Multi-use crop: Hair today, beard tomorrow
NEW DELHI: Hair transplant as a cure to baldness is passe. Getting beard transplant is the new cool.
Back in the 1970s, facial fuzz was part of a Leftist’s accessory in universities, along with chappals and cigarettes. But as the clean, corporate look took over in the decades that followed, beards became increasingly rare, much like Marxists themselves. In recent months, however, newspaper reports say, the beard is back in fashion in the West. And, as cosmetic surgeons say, there is a rising demand to rearrange facial furniture here as well.
Beard transplant involves transplanting hair from the head to a patient’s face under local anaesthesia. Plastic surgeons say the procedure costs anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 4 lakh, the same as growing hair on the scalp through transplant. Reshaping beard, a popular non-surgical procedure conducted using laser technology, costs about Rs 15,000 to 25,000.
Experts say hair transplant to rearrange your facial furniture is far more challenging than scalp hair transplant. “In beard transplant, we transplant single hair grafts at an acute angle of 15-25 degrees. In scalp, it is 60-70 degrees. The angle and the direction changes at different points of the face making the process more time consuming and challenging,” says Dr Swaroop Singh Gambhir, consultant, plastic and hair transplant surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. An average beard hair transplant takes about eight to 10 hours, he says.
The method has found more takers in recent years. A few years back, only the odd request came for such a transplant. “Now there are many requests to thicken or reshape beards. We see at least 10- 15 patients every month in our OPD. Transplant is common among those scarred by acne or accident. Many Sikhs, who lose beard hair due to continuous traction or prolonged use of hair-fixers, also undergo the procedure,” says Gambhir.
According to Dr Naveen Taneja, director of the National Skin Centre, models and visual artists also go for beard reshaping or transplant to look different. “I have handled three-four such cases in the recent past,” he says.