Many men like the look of thick facial hair. Unfortunately, not all men can grow a full beard due to genetics, injuries, or previous hair removal treatments. These kinds of issues may make it difficult or even impossible for a man to grow facial hair.
The good news is that there is an effective, permanent solution available for insufficient facial hair growth: a beard transplant.
Beard transplants are performed just like hair transplant procedures for the scalp and use the same donor areas that are used in hair transplants. Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Bared, MD, FACS offers natural-looking beard transplants to men in South Florida who would like to be able to grow a masculine-looking beard but are unable to do so naturally.
Dr. Bared specializes in hair restoration procedures such as beard hair transplants. Facial hair restoration is a specialty within hair transplantation that is not performed by many plastic surgeons. Dr. Bared is a pioneer in the field and has helped patients from all backgrounds achieve their goals.
This is why so many patients in Miami, Tampa, and across the United States seek beard transplant expert, Dr. Bared, for restoring their facial hair. The doctor’s background as a facial plastic surgeon affords him the artistic capabilities to produce very natural results in facial hair restoration.
What’s a Beard Transplant?
A beard transplant is a surgical procedure that takes hair from one area of the body and transfers it onto the face to create permanent hair growth. People who choose to have a beard transplant often decide to do so because they would like fuller facial hair but are unable to grow it on their own.
Like other hair transplant procedures, a beard hair transplant is a multi-step process. The first step is for the surgeon to harvest hair from a donor area of the body. The back and sides of the scalp are common harvest locations.
Since there’s a major risk that the immune system will reject hair from another person, you need to use facial hair implants from your own body during a beard transplant. Plus, hair from your own body will be the best match and look very natural. If you don’t have enough hair on the sides or back of your scalp, your surgeon might recommend harvesting hair follicles from another area of the body.
The second part of a facial hair transplant involves the surgeon implanting the donor hair onto the face. The exact location of the transplant depends on your goals. If you have some facial hair already, you might just want to fill in patches. People with little to no existing facial hair may want to add hair to their cheeks, upper lip, and chin.
During beard implants, a surgeon will typically use one of two procedures: follicular unit extraction (FUE) or follicular unit transplantation (FUT). Each surgical technique has its benefits and drawbacks. Your surgeon will review each method with you and let you know which one they recommend based on your goals and hair needs.
The results from a facial hair transplant are permanent. Once the hair begins growing in, you’re free to style your new beard however you want. That also means you can shave it off entirely should you decide you want to be clean-shaven and smooth-faced from time to time.
Benefits of a Beard Transplant
A beard transplant can enhance a man’s facial hair, thicken his existing beard, or fill in bald patches. It will leave patients with a natural and permanent look that fits in well with the texture and pattern of their natural hair in other areas of their face. Men with no facial hair at all (including FTM transgender patients) will be able to get a beard that suits their unique preferences.
After undergoing a beard transplant, men often feel more masculine and confident. Since every man has different aesthetic goals, Dr. Bared creates customized beard transplant procedures for each patient. He can transplant hair to create a full beard, mustache, goatee, or sideburns, or simply fill in patchy beard areas using a patient’s own donor hair.
Facial Hair Restoration Techniques
Hair restoration surgeons will use one of two techniques during beard implants. The major difference between the two techniques is how the surgeon harvests the donor hair. Another notable difference between the two methods is the types of scars that remain after the surgery.
Follicular unit transplantation, or FUT, involves the removal of a long, narrow strip of hair and skin from the donor location. The location can be the sides or back of the scalp or another area of the body where hair grows.
Harvesting the hair in a strip allows a surgeon to extract a lot of follicles, all at once. FUT can be ideal for patients who have limited existing facial hair and who want to have a fuller beard.
The method does require a linear incision, which can leave a thin scar on the donor site. If a person wears their hair long, the scar can be easily hidden.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) involves harvesting donor hair groups one by one. The surgeon uses a small punch tool to harvest the follicles, leaving the patient with a series of small dots in the donor area.
Patients who undergo FUE often report less discomfort compared to FUT. The scars from the procedure are often much easier to conceal since they appear as tiny dots.
If a person wants to cover a smaller area of the face, FUE might be the better option. FUE is also ideal for people who wear their hair very short.
Some medications and non-surgical treatments are available to help restore lost hair on the scalp. A popular example is Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine.
Minoxidil started out as a medicine to treat high blood pressure but a curious side effect of the drug was that it promotes hair growth. Now, it’s available over-the-counter in several concentrations to treat hair loss.
Minoxidil is a topical medication that you apply directly to areas where your hair might be thinning. As long as you continue to use it, it can help promote fuller and thicker hair growth.
How effective Minoxidil is for facial hair isn’t clear, as it hasn’t been FDA-approved for use on the face. You’re better off seeking out a hair transplant if you’d like to enhance your facial features with a beard or mustache.
The same is true of finasteride, another medication available for hair growth. Finasteride blocks the production of the hormone that causes hair follicles to shrink due to male pattern baldness.
Since men don’t lose facial hair the same way they lose hair from the top of their heads, it’s not clear how effective finasteride would work as a medication for beard growth. Like Minoxidil, it’s only approved for treating hair loss from the head, due to male pattern baldness.
Other non-surgical treatments for hair loss, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP), might help to improve the results of a beard transplant. PRP therapy uses your body’s platelets to promote healing and growth.
Some patients find that supplements and lifestyle changes help improve facial hair growth. Vitamin D and B vitamins can support hair growth. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and cutting back on alcohol, can also help to improve beard growth as well.
Good candidates for a beard transplant are people who want thicker or fuller beards and who have an adequate amount of donor hair for the procedure. The hair for the surgery needs to come from your own body.
Candidates should also be in relatively good health. If you have a chronic medical condition, your surgeon will most likely ask you to get the condition under control before going forward with a facial hair transplant. Uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure could increase your risk for complications during and after surgery.
It’s also important to assess your reasons for wanting a beard transplant. Are you doing it because you’ve wanted a full beard for a long time? Or do you feel pressure from someone else, such as a romantic partner, to grow a beard?
You also want to have realistic expectations about the surgery. That includes understanding that you won’t walk out of the surgical center with a full beard. Usually, the hair falls out after about a week or two and new growth won’t begin for several months.
Finally, your age can affect your candidacy for a beard transplant. Facial hair growth usually starts during puberty and is usually one of the last phases to complete. You might not have much, if any, facial hair when you’re 16 or 17.
Facial hair growth can continue throughout your 20s. So, if you’re under age 30, you might want to take a wait-and-see approach before deciding to have a beard transplant. By the time you’re 30, it’s possible that you will have the beard of your dreams, naturally.
Several factors can determine how much facial hair a person ends up with. One of those factors is a person’s ethnicity. People from some ethnic backgrounds, like men from the area around the Mediterranean, often have thicker hair growth on their faces than people from other parts of the world.
People from other ethnic backgrounds tend to have less facial hair growth than others. For example, Chinese men typically have less facial hair growth than men of other ethnicities.
The pattern of hair growth can also vary due to a person’s ethnicity. Chinese men often have facial hair around their mouths while European men typically have more concentrations of hair on the chin and cheeks.
Your ethnicity can also influence the texture and thickness of your hair, which might affect your procedure. For example, African-American hair tends to be thick and curly, which can mean that a person needs to have fewer follicles transplanted to create a thick, full beard. However, African-American patients may need to wait longer for full results as this hair type tends to grow more slowly.
A beard transplant can be part of gender affirmation surgery for FTM transgender patients. Whether you’re a good candidate for the surgery depends on a few factors.
One factor is how your body is responding to any hormones you’re taking. Some people notice thick and full beard growth as a result of the hormones and don’t need to consider surgery. Your family history can give you a clue as to whether or not you’re likely to experience a lot of natural beard growth after starting hormones.
Whether you’re a candidate for beard transplant surgery also depends on how far along you are in your transition. If you’ve just started transitioning, you might want to wait and see how your facial hair grows in. If you’ve been taking hormones for a while and aren’t seeing the growth you want, surgery can be a good treatment option.
The Beard Transplant Consultation
All patients will need to attend a consultation with Dr. Bared before scheduling a beard transplant in Miami, FL, to determine if they are a good candidate for the procedure and to learn more about the surgery.
On the day of your consultation, Dr. Bared will listen to your goals, assess your donor hair, and take a look at your existing facial hair pattern. If he believes a beard hair transplantation is the right treatment option for your needs, a customized procedure plan will be created, and he will discuss the transplant techniques he will use, as well as answer any questions you may have.
Your consultation is an opportunity to learn more about the procedure and to determine if your expectations are realistic. If you can, it’s a good idea to bring in photos of beards you like so you and your surgeon can get on the same page before beginning to plan your surgery.
Be honest with your surgeon and ask lots of questions during your consultation. It’s important to get to know your surgeon and to be very clear about what you want. Although the surgery is minimally invasive for most patients, it’s still a big commitment.
The amount of existing facial hair and the desired design will determine the number of grafts needed for the procedure. In some cases, secondary procedures are needed to achieve the degree of density some patients seek.
Given that a lot of Dr. Bared’s facial hair restoration patients travel from all over the country to see him, Dr. Bared offers consultations over video chat for his out-of-town patients.
What to Expect Before, During, & After the Procedure
A beard transplant is very similar to a hair transplant procedure. It is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home on the same day as the surgery. Here’s what to expect when you go in for your procedure.
It’s helpful to wear comfortable clothing the day of your beard transplant, as the surgery will take several hours and you will be awake while the surgeon works. If you wish, an oral sedative can be taken before the procedure to calm your nerves and make you more comfortable for the duration of the surgery. Local anesthesia will be used to ensure that you do not feel any pain.
On the day of your procedure, Dr. Bared marks out the beard design along with you in front of a mirror. The doctor then evaluates the color and texture of the facial hair to determine the ideal donor site. This is your chance to ask any final questions before the procedure begins.
The beard transplant procedure takes place in two parts. Before the surgery begins, Dr. Bared will give you a local anesthetic. The anesthetic numbs the donor area and the area where the hair will be transplanted.
If you choose only to get the local anesthetic, you’ll be completely awake during the procedure. You won’t feel discomfort or pain but will be able to feel pressure as the surgeon works. You’ll also be able to talk and interact with the surgical team.
You might prefer to get an oral sedative before the surgery begins. A sedative will make you somewhat sleepy and out-of-it.
A sedative is not as extreme as general anesthesia and won’t put you fully under. If you’re a little nervous about the procedure or don’t really want to think about what’s going on, an oral sedative can be the way to go.
Once you’re properly anesthetized and sedated, Dr. Bared will start the first part of the surgery. He’ll harvest the donor hair follicles from the appropriate location. He may need to shave the area to provide a clearer view of the hair follicles for harvesting.
Dr. Bared will harvest the follicular units (groups of hair follicles) from the donor site on the sides or back of the scalp, typically using the FUE (follicular unit extraction) method, which helps reduce scarring. Occasionally, he may use the FUT or “strip” technique for certain patients. Depending on the number of grafts needed, the back and sides of the scalp can be buzzed for the donor hair.
Once all the donor hair is harvested and prepared, the surgeon can begin the next step: transplanting the beard hair.
He’ll carefully prepare the grafts and position each individual hair, one by one, into your natural facial hair at the proper angle so that each transplanted hair seamlessly blends in with the existing beard. To create a fuller, thicker appearance, hair follicles can be added to the mustache or sideburns, as well.
When transplanting the hair, Dr. Bared will follow the design created at the start of the process. He’ll also pay attention to the pattern of growth for any existing facial hair and will mimic that pattern to achieve the most natural-looking results possible.
All told, you can expect the surgical process to last up to five hours. The length of a beard transplant procedure depends on the number of hairs necessary to meet the patient’s particular goals.
In most cases, hair transplants are completed in 2 to 5 hours. Some can take as long as 8 hours, however.
You’ll be able to return home the same day as your beard transplant surgery. Since you might be a little groggy and drowsy from the sedative, you’ll need to ask a family member or close friend to drive you home from the surgical center. You may want someone to stay with you overnight in case you need any help.
Dr. Bared will give you a detailed list of instructions on how to take care of the area and when to come back to see him for follow-up visits. Generally, you can expect to avoid washing your face for at least five days to protect the grafts.
You’ll also want to avoid certain medications and sun exposure. The sun’s rays can make scarring more visible, so avoid it as much as possible right after surgery. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of alcohol, especially if you’re taking prescribed pain medications.
Because your face might be a little sore after your beard transplant, you might want to skip eating any foods that are very chewy or crunchy, at least right away. Stick with soft foods or easy-to-chew foods until the soreness and swelling have gone away.
Recovery and Aftercare
The recovery process following hair transplant surgery takes roughly a week. Patients should follow all aftercare instructions to promote optimal results and prevent complications. Even though patients may experience swelling and a few other side effects, many can return to work and other non-vigorous activities the day after the procedure.
Soon after the recovery period, the transplanted follicle units will begin to fall out. This is completely normal—the follicles go into “shock” and do not produce new hair growth immediately.
Hair regrowth usually starts around four to six months. The transplanted hair can be treated as any other facial hair and allowed to grow out or be trimmed/shaved as desired.
Most patients are satisfied with the initial density from one procedure but a secondary, touch-up procedure can be performed after 1 year to create further density.
Men must wait to resume shaving after beard transplant surgery until Dr. Bared indicates that it is safe to do so. Patients can trim their facial hair however they wish after about 2 weeks post-surgery but may need to wait an entire month until they will be permitted to resume shaving. Shaving before the recommended time can cause the grafts to grow in the wrong direction or become dislodged.
Patients are to keep the face dry for the first five days after the procedure. This allows for the grafts to set properly. Tiny crusts will form around the grafted hairs as the facial incisions heal.
Topical antibiotic ointment is applied to the donor area whether a strip or FUE technique was used. Patients are then shown how to gently wet the face after 5 days with soap and water, starting to remove the crusts.
Facial pinkness can be present after the procedure and usually resolves after a few weeks. This is most commonly seen in patients with very fair complexion.
Side effects are possible after a beard transplant. Scarring and infection are the two biggest risks of beard transplants.
Patients may experience swelling during the recovery period but this will typically subside within several days. You might also feel some tightness in the donor and transplant area.
If you have swelling, try applying a cold compress to the area to help reduce any discomfort. Since it’s important not to get the area wet, make sure to use a dry compress. Be gentle with the area to avoid dislodging the grafted hairs.
A pain reliever can help ease any discomfort or tightness you feel after surgery. Ask your surgeon which medication he recommends or if he can write you a prescription. Some over-the-counter and prescription medications should be avoided until you have fully healed.
More severe side effects can occur after a beard transplant, but they are very rare. Following your surgeon’s instructions closely can help you reduce the risk of more severe side effects. Working with a highly skilled hair transplant surgeon like Dr. Bared significantly reduces the risk of side effects and complications.
All surgeries have risks, and a hair transplant for beards is no exception. As mentioned above, choosing your surgeon carefully helps to lower your risk, as does following all pre-op and post-op instructions.
One potential issue with a beard transplant is that the donor hair might not “take.” It can be difficult to predict when a graft will fail or why it will fail. If your grafts don’t take, you might need to repeat the surgery.
Another risk is that you won’t like the results. There are a few ways to cope with that situation.
If you realize after the fact that you don’t want a beard, you can simply shave it or wax it regularly. If you aren’t happy with the volume of your new beard, a touch-up procedure, scheduled about a year after the first transplant, can be beneficial.
Some patients have a higher risk for troublesome scarring than others following a beard transplant. If you’ve had trouble with scars that grow out of control in the past (such as keloid scars), let the surgeon know during your consultation. He might recommend a technique that minimizes scarring.
How Much Does a Beard Transplant Cost?
The cost of a beard transplant depends on several factors. One factor is the number of grafts you need. Usually, the more hair that needs to be harvested and transplanted, the higher the price of the surgery. This is a time-intensive procedure requiring meticulous attention to detail, which affects the price.
The type of technique the surgeon uses also influences the price of the surgery. When meeting with your surgeon, ask if one method is more expensive than the other. However, it’s always best to choose the technique that is right for you, not just the cheapest option.
Generally speaking, a beard transplant costs a few thousand dollars. Some procedures cost more than $10,000. Although it can be tempting to cut corners to save money, it’s really in your best interests to work with a trained, high-quality surgeon rather than choosing the provider offering the lowest price.
Insurance usually doesn’t cover the cost of a beard transplant, since it’s a cosmetic procedure. You’ll most likely need to pay for the procedure out of your own pocket.
While paying in full is always an option, financing is usually available if you qualify. Be sure to ask during your consultation about financing options that can put a beard transplant within your grasp.
Why Choose Dr. Bared for your Facial Hair Restoration?
Choosing the right surgeon to perform the beard transplant procedure is extremely important. This is a highly specialized surgery and even many hair transplant experts don’t have much experience in performing it. While the surgery is highly effective, it is also still a newer procedure.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Bared, MD, FACS, has performed facial hair transplants on men of all ages and ethnic backgrounds and will design a customized procedure that helps you achieve your dream of a robust beard and natural facial hair growth. He is experienced, detail-oriented, and knows exactly what it takes to perform a hair transplant procedure that leads to natural-looking results.
Dr. Bared is one of the world’s most experienced beard transplant specialists. While many surgeons offer hair restoration, Dr. Bared is one of the few experts with in-depth knowledge of facial hair transplants. He works with a diverse patient base and uses cutting-edge techniques to help patients reach their goals.
At his Miami office, patients travel from all over the country. The staff is experienced in helping out-of-town and local patients alike experience a comfortable and safe procedure. They can also recommend hotels and points of interest for visiting patients.
Frequently Asked Questions
plays a vital role in facial hair growth. While some men are blessed with thick, full facial hair, others are unable to grow a beard or struggle with patchiness, hair loss, or thin hair. Fortunately, a beard transplant can be an ideal permanent solution for men who struggle with growing a full beard.
A beard transplant takes hair from one part of your body, such as the back of the scalp, and implants it into your cheeks, chin, or another part of the face. The goal of the surgery is to give the patient a full, thick beard that they can’t grow on their own.
Yes, you need to use hair from your own body during a beard transplant or any other type of hair restoration surgery. Your body will reject hair from another individual, meaning you’d need to take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of your life.
Yes. Once the hair transplant has been completed and growth has begun, the hair is permanent. Patients can expect about 90% of their transplanted hair grafts to survive and grow when the procedure is performed by a skilled surgeon. Regrowth begins about 3 months after surgery.
The density and thickness of a man’s hair will determine how many grafts they need. However, the average number of individual beard hair transplant grafts required to fill in a full beard is 3,000. Your surgeon will be able to tell you if you have enough follicles available to reach your cosmetic goals.
A typical beard hair transplant takes 2 to 5 hours. The thickness desired and the amount of coverage necessary will dictate how long the procedure will take.
Most patients report minimal pain and discomfort after plastic surgery, including hair transplants. Since most beard transplants use the FUE technique, which means that individual follicular units are removed one at a time, there are no painful incisions and minimal scarring. Patients who are concerned about feeling any pain are encouraged to let Dr. Bared know in advance of the procedure so he can recommend a solution.
When performed by a trained, experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, a beard transplant is a very safe procedure. You can verify the safety of the facility by asking about accreditation and emergency plans during your consultation. Asking the surgeon about their experience and reviewing before-and-after photos is also a must. It’s important to see examples to set your own expectations and ensure that you like the surgeon’s past work.
While FUT leaves a long, linear scar, the scars from FUE tend to be much smaller. Since the surgeon uses a tool to “punch” out the grafts during FUE, only tiny dots remain after the procedure. Usually, the scars are barely noticeable, especially underneath the hair.
It’s best to postpone a beard transplant until your facial hair has reached its full density and thickness. Depending on your family history and genes, that can be as late as age 30. If you’re a teenager who wants a beard transplant, it’s better to wait as you might not need one in the long run.
We recommend that patients avoid shaving for at least a month after a beard transplant. By doing so, they can ensure their grafts grow properly and do not become dislodged. If they wish, they may trim their facial hair 2 weeks after the procedure.
It’s a good idea to hold off on exercise for a bit following a beard transplant. You might be able to resume light activity, such as taking a walk, a few days after your surgery. More vigorous workouts should be put off for a few weeks.
Your surgeon will explain each technique to you and the benefit of choosing one over the other. He’ll also likely recommend the one he thinks is best for you based on your goals. Remember, your surgeon is the expert, so take their recommendation seriously.
Dr. Bared will give you a list of things to do, things to avoid, and what to expect in the days and weeks leading up to your surgery. Most likely, you will be advised to avoid taking certain medications and supplements before your beard transplant. Some common over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin, can increase surgical bleeding risks. Supplements such as vitamin E can also make bleeding more likely, as can certain prescription medications. If you regularly take any medicines, your surgeon can give you advice on what to do or take instead. If you’re a smoker, you’ll need to give up the habit for at least a couple of weeks before and after your beard transplant. Smoking and using tobacco products can interfere with healing and can make scarring worse. If you drink, you’ll also want to cut back on alcohol before your surgery. Prep for your recovery by taking some time off from work and arranging for child or pet care. It’s important for you to rest and recover for at least a day or two. Get ready in advance for some relaxation time and self-care!
There are many treatments available at drugstores and online that claim to improve the way facial hair grows. The unfortunate reality is that these treatments often produce minimal to no results. If they do produce results, the results often look unnatural or are temporary. At Facial Plastic Surgery Miami, we do offer non-surgical hair restoration options for those who want to try something minimally invasive. However, patients are encouraged to schedule a consultation to learn about beard transplants, the natural, permanent solution that can restore their confidence and help them look and feel more attractive.
Everyone’s situation is different. If you have a patchy beard or you’re unable to grow facial hair, you might be a great candidate. FTM transgender patients and men who want to cover up facial scars can also be great candidates for the procedure.
Book your Miami Beard Transplant Consult Today
If you have struggled to grow a thick beard and are interested in learning more about how a beard transplant may help you look and feel more masculine, it is in your best interest to schedule a private consultation with expert hair transplant surgeon Dr. Anthony Bared. You can call us at 305-666-1774 or fill out our handy online contact form to schedule your appointment. We look forward to helping you in your beard transplant journey at our Miami or Tampa locations!