Transplanting body hair to the scalp
A Body Hair Transplant (BHT) is used in cases of severe alopecia, in which the availability of donor hairs on the head is insufficient to adequately cover the areas affected by baldness.
The FUE technique is used to perform the transplant, which means that the follicles of the body will be taken one by one for subsequent implantation. In cases of grade IV alopecia according to the Norwood-Hamilton pattern, it is not possible to cover the entire scalp due to the lack of donor follicles on the back and sides of the scalp. But there is the possibility of extracting these grafts from other areas of the body and implanting them in the head. This has been a significant scientific advance because many people with little hair on their head had very limited possibilities of having hair transplants in Michigan.
Body hair transplants vs traditional FUE
The Body Hair Transplant is a technique derived from and complementary to the FUE method. The only is that in traditional FUE, hair is extracted from the back of the scalp. The Body Hair Transplant takes hair from other areas of the body and implants them on the scalp. It is used when the head does not have enough follicles to cover someone’s baldness.
Regardless of the area where hair is extracted, it is important that the patient has enough follicular units for the grafting to be successful. The cost of a body hair transplant may also be higher than the cost of an FUE hair transplant in Michigan as they require more time to complete due to the less dense body grafts.
Body hair transplantation is a great option for hair transplant Michigan patients who have undergone a previous treatment and didn’t get the results they wanted because they lacked enough donor hair.
What areas of the body can be used?
The area of the body most commonly used is the chest, as males make up the majority of patients for this surgery. There is also the possibility of extracting the donor follicles from the back, in the case of a very lightly haired patient. Other areas that are used include the legs, beard, arms, and the abdomen. The hair characteristics of these areas differ in terms of growth cycles and diameter, with the beard being the place that has the most similar characteristics to the scalp. These areas have a reduced number of hairs per follicular units as well, so double the grafts are often required to achieve the same results. The hairs of the armpits and pubis are totally excluded, since the capillary structure of these hairs completely different than those of the scalp.
Who is a candidate for a body hair transplant?
After verifying that the donor region of the scalp is too scarce, the candidacy for a body hair transplant should be evaluated in order to determine if it is feasible to perform this type of procedure. The factors that determine the success of a body hair transplant are:
- Hair follicle density must be greater than 40 follicular units per cm².
- There must be an acceptable similarity between the hair of the body and that of the head. The more similar the better the results.
- Adequate extension of the donor area (torso, legs, etc).
- Adequate length of body hair.
Limitations and disadvantages
The difficulty with using follicles from other areas of the body is that their characteristics are not the same as those of the scalp. Hair coming from the chest or the back tends to be more curly and thicker. This increases the risk that your results may look unnatural. This is why hair extracted from the body is ordinarily used in the interior areas of the scalp. This makes the effects less noticeable, leaving the most exposed areas (the front), for follicles from the scalp.
Once the body hair is transplanted and rooted it can change its structure. It often becomes longer and smoother, however, it does not manage to share the characteristics of scalp hair.
- On the scalp, follicular units have one to four hairs each, the follicular units of the rest of the body only have one to two hairs. For this reason, the coverage that is achieved with the same number of follicular units is less if it comes from the body.
- The history of Body Hair Transplants (BHT) is much less studied than traditional FUE. For this reason, the results of BHT are not completely proven.
- According to the latest studies, the survival rate of transplanted follicles from the body is around 70-80%.
- The anesthesia used for the extraction of follicular units from the body is greater because the donor area is much larger.
- The extraction of follicles from the body is more difficult since the hair is more firmly attached to fatty tissue. This also increases the risk of injuring the follicle during extraction.
A Body Hair Transplant is definitely possible for those with little hair on the back and sides of their scalp. When you visit your Michigan hair transplant surgeon you will be able to discuss the possibility of a body hair transplant. The surgeon will example the density of your hair and if they find that you do not have enough hair to undergo traditional FUE than they will recommend a Body Hair Transplant.
If you are looking for an extremely experienced and professional hair transplant surgeon or for the best plastic surgery in Michigan, request a consultation with SurgeonGate and we will connect you with a top plastic surgeon in no time.
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