How to Do Mustache Transplantation
While some men boast with their majestic moustaches, others have difficulty in growing and maintaining their moustache. The absence or loss of the moustache might stem from genetic factors, stress or hormonal conditions as well as surgical scars or experience of accidents. Whatever is your reason for wishing to have thick and full moustache – being a symbol of manhood, a part of the modern-day trends or religious requirements – instead of feeling discomfort due to absence of it, you have the opportunity of opting for an effective method of treatment, namely moustache transplantation which is a commonly executed operation designed to restore the facial hair with the grafts extracted from the scalp.
Providing full density and fullness, it is important to note that moustache transplant requires more technicalities in comparison to the other hair transplantation procedures as the angle and direction of the hair differs greatly at the various parts of the moustache. Therefore, the experience of the medical team and the planning period on the natural form of the moustache become a crucial part of the overall operation.
What Causes Hair Loss on Moustache?
- Genetics: The most common cause of moustache baldness is androgenetic alopecia which is gradual shrinking of hair follicles until their growth completely stops. While this condition mostly affects the scalp hair, it is quite possible to lose some of moustache hair due to androgenetic alopecia.
- Hormones: Regulating facial hair growth, male hormones, especially testosterone could be one of the major answers of the question why your moustache is thinning. If your male hormones are not working as it should be, due to the weak blood supply, your moustache may start to get bald.
- Nutritional habits: Nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are irreplaceable components of healthy cell growth; therefore, vitamin and mineral deficiencies may be a cause of hair loss on facial areas. Before going for supplements, you should get information about which vitamins and minerals you are deficient in.
- Scarring and trauma: Some people lose their facial hair due to tissue scarring which resulted from physical traumas such as accidents.
- Alopecia barbae: Alopecia areata is a form of hair loss identified with shedding in small, non-scarring alopecia patches, associated with immune system. In case of forming on facial hair, beard or moustache, this specific condition takes the name of alopecia barbae.
- Medications: Hair loss is a common side effect of a number of medications such as blood thinners, steroids or chemotherapy drugs etc.
Are You a Suitable Candidate for Moustache Transplant?
If you are experiencing hair loss or thinning on your facial area, regardless of reasons as it can be hereditary conditions or hormonal issues or even injuries, you can consider undergoing a moustache transplant operation, if you have a desire of possessing full facial hair, of course.
There are a limited number of preconditions which need to be satisfied by the patient. Firstly, considering the fact that only the patient’s own hair follicles can be used for transplantation, it is a non-negligible fact that the patient must have sufficient hair growth at the back side of their scalps. The number of grafts you need for the moustache implant will depend on the thickness and density of the current facial hair, as well as how much coverage you desire.
How Is Moustache Transplant Applied?
First of all, your doctor will process the information he/she has obtained from the initial consultation, such as the age and facial structure of the patient, and whether the hair density at the back side of the scalp is sufficient for a transplant. By evaluating your medical condition and your expectations, desires and demands, the number of hair follicles required for the implantation will also be determined.
The transplantation methods used for moustache restoration are almost identical with the ones used for scalp hair transplantation. In brief, the designated hair follicles at the back side of the scalp are extracted by means of tiny needle or forceps; once they are harvested, the medical team implants the extracted hair follicles into the small incisions which are prepared at the recipient site. Considering the trickier nature of the moustache transplantation, a medical team with utmost proficiency and expertise as well as a detailed planning process is required as the direction and the angle of the hairs differs within facial hairs.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) are the two prominent techniques utilized for moustache restoration since they provide most natural results. For each procedure, there must be sufficient donor hair with enough density. If the patient is experiencing male pattern baldness on his scalp, the donor site may not be able to meet the requirements of the operation. In such a case, the decision of which one to prioritize, the scalp or the moustache, is incumbent on the patient.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Follicular unit extraction is a scar-free method of hair restoration in which the hair follicles are extracted from the back side of the scalp by means of a specific micropunch, and then delicately implanted into the recipient area.
After trimming the donor area to 1 to 2 mm, your doctor will administer local anesthesia over the donor site, and the operation will be initiated. With the help of a micro-punch size of 1 mm, the hair grafts will be extracted from the back of your scalp under a powerful magnifier. The extracted grafts will be soaked into saline and will be prepared for the implantation process. Each of the hair grafts consist of 1 to 4 hairs or rarely 5 to 6 hairs. Finally, the hair grafts will be strategically placed into each cut prepared beforehand in consideration of the original features of the moustache. Newly implanted grafts can be expected to last as long as they would do in their natural location.
Direct Hair Implantation
Since it is an upgraded version, DHI is quite similar with FUE in hair follicle extracting methods, whereas the implantation of the follicles is performed with a special instrument named Choi pen. The needle of the pen may vary in size; after harvesting of the follicles, each pen is loaded with a micrograft containing 1 to 3 hair follicles and subsequently implanted to the recipient area that was not previously incised. This technique enables creating a denser recipient area and gives less trauma to the both donor and recipient site as opposed to FUE. However, this efficient way of hair implantation comes with a vital requirement, that is, the surgery needs a more qualified and experienced team specialized in application of the Choi pen.
A typical moustache transplant surgery takes a couple of hours. It is not a reasonable approach to speak with certain numbers since the length of time required for the operation greatly relies on the desired density of the moustache and the amount of coverage needed.
The Advantages of Moustache Transplantation
Since the decision-making period of any kind of hair transplant procedure requires all kinds of information, it is extremely important to be aware of the benefits and advantages of moustache transplant, including:
- The moustache transplant is a minimally invasive procedure with no major cuts or sutures involved in the operation. With no visible scarring on the extraction site, the patient can leave the clinic shortly after the operation without worrying that much about his appearance.
- The surgery generally takes two to three hours. In most cases, patients return to their daily lives the next day; and protecting the scalp from harsh actions and extreme temperature conditions are the only major requirements of the post operation period.
- Moustache transplant is executed by means of punches or Choi pen, and these instruments provides the most pleasant look without scarring as stitching is not included in the operation. The absence of sutures and scars is a prominent advantage of this transplant; because, surgery scars on the face are hard to get rid of. Fortunately, you do not have to think about these unwanted results.
- Any kind surgery or operation leads to an expectation of pain, but the advanced technologies utilized in hair transplantations make it possible for the patients to undergo an operation without discomfort caused by pain. Since local anesthetics are administered before the operation, the pain is very minimal.
- Since the FUE incisions used for hair graft placement are not much invasive and the Choi pen operates without slitting, it will take a short time to recover from the moustache transplant surgery. For a few days, you will feel a slight numbness on your face, but you will be able to recover yourself within a day or two.
- During the procedure, local anesthesia is used, therefore the patient is aware of the whole operation without feeling pain.
- The most prominent advantage of this procedure is that your patchy or thinning moustache will be replaced with a naturally thick and vibrant facial hair. Moreover, since there will not be any kind of stitching scar, the natural look of the result will be enhanced.
- While the new hair will take about 3 to 4 months to grow, once it reaches the planned form and length, your new moustache will permanently remain with you.
The duration of your recovery period strictly depends on factors such as how good you take care of yourself. Following the operation, you will be able to return to your home right away with minimal discomfort. In about one week, the tiny scabs and crusts will begin to fall out and you will completely recover while the donor area will begin to heal in about 3 days.
In order to ensure going through an optimal recovery period, you should meticulously comply with the instructions provided by your doctor, including:
- Avoiding direct sun exposure or extreme weather conditions considered as a must at least first two weeks.
- You should take a break in strenuous physical activities for 4 to 6 days as they can cause swelling and damage on transplanted grafts. If you are interested in sports such as swimming, it is not recommended being in contact with water at least 10 days after the operation.
- In order to minimize the risk of infection, you should carefully follow the rules concerning safety and hygiene explained by your doctor.
- Medications with blood-thinning effects should be avoided at any cost as they increase the risk of bleeding significantly.
- You should avoid smoking, using tobacco products or consuming alcoholic beverages at least for a few days.
- Touching, rubbing or scratching the face or the donor area slow down the healing process.
- You can shave about a week following the surgery with extreme delicacy.
- Most of the transplanted hairs will fall out at around two weeks as a natural part of the transplantation period. Do not worry, your newly implanted hairs will begin to grow back in about 3 to 4 months.
Possible Risks and Side Effects of Moustache Transplant Procedures
As in the case with any kind of hair transplant procedure, there are several risks and complications associated with moustache transplantation, including:
- Bleeding: Being one the most common side effects of the moustache transplant, mild bleeding can occur at the donor site as well as the recipient area, easily controlled with applying gentle pressure to the affected area. It is also recommended avoiding smoking, alcohol and blood thinners since they can disrupt the blood flow.
- Swelling, bruising and redness: You may experience mild swelling at the recipient area, but this is completely normal and harmless, subsiding within 2 days or a bit more. This temporary condition is seen in almost every case of hair transplantation.
- Itching: Another common complication of moustache transplant procedure is the desire to scratch the scabs and crusts which form on the recipient area. It is extremely important to resist the itching urge as it can interrupt the healing process.
- Infections: Even if it is quite rare, the possibility of getting infected on the surgery sites is still possible. However, with proper care, you can reduce the infection risk to a great extent. You should regularly use your medications which are recommended by your doctor.
These mentioned risks and side effects are certainly temporary without the possibility of long-term consequences with significant effects. However, bear in mind that the success and the absence of any kind of complications depend on the competence and experience of the medical team you are working with.