hair restoration for beard reconstruction
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Hair restoration for beard reconstruction

Hair transplant is now being extended to new areas such as treating patients who are sexually underdeveloped or those who have naturally less hair due to various factors during their growth. The number of hair follicles in a human being is predetermined. Depending on the amount of androgens the body produces, the thickness of the follicles and hair vary, but new follicles are never formed. In normal individuals the hormone testosterone is the actual cause for development of facial hair during the adolescent stage. Individuals who have hypogonadism, a condition where men have low testosterone levels due to incompetent gonads, results in a deficiency of secondary sexual characters are. For these men hormone replacement therapy is advised. In some cases however, the androgen replacement therapy is not sufficient or does not yield the desired result. These individuals have a good alternate in hair transplant procedures.

Drs. Kayihan Sahinoglu and Selma Sonmez Ergun reported a case study of a 52 year old eunuchoid man who had no facial hair, with no other sexual problems as stated by him. He had no interest in getting his endocrinological profile checked and his only interest was to enhance his facial hair and his masculine appearance. The Doctors carried out a hair transplant procedure to graft hairs in the areas surrounding the oral region and some grafts were placed as side burns. Using lidocaine as the local anesthesia with epinephrine as the carrier, the follicular units were inserted in the beard, moustache and side burn regions. After this first session, a second session was suggested by the surgeons to increase hair density, which was refused by the patient. Follicular unit transplant was followed in this patient for its versatility and the option of a single session with maximum benefit although the procedure is a time consuming one.

Deficient facial hair can occur either due to endocrinology problems or may depend on ethnicity. In general, Asians have less facial hair growth than Caucasians. When a lack of hair growth is due to ethnicity, the overall characteristics of the population is uniform and does not (usually) have any psychological and social significance. But when the problem is with the individual’s endocrine system, he tends to look different in the given population and hence an inferiority complex and psychological issues may develop. The actual problem is most often androgen deficiency due to a decrease in type II isoenzyme of 5-alpha reductase which is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.

This study is the first such surgical procedure on a eunuchoid man. It is very significant that follicular unit transplants can be a viable option when other methods such as hormone replacement therapy and medications fail to treat the patient.

Hair restoration for beard reconstruction references

  • Sahinoglu K, Ergun SS. Follicular unit transplantation: the option of beard construction in eunuchoid men. Dermatol Surg. 2002 Sep;28(9):866-8. PMID: 12269887
  • Sasaki K, Nozaki M, Katahira J. Beard restoration using a free puboinguinal hair-bearing flap. J Reconstr Microsurg. 1998 Oct;14(7):445-8. PMID: 9819089
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