Hipster Wannabes Resort to Facial Hair Transplants to Get Coveted Look

In a bid to keep up with the hipster beard trend, New York men are opting for a bizarre form of plastic surgery – facial hair transplants. I didn’t even know this was possible, but apparently, the procedure results in a real-looking beard. You can crop it, shave it, or let it grow out, just like you would a natural beard.

Doctors in New York City who specialize in the surgery say that the number of male patients is growing by the day. These men are willing to shell out up to $7,000 for a full, pumped up beard. Dr. Jeffery Epstein, who has performed the procedure for over a decade, said that earlier he would see just a handful of patients a year, but now he’s doing three to four per week. “Whether you’re talking about the Brooklyn hipster or the advertising executive, the look is definitely to have a bit of facial hair.”

It’s not just beardless hipsters doing the rounds at plastic surgery clinics, according to Dr. Yael Halaas. Most of her patients are young, hip and fashionable, but she also gets men who have struggled to grow beards all their lives. Some of them are undergoing a gender transformation, a few have facial scarring, and others are Hasidic Jews who want denser side locks. “I get a lot of detail oriented people – artists, architects,” said the doctor. She also notes that the most beard-centric areas in the city are Williamsburg, Bushwick and Park Slope.

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Photo: Dr. Jeffrey Epstein

During the procedure, hair is transplanted on to the face from the patient’s head. The hair is pulled out from the root and planted through micro-incisions on the desired facial area. The process takes eight hours to complete, and is performed under local anesthesia. Chest hair can also be used if the patient happens to be balding. The transplanted hair takes root naturally and is permanent, just like natural facial hair. It falls out initially but the roots stay and grow new hair in a few months’ time. After the healing is complete, it can be shaved just like a normal beard.

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Photo: Dr. Jeffrey Epstein

Using the surgery, doctors are able to fill out the goatee and moustache areas of the face, as well as sideburns and cheeks. About 350 to 500 grafts are required for the moustache, 600 to 700 for a full goatee, 200 to 250 for each sideburn, and 300 to 700 for a cheek beard. Some patients opt for a second procedure to transplant additional grafts if they want more density. The prices range from $3,000 for sectional fill-ins to $7,000 for a full beard. Sometimes, patients bring in a picture of a model – George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt’s beards are popular, as is Tom Selleck’s moustache.

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Photo: Dr. Jeffrey Epstein

46-year-old Peter, had his beard filled out by Dr. Epstein 10 years ago. “It wasn’t like ‘Wow, what happened to you? Like one day… you died your hair,’” he said. “Nobody really noticed. It is not a drastic change.” He had worked with the doctor without a model, to create a personalized beard. “Sometimes I am clean-shaven or it’s more scruff and sometimes I let it grow out. At least I have choices right?”

“I am very pleased with the results and have even grown a full beard that I keep trimmed to a fairly short length,” said another of Dr. Epstein’s patients. “This gives a clean look without looking too scruffy or disheveled. Of course, the compliments are abundant, and that is a good thing too!”

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Photo: Dr. Jeffrey Epstein

A 39-year-old New Yorker, who chose to remain anonymous, said he went for the transplant in April last year and it helped him feel younger. “I couldn’t believe how much I had changed over the years and that I no longer looked like myself,” he said. “I had contemplated for approximately eight months. Knowing the results, I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time deciding.”

Source: DNA Info


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