In the fashion world and the media, the perfect beard seems to be the holy grail of style for modern men. Whether your preference is for perfectly-manicured designer stubble, or the full, bushy beards that are so on-trend, there’s no doubt that impressive facial hair is a big hit in the style stakes.
Many men feel that a beard is a symbol of masculinity, and as such, a thick, healthy beard can increase confidence and self-esteem. But beard growth, like all types of hair, can vary dramatically from person to person, and some men struggle to grow the kind of perfect beard they want.
What affects beard growth?
Lifestyle can play a part in how thickly a beard can grow, or if it will grow at all. Poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive stress and toxins can lead to thin, patchy, slow-growing hair, or even hair loss. Whereas good stress management, quality nutrition and aerobic fitness can influence the levels of health that support optimum hair growth.
It’s also possible to apply external products and treatments to stimulate faster or thicker hair growth. Some of these are available over the counter and others must be prescribed by a medical professional. These can be effective to a degree, depending on the reasons underlying the hair growth issue.
However, the most powerful determinant in the rate and type of beard hair growth is your genetic makeup. The genes that determine the thickness, texture, speed of growth, and colour of a beard can be inherited from either parent. So, both your mother’s and father’s family lines can influence the type of beard you will be able to grow naturally.
The good news is that even though there’s nothing anyone can do to alter their genetic makeup, for those men who find their beards aren’t naturally as full or thick as they would like, modern technology may have the solution.
Modern beard transplants
Beard hair transplants have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is partly due to the strong beard trend, but also because hair transplant technology has advanced to a level where procedures are quicker, easier and more accessible than ever before.
Hair transplant used to be the preserve of wealthy celebrities, sports stars and CEOs, but these days a beard transplant is an affordable option for larger numbers of men seeking thicker, fuller beards.
With the development of a technique called FUE – Follicular Unit Extraction – hair transplant procedures can be less invasive and costly than in the past, with quicker recovery periods and less postoperative discomfort.
The increased demand for more impressive beards has also led to the emergence of more clinics and providers, which again make the procedure more accessible and affordable.
Although FUE is the latest beard transplant option, the original FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) procedure is also still available and in some cases can be the preferred option.
The difference between the two types of procedures relates to how the donor hair follicles are harvested. With the older FUT method, also known as the Strip Method, a strip of scalp is taken from the donor area, usually the back of the head. The hair follicles are then harvested from the strip and used to implant in the required area.
With the more recent FUE method, the donor hair follicles are collected individually or in small groups, using a tiny extraction tool.
Regardless of the transplant technique, the end results are highly effective, with some experts claiming a 100% success rate for newly transplanted hair follicles. Although the initial hairs do fall out quite quickly, the follicles will soon grow new hairs that should be permanent and continue to grow just like a natural beard. With the appropriate after-care and maintenance of the transplanted hair, you can expect to enjoy impressive and long-lasting results within a couple of months.
So, if your beard-growing attempts have been disappointing for whatever reason, you might find that a quick and easy beard transplant could be the answer. A consultation with a beard transplant expert will explain what’s possible in your particular circumstances, but with the sophistication of modern techniques, there’s a good chance you can finally join the modern trend for facial hair with the perfect beard for you.