areas to create a full beard. This lack of hair may be due to genetics, scars, burns, or other issues. A beard transplant is a good solution for men with patchy beards who would like a complete, more masculine beard. It is also an option for FTM transgender individuals who would like to have a more masculine appearance.
Why Choose Miami Beard Transplant Specialist Dr. Bared?
It is important that men choose a highly skilled beard transplant specialist to perform their procedure. Dr. Anthony Bared, MD, F.A.C.S. is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon and one of the best hair and beard transplant specialists in the nation.
Dr. Anthony Bared specializes in facelifts, nose jobs, hair transplantation, facial hair restoration, and beard transplantation. He serves men of every race, gender, nationality, and background, including transgender men (FTM) who desire a more masculine appearance.
Dr. Bared holds the following qualifications:
- Board-certified plastic surgeon
- Board-certified otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat specialist)
- Performs advanced FUE facial hair transplants
- Provides results that match his patients’ goals and lifestyles
- Has performed over 1000 facial hair transplant surgeries
- Features advanced hair transplant technology
- 5-star rating
- 90% success rate for transplanted hairs
- Outstanding patient reviews
Request a Miami Beard Transplant Consultation
If you would like a full beard, have facial scars or burns, or simply would like more masculine facial hair, call 305-912-9646 or visit Facial Plastic Surgery Miami to schedule your appointment today with Miami hair transplant specialist Dr. Anthony Bared, MD.