Hair Follicle from the head area are used for transplantation purposes. However, patients sometimes do not have enough hair on their heads to achieve the desired result. In such cases, your surgeon may recommend to transplant body hairs. Body hair as such hairs are very similar to head hairs in structure and quality. Hairs may be taken from the legs, the arms, the stomach, the chest, the back, the armpits or even the face.
For patients who do not have sufficient density of hair on head, body hair can become the source of several thousand grafts, especially when patients have a high amount of body hair at their disposal. This donor area is then used to full the less denser area of head where the transplant is required. Body Hair Transplantation also comes handy in cases of loss of hair due to burns or hereditary hair loss.
Body hairs are removed using the FUE technique, leaving no linear scar. Body hair grafts are then implanted in the same way as grafts of head hair.
Which patients are suitable for body hair transplants?
Generally, patients with less density of hair on head in the donor area are the prime candidates for body hair transplant. External factors could also become a reason to consider body hair transplant where the patient had any previous burn injuries, previous failed hair transplant or any medical condition or hereditary condition which lead to hair loss.
The results of a hair transplant with unsuitable donor hair are generally unsatisfactory, as these can only compensate hair loss to a minor extent. Moreover, any resulting scars will be visible.
Hair Restoration Clinic uses following criteria for assessing the donor area for a body hair transplant.
- Hair density must be above 40 FUs per cm²
- Similarity between the body and head hair
- The number of FUs with 2 – 3 hair follicles
- The size of the donor area
- The length of the body hair
The technique for transplanting body hair is similar FUE technique which is used for extraction, and basically involves extending the donor area to the whole body. In such cases, and provided the physical requirements are met, follicular units can be extracted directly from different area of the body – torso, arms or legs – and transplanted to the scalp. This method opens up a hope for patients who do not have sufficient hair in donor area of head.
Candidates for body hair transplant must meet certain physiological requirements, i.e. the body hair must be suitable for use as head hair. Follicular Units (FUs) taken from the body are anatomically different to hairs taken from the head. Whereas FUs taken from the head generally consist of 1, 2 or 3 hairs, in most cases FUs from the body only have one hair.
The limitations of BHT
Body hairs can change their structure after being transplanted – in most cases they become longer and straighter, interestingly adapting somewhat to head hair structure.
Patients wanting to undergo body hair transplant treatment should be aware of the fact that this form of treatment is a last-resort attempt, with success chances not foreseeable.
This all means that any patient wishing to undergo body hair transplant treatment needs to discuss this in depth with his hair surgeon. Similarly, the operation must be performed by a fully competent hair surgeon, as the success of a body hair transplant is dependent on the experience, know-how and abilities of the surgeon performing the operation.