Body

The WHY?! Files: Costly, Painful Beard Transplants

If your guy can't grow a full beard on his own, he can now get one planted into his face

"I had a baby face but now I'm able to look older. My fashion statement is a little edgy, and I do like the rugged look"
Till just now I thought guys had it pretty easy. They just show up, look cute and improve with age. We're the ones who have periods (and PMS), give birth, earn less, undergo endless cosmetic procedures and beauty regimens, endure wolf whistles, freak out about wrinkles, etc. etc.

But, here's something that almost elicits a little sympathy for those men we love to love (and hate); beard transplants.

READ: 8 Things Your Masseuse Doesn't Want You to Know

From somewhere in Hipster Heaven (Brooklyn) comes this procedure that, for a mere $8,500 can give guys the full beard they want. (Guys want full beards? Yet another thing of which I was woefully unaware.)

"Brooklyn is probably the nucleus of the trend, it's the hipster 'look' guys want. If you have a spotty beard, and you let it grow out, it looks sloppy," Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a Mid-Town Manhattan plastic surgeon, who performs 2-3 transplants each week, told The New York Post. For the record, it's celebrities like Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom whose countenances guys are looking to copy.

And, it's not just the cool artist types who are clamoring to have the procedure done. Any guy who's struggled to grow a full beard, anyone with spotty, anemic patches instead of thick, evenly dispersed facial hair is a viable candidate.

The process, which involves taking hair -- roots and all -- from the head or chest (or sometimes even legs) and implanting it into the face via micro-incisions, has also gained popularity with female-to-male transgenders as well as Hasidic Jews who're looking to thicken their payot (side locks).

Any number of variations on the full beard can be done; fill-ins on any sparse section of the beard usually costs about $3,000, considerably less than the $7-8,000 for the whole caboodle.

And, despite the price and pain associated with the beard transplant, patients walk away from the eight-hour procedure happy campers. "I had contemplated [getting a beard transplant] for approximately eight months," one anonymous customer said. "Knowing the results, I wish I hadn't wasted so much time deciding."

READ: Facial Hair Removal: Understanding Your Options

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