Should you be looking for evidence that world has lost its way a bit, then look no further.

You may be aware of the current trend for hipster beards, those big full-on ones so fashionable among the dashing young men about town. You may approve of them or, like myself, dislike them intensely. But hey ho. I used to have a mullet in the 80s, a real ‘business at the front party at the back’ haircut, so I’m not in much of a position to criticise am I? However, in my defence, my hair never looked, as so many of today’s beards do, as if it could be boiled up to make a nourishing broth from all the bits of food hidden in it.

This is where we get to the what the hell moment. Should you be a dedicated follower of fashion, own the hacking jacket and fixed wheel bicycle, but can’t grow a decent full set of undergrowth on your phizogg, you can now get a beard transplant. Goodbye bumfluff, hello haven for small birds to nest in. A beard transplant. I’ll give you a second to process that information.

I read about this in the Times over the weekend, and much as I dislike that paper’s politics, it’s usually reliable. It claimed there have been over 500 transplants in the UK this year. I was taken aback by the cost as well as how widespread this practice is. Up to seven grand to have a hairier face? I found that preposterous.

Me being me, I thought a bit of research was in order. Lo and behold! There are many outfits in the UK offering the service. The price is accurate, a high one to pay for vanity, though right now there’s a sale on that allows you to save £1000 at one practice.

Back in my mullet days, I also had an ill-advised moustache, and once got three of us into a nightclub in Swindon because the doorman thought I was Graham Souness, a footballer of some note who looked like this. Unfortunately, so did I.graham

I’ve never had a beard, though I can sometimes be a bit lax about scraping my face every day. It’s uncomfortable when I don’t shave, I dislike the itching, and my face fungus these days is the same colour as my hair. Grey hair can look distinguished, but the same can’t really be said of a beard.

I nearly forgot to mention the best bit. Apparently the transplants can take 12 to 24 months to settle in and produce vigorous growth. Have the procedure now, and what do you think of the chances of a bushy face still being in fashion in 2017? Fashion is a notoriously capricious and wayward mistress, hence you can’t have a mullet these days without being pilloried mercilessly by your friends. There’s a good reason the Player’s Navy Cut look died out too. Twenty years time thes guys will look at themselves and think, ‘Boy, did I look a prat.’

Footnote The photo is of Mr Souness, but there was a strong resemblance. Except I can tie a tie properly.