Eastern Eye Magazine
THROUGHOUT history the hair on a man’s face has conferred on him prestige and for some it’s the human equivalent of a lion’s mane – without it, you’re not really a ‘man’.
So, what about those poor souls who go through puberty and wake up to the nightmare of being follically-challenged on their chin area?
There is a solution – a beard transplant – an increasingly popular procedure thanks to A-list celebs such as Ben Affleck, Ryan Gosling and David Beckham, all seen wearing their beard with pride.
Last month the International Society of Hair Restoration revealed that more than 4,500 facial hair transplants were carried out in the UK last year – making it three times as popular as nose jobs.
Eastern Eye has also found out that more observant Muslims and Sikhs, who are required to have beards for religious reasons, but have trouble growing one, are starting to fork out around £6,000 for beard transplants.
“I have operated on mainly Muslims who want a beard,” Dr Asim Shahmalak, a surgeon at Crown Clinic in Manchester, told EE.
“Men from the Asian community grow hair traditionally anyway because of their religious and cultural setup. It’s a growing trend because the awareness of transplants has grown.
“It’s also fashionable these days to even grow a full bushy beard.”
Dr Shahmalak, who has carried out two hair transplants on Embarrassing Bodies star Christian Jessen, said he has seen a 25 per cent increase in the number of men taking the beard procedures over the last six-eight months.
During an eight-hour operation, surgeons take individual hairs from back of the patient’s head and transplant the follicles one by one on the patient’s face.
“Beard transplants are more expensive because it’s more time consuming. The areas of the face are generally quite soft and so planting the hairs is quite difficult.”
Men who grow patchy beards are also getting transplants to make their beards look more aesthetically pleasing.
Dr Raghu Reddy, Hair Transplant Surgeon at The Private Clinic, said: “We have seen a considerable number of Muslim and Sikh clients requesting beard transplants as they would like to grow beards as part of their faith.
“From what I understand, a practising Sikh prefers to grow a beard for religious reasons and when they are not happy with the aesthetics and have an option that works and is effective, I believe the decision making becomes easier.”
Dr Reddy who carries out 10-15 beard transplants in a year added: “For those who have always aspired to having a fuller beard, perhaps to make them feel more masculine, or indeed for cultural reasons, this procedure is the perfect option because the results are effective and natural-looking.
“Awareness of the procedure amongst men is certainly growing, while attitudes amongst men towards cosmetic surgery more generally are perhaps now more open than they were some four or five years ago.”