Today In Trends We Didn’t Know Existed: Beard Transplants Are All The Rage

This could be you, guys. (photography by natalia)

This could be you, guys. (photography by natalia)

Whenever one of the men in my family says he’s growing a beard, I can’t help but laugh — anytime they try it, the result is a patchy, sparse thing that looks like they fell in a pile of hair at the barbershop with glue on their face (sorry, family). There’s hope for the follicle-challenged faces out there, however: because we’re living in a time where you can get exactly the look you want, it’s not surprising that there’s been a recent uptick in beard transplants.

Yes, you read that right — guys are getting hair from their heads transplanted onto their faces, one follicle at a time, to go from baby-faced to swarthy lumberjack with a visit to the surgeon.

Though the idea of a beard transplant might conjure up images of the awful hair plug jobs you may’ve been witness to in the past, the popularity of such procedures has surged partly due to advancements in the transplanting process, reports the New York Times: in the past, hair was transplanted in clumps of about 15 follicles, resulting in pluglike grafts that looked… not great, and not something you’d likely want on your face.

Now, however, surgeons harvest thousands of individual hair follicles from hairy spots to bare ones, whether scalp or beard, resulting in a look that’s more natural, and can be shaved and grown just like real hair.

Business in the lumbersexual era is booming: One doctor who has offices in Miami and Manhattan told the NYT he used to perform four or five facial hair transplants per year, a decade ago. Nowadays, it’s more like three per week. To that end, beard transplants have grown from 1.5% of all hair restoration procedures around the world in 2012 to 3.7% in 2014, according to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, a nonprofit medical association.

One recent beard transplant patient paid about $7,000 to get the works — from sideburns to chin — because his bare face made people think he was younger than he is.

“It does play a role in me looking more mature, more manly, and just kind of getting respect from people,” he told the NYT.

But come on — can they really look like a natural beard? Yes, said another transplant patient.

“No one suspected,” he told the NYT. “It’s like I was never a beard guy, and now I grew a beard, so I would say it was pretty stealth.”

Baby-Faced Men Opt for Beard Transplants [New York Times]

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