From the people who reintroduced flannel, Indie entertainment, and Pabst Blue Ribbon, now comes the hairy and bushy growing trend of the... hipster beard. Embodying all things hipster now includes the inevitable facial hair, whether it’s groomed like Brad Pitt, or unkempt like Bon Iver. From a Brooklyn hipster to an advertising executive, men from all walks of life have lined up to undergo the costly facial hair transplant in record growing numbers.
“I get a lot of detail-oriented people — artists, architects,” Dr. Yael Halaas, a plastic surgeon who specializes in facial hair transplants, told DNAinfo New York. Halaas notes hipster-centric neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Park Slope in Brooklyn have each delivered four to five clients to her practice in the past year. Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a top plastic surgeon based in New York City, has also witnessed a growth in facial hair transplants. Previously, Epstein performed the procedure on just a handful of men each year a decade ago, but he is now averaging approximately three beard transplants a week in his locations in New York City and Miami. The demand for the hipster beard is not only from those in beard-centric neighborhoods, but also from men who struggle to grow a beard, those undergoing a gender transition, men with facial scarring, and even Hasidic Jews.
The “Brad Pitt Scruff,” along with the “Tom Selleck mustache” are among the popular requests Dr. Epstein receives. It is not uncommon for patients to bring a photo of an actor or model to serve as inspiration. There is no coincidence that facial hair from celebrities like Pitt, Selleck, George Clooney, and Ryan Gosling are often solicited, as the men are facial hair icons in Hollywood.
Men who wish to channel their inner Clooney, or go for the boyish charm of Gosling, can simply do so in the two- to-five hour procedure. Facial hair transplants can range from a minor filling in or thin coverage of a limited area starting at $3,000 to full restoration of a thick, full goatee or beard for up to $7000. First, hair is removed from the scalp or sometimes the chest, followed by then being grafted onto the face. Grafts vary depending on the area of the face, says the HDC Hair Transplant Clinic. For example, 350-500 grafts for the mustache, 600-700 grafts for a full goatee, 200-250 grafts for each sideburn, and 300-700 grafts for a cheek beard. Patients may require a second procedure to add additional grafts to increase their hair’s thick density.
The surgeon performs the procedure under local anesthesia, which is described as “essentially painless,” says the Daily Mail, and the recovery period is approximately four days. Once the hairs are transplanted, they are permanent and will grow naturally just like facial hair. Patients can treat their transplant just like natural hair and shave it off, too.
According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery latest statistics, the demand for hair restoration is stronger than ever before despite a sluggish economy. The majority of hair restoration patients are 87 percent males. While scalp procedures continue to dominate these transplants, facial, mustache, or beard surgeries may continue to grow with the spur of the hipster beard craze.