Beard Transplant in Turkey
In just the same way as scalp hair transplants, beard transplant procedures are also gaining more popularity day by day, considering the complementary effect of the beard as well as its ability to provide a more masculine and younger complexion.
Beard transplant is not an invasive operation, and this feature of the procedure eliminates the risk of scarring, setting patients’ minds at rest. While the operation is relatively short to be executed with minimal downtime, the recovery period is also does not take much time from patients’ busy schedules.
The restoration process is not completely different from the hair transplantation techniques mentioned. In brief, healthy hair follicles are extracted from donor area (usually from the back of the scalp), then transplanted into the facial area designated in advance. With proper transplantation techniques and a proficient medical team, it is highly possible to have natural looking beard.
Causes of Beard Loss
Natural shedding, hormonal problems, stress, medical conditions or just a poor diet; there are many reasons which can cause beard hair loss in men. Before making a decision on whether you should opt for a beard transplantation or not, it is important to know the usual suspects, including:
- Natural growth cycle of beard hairs: Not only the scalp hair but also the facial hair goes through the phases of natural growth cycle, namely anagen, catagen and telogen. As new hair strands enter the growth stage of the cycle, there occurs a need for a fair amount of hair shedding. Comprised of about 30.000 hairs on average, losing 50 to 150 beard hair in a day is a completely normal part of the natural cycle. So, a few strands of hair in the sink do not always mean that you are suffering from hair loss.
- Decreasing testosterone and DHT levels: Facial hair growth is initiated and regulated by androgenetic male hormones; while testosterone prepares the follicles for growth phase, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) triggers elongation. Therefore, a decrease in these hormones can cause a significant thinning or loss on the facial hair.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Deficiencies in vitamin and minerals such as biotin, vitamin D, zinc, vitamin A, magnesium, vitamins A, K2 and E and calcium can be held accountable for facial hair loss, since they play an important role in production of keratin and collagen.
- Chronic stress: Negative effects of chronic stress are associated with the increase in a hormone known as cortisol. By suppressing androgenic hormones, cortisol is considered as a possible cause for facial hair loss, and it is important to note that cortisol can trigger a hair loss condition called telogen effluvium.
- Alopecia barbae: Alopecia areata is the name of the autoimmune disease in which the inflammatory cells attack the body itself, especially the hair follicles. It is actually a common condition which affects a fair amount of people throughout their lives. When alopecia areata occurs on the facial hair, then it is named as alopecia barbae, usually showing up suddenly in the form of small circular patches.
Are You A Good Candidate for Beard Transplantation?
As in the case of the scalp hair transplantations, the same surgical techniques are executed during beard restoration, such as FUE and DHI. Therefore, as long as you have healthy donor hair on your scalp which match the color and texture of your facial hairs, you are likely to be considered as a good candidate for beard transplantation in terms of the surgical requirements.
The rest is up to the patient’s wishes and demands. If your facial hair is thinning, or you have a scar on your face you wish to cover, or you just want to have thicker and fuller beard, then there is no need for you to postpone the operation which will change your life, both physically and mentally.
However, there are a small number of conditions regarded as drawbacks in terms of beard restoration. For instance, if you are currently in the process of chemotherapy or treatment for alopecia universalis, it is recommended waiting a bit more before going through a facial hair transplantation. Moreover, as it is necessary to have adequate number of hairs on the scalp, patients whose bodily hair is completely lost are not considered as eligible candidates for beard transplantation.
How Is It Applied: The Procedure of Beard Transplantation
Firstly, your doctor will explain the necessary precautions to take before the operation. You will need to avoid medication such as aspirin and inflammatory agents as well as consuming alcohol at least three days before the surgery.
You will be given two options of hair transplant techniques: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) or Direct Hair Implementation (DHI). The first step to take is consulting with your doctor about which technique is most suitable for your needs as well as your non-surgical circumstances such as budget and time reserved for the operation.
In order to make the optimal choice, it is significantly important both getting familiar with the mentioned techniques and recognizing the distinction between the two.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
In Follicular Unit Extraction, each individual follicular unit is extracted from donor area at one time, using small punch or forceps with a size of one-millimeter in diameter instrument. As soon as the follicular units are prepared, your surgeon will make small incisions at the recipient site by means of razor blades. Depending on the number of the hairs within each follicle, the hair grafts will be strategically placed in each slit one by one.
Harvesting adequate number of follicular units in accordance with the priorly designated beard line may take a couple of hours, and in terms of larger sessions, be separated into two days. The tissue damage resulted from the incision process usually starts to heal in about 3 to 4 weeks, leaving small scars, which are invisible to an untrained eye, buried under the hairs on the donor area.
Direct Hair Transplantation
Once the planning of beard line is completed according to your needs and desires, your doctor will apply a local anesthetic agent to the target area. As soon as the anesthesia takes effect, the extraction process will be initiated, manually using an extractor device with a diameter in 1 mm or less.
The hair grafts extracted from the donor area will be immediately implanted into the recipient site, using an advanced tool named Choi Pen. It is a mechanical implementation device which can contain 1 to 4 hair follicles simultaneously. The placement of the hair follicles requires utmost attention, highlighting the skill and the experience of the surgeon. Tiny scars will be left where the hair follicles were removed, but these will not be noticeable as the existing hair will cover them appropriately.
Depending on size of the recipient area, 4,000 to 7,000 hairs can be necessary for beard restoration in terms of both of the transplantation techniques, and two to five hours of surgery will be enough for a complete restoration.
Once after the anesthesia wears off, the patient may feel a tightness to replace the numbness, and there might be mild redness, irritation or discomfort for a short span of time. Painkillers or anti-inflammatory medication will be quite effective on these issues. You may experience a little bit of numbness both on your face and donor site once the anesthesia starts to wear off.
After two or three weeks, your newly transplanted facial hairs will begin to fall out as this period of hair loss is required for the growth of the permanent hair strands, so this shedding period should not be a reason for distress. They will grow after the hair regenerates itself with full volume and full power than ever before. However, bear in your mind that it will take at least four months to acquire the desired results, so it is important to have reasonable expectations and of course patience.
Advantages of Beard Transplantations
- Almost no pain: When it comes to procedures concerning face, one cannot but worry about pain. However, you can rest assured; because beard transplantation is a pain free operation. The incisions made in the recipient site are extremely small with minimal invasion, so all you will feel during the operation is merely a pinching sensation.
- Quick recovery: Recovery period of a beard transplantation procedure is quite short with less downtime. Getting back to your daily life will no take much time. While you may experience some redness and swelling on your face after the operation, they will fade away in a few days.
- No risk in shaving and styling: After the operation, you will be able to grow your beard naturally, free to shave and style as you wish, as the results of the transplantation are permanent.
- No scarring: FUE and DHI transplantation techniques do not leave any kind of visible scar on your face which may cause future feelings of insecurity. You can proceed with the operation without worrying about scarring.
- Large donor site: The scalp hair from the back side of the head is used during beard transplantation, featuring a wide extraction area. Therefore, if you do not struggle with conditions such as advanced male pattern baldness, then you can have thick and voluminous beard as much as you wish.
- Stylistic choices: Beard transplantation allows you to choose your new beard line according to your personal preferences. Even if the compatibility issues are still a matter of great importance, it does not change the fact that you have a wide range of options to choose from.
- A positive mindset: Several scientific studies have found that men with thick facial hair are more confident in themselves as well as stronger, and they are considered more attractive than their counterparts with less facial hair.
Disadvantages of beard transplantations
These so-called disadvantages of beard transplant are open to debate, but even so, it is wrong to not to refer to them. In order to undergo a beard transplant procedure, you have to agree to donate a little bit of your scalp hair, usually back of the scalp. However, this is not an issue to be concerned about; because your existing hair will be sufficiently enough for covering the donor site of your scalp.
Another thing to be mentioned is that your newly implanted hair will fall off in about 3 weeks, but this shedding period is a natural part of any kind of hair transplant, and is required for new hair follicles to grow healthfully.
Are there any side effects of beard transplantation procedures?
As with most surgeries, there are several risks and side effects which is important to be taken into consideration. Most of these side effects will vanish a few days after surgery. Some of them are quite rare, and you will most likely not experience these complications, including:
- Minor bruising and swelling on the face
- Sensitivity at the donor area and implanted area
- Itchiness and irritation of the scalp
- Feeling of numbness on the face
- Formation of scabs and crusts
- Risk of infection and bleeding (rare)
- Infection and inflammation (rare)
- Possibility of scarring at the donor area (rare)
Your doctor will probably prescribe alleviating medications and ointments in for the discomfort.
After the operation, it will take about 7 to 10 days to your facial skin fully heal, and in some rare cases, you might need 2 to 4 weeks to completely recover from swelling and redness. It is extremely important to remember that in order to speed up the recovery period, you should carefully comply with the instruction given by your doctor following your surgery.
Small scabs and crusts formed at the recipient site will begin to fall off approximately five days after the operation. If this time period lasts longer than a week, then you should consult with your doctor; he/she will give you necessary instructions on what you should do.
In order to successfully complete the transplantation process, you will need to dedicate some time and effort to proper aftercare, carefully practicing following do’s and don’ts:
- You may want to consider taking few days off from work as you may feel uncomfortable due to the tracks of the operation on your face.
- You have to keep your face and your donor area as clean as possible as a precaution against the risks of infections and other potential complications. Instructions on hygiene issues will be provided by your doctor.
- You should avoid touching, rubbing or scratching your face.
- Strenuous physical activities are considered as severely damaging in terms of any kind of medical surgery.
- You should avoid exposing your face or scalp to direct sunlight as they will increase itchiness, soreness, and swelling.
- You should not think about using blood thinners or similar medications as they increase possibility of bleeding. The only medication you will use is the one advised and prescribed by your doctor, usually an antibiotic that prevents infections.
- You should avoid activities such as swimming and using hot tubs as well as staying at saunas or steam rooms.
- You should refrain yourself from smoking, using tobacco products or consuming alcoholic beverages at least for a few days.
Approximately 10 days after the operation, you will be allowed to shave your face and donor site on your scalp with gentle moves.
In about two to three weeks after the surgery, you will begin to lose your newly transplanted hairs. No need to be alarmed since this is a natural part of the whole process, necessary for the permanent growth of the transplanted hairs. By four months after the operation, the transplanted follicles will start to grow again, and you will clearly notice the difference in the amount and thickness of your beard.