Hipsters lacking beards have splashed up to $7,000 on beard transplants.
Some suspicious stats from "medical tourism" blog Medigo, have suggested a 600 per cent rise in the number of beard transplant operations between 2004 and 2014.
"Beards are seen as a symbol of power and virility," the info graphic stated. "Lacking length elsewhere? Let the beard boost your man credentials."
Other uses for the beard transplant, other than presumably getting one so large it may hang down over a miniscule todger, include hiding acne scars, and helping those undergoing female-to-male transgender procedures.
The New York Times reported on a 28-year-old paramedic who "looked so young that, when responding to 911 calls, he seemed to add to some patients' distress."
"They would look at me and be like, 'OK, is this 16-year-old really going to take care of me?'" said youthful-looking Jose Amos, who had the sparsest of beards. "It was hard for people to trust me because I had that baby face."
Amos told the NYT: "It does play a role in me looking more mature, more manly and just kind of getting respect from people."
According to Medigo, prices for the procedure range from $3,000 to $7,000. Amos stated he paid nearly $7,000 for his transplant.
"Two thirds of women would prefer to date a bearded man over a clean-shaven man," Medigo claimed. However facial hair grows more "when a man has not had sex for a while".
Among the scientific resources cited by Medigo are articles by the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.
Talking to the NYT, a Dr Jeffrey S Epstein, who is a hair restoration surgeon, said he performed four or five facial hair transplants annually a decade ago. Now, he said, the average is three a week.
The NYT also cited the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, which is a non-profit medical association which claimed beard transplants grew from 1.5 per cent of the global hair restoration procedure market in 2012, to 3.7 per cent in 2014. ®