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A beard transplant is a method of hair restoration in which the surgeon transplants beard hair to the scalp using follicular unit extraction techniques (FUE) and tools. Beard transplants can also refer to any procedure that reconstructs a new beard, or enhances an existing beard – for these reconstructive beard surgeries, the surgeon transplants scalp hair to areas of the face as needed on a case-by-case basis. Using beard hair as a restorative method is not used by many clinics, and is generally considered a fringe procedure.
Why use Beard Hair instead of Scalp Hair?
In most hair transplants, the surgeon will remove hair from the back of the scalp – known as the donor zone – and transplant it to wherever it’s needed. Hairs from this region of the scalp seem particularly resistant to hair loss, and are usually hardy enough to withstand the transplant.
Not all patients, however, have enough hair in the donor zone, and some may not have any scalp hair at all. For these situations, body hair derived from the arms, legs, and chest is be the next best alternative. Again, not all patients have this type of hair either. For these cases, facial hair can be removed and transplanted to other areas of the scalp.
Beard hair transplants may work on patients with male pattern hair loss (MPH), but not with other types of alopecia. Patients with alopecia universalis, for example, have no hair on the entirety of their body, and thus are ineligible for this type of procedure.