Success at Last – Getting Your Hair Back After All Else Has Failed

Category Archives: Facial Hair Transplants

Success at Last – Getting Your Hair Back After All Else Has Failed

For many people, battling hair loss has been a long, frustrating process. The initial concern over thinning hair when you first notice it eventually takes on greater urgency as the loss becomes more apparent. However, the first step you may take – or may have already taken – in stopping the process (including a hair transplant) does not necessarily lead to a satisfactory result. Yet, as many people have learned, persistence can lead to success in achieving the desired aesthetic outcome of fuller, healthy hair.


Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Tempus Hair Restoration – has treated many such patients during his more than 20 years of practice as an internationally renowned hair restoration surgeon.

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In this exclusive interview, Dr. Barusco speaks out about his experience in helping people achieve success at the end of a long road filled with detours – and offers advice for those just embarking upon the journey.


Q: How common is it for you to treat patients who tell you they’ve tried “everything” to restore their hair, but no doctor has been able to successfully treat them?

Dr. Barusco: It is very common for me to see patients in these situations. Primary care doctors in general don’t have time (or interest, for that matter) in hair loss, so often when a patient asks about their hair loss, they refer to a dermatologist. We have quite a few doctors who are our patients, who refer patients directly to us for evaluation and treatment.

Many patients visit a dermatologist, who usually will provide them with a few options to treat their hair loss. Other than trichologists (doctors who, like us, specialize in hair loss diagnosis and treatment), dermatologists usually know more about the different types of hair loss one may have, and are well-equipped to diagnose their hair loss properly. But they can only go so far, if they do not offer surgical options for hair loss. So at that point, they refer patients to us.


Q: Is there a commonality to the failure of previous treatments that your patients share with you? Did they try to diagnose and treat themselves with over-the-counter medications? Did they visit an “assembly line” hair restoration center, or a doctor who doesn’t specialize in hair restoration? Or were there cases in which the surgeon had an overall good reputation, but lacked the necessary in-depth knowledge/experience?

Dr. Barusco: I have seen all of the above. The internet today is full of “solutions” for hair loss, and people can order products online very easily. Sometimes they visit a hair restoration practice, but do not actually see the doctor. Instead, a “consultant” sees the patient and gives the recommendation for treatment. In our area (Orlando), there are a few practices who do this. It is important to remember that diagnosing a patient is a job reserved to a physician – or a nurse practitioner/physician assistant who works under the supervision of a physician – so many times we see patients who were misdiagnosed by these “consultants” and have had procedures that were contra-indicated in their condition. Honest healthcare practitioners will refer their patients to specialists if they are not sure of the diagnosis before prescribing treatment, be it surgical or not.


Q: What were the procedures you used for these patients?

Dr. Barusco: The first thing to do is to break the “mistrust” barrier. Patients who have been misdiagnosed or talked into doing a procedure for the incorrect diagnosis are normally skeptical of another professional. Once that barrier is surpassed and trust is established, the next step is to obtain an extensive and detailed medical history of the hair loss, including all treatments that were tried and/or are still being used.

Since hair may be affected by other health conditions, a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical history, current and past medications, etc. is also necessary and can usually provide clues to the hair loss. By the time all this information is gathered, a good, experienced physician should be able to have a few likely diagnoses in mind. Then, a detailed exam of the hair and scalp (and, if needed, other body systems) will either validate or eliminate certain diagnoses.

If not completely sure, lab tests and/or scalp biopsies may need to be done to arrive at the final diagnosis. Only then a treatment plan can be recommended.


Q: What would you like people who are currently in this situation to know? What advice do you have for them?

Dr. Barusco: I think that the most important thing is to get good, reliable information from a specialist. Most hair loss specialists offer free consultations, so it is easy to see someone. Of course, before choosing a professional, one should check their credentials in the specific areas of hair loss, trichology and hair restoration surgery.


The Tempus Hair Restoration Difference

Dr. Barusco places great emphasis on the free consultations he offers, making the process as convenient as possible. He personally sees every potential patient at each of Tempus Hair Restoration’s 14 locations throughout Florida, and also conducts consultations through online video conference via Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp.

Even in video conferencing, Dr. Barusco himself meets each patient – never a technician, non-medical staff member or “consultant.”

Unlike other practices, Dr. Barusco treats one patient at a time and personally performs each hair transplant surgery. Continuing to innovate, Tempus Hair Restoration is proud to be the first dedicated hair restoration practice in Florida to offer stem cell hair loss therapy using a combination of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and Stromal Stem Cells (SVF).

Recognized as a leader in this field, Dr. Barusco has the honor of being a member of the research team for the STRAAND clinical trial. This FDA-registered study is investigating a breakthrough treatment for hair loss that has the potential to be the next generation of the existing PRP and adipose-derived stem cell therapy Dr. Barusco currently offers. Dr. Barusco is one of only four hair restoration surgeons nationwide on this distinguished research team, and the only one based in Florida.

Learn more about Tempus Hair Restoration

You are invited to learn more about the innovative surgical and non-surgical hair restoration procedures that Dr. Barusco offers at Tempus Hair Restoration – as well as schedule your free consultation. Avoid the pitfalls of pursuing ineffective treatments and under-qualified medical (and quasi-medical) practitioners by doing informed research before proceeding. Whether it’s your first step or last mile, your hair restoration journey will be shorter when you make the right decision.

Facial Hair Transplants – Getting the Best Beard and Mustache

November is a special month for many reasons – Thanksgiving being the most obvious. But thanks to some very committed people, it’s also known as Movember. Started by the non-profit Movember Foundation, this annual observation held every November since 2003 focuses on raising awareness of men’s health issues. Dedicated to early detection and life-saving treatment, Movember has a fun side to its serious cause. Men are encouraged to grow a moustache, share photos of their ‘stache on social media and tell others about how men can live healthier, longer lives.


Whatever month of the year it is, however, many men like the distinctive masculine look that facial hair bestows. For those with sparse facial hair who are challenged in being able to grow a moustache, full beard, goatee or sideburns, a facial hair transplant may offer the ideal solution.

Also, men who have facial scars may no longer be able to grow hair over them, resulting in a patchy, uneven effect for those wanting a beard or moustache. This relatively new area of hair transplantation surgery achieves permanent, natural-looking results that can give you the beard of your dreams – provided you choose an experienced surgeon who knows hair growth patterns and has a high sense of aesthetics.


Dr. Marco Barusco – founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – is among the world’s leading surgeons performing facial hair transplants. As an award-winning board-certified surgeon with more than 20 years dedicated exclusively to hair restoration, Dr. Barusco uses his advanced procedures to fill in areas where facial hair is thin, or to subtly conceal facial scars. Because it’s important to know that the techniques for facial hair transplantation differ from those used for the scalp, Dr. Barusco takes care to educate potential patients about what the procedure involves.


Why can’t I grow a beard?


But first things first. Certain myths persist as to why some men experience only light facial hair growth. Genetics is the reason, but not in the way that may be expected. Men start to develop facial hair – which is regulated by testosterone – during puberty, and it doesn’t fully mature until their early 20’s. The interaction between testosterone and the hair that already exists causes it to grow thicker and darker.


And here is where the myth enters. It is typically believed that men who can grow a beard have a higher testosterone level – but in reality, most men have about the same level of testosterone. What makes the difference in facial hair growth is how one’s body responds to testosterone – which is genetically determined. Being highly sensitive to testosterone results in more facial hair. On the down side, it contributes to baldness.


“Genetics is the main factor,” says Dr. Barusco. “Even men with a family history of a full beard may have thin, patchy areas.”


In his experience with facial hair transplant patients, Dr. Barusco has found that sparse growth and patchy growth are equally prevalent conditions – and normally coexist in the same patient, who can have areas of sparse growth (defined as a low density of hairs), as well as areas where the beard is patchy.


Dr. Barusco finds that the recent trend for facial hair is shaping attitudes regarding the inability to grow the desired amount. Unlike the negative associations of baldness, Dr. Barusco notes “there is nothing against a clean-shaven man.” However, he says, “facial hair has become more of a fashion in the last few years. An interesting factor is that while hair loss in the scalp makes a man look older and therefore it is not desired, a beard or goatee will also age a man, but many opt to have it … myself included.”


Which should not be surprising. According to Domen Hrovatin, self-proclaimed “facial hair addict” and contributor to Balding Beards, facial hair – particularly beards – signify masculinity, strength, intelligence, confidence and a balance of sensitivity and edginess. Such positive qualities, of course, have been desirable long before the age of the hipster.


As for what type of facial hair his patients most frequently seek, Dr. Barusco says the most common requests are for a goatee and cheeks. “Many men can grow a satisfactory mustache, but often the mustache does not connect with the goatee, or they have sparse hair on their cheeks and can’t grow a full beard.”


What a facial hair transplant involves


The hair for facial hair transplants is typically harvested from the sides and back of the head, which are the same areas used in normal hair transplant surgery for bald and thinning areas of the scalp. The difference is that the hair removed is usually from lower down toward the neck, where the hair quality is more compatible to that of facial hair. This includes planning the angle and direction of hair for the most natural looking results. Dr. Barusco understands how hairs from different areas of the body behave, and has the skill and artistry to harvest those that are the best match, and ensure the hair follicles are angled correctly when transplanted.


“The challenges with transplanting into the face are many,” says Dr. Barusco. “From a technical standpoint, the most crucial is the angle and direction in which the hairs have to be placed to produce a natural result that will allow the patient to grow it long, if they so desire.


“Another aspect of the facial hair transplant is the donor area selection. Most of the time, we use scalp hairs from the safe donor zone, and the patient may need these hairs in the future, should they develop male pattern baldness. This factor becomes more important because most of the patients looking for facial hair transplants are young men. If the area(s) to be filled are small and few grafts are needed, we may use beard hairs, which are usually harvested from under the chin, as the source of donor hair.”


As Dr. Barusco takes great pride in his ability to conceal facial scars, he notes the considerable challenges it involves. “When transplanting into scars, I have to always be careful with blood supply, so hair grafts need to be placed further apart to guarantee growth. Patients who do hair transplantation into scars are always warned that they may have to do one more procedure for final hair density into the scar. But when done correctly, hairs will grow well in scarred areas.”


Healing of both the recipient and donor areas is typically complete in one week. Transplanted hairs will fall out two to three weeks after surgery. This is normal. New, permanent growth will begin within three to four months. Once permanent growth is established, the transplanted hair will blend in with any surrounding original hair. It may then be shaped and groomed in the same way as natural facial hair.


Making the right match to represent your heritage


Ethnicity plays a large role in the hair restoration process, as your genetics determine hair growth patterns, hair characteristics, hair density and hairline. Just as Dr. Barusco takes into account the ethnic background of hair transplant patients in order to achieve the right aesthetic effect, he does the same for facial hair transplants. Beard growth and density is different for men of different ethnic groups. Indian and Middle Eastern men tend to have denser beards, while Caucasians and men of African heritage have good density and more hair in their beards than Asian men. It is important for the surgeon performing a facial hair transplant procedure to achieve the aesthetically appropriate result that truly represents and respects your heritage.


You may have read that facial hair transplantation gives you the option of a “designer beard” or mustache – that is, a full beard, goatee or other style or configuration. While this is true to a certain degree, only a hair restoration surgeon can determine the extent of transplantation possible and advisable for your particular situation. Remember, a conscientious, skilled surgeon such as Dr. Barusco will also be closely examining the health of your scalp hair and assessing your risk for male pattern baldness.


Although more closely associated as an aesthetic choice for women, eyebrow transplants are likewise increasing in popularity. Men may elect for this procedure to conceal scarring from head trauma or eyebrow loss from other causes. Again, harvesting and crafting the donor hairs to achieve the appearance of naturally growing brows requires a highly skilled surgeon. Not all are equally qualified to perform this exacting procedure.


A note for “new” men


While facial hair transplants are a comparatively new frontier, the procedure also offers a way for trans males to achieve a more masculine appearance that aligns with their expressed gender identity. In addition to beards, mustaches and sideburns, eyebrow transplants can complete the picture by creating the thick, full brows identified with men.


Just as important is choosing a surgeon – and practice – able to provide a supportive environment that respects your emotional needs during the transition period. Dr. Barusco has provided hair transplants for many transgender patients, allowing them to bring full expression to their true self.


Making the right choice


Regardless of the reason you’re considering a facial hair transplant, the surgeon you select will make a significant difference in its success, and your satisfaction with the results. A transplant can be technically correct – that is, the surgery involved no complications, and the hair follicles survived and thrived – yet fall short of the appearance you want because the hairs weren’t placed correctly, or without consideration of your ethnicity.


Before you make your decision, we invite you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Dr. Barusco. You can visit one of our 14 Florida locations in person, or by online video conference via Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp. For your further convenience, we offer consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve a beard – or mustache – or perhaps both – that you’ll be proud of for many years to come!

No More Pencils – Your Guide to Eyebrow Transplants

Full, well-shaped eyebrows are highly desired among women today. The “Instagram brow” popularized on social media by such celebrities as Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner has achieved aspirational status, setting an aesthetic standard that many attempt to achieve through cosmetic means. With so much emphasis on eyebrows, an increasing number of people – including men – consider them important to self-esteem. For those experiencing thinning brows for such reasons as over plucking or genetics, an eyebrow transplant is a solution that can provide permanent, natural-looking results.

Eyebrow Transplants vs. Tattoos, Tweezing, Topicals

Ironically, beauty standards of previous decades favored a narrower brow line, resulting in overly tweezed eyebrows – which eventually shows up as thinning areas and bald spots. Corrections such as cosmetics or “permanent makeup” tattoos have drawbacks. Eyebrow pencils, powders and gels must be applied at least once daily, and their results largely depend upon the user’s artistic talent. Bad brow days are perhaps even more prevalent than bad hair days. Tattoos do not replicate the look of individual brow hairs, and eventually fade, creating a blotchy, even more artificial effect. Eyebrow transplantation offers a pleasing, natural-appearing restoration that signals youthfulness.

Increasing awareness of eyebrow transplantation has, in turn, led to the need to educate potential candidates about the procedure – and the credentials to look for when selecting a surgeon.

The Eyebrow Transplantation Procedure

At Tempus Hair Restoration, the extent of restoration depends upon the patient’s goals – whether to conceal a scar or achieve full restoration of both brows. In the case of a complete restoration, Dr. Marco Barusco – founder and Chief Medical Officer at Tempus Hair Restoration –  works with the patient to recreate the eyebrow in a natural contour, outlining the eyebrow area to complement the natural symmetry of the face.

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During the consultation, Dr. Barusco determines what transplantation method is better for the patient based on the patient’s hair type. Donor hairs are typically removed from toward the neck – where the hair quality is more compatible to facial hair. Grafts are carefully selected to achieve the appearance of natural eyebrow hair once transplanted. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, after which the patient can resume normal activities apart from post-surgical instructions regarding care of the donor and recipient sites. New growth typically becomes more dense than the hair in the original transplant grafts.

Experience Makes the Difference

Because eyebrow transplantation is a relatively new procedure, those considering it need to perform their due diligence. Research the qualifications and experience of those you contact for a consultation. The precision necessary to achieve the best possible aesthetic results depends upon the experience and skill of the surgeon (who should be performing the procedure, rather than an assistant or technician). The disclaimer “under the medical direction of” used by many clinics should be a red flag to potential patients that someone other than a surgeon will be performing this exacting procedure.

Dr. Barusco is a board-certified surgeon who is internationally recognized as a leader in hair restoration. His many other credentials include: Diplomate and Past President (2017) of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery; Assistant Professor of Surgery – University of Central Florida College of Medicine; Fellow of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) and Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS). Dr. Barusco conducts all consultations (both in-office and virtually – via Skype chat) and performs all hair transplantation procedures.

At Tempus Hair Restoration, we offer the most advanced technology and the highest level of artistry in our hair restoration treatments. We invite you to schedule a free consultation to discuss your goals and learn about the options we can provide.