Can You Receive Hair From Another Person With FUE?
Every now and then we get patients who ask us if it is possible to donate hair follicles from one person to another with FUE. Most of these patients have had multiple hair transplants and don’t think that they have enough donor hairs left to have successful results. Therefore they are curious as to whether their friend or family member who has healthy hair can donate some of their follicles.
Can you use another person’s hair follicles in FUE?
Unfortunately, the short answer is no. When transplanting hair follicles from one person to another, you are transferring tissue. If two people do not have an exact tissue DNA match then the bodies immune system will reject the grafts after they have been implanted and little to no hairs will survive. The only way two people can have an exact tissue match is if they are identical twins. In addition, since hair loss is genetic, it is unlikely that one identical twin has a full head of hair and the other is experiencing hair loss.
If you can donate organs, why can’t you donate hair?
When donating organs there is a very rigorous protocol which must be implemented for success. The first step is that the two patients must have similar HLA typing. HLA or Human Leukocyte Antigen typing is a system designed to pair donors with recipients for kidney, bone marrow, and other vital organ transplants. HLA’s are proteids or bio-markers located inside your cells and are unique to your DNA. Your immune system detects these biomarkers in your cells and uses them to discriminate between tissue that belongs in your body, and foreign tissue.
When someone receives an organ from a close HLA match, they are placed on immune suppressors for the rest of their lives. These immune suppressors weaken the patients immune response to the foreign tissue and make it very unlikely for the organ to be rejected. These lifelong immunosuppressant drugs and anti-immune modulators such as Imuran or Azathioprine are extremely dangerous and known to cause cancer and an abundance of other side effects. This is fine for patients who need a kidney or liver in order to stay alive, but not patients with a cosmetic issue such as hair loss. Even though it feels like it on occasion, being bald is not actually going to kill you, we promise.
What to do if you don’t have enough donor hairs.
If you have already had multiple hair transplants and are wondering if you have enough donor hairs left to have FUE, request a consultation with SurgeonGate or call (855)-248-2220. In order to determine if you are still a candidate for hair restoration surgery, you will have to meet with a hair transplant Michigan specialist and undergo a pre-operative folliscopy.
Most patients who have had a hair transplant in the past still have enough hairs for more transplantation. The average patient has about 16,000 hair grafts in the back of their scalp and the most that can be transplanted in one session is about 3,000 grafts, containing anywhere from 6,000 to 9,000 hairs. This means that patients can have up to 3 hair transplants sometimes before their hair in the back begins to look thin.
If you have had multiple hair transplants in the past and are still looking for more hair to restore your scalp, your surgeon may resort to using body hairs. The issue of using body hairs is that they typically do not grow as long as the hair on your head. For this reason, body hair is typically used between scalp hairs in order to increase hair follicle density and help hide scalp exposure so your hair looks fuller and healthier.