Hipsters inspire hair-raising trend
From tightening their torsos to nipping their noses, men are flocking to plastic surgeons in record numbers. While traditional procedures remain popular among this group, one unconventional trend has gained an impressive amount of traction within this group: beard transplants.
Although the procedure may sound like the premise of a "Saturday Night Live" skit, it is very real and very popular among 20 to 30 year old men. TODAY likened the rising trend to the hipster culture prevalent in a number of metropolitan areas, such as Brooklyn and Nashville. Ideal for men who have difficulty growing their own luscious facial hair, plastic surgeons have reported a significant rise in the number of patients seeking this surgery.
Facial hair transplants on the rise among young men
TODAY spoke to a Brooklyn-based surgeon who explained that she sees, on average, six men each week who request beard transplants. She attributed the trend to the growing popularity of longer beards that are frequently associated with male hipsters and young male artists.
"I've been seeing a lot of interest in young guys in their 20s and 30s," she said on the television program. "Guys who work in the arts, who are living in downtown Brooklyn all seem to be gearing toward this hipster trend of having more facial hair."
She added that people frequently request beards that resemble those of Hollywood's hottest stars, including Brad Pitt, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Phillippe.
ABC News reported that this procedure has been gaining in popularity for the past couple of years, especially among men who cannot grow their own beards, transgendered people and men whose facial hair only grows in patches. One New York-based surgeon warned, however, that patients seeking this type of surgery should only trust board-certified surgeons, as the process is complicated and can lead to health risks when performed incorrectly.
Understanding the process
According to TODAY, the operation is similar to a traditional hair transplant procedure. Surgeons extract follicles from the back of the man's head, then place individual hairs on the person's face. Hair can be extracted from any part of the body - such as the chest, arms or legs - but the back of the neck typically yields the best results.
One man who received the operation told the source that he sought the process because he couldn't grow a beard without suffering from ingrown hairs. First, he underwent laser hair removal to prevent beard growth, then had a beard transplant to restore healthy hair follicles.