As if plastic surgery wasn’t crazy enough, a new craze is hitting the streets of New York, and taking over some of the most prestigious plastic surgery centers in the city. The procedure can cost thousands, with some ranging all the way up to $8,500, and permanently changes the faces of those who undergo it. It’s not medically necessary, but is instead inspired by popular culture and fashion.
Of course, we’re talking about the “beard transplant”. Inspired by the hipster trend towards large quantities of facial hair, and starting in the hipster nucleus of Williamsburg and Bushwick, the beard transplant is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after procedures in New York. Plastic surgeons report that the procedure was only performed a few times a year, if that, only a few years ago. The desire for the full-bearded “manly” look, however, has grown that demand to hundreds a year for many top practices.
The procedure works by taking hair from other parts of the body, like the back, chest, or head, and implanting it surgically into the chin and cheeks. The hair then takes root and grows naturally. The beard can be shaved, styled, cleaned, and groomed the way a natural beard can, and will grow back if cut. In fact, most people who have reported getting the procedure say that it’s impossible to tell that the beard is a fake, and that people compliment them on it all the time.
Despite being mostly a surgery of vanity, the popularity of the procedure is good news for people with certain types of alopecia. As surgeons practice performing beard transplants more, they will become better at them, and the cost will likely drop.