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
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:
- Sasaki K, Nozaki M, Katahira J.
Beard restoration using a free puboinguinal hair-bearing flap.
J Reconstr Microsurg. 1998 Oct;14(7):445-8.