When you need to transplant Body Hair to Head?
Individuals with an advanced grade of hair loss with limited scalp donor follicles and having a good beard or torso hair.
History of previous hair restoration surgeries that have resulted in depletion of scalp donor areas and inadequate coverage of recipient areas.
To combine it with a regular scalp transplant in order to augment the coverage, thus achieving a higher density of hair that is difficult otherwise, given the limitation of grafts that can be extracted from the scalp in one sitting.
Extensive scarring alopecia of the scalp (example: as seen in burns), where the scalp donor area is inadequate.
Under these circumstances, a trial of body hair may be performed to evaluate the growth and appearance of the grafts.
Difference between Body Hair and Scalp Hair
Out of 5 million follicles on the body, only one hundred thousand are present on the scalp.
The duration of anagen (growth) phase of hair is longest for scalp hair compared to the rest of the body. So the transplanted body hair may never grow as long as the scalp hair.
The ratio of growing to rest hair is also the highest in the hair on the scalp.
There is also a considerable difference in the thickness of the skin of the scalp and that of the body.
While we can use hair from beard, shoulders, chest, abdomen, torso, legs, arms, underarms, or pubic area for transplant. It has been found that the hair from the beard and chest are closest in comparison to scalp hair. Thus the most commonly used non-scalp donor areas. The beard is the preferred donor area over a chest, as the beard hair is closer in length, texture, behavior. Beard transplants have a success rate of 80-85%.
Method used to transplant Body Hair to Head
Body hair transplant to head is accomplished using Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique.
On an average, about 500 to 4000 grafts can be transplanted in one to two days, divided into 2 blocks of time: graft extraction and placement of grafts in the intended recipient areas.
The hair from the donor area needs to be shaved 2-7 days before the procedure, depending on the site of the donor area, to allow for the selection of the strongest hair for use in a transplant. Also, hair in the anagen (growing) stage produce more consistent results.
The procedure is carried out under local anesthesia. Small, straight punches 0.7mm-1mm in size are made over the donor area, resulting in clean extraction of intact grafts.
The wounds heal within 4-5 days without leaving any practically visible scars over the donor area. Till then, keep the donor area covered and apply the special ointment provided to promote healing.
The grafts extracted from the donor site, most containing one or two hair, are then transplanted into the recipient sites on the scalp. Occasionally, these grafts may need to be further refined to remove excess fat or skin before being transplanted.
The hair transplanted into the scalp will fall out by two weeks, then start to regrow similar to scalp hair at about four months after treatment, and then subsequently continue to grow lifelong.
Body hair may or may not change their structure after being transplanted; though in most cases they become longer and straighter, adapting to the scalp hair structure.