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Beards Go Mainstream and So Do Beard Transplants

Number of facial hair transplants performed in the U.S. jumps 135 percent

We noticed a resurgence of coverage of facial hair transplants in recent months, due mostly to David Beckham’s commitment to the scruffy look. The article, “Beard it like Beckham,” reports that baby-faced men in the U.K. are seeking the help of hair restoration experts in hopes of taking their facial fuzz to the next level.

The article cites a survey by electric grooming manufacturer Braun that found men feel 53 percent more attractive to women when they have facial hair. Notably, that same survey found as many as 45 percent of men recognize they have bald patches in their beard or sideburns.

That’s where hair restoration experts such Dr. Bernard Arocha of Arocha Hair Restoration can help. Dr. Arocha is a Diplomate of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery and has transplanted a total of approximately 10 million follicles.

Facial hair transplants are identical to the modern hair transplant techniques used to address hair loss on the scalp,” said Dr. Arocha. We harvest hair follicles from areas of dense growth – typically the back of the scalp – and inserted one-by-one to fill in patchy areas in the mustache and/or beard areas.”

Arocha Hair Restoration was the first in the Houston area to offer the ARTAS® Robotic System, which uses sophisticated imaging technology and precision robotics to locate and collect individual follicular units. With the ARTAS® system, scarring is undetectable, enhancing the natural results patients desire.

Depending on the patient’s goals, the number of follicles transplanted can range from a few hundred to 1,000 or more. The procedure typically takes four to eight hours.

When CNN published a story on the “hipster beard” transplant trend, they sought out Dr. Arocha as an expert on the subject. In his story titled, “Beard envy? Surgery may be the answer,” CNN’s Chris Boyette reported that “beards are in, and the inability to grow thick warm fuzz can leave some men feeling left out in the cold.” Here is a brief excerpt:

Dr. Bernard Arocha recently opened an office in Austin, Texas, home of South by Southwest, an annual festival of music, film and interactive conferences. Facial hair is a small part of his business, which specializes in hair restoration, but he said he has definitely seen a beard boom in recent times.

“Procedures for mustaches, sideburns and beards have been in increased demand over the past year or two,” he said. “It’s more in vogue, stylish.”

In the city that boasts the slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” Arocha confirms his clientele is mostly young hipster types.

“That’s the demographic — 20-, 30-somethings, bohemian, artists, musicians,” he said.

Why would someone consider a facial hair transplant?

A recent New York Times story, “Baby-Faced men Opt for Beard Transplants,” quoted Jose Armos, a 28 year-old paramedic who was concerned that his young looks may have led patients to question his qualifications.

“They would look at me and be like, ‘O.K., is this 16-year-old really going to take care of me?’” said Mr. Armos to The New York Times. After his full beard transplant, Armos told the publication, “It does play a role in me looking more mature, more manly, and just kind of getting respect from people.”

Tastes constantly evolve among men and women, and facial hair is hot. The study titled, “The role of facial hair in women’s perceptions of men’s attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities,” published in the Journal Evolution & Human Behavior found that a majority of women prefer the looks of a man sporting a 10-day growth of beard over the same man clean-shaven or with light stubble. The reason could have as much to do with primal instincts as it does with fashion trends. The ability to grow facial hair strongly influences people’s judgments of a man’s maturity, masculinity, and virility.

We’re seeing more patients who believe a thicker mustache or stubble makes them look more masculine, mature, and dignified,” said Dr. Arocha. “Ultimately, they are looking for a boost in confidence.”

As a result, the number of beard transplants has been on the rise. According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery 2015 Practice Census Results, the most recent data available, the number of facial hair transplants performed in the U.S. increased 136 percent between 2012 and 2014. Beard, mustache, and sideburn transplants represented 3.1 percent of all hair transplant procedures in 2014, up from about 1.5 percent in 2012.

The process of a facial hair transplant can be technically and artistically challenging. For one thing, the face is more sensitive than the scalp. From an artistic design standpoint, seemingly subtle choices related to the placement and angle of each follicular unit can have a major impact on achieving a natural and undetectable result.

“We focus on balance and symmetry, which are necessary for an attractive appearance,” said Dr. Arocha. “By filling in the patches, we can make the patient look healthier and more mature, and the result is permanent. The transplanted facial hair can be shaved regularly and will grow back for the rest of the patient’s lifetime.”

For more information on facial hair transplants, or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please contact Dr. Arocha today.