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Beard transplants: men in New York are having this facial plastic surgery that costs up to $7,000 (£4,200) http://instagram.com/ryan_gosl

Facial hair transplants are becoming increasingly popular, with many paying thousands to get a designer beard currently fashionable for men.

Men in New York are having beard transplants that cost up to $7,000 (£4,200), doctors have told DNAinfo New York.

According to a report on the website, men are turning to this largely unknown field of plastic surgery, with one doctor now performing around three transplants every week, compared to just a handful a year, a decade ago.

Facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey Epstein said: "Whether you are talking about the Brooklyn hipster or the advertising executive, the look is definitely to have a bit of facial hair."

Plastic surgeon Yael Halaas said the procedure is particularly popular with hipsters in their 20s and 30s. "I get a lot of detail-oriented people – artists, architects," she said. Doctors also noted they get men coming in asking for beards like certain celebrities, including Ryan Gosling and George Clooney.

To perform a beard transplant, hair is taken from the patient's head (roots included) then planted into the face through tiny incisions on the bare skin. If the man is balding, hair can also be taken from the chest.

The procedure takes around eight hours. Once implanted into the face, the beard takes root. While the hair falls out, the root stays and begins to grow new hair after a few months.

After it begins to grow back, the beard can be shaved and grows back like normal hair. While fill-in procedures to fill gaps in facial hair cost around $3,000, full beards cost more than double.

"I couldn't believe how much I had changed over the years and that I no longer looked like myself."

Man who underwent beard transplant

In the UK, prices are similar, with beard transplants costing between £3,500 and £5,000. The Wimpole Clinic in London says it takes up to 1,500 grafts to create a goatee, while a full beard requires up to 3,000 grafts.

The Wimpole clinic explains: "The procedure of hair transplant is the same whether you want to transplant into your balding head, beard, or any other part of the body. The process starts with the extraction of hair follicles from the donor site. Two methods to extract donor hair can be used – FUE (follicular hair extraction) and FUT (follicular unit transplant – strip extraction).

"Facial hair transplant surgery is as expensive as scalp surgery because it requires great care and a delicate touch. If you are looking to create a fuller beard, it is more expensive than just getting a small patch of hair transplanted.

"Over time, transplanted hair will take on the characteristics of regular beard hair and you will be able to shave it normally, after which it will grow to a length and style you decide."

One man who underwent the procedure to make him feel younger told DNAinfo: "I couldn't believe how much I had changed over the years and that I no longer looked like myself."

"I had contemplated [getting a beard transplant] for approximately eight months. Knowing the results, I wish I hadn't wasted so much time deciding."